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Is Handmade Better?

Not according to my friend’s sister, an opinionated artist who says automated machines make goods cheaper, faster and more consistently. She says, “Why would anyone want to pay more for handmade? You can’t even tell the difference.”

She has a point.

But, as a result we live in a disposable society. There are incentives to buy new cell phones only after a year. We are forced to retire capable computers that can’t run the latest software. A very successful Swedish company sells great furniture that is destined to be seen on the curb awaiting trash day. All are just a small sample of items produced on a huge scale.

It wasn’t always this way. I have a couple of 100 year old pocket watches that are still keeping time and cameras from the ’40’s that are clicking away to prove it. These garage-sale-gems were built in a era where things were made to last, often for a lifetime.

When did we suddenly move away from owning objects for decades? Are we better now for it? Or does it make these things inferior?

These are some questions I asked myself after speaking to Sarra in her studio at the Distillary. (I found a recent video (click here) on Toronto Standard showing the behind the scenes of her unique textile business). I was blown away by her dedication and passion to her craft.

Let’s throw out the debate for now as we won’t solve it here. But rather focus on the gratification of supporting driven artists and the items they choose to make. Whether it be a handbag, a piece of cheese, or in our case, crackers. It just may inspire others to do the same.

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