There are so many reasons to buy handmade. Small-scale artisans have a smaller impact than big box companies. When you're dealing with an individual instead of a corporation, you can expect more transparency and a much more personal experience. Not only that, you're helping a creative person support her art!
Whether you consider yourself a maker or are just looking for help with a one-off project, it can be so hard to find quality tips, tricks, and tutorials by just doing a general search. Handmade forums like the ones on Etsy help, but going through tons of forum posts can be really cumbersome.
Now, keeping up with the handmade community is easier than ever thanks to an awesome new search engine: Search Handmade. The site uses the handy Yahoo! Pipes tool to focus searches on handmade shops, blogs, and forums.
They lump the shops and blogs together in the "Search Handmade Blogs" section, and a typical search result will yeild a mix of both. Here's what returned when I searched for "necklace:"
I was surprised that no Etsy results turned up on the first page, but it was pretty cool to see some alternative handmade marketplaces as well as tutorials.
The same search in the forums area returned a mix of useful craft forums on necklaces from folks showing off their faves to discussions on making, pricing, and troubleshooting.
Search Handmade looks like an awesome tool for pretty much anyone looking to shop handmade or utilize the rich knowledge of the handmade community!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by colbyp