• Elaine Collins

Handmade V High Street?

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

It all comes down to what you are after? Well it does doesn't it? Or to what we can afford, get quickly, or the easiest option from the shelf....doesn't it?




I know where you are coming from...I am from a working class background council estate girl and that means budgeting too as a big family and who couldn't follow her dreams or heart of creating artwork because as soon as you left school you went to any job you could; sound familiar? Or do you have a different story? And saving up if I wanted to buy something or for someone else (I still do)


Why am I telling you this? Because as a Creative there is always a back story, I could tell you more, go into my revelation period of "if I don't do it now" or "life is too short" and no doubt it sounds familiar; but whatever you do in your circumstances, there is a reason to want to and need to express who you truly are!


For me, a free spirited artistic soul with an old heart; I literally was suffocating in the day to day working environment and needed to 'breath' again! I know I am not on my own, but when you desperately need to express yourself and take pleasure in your natural surroundings, it just doesn't go away and scribbling, sketching, and doodling and using a biro on any piece of paper or a napkin was what I did and then in my spare time I would paint, draw, create and make gifts for other family members and doing the occasional local school craft fair to sell off my increasing canvases around the house, the same routine and expectations of dabbling in my creativity and when it came to buying anything heading off to the major stores to do so. There is nothing wrong with that, if that is what you are after? They have beautiful things but did it show who I was as a person or what I wanted to truly have or give to others? Mostly not.


It took a big decision and step to leave my work and regular pay behind to follow my heart and not my head. I thought I was crazy, unrealistic and I was always told (including in my end of College Career Talk) "You'll never make a living in Art" I believed it for so long that it took me until 9 years ago to go for it! It was the best decision ever! qualifying as an Interior Designer, then training to be a Textile Designer, and with my love of all things natural and Eco; becoming an Eco inspired Textile Designer Maker. I wanted to create unique quality "something that tells a story" treasures for the home. Something different and a breath of fresh air from the mass retail shops and something that someone will love because a Creative as taken many hours , lots of mistakes, designing and working outdoors and in studio to create a pattern or motif that can be loved and enjoyed for years to come.


Next week is support your Artists/Creatives and Makers Week with the campaign for @justacard.org supporting your local and international makers; every item they have made they have spent time and effort to bring special items into their shops for you.


What can you do? You matter to us.


You don't have to buy from them, there are many ways to support them if you want to, such as:


Follow them in their website, social media (I post different on there to here) comment on their blogs, send a personal message of encouragement (thank you Brand Besties! You know who you are) or join them for workshops.


Tell your friends and family, can you buy something for them or would they love the items to buy for themself?


Buy from other website where creative sell such as, www.etsy.com or www.numonday.com or www.folkys.com (no money or affiliation to these sites I am just mentioning them, though I have a shop on Etsy...just saying)in search engine to find out how many amazing artist and creative's have their own website shop and sell considerably lower than their other online public shops.


Creative's are normal approachable people and some of their items are a lit the but more luxurious items that they are in the higher price bracket will if asked, accept instalment payments for an item in thre, so that your treasures ten comes to you after a set period of time and when it is all paid up! Perfect.


Walk into a local Artisan's boutique shop or stop a while at their table in a Craft show and see the work that has gone into it and have a chat how they made it. Creative's love to share their craft journey with you.


And simply, next time you buy something either for you or someone else, think about not the mass produced items everyone has but seek something made by a cottage industry, a little studio or workshop. It doesn't have to be a big thing, something like a hand made card instead of a cheap reproduction of why not but a special piece from a Creative which is your luxury item and build with shop bought items to compliment it?


Handmade V High Street? well it is time for a cup of tea and I shall leave you with this post circulating instagram it is on my post there too here and let me know your thoughts below; I would love to hear from you! X


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