Guest Post: Fiddle & Frog

Why Buy Handmade?

As someone who creates handmade products, I sometimes forget why it’s so important to buy handmade.  Once I sit down and remind myself of the many reasons to purchase handmade goods, I’m inspired to do better work myself, and keep the wonderful cycle of handmade going around.  Here are my top five reasons to buy handmade.

When you purchase a handmade product, you have a good chance of meeting the artist personally, especially if you shop at craft shows or small boutique-type shops.  Even buying online (like at can give you a little insight into the artist that created your purchase if you read the artist bio posted on each online shop page.  Chances are you have no idea who made the things you buy from a big-box store.  Plus, there’s usually a story behind everything that‘s made by hand, and you’ve got a good chance of learning that story if you buy handmade.

Speaking of big-box stores, how many things (say toys or furniture) have you purchased at a large chain store that you would like to (or be able to because they’re still intact) pass down through generations in your family?  Buying handmade means a good chance of improved durability and longer life for your family’s favorite toys and other goods.  Handmade hand-me-downs are way more acceptable (in my book) than store-bought stuff.
(A doll or action figure bed created by Fiddle& Frog)

Chances are you know of a handmade-product maker around your area.  Purchasing goods from artists or crafters you know of helps support your local economy.  On a larger scale, buying handmade can help support small businesses nationwide!

(Dolls created by Fiddle & Frog)

There’s a good chance the handmade item you’ve purchased is unique.  One-of-a-kind.  No neighbor has one the same.  Isn’t it a cool feeling knowing you’ve got a really original piece of work?  It could even be a design you came up with and requested of the artist.  You sure don’t get that kind of input when you shop non-handmade!

Shopping for handmade is just plain fun.  Browsing a craft fair or checking out a local craft shop or even shopping in an online handmade marketplace can be a really enjoyable experience as you meet some real, live artists and explore lots of unique items.  No two craft shows are alike, just as no two artists are alike.  You’ll find new ideas and new products at every show or small shop you check out.

There are probably a million more reasons to buy handmade, but these are some that are most important to me.  I hope you’re inspired to check out that local craft shop or fair.  Please do spend some time browsing Etsy or another online marketplace.  Try to connect with local artists and crafters in your area.  I think you’ll find it is so worth it to buy handmade! 
NOTE:  I hope the above reasons to buy handmade don’t make it sound like I’m totally against shopping at big-box or chain stores.  I totally realize that the convenience these stores offer is sometimes really important in our busy lives.  Let’s be honest...sometimes I shop at them myself.  I’d simply like to urge you to consider the benefits of buying handmade when you can.

Kristin Gontea is co-owner and artist at Fiddle & Frog, a small craft company that makes toys, games, room décor and more for kids of all ages.  When not busy creating fun handmade items, Kristin and her sister Amy (the other half of Fiddle & Frog) host Craft Bees and Home Parties.  Visit Fiddle & Frog online at or or check out their online shop at


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