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Marvel, Muse, Manifest, Materialize. Welcome to February Jones: The Blog. While you're here I might challenge some of your opinions, show you something you never knew before, or if you're lucky, I just might melt your brain and bring you a new way of viewing the world and your place in it. And I have accessories to help you remember these new ways of thinking! View my Etsy shop items just to your lower right in my CraftCult widget, or by clicking on the Merchverse tab above. See what some of my customers think in the Testimonial section, and check out all on my interweb featurettes in the Media section. You can even watch some awesome Etsy videos in the Etsy Fun! section. I hope you enjoy the World of February Jones and come back often, things are always changing.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Maker of Things

As a Maker of Things, I have come to appreciate everything that goes into small-scale production. And by “small-scale” I mean as small as an army of one. The World of Handmade is a vast and wonderful place where hard-working, committed, creative people are manifesting their dreams with their own two hands. In a world as interrelated as ours is showing itself to be, that is worth so much more than the carbon copies or artificial self-differentiators that are rampant in today’s marketplace. 

 One of a Kind (OOAK) Custom Betty and Veronica Bubble Danglers

Two years ago when my fiancee and I made the decision to cut cable tv out of our daily lives, I thought I would finally see the end of my life's constant commercial bombardment. I was excited to live in a world where I wouldn't have to experience the constant tumult of brands being shoved down my throat that promised to make me a unique individual if I purchased them along with the rest of millions of other people who were purchasing the same thing. So many products are espousing benefits that are supposed to add to your self-definition or allow you to "express yourself". But how can these products effectively do that when the exact same thing is also in the hands of many other people? In any case, cutting our cable did not bring an end to corporate sponsors entering our home, but at least it modified the frequency. Lessening the presence of corporate culture in my life has allowed me to appreciate the real value of handmade goods that much more.

Once upon a time the marketplace was the center of the city where everyone gathered to exchange their skills and handmade products for things that they needed but could not make or services they required but could not perform. Money, or a medium of exchanged allowed people to trade their wares and skills for credit that allowed them obtain those things and services they required. It was simply easier than searching for what is called a "double coincidence of wants" in which you exchange something you have with another person who has something you want. Money didn't have any value in isolation. Classical economic models apply to this market system, not a global market. With all of the economic fluctuations that have been occuring in recent years, it has come to light that economic predictions simply are not panning out. No one wants to say that the "market" these predictions are trying to forecast is simply to large. No one wants to say that a global marketplace might be a bad thing. Bigger is better, right? But the planet has been trying to tell us that this isn't the case, and it's time that we listened. Why put so many of your hard-earned dollars towards expensive items when you are clearly paying so much for the brand power? Companies that have the money to pay for a prime-time commercial slot during the Superbowl pass the expense on to you, the consumer, through their high price tags. You pay for the name, not necessarily the product.

Comparison of designer label Tiffany & Co. vs handcrafted couture label Ghost Love

Be proud of the things that you can do for yourself, and be proud to own something that you know came from the hardworking hands of another person just like you. Take an interest in learning a new skill. Fall back on the ways of living throughout human history that brought people together and built up communities. Don't be afraid to become A Maker of Things, and challenge yourself to learn about the amazing things that people in your very own community can do.

Visit Etsy and use the Shop Local option (clicking on the link will automatically load Guelph shops, but you can enter your own location), and keep an eye on your community listings for different artisan events. Visit your local Farmer's Market (listings for Ontario, Canada) to get an idea of all the great things that you can find close to home made by hands that you probably know through six degrees of seperation or less ;)

Enjoy your browsing, I hope you'll be both amazed and inspired.



  1. You have awesome points. I personally prefer handmade over the others. As a eBay & Etsy seller, I've came to realize the handmade community is soooo much friendly compared to the rest.

  2. There's something to be said about the higher degree of connection when you shop and buy handmade. Makers are so proud of their work and it is really important to them that those who purchase have a good experience and love the items they receive. The human factor is greater if you want to look at it that way, a better person-to-person connection which we seem to be lacking in today's more traditional marketplace. Thanks for stopping by Southern Belle!