Mass-produced is out. Handmade is the latest trend. When the Market of Artists and Designers (MAAD) was first started in 2006, it only had 700 visitors over the two-day event. Now, the monthly event attracts approximately 2000 to 3000 visitors on one night. A newer entrant to the Singapore craft market scene, The Local People, has grown from 600 to 5000 in visitorship within just over a year. This shopping trend is largely fuelled by Millennials, who are born between 1982 and 2000. They love them so much that, according to a Nielsen study, they are 57% more likely to visit Etsy, the popular North American online craft bazaar, than people from other age groups.
Why the Hype about Handmade?
- Personalised: By making a gift from scratch, you can easily customise it to your recipients’ liking and style. The most exciting part about handmade gifts is that with the element of human touch, no two of them will be exactly the same. You can even engrave or stylise your recipient’s name on the gift to create a greater sense of ownership! According to Reddit user p2p_editor:
A handmade gift tailored to the giftee’s profile shows a lot more effort and concern for the giftee than just saying “oh, I’ll just get her this thing off of Amazon and have it shipped directly to her.”
- Sincerity: Handmade gifts come from the heart. Deep down, most of us enjoy feeling significant to important people in our lives. From the recipient’s point of view, the fact that someone took the extra time and effort to think, plan and create something just for you makes it special and memorable. Another handmade gifts lover proclaims:
I think homemade gifts can be really great (even better than store bought). It’s really nice to think “Wow. Somebody made this just for me.” Imperfections show the effort!
- Created with a conscious: Recycle, reuse and upcycle materials that are found around home to create your handmade gift. For instance, old t-shirts that you don’t wear anymore can be repurposed into new and unique accessories. Furthermore, many handmade focus marketplaces are big on social causes.
The bottom-line: Handmade gifts are awesome, as long as you are a decent crafter, and able to create what your recipient can appreciate. The easiest way to have a better understanding of what your recipient may like is to check out their Likes on Facebook, Retweets on Twitter and Pins on Pinterest. Otherwise, just ask them straight to ensure that your gift would not eventually end up collecting dust under their bed.
So for a change this Valentines’ Day, if you have not already bought a gift, why not create a special handmade gift for them to show your appreciation and love? Of course, if you are not the most crafty person around, you can consider purchasing a handmade gift or head down to a workshop/ meetup session together with your loved ones and learn how to make something special for each other.