The Short Story
Heartful Village is a boutique shopping portal devoted exclusively to high-quality handmade products. Without leaving this site, you can shop a diverse array of online stores that sell handmade jewelry, handmade clothing, handmade bags and wallets, handmade home and garden products and more. Everything here is personally handpicked by me to make it easy for you to find and buy unique handmade products. The old adage that says “a picture is worth a thousand words” is one I take to heart. So Heartful Village has loads of images you click to see product details. This is a big site with a lot of products, but it’s easy to navigate. Just click the images and links to find just what you’re looking for.
The Expanded Story
Just a few generations ago, our ancestors’ belongings were made by someone they knew, someone from their own village or one close by. The things they used were made to do the job and to last. That’s why so many are treasured antiques that are still around today. But most of our stuff is made who knows where, and it’s all pretty much the same. Much of it is not made to last (or is made to not last), and there are so many identical items manufactured that they’re not worth much even when brand new, and about half that much by the time you get home from the store.
But you have other (handmade) options
You don’t have to buy things that thousands of other people have. And you don’t have to feed a greedy globe-spanning supply chain. The Internet has made a village of the world and people all around us are making unique, high-quality, high-value products. Many of these handmade treasures will increase in value over time, becoming tomorrow’s heirlooms. And this site is about helping you find them. I’m Marina Flournoy, the energy behind Heartful Village, and I can help you find high-value handmade alternatives to common mass-produced products.
Just some things . . . not everything needs to be handmade
Mass-production is not in itself a bad thing. We wouldn’t have easy access to cars and televisions and refrigerators and computers and all kinds of other things if they all had to be handmade. We benefit enormously from factory-made products our ancestors would’ve loved to have had: Cell phones and athletic shoes and vacuum cleaners and pencils and . . . You get my point. I’m not trashing mass-production or mass-produced products. But . . .
You need more balance in your choices
The production-distribution cycle is so out of balance that you’re bombarded 24/7 with ads for things that need to be sold mainly because they’ve been made. Or because they need to be made to keep a company profitable, or to keep the stockholders happy, or for some other reason that has nothing to do with you. And the ads are often effective because the companies that make them know exactly what they’re doing. Which is getting you to buy something that thousands of other people have.
The marketers have their own agendas
The marketing folks are not bad guys, and they can’t make you buy something you don’t want. It’s just that their agenda is not your agenda, which is probably to make value based decisions. When you buy a car for example, you consider style, safety, comfort, cost, and whatever else is important to you. Then you settle on whichever delivers the best value overall. The mass-marketing model is fine for cars and lots of other things. But mass-marketing is in partnership with mass-production, and promoting unique handmade products is not what they’re about. It’s not on their agenda. No blame. That’s just the way it is.
And you need handmade products in the mix
Adding high-quality handmade products to the mix can make a big difference in your decisions. That’s because when you spend a dollar on a mass-produced product, you pay for more than you get. You pay the factory workers who produced it, you pay the marketing costs, executive salaries, freight, store inventory and stocking fees, and of course there have to be profits made all along the supply chain. So in the end you get maybe 50 cents in value, maybe more, maybe less. Hit a few garage sales next weekend and you’ll see what I mean: Near new products going for 20-30% of their store price. Now spend a dollar on a high-quality handmade product. This time, the artisan gets a dollar, and you get at least a dollar in value. The supply chain has been reduced to two very appreciative people. And someone fortunate enough to find that unique product later at a garage sale might still be willing to pay a dollar for it, maybe more.
Finding the handmade products you want is not easy
Finding unique products is a lot of work. Take it from someone who knows firsthand. The logical place for busy people to look is on the Internet, but there are a lot of handmade sites. And that actually makes it harder to find the things you want to buy. Some sites are really just beautiful portfolios for people who do not sell on the web (I call these eye candy). Some sites have been abandoned by people who gave up on the possibility of selling online. Some active sites are currently empty, and some have so much to offer that you’re overwhelmed with the range of possibilities. Which brings us back to where we started.
I can help you find good handmade products–right here on the web
Heartful Village opens multiple doors into the handmade world. At it’s heart are two powerful tools to help you find high-quality handmade products:
- Shopping Portal is a direct connection to specific handmade products from an array of artists, artisans, and online specialty stores. You can shop by category or shop the ever-growing list of Artists & Brands. You can set the price range, and you can shop for handmade products currently on sale.
- Handmade Directory is a constantly growing directory of artists and artisans offering high-quality handmade products for sale online.
Think of Heartful Village as an anchor site with multiple doors into the web mall. How you navigate is entirely up to you.
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