The Joy of Handmade

I turned 30 last year. This was a fairly traumatic time filled with end of twenties angst, too much wine for some people at the dinner and botched dental surgery. One of the shining points of this birthday was a chunk of money my parents gave to me with the specific remit of spending it on something I would not think to buy for myself. Two weeks ago I finally got the second part of my present.

This is my beautiful new bag. It was custom made by Gosia Weber Handmade. Her website is currently having a facelift but you can check out pictures of her work on Facebook. I have been an admirer of Gosia's work for years. The profit of my first ever etsy sale went on a wallet from her that I still use today, and the thought of ordering a bag had been ticking around in my mind for quite a long time.

Initally I wanted a backpack. I am still at college and so this would be the most practical for me. Also I have never really been a handbag kinda gal. Don't get me wrong I do own a couple of handbags but they aren't exactly my go-to luggage. Trouble was I couldn't find a backpack design that both Gosia and I were inspired by. I have a hatred of backpacks with a drawstring closure (a dreadful hangover from my 80's childhood I guess) and the other options just weren't right. So I gave up on ever owning a custom made bag and got on with my life. But I just couldn't get the idea out of my mind, handbags had crept into my mind and they were taking hold.  I started looking at them online, in shops, looking at my friends bags and they all left me a bit cold. With the edict from my parents to buy something I wouldn't buy for myself still ringing in my mind and the days ticking down to my 31st birthday fairly rapidly I went for it an ordered a bag.

Buying a custom made bag is not something that takes ten minutes. There were lots of emails back and forth with fabric samples, questions about number of straps, closures, pockets, all sorts. I have to admit that at times all this waiting got me down. I am not a patient lady. And I had been thinking about this bloody bag for years already - why couldn't it just be magically here? Because it is one-of-a-kind just for me. I am so glad I waited. This beautiful package arrived on a day I was full of cold and grump. The perfect pick me up, and so pretty.

We had a lecture last week about defining your market as a maker. Part of the lecture which resonated with me was the fact that other makers are an important section of your market. These are people who appreciate the value of the time and effort that goes into producing handmade goods. I felt really happy to be a handmade customers and the results are more perfect than I hoped they would be, which really is the joy of bespoke. 

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