A touchable handmade good.

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A touchable handmade good. by Ya-Zhen Chen (1707493)

Are you looking for something special to your best friend who’s birthday is coming? Handmade goods might be your best choice. From woods crafts in Japan to the embroidery pillows in Nepal, people can easily find all kinds of handicraft from all over the world online or in the select shops. “ Handmade goods will be a grand global affair in 2016 and 2017,” said the editor of NY NOW, New York. It might not be the luxurious one but it will be the special one. Compare with the manufactured goods in the factory, handicraft is more unique, limited, and touchable with the brand story. It’s been a trend that people who appreciate uniqueness purchase handmade crafts as a presents to someone important.

The Wall Street Journal reported that “the number one tactic for big retailers like Macy’s, West Elm, Whole Foods and Nordstrom to help them stand apart from their competition is to carry local artisan goods and rare global products.” 

To save time, people usually choose ready-made goods as a present, especially for someone who live at the fast pace of life. However, in comparison with delicate accessories or precious electronics, touchable handmade goods are what most of the people preferred. It makes more choice for those who want to have the outfit of good sense, also to someone who want to pick a unique stuff as a present to friends and family. Deferent from the automatic producing, the superiority over handicraft is customization, focusing on UX(user experience), emotion, and value. People can communicate with designers and produce special goods that belongs to themselves or the person whom they loved. All of the above are the reason why it is a trend to choose handmade goods as a gift nowadays.

3236136274_793437558-310x310Handmade goods are in the position of micro trend which belonged to product level. As many people follow this handmade trend, it brings the opportunities to those who has the talent on handicraft. More and more designers sale their works throw the design platform online. For example, Pinkoi, based in Taiwan, is a leading online marketplace for buying and selling original design products in Asia. As just said, it’s a meso trend in effecting the relationship between customers and designers. The distance between two of them now is getting closer when they can communicate throw the platform online or face to face in the creative market.

However, in the economic level, up to the mega trend, it brings the changes of the working mode for designers. Some of them choose to be freelancers, create a new brand by themselves instead of making handmade goods as a part-time job. It also gives the working opportunities to those who live in the developing country, for example, Nepal, Bangladesh, Ghana, etc. Throw the World Fair Trade Organization, they can gain the equal salary by making the gorgeous handmade goods. Also, many traditional handmade industries combine the element of modern art into their product to earn the focus by the customer. 

One more reason behind the trend is the desire for a human connection. People love to own a story form the maker more than just buying a product. They want to connect makers directly. In this over developing world, the product which contained a spirit and emotion from a real person is more valued. Thus, in the life cycle of this trend is still growing. 

Handmade even become a good test of the lifestyle gradually. The attraction of the pure and original connection within hands of makers is a resistless power in the trend of new handmade industries. It not only brings the energy to the related entrepreneur, but also make people recognize the value of them. If you want to pick something as a gift to someone important, will you choose handmade goods? Why? Or why not?


Gift Industry Trends: The Rising Demand for Handmade Goods

By Monica Orrigo on September 2, 2015


The Global Demand For Handmade Goods

By Javits Center, NYC on Feb, 2016





4 thoughts on “A touchable handmade good.

  1. It is a very interesting trend you have spotted and I think you are right when you states the importance of the uniqueness of the gift that you buy for someone important for you. But why do you think that it’s a trend to buy something that somebody else has made instead of making it yourself? Because at the end of the day, you are the person that knows your friend the best.

    I think that the interest for handmade goods is a trend but I also believe that the DIY trend is even bigger. Let’s take Pinterest as an example, the “catalog of ideas” with its 100 million active users (Expandedramblings, 2015) Almost everyone has an account, and daily you can get inspirations and instructions on how to make an apple pie or a cross stitch. This is way more cheap than buying something hand crafted from someone external. But maybe I have this opinion because I am a student and don’t have the steady income that requires. Perhaps my view changes the day I have the money and not the time 😉

    Expandedrambling. (2015). Pinterest statistics and facts. Retrieved 2016-09-20 from:


  2. My favorite reason to buy handmade is just that – it’s handmade, which means quality, and a whole lot of love!

    When you make something, you leave a part of yourself in it. When you are finished creating, you take pride in the work partly because you see yourself in it. When you buy something someone else made, you yourself are reflected in that purchase. Whether it’s the color, the texture, the shape, or just the mood you happen to be in, an item that has been crafted as an expression of the creative spirit person who made it is treasured and valued far beyond an item that was made for worldly mass consumption.

