Artisans and Small Business: why they’re awesome

I am in the process of uploading my photos to a media gallery. They’ll probably take overnight to complete.

In the meantime, I want to mention again how amazing it is to meet artisans, writers, and artists who are dedicated to making a success of their business (no matter what their definition of “success” may be). Take for example this lovely steampunk necklace that I bought at Ottawa ComicCon:

Steampunk Necklace by Chibi Seimei

Steampunk Necklace by Chibi Seimei

There were a plethora of necklaces from which to choose, many mass-produced but still hard to find in my neck of the woods. I was looking for something unique and handmade, and it was the lovely manner of this artisan’s representative (her proud father) who made me stop and take a closer look. I was really pulled by the beauty of her work and the kindness of the gentleman, who took his time to show me the variety of her stock and explain how she made her pieces from old watches, including one that had belonged to her grandmother.

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I was torn between this piece and one with a butterfly, but in the end, I’m not sure I’m a butterfly person, in the wearable sense. The airplane makes me think of (and appreciate) travel, so that’s the one I picked. But I’m glad I have her card for future purchases, because it’s this kind of personal treatment that makes spending money on something worthwhile and memorable.

Next door to this vendor was a lady who makes corsets, and I tried on a long-waisted style. Again, I really enjoyed the experience not only for the uniqueness of the product, but also for knowing I was valued as a customer.

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While I didn’t have enough to buy the garment I tried on, I have plans for a future purchase — maybe even something custom — because if I’m going to spend money on an expensive piece of clothing, I want it to go to someone who cares about what they’re doing in a clear way. No eyes glazed over or robotic responses.

Now here’s a confession: I’ll be damned if I can’t find their business card in my stuff, and I cannot find the website in my history for the life of me. But I’ll keep searching. Because I’d much rather buy from an awesome artisan / small businessperson who treats me nicely than a faceless big box store or mass-production company.

It’s late, this post is late, and I know there’s more to say on this topic, but I think I’m done for the night. Comment away!

UPDATE: I found them! A quick change of spelling based on the logo I can partly see in the pic, and voilà! It’s Apollonie, and they’re fabulous. Now I can sleep without feeling guilty…