We’ve become so accustomed to buying what’s available in stores or online, right off the shelf. It’s easy to forget that commissioning a piece from skilled local craftspeople is even an option. Most people would be surprised to learn just how many talented makers exist in our communities. Fred narrows down six reasons why you should consider buying bespoke furniture.
Handkrafted was born to connect people desiring quality handmade goods straight to the craftspeople and artisans who produce them. We offer a window to an entire world of creativity that exists off the beaten track.
So why connect one-on-one with a maker? What are the benefits?
1. Tailored to you
When you work together with an artisan to create a unique item, you can bypass the middlemen and the tastemakers. You don’t have to ask for permission to make your choice. Instead, you can embrace your creative vision and share it with a skilled professional.
Whatever your tastes or needs are, an artisan can work with you to create tailored, unique pieces. If you have the spark of an idea in your mind, they can draw it out and help it grow into a finished item.
2. Focus on quality
Making a one-off item involves a level of care and focus unparalleled by mass-produced goods. Our makers don’t produce flat-packed furniture created with a relentless drive to reduce costs. Instead, they treat each piece like a work of art that represents their craft.
3. Living sustainably
In the 40 years since 1970, the amount of furniture discarded each year in the USA has increased by 385% from 2.8 million tonnes to 10.8 million tonnes. This is despite the fact that over the same period the population grew by only 50% and the number of housing units grew by only 100%. It’s easy to imagine that the story in Australia would be very similar. It’s just not sustainable.
Not only do our makers focus on producing quality goods to last generations, but they also typically source sustainably harvested or even reclaimed timbers.
Liam Harris, a furniture maker from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, spent many years as a carpenter on building sites where he was exposed to the wastage of materials, including beautiful old timber that he now collects and turns into ecologically sustainable furniture.
For Anthony Byrne from Second Origin, it is also about ethical and environmentally friendly furniture. Second Origin use recycled hardwood in all their products and plant 50 trees every time an item is sold.
4. Supporting time-honoured skills
When you invest in local artisans, you help to preserve a craft and livelihood passed down for many generations.
5. Bypassing global supply chains
Modern supply chains have become so complex that it’s increasingly difficult to know where an item was actually made. Perhaps more important than where it’s made, do we know how they are made, under what kind of working conditions, and where the raw materials were sourced from?
Connecting directly with a maker allows us to bypass the wholesalers, importers, distributors and retailers. It provides us with the transparency that we need to answer the above questions.
6. Building an emotional connection
Commissioning a custom made piece introduces sentimentality and meaning. It allows you to connect with a maker and learn their story. You’re able to appreciate the materials and production methods chosen, including the rationale for doing so. Often you may have a part in shaping the products final design. It’s an investment in a piece and story that can be passed down to your kids, and theirs.
I’m not suggesting that we should reject mass-produced goods. Many have their place! It would be unwise to overlook the fact that mass production has contributed to the improved living standards and quality of life for many people.
Nevertheless, there are unique occasions when many of us can justify seeking out better quality and sustainably made alternatives.
Will it be expensive? Not necessarily, although quality work is rarely about finding the lowest possible price. If you’ve found something cheap at a furniture retailer that mass-produces goods, it’s highly unlikely to be made cheaper by a craftsperson making a one-off piece by hand.
Through Handkrafted, you can find high quality artisans and discover their incredible work. You can collaborate on an idea and begin working towards the finished piece.
In bespoke furniture and design, there is an individual story that accompanies every item.