    What I like about it is that no two handmade items are exactly alike. Variations in color, shading, texture, shape and grain are inherent in a handmade item. No two items are alike, so that every single one is one-of-a-kind. This means that every handmade item you purchase is also one-of-a-kind. What’s not to like about that?


  3. I thought your research was interesting. The layers between the trend levels are really clear but I’m not sure about the mega trend. I think there are a lot of meso and mega trends applicable to this trend. Which makes it really interesting to discover. Maybe the difference could be made if you knew that the trend about handmade products comes from a reason such as: ‘We want to make fair trade product’ or ‘We are doing this for fun’ or ‘We want to stand on our own’ or ‘We want to have something unique’. I think if you know this you can say more clearly what the bigger trends are in this case. For example, the DIY trend that somebody else mentioned in the comments. Or maybe the trend about self improvement. Or the trend that is all about biological living, or world improvement

    But for example the I picked the DIY trend that comes from the mega trend: individualisation. In this trend they have interest in customization and making their own choices (Ong, 2012). Which in the case of handmade stuff, is absolutely possible. Besides that individualization is also suitable if you are talking about: ‘We want to make fair trade product’ or ‘We want to have something unique’. Because beside the customization, the desire in this mega trend is that people want to pay more for a unique design.

    If you focus more on the self improvement trend, you see that this is also applicable in a way. Self improvement is about learning to focus again on one task (Drury, 2016), it is about getting better in what you already can, it is about meditation, being good for others, eating healthy (Brodwin, 2016) etc. In every way this trend is about feeling better about yourself and feeling comfortable with who you are. This is also applicable to this trend. In both ways; Buying it or making it. If you buy it you help somebody else if you make it, it is good for your own development

    Either way, I think it is really hard to say were this micro trend comes from. I don’t hink the answers you gave are wrong thought. Is it possible that a small trend can come out of different sorts of bigger trends?


    18 self improvement industry statistics and trends. (2013, 11 2). Opgeroepen op 01 04, 2017, van Brand on gaille: http://brandongaille.com/18-self-improvement-industry-statistics-and-trends/
    Brodwin, E. (2016, 07 13). Self improvement. Opgeroepen op 01 04, 2017, van Business insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/self-improvement-fads-that-are-bogus-2016-7?international=true&r=US&IR=T
    Capgemini. (2012, 11 01). Individualisering wordt de trend. Opgeroepen op 01 04, 2017, van Capgemini: https://www.nl.capgemini.com/blog/digital-customer-experience-blog/2012/11/individualisering-wordt-de-trend
    Drury, P. (2016, 02 18). Emerging learning trends. Opgeroepen op 01 04, 2017, van Huff Post Tech: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/paul-drury/emerging-learning-trends_b_9252872.html
    E commerce. (2014, 01 14). Word DIY de nieuwe ecommerce trend . Opgeroepen op 01 04, 2017, van E commerce news: https://www.ecommercenews.nl/wordt-diy-de-nieuwe-ecommerce-trend/
    Ong, J. (2012, 10 29). Het eindeloze verlangen naar maatwerk en keuzemogelijkheden. Opgeroepen op 01 04, 2017, van Marketing facts: http://www.marketingfacts.nl/berichten/het-eindeloze-verlangen-naar-maatwerk-en-keuzemogelijkheid


  4. (I’m a resitter so therefore the late response)

    With the population increasing every day, the demand for goods is also steadily increasing. In order to meet that growing demand, a lot of the production process is being automated by factories and machines. I agree with you that it takes out the personal aspect and I think therefore, handmade goods will never really die out since there will always be a demand for that unique and personal touch. My question to your answer depends what I’m looking for, if it is about functionality, probably something factory made since it is cheaper. But if I want to get something that is more about the gesture and the art, I would go by handmade.

    But we need to stay close to what the definition of handmade is. Etsy is a website on which peers can sell handmade items online. However, the CEO of Etsy Chad Dickerson, says that in order to keep Etsy relevant he had to change the definition of handmade a little (Wired.com, 2014). Etsy made big factory spaces available in which its users can outsource some of their processes. For example, a clothing designer that outsources her sewing to a garment factory, or a 3D artist using a 3D printer to print his work. Would these things that are still designed by a one-man company be considered handmade?

    Timo van Vliet 1645312

    Elizabeth Stinson (2014) Why Etsy’s future depends on redefining ‘handmade’, retrieved from:


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