Mass Produced VS. Handmade
I race to my mailbox eager to get the latest mass produced form letter that a million people have held in their hands… said no person ever. Letters like this one here are routinely sent and often pitched into the trash. Little thought is given to the predominance of the mass produced cold and impersonal because it has become a part of life.
Think about it for a moment. How do you feel when you get a hand written letter? Indeed, they are a rarity these days. I love receiving letters from my Old Order Mennonite friend. She takes time to write me, an Englisher, giving me updates about their community, the garden, and food processing. This letter tells me I am valuable to her. Her own hand penned the letter. I love this form of communication because it is personal. It is heartfelt and real. She takes time out of her busy day to write me. It is more meaningful when I consider that we live two entirely different lives. She lives by lantern light and I live by kilowatts surging through wires in my home. Her hand written notes communicate she cares about me.
Handmade is Personal
Not everyone cares that our bath and body products are mass produced by large machines spit out on conveyor belts. But, some people do care. They are tired of the cold impersonal nature of cheaply produced goods. Some consumers notice mass produced beauty bars are hardly soap. They know they are filled with detergents. A growing number of people want to know that their products were made by a real human being with a passion for their work.
Cheap Defies Personal
As a soap crafter, I often entertain questions about my products. Why buy handcrafted soap for 4.50 when you can go to the store and buy a pack of three bars for the same price? The answer is found by drawing a parallel to mass produced form letters versus personal letters. Buying mass produced detergent bars are cheap. But, it is not personal. It is standardized but it is not unique or artistic.
Handmade = Personal
When I made my first bars of soap, I sold them to friends and family. It did not matter that they were unevenly cut. It did not matter that one bar looked different than the other bar. What mattered is that it came from me. That mattered so much that when I left the country for 3.5 years to be a missionary that more than one friend kept my soap as a keepsake. They refused to use them for fear I would not return. It was personal. My hands, my gifts, and my creativity fashioned those bars. They chose to keep those bars for ten years until they were sure that I would return to soap making. These bars were a part of me that my friends never wanted to lose.
America was once full of people who created products based on their inner talents and skill sets to craft goods of high quality. While industrial society has a strong hold, there are still people who forsake corporate America to live out their dreams and passions creating with their hands.
Our bath and body products are not for everyone. But, they are for those who know the value of pride taken in work. Our products are for those who know personal investment and passion is the key to high quality.