This past Saturday my family went to the “I Made It Market” in Pittsburgh as our weekend adventure. Very cool–I was really impressed and taken back at the vast assortment of artists, artisans and crafts people showcasing their wares and talent. Even their business cards were designed and showed a conscious decision towards design.
In my region it is common to find country crafts fairs and other venues like that which are fine, but not really my cup of tea. No offense or attempt to take away from their abilities, but this event was a refreshing take on individuals selling their hand-crafted delights in a crowded room. There were so many unique items that were hand made by the person standing there. This is quite a difference from the customary anonymous warehouse purchase from an e-commerce conglomerate. Trust me, I’ve spent much over the years online so this was a welcomed change and we did it together, as a family.
I won’t begin to focus on one artist over another, so please visit this site to see a list of the vendors. We did buy a few things and spent a little time talking with a few artists there. It made for a great community experience.
So my plug, sermon or persuasive speech – seek out these types of events and support these people.
Most of us are fortunate to live comfortably meaning, we don’t really “need” anything when it comes to gift giving. Trying to shop at the mall, strip mall or even your city’s downtown shopping district can be quite difficult when thinking of that special gift. Of course making your way through Amazon, iTunes or eBay is also a bit impersonal too. Unless you’re shopping at Etsy or some other online version of I Made It, can I ask you to consider the artist, the small business owner and the unique gift this holiday season? (Or scrap all of that and donate time, money or gifts to a shelter, charity or other method of giving to the “least of these”; you might just know someone.)
If you’re in Pittsburgh on 07 December 2013, you get a chance to visit the Handmade Arcade of DIY. For those of you in other regions, find the analogous venue and support Small Business Saturday on 30 November 2013.