Made in China. Made in India. Made in Thailand. These notes can be read on a majority of household products and most people just scoff and proceed to buy them anyway. But why? Is it such an expectation that we no longer believe things can be made anywhere else? Why do we simply accept this, shoot for the bargain, and forgo cultivating our local economy?
We have become the nation proclaiming “why not, it’s only $2.99?” over and over again. Well, I’ll tell you why not. Our shortsighted bargain hunting is not only killing small businesses, but also smashing the heartfelt dreams of young makers.
Now, I do come from a large Dutch family where coupons and bargain deals are a way of life, but my efforts in the handmade have shifted this train of thought and unveiled the greater understanding of what it means to cultivate your local economy. When the veil is lifted and you see behind the scenes, you can openly enter the conversation of fair pay, ethical sourcing, and communal support. This understanding helps build lives full of beauty, intention, and gratification. So why not? Why not choose better?
Dime & Regal has always been about the handmade. When we started, our little storefront sat on the Avenue for the Arts in Grand Rapids where we began supporting a small group of artists & makers. It was important that we only sourced products that were made in our immediate community- supporting our neighbors and economy. This community, this CULTURE, is what helped us strive to be better- better products, better ethos, and a better focus on serving our community.
Knowing where, how, and who makes your products are a huge factor in what we do here at our little shop. We want to share with you the process of how something is made, as well as show you the hands that made it. Each one of our products is handcrafted by someone who lives and works in your community- they are your neighbors. Maybe your kids are friends at school, or maybe you have the same commute to work. You may even QUITE LITERALLY be neighbors.
The point here is that by buying their products instead of something across the ocean, you are supporting someone you can see and interact with-someone who turns around and supports you. THIS is real community, real support, and real effort being put into local economy. So lets keep cultivating this culture by shopping local and supporting our makers.
Now, after all of that, I will ask you… are those bargains really worth the price? Or should you pay full price and support a family here in Michigan. Food for thought, feed your soul (and feed the family next door by supporting local makers.)