Handcrafted items are items or products that have been made by hand rather than being mass produced by machines. In my opinion there are many advantages to purchasing handcrafted items.
When buying handcrafted items you are usually buying something that is made by person who specializes in his/her craft. They have studied and practiced the art and have become at least proficient if not a master of the craft. The crafter usually has chosen their craft because they enjoy it and find satisfaction in producing a high quality product made with tender loving care.
When you buy a handcrafted item you can and should get to know the person who made the product. This allows you to ask questions about what goes into the product (materials or ingredients, time, processes) and you can determine whether or not you are getting you money’s worth. People usually love to talk about what they do and what they know. So ask questions.
It is easier to find exactly what you are looking for rather to make do with what is available. If you are looking for something made in a specific size, pattern, or to meet a specific need you are better off finding a handcrafter who will make what you want, than to spend your hard earned money on something that is not what you want.
When you buy from a handcrafter you know where your money is going. If you buy locally you are supporting your local economy.
An advantage to buying/using handcrafted soap is that the glycerin that is naturally formed during the soap making process is retained in the soap. Generally soap manufactures remove the glycerin from the soap and use it for other things. So when comparing the cost of a bar of handcrafted soap, to whatever you may be using now, be sure to account for the added value of the glycerin.
There are a couple of potential disadvantages to purchasing handcrafted items. Many times the handcrafted items will be more expensive than the mass produced item. This is understandable considering that the handcrafter is not purchasing materials in high volume, also it takes him or her much more time and effort to produce the product than if it were done by machines. But often the quality of the handcrafted product far out weighs the added expense.
The other potential disadvantage to purchasing handcrafted items is that you won’t find them in you big box stores. You will probably have to go to a specialty shop, a craft sale or seek out the handcrafter through other means.
Overall I believe there are great advantages to purchasing handcrafted items.