I purchased this lovely hat from Libby at kreativedesigner.etsy.com. I purchased from Libby because she is someone that I have had the good fortune to get to know in this ethereal world of the internet. Libby is a fellow member of an online networking group (Etsy Artists of Color) and she regularly comments on my blog. I've appreciated getting to know her and that is why when the time came to make a purchase, I made it from her.
When the package arrived, I was so excited to open it and, of course, the hat was lovely. But, there were extras, too! A crocheted face scrubbie and some information about a cool, environmental education project to do with kids (because Libby knew I was interested in learning more about this project.) And, there it is, the magic of buying handmade from someone you know. The connections are so much deeper.
I could easily have gone to Target or Ross and purchased a hat (those of you who know me well know that is entirely untrue because I would have gone to the thrift store,) but purchasing from the big box retailers is so impersonal. It seems a small paradox that purchasing a hat from someone at register where I will have a real face-to-face interaction is far less personal than the long-distance interactions I've had with Libby.
My grandfather recently recommended a delightful little movie, "84 Charing Cross Road," to me. In that movie, a woman in New York strikes up a long-distance relationship with a bookseller in London. Over the years their friendship grows into something profound without ever having met face to face. This is the magic of buying handmade items from people I have not met in person. It's personal. The items were made from the creativity that resides in their soul. They make the items because they want to, because it is what they are passionate about. The same cannot be said for most items from the big box stores.
I've been wearing my hat on the cold days and I love it. In fact, I think I look adorable when I'm wearing my special red hat. Here are some other items for sale in Libby's shop: