Why buy handmade? It’s from the heart ♥

Kimberly, creator of Canine Crazies

The handmade marketplace is a beautiful world. For years I have cherished the work and artistry that goes into creating and designing various products. Why buy handmade?  There are so many reasons. 

Why I started my own handmade business

Although I am very blessed for my day job for the government, the government shut down in 2018 really rocked my world. As a single mother living in San Diego, I’ve needed a side hustle (or two). When my primary source of income ran dry temporarily and I had limited savings at the time, I had no other choice to take another job. I learned the hard way to never have my eggs in one basket. Its a position I never want to be in again.

I’ve done all sorts of “gigs” in my time. I started reselling when I needed extra cash when my daughter was diagnosed with Autism. Later, I taught myself code to build my own e-commerce shop from the ground up. That turned into a love of technology and I hired more experienced programmers to own and manage a web development/ SEO company focusing on e-commerce for clients. When 2019 hit, I went back to my roots. Went back to Ebay and flipped used books on Amazon FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon). When I really needed side cash, I even delivered food for Uber and ran around at night collecting electric scooters to charge and return for a payout.

Dog and books

Flipping books on Amazon. It got the job done

It did bring in extra money to fill in the gaps during a time I needed it the most. My extra jobs to support my obsessed wrestler’s habit, pay for my daughter’s education, pay off debts, and helped with my nest egg. In all my weird business ventures, it lacked the one thing my day job brings. Passion, enjoyment, and deep love for my work. It was a stop gap but didn’t have a “why”. Most importantly,  during COVID, I had to leave home either to deliver something or find product to resell. I needed a better solution. 

When I decided in July 2020 to create Canine Crazies, I thought long and hard about my next adventure. What products can I sell that doesn’t require me to leave home, do at my own time (unlike services), and that isn’t just another “job” but something I really love? DOGS!! Through trying times it was my dogs that brought me comfort and joy. I looked forward to their happy faces after I came home from working a 6+ hour plus my already demanding day job,  just to keep my head above water. It has been their spirit and silliness that have kept me sane.

I joke with my darling hooman that I’m not a crafty person. “Arts and Crafts” were never my thing as a young girl. I didn’t want to scrapbook. I can’t draw to save the life of me. Yet, the one thing I love more than anything else is taking raw elements to build beautiful things. Similar to programming, code is like raw materials. An application is beautifully handcrafted by brilliant developers who add design elements for eye candy and code to provide functionality. I have always adored the types of crafts that brought a purpose to make our lives better.

So Canine Crazies was born. Out of love of enriching our dogs lives and celebrate the relationships with our pets. I am truly enjoying the art of weaving dog toys or sewing with adorable fabrics. I’m looking forward to exploring, building and creating with other types of medium such as woodworking and metal stamping. Even building this website, I’ve enjoyed playing with code again. Working creatively is raw and real.

Why buy handmade?

The greatest thing about this adventure has been networking and connecting with other makers. I have admired their skills and talents, may it be wreathmaking, sewing, soap making, candles or even cooking. There is so much talent in the world that should be shared and honored. Here why buying handmade is a far better than any commercial product you can find in the marketplace.

Handmade is human

Unlike commercially made products in manufactures, you can’t get to know the stories behind what you buy. Why it was made? What inspired them? I have appreciated not only getting to know my customers, most importantly seeing the looks and expressions of their dogs! Through bringing joy to dogs, in return it brings happiness to humans.

Handmade is tradition

The skills of the past are sometimes long forgotten. As a young girl both my mother and grandmother had the traditional skills that were passed on by generations. I remember watching my mother sew costumes or other handmade items for our home. As an interior designer, she taught me how to refurbish chairs or talked to me about how she bought fabric at wholesale. My grandmother taught me how to knit. Its nice knowing I can also show my own children these traditional skills. I think it’s important to show the next generation you DON’T have to buy what’s brand name. Sometimes you can make it yourselves. It takes time, dedication and diligence but you can feel rewarded in the end.

Handmade is sustainable

Unlike most commercial products that are shipped across the globe, handmade keeps it at home. There is no unethical labor costs for production. Although the costs maybe higher you can feel good knowing when you buy handmade it will go directly to the maker who put their blood, sweat and tears into producing an amazing product for their customers. It is mindful spending. Who you give money to is a choice. You can feel good about knowing you are contributing to the individuals who put in the work.

Handmade is supportive

As a handmade business, it is important that I collaborate with other handmade businesses. Sometimes unless you walk that path it’s difficult to understand. I appreciate my “tribe’ of makers who understand the struggles of balancing what we make to the time it takes to market. Also all of the other administrative type things such as bookkeeping. We share resources, inspire each other, and honor our crafts. Although there are not many craft shows right now due to COVID, I admire and support online Facebook groups that have built a community that support the small business.

Handmade is special

Unlike a commercially made product, typically there are limits to customization. Most makers I know will accommodate special requests. So if you have a unique style or taste, or want to find that perfect personalized item, handmade has the flexibility to create that unique item exactly the way you want. For all of my dog leashes and toys, if you don’t see an item or style you like, I am always happy to create a custom design. Our dogs are special, so they should be treated as such.

Handmade is love

As a maker, we love what we do. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t spend the hours, time and labor into the items we create. We all have our story and inspiration. Like me, it may have been born out of necessity. For others, it might was born from a hobby that turned business. The one thing you can feel confident knowing is what you buy, comes from the heart. ♥

For behind the scenes of  Canine Crazies handmade world please follow Canine Crazies Instagram.

About the Author
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Dog Mom, traveler, foodie and canine crafter. Kimberly is dedicated to enriching the lives of all dogs. She is inspired by her Two Idiot Balls of Fluff, two snow dogs, Bear and Koda, Kimberly is passionate about sharing with you all the things she learned raising her fur babies.

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