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Support Culture and Connection with Artisan-Made Goods

Support Culture and Connection with Artisan-Made Goods

Have you ever received a handcrafted gift—maybe a homemade bar of soap or a hand-stitched scarf—and wondered about the story behind it? Who made it, why, and what values did they mold into that item?

Whether we see it initially or not, handcrafted items always have a deeper meaning. The values, beliefs, and intentions with which artisans craft their products create ripple effects of economic benefit both locally and globally. For them, it’s not just about making an item they can sell. It’s about dedicating their lives to preserving a particular culture or practice. What appears at first to be just a homemade bar of soap or a scarf is actually a symbol of someone’s vision. 

By supporting local artisans, you’re also supporting those values and that vision. From cultural preservation to sustainability and human rights, each purchase makes a difference. Learn more about the artisan economy and how you can support it. 

What is an Artisan?

Anyone that uses simple tools to create small batches of handmade products to represent a certain country or practice is an artisan. Generally unique in nature and done with extraordinary skill, artisan-made products serve to support local economies and the residents within them. Artisans often create goods that promote or preserve a certain cultural practice or philosophy, while advocating for more sustainable options.

In Art & Fear, author David Bayles explains: “For the artisan, craft is an end in itself. For you, the artist, craft is the vehicle for expressing your vision. Craft is the visible edge of art.”

Artisans and the Economy

The global artisan economy generates about $34 billion a year, according to the Aspen Institute. Representing many various industries, from design, fashion, food, and cultural goods, nearly anything you’d want or need can be found artisan-made.

With more than five million artists and cultural workers in the U.S, this group represents the second-largest sector in the world. Artisans drive value to both local and global economies, and as the demand for handcrafted goods grows, their impact is only getting stronger. Some of the top ways artisans improve the economy include:

  • Creating new jobs for local and global communities
  • Providing opportunities for skills development 
  • Supporting partner businesses by using locally-sourced materials
  • Producing more sustainably through a handmade process

How You Can Support Artisans

Israeli-American businessman and co-founder of WeWork Adam Neumann once said, “As the world becomes a more digital place, we cannot forget about the human connection.”

At Twine, we believe connection with others is everything. It’s what life is about—supporting each other, holding on to the fabric of culture, remembering what truly matters—that’s what shapes us.

The next time you’re searching the internet for a gift for someone, explore artisan-made ones. Swap a traditional store-bought gift for something handcrafted and rich with meaning. It will not only carry more value for the recipient, but also help to support the values and vision of the artisan that made it.

Other ways you can support culture and connection:

If you’re a manager or business owner, we encourage you to check out our blog, Why Corporate Gifting Should Be in Your Budget.

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