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10 Ways to Support Your Local Artisans

Close up of a person's fingers tracing a floral pattern onto paper craft material.

Ever wondered what you could do to help your favorite local artisan beyond telling them you love their stuff? These 10 ideas are a great place to start!

Earthy-colored yarn in a packaging box with the text: Tip1 Support Local Artisans. Commission work using local materials.

1) Commission unique work from your local artisans using local material where possible.

In this way, you can enjoy being a benefactor twice over: to the local economy—helping to strengthen it—and to the environment. By sourcing local material, your local artisan is passing on your support to other local and regional businesses. What’s good for one is—in this case—good for many!

2) Be sure to stop by your local artisan stalls at markets and their stores in town or in the country.

Even if you don’t buy a piece at every visit, artisans are encouraged by people showing interest in their work. Your presence can also bring in other curious folk who may begin supporting local artisans, too.

Most artisans price their products fairly and often run specials at local markets. Once you factor in shipping costs, import duties and other taxes levied on international (or shipped online and store-bought items), locally-produced items may begin to look a lot more attractive cost-wise.

Close up of woman smiling as she holds a smartphone with the text: Tip 3 Support Local Artisans. Boost artisan social media posts.

3) Like and boost local artisan social media posts. Become a regular at their stores or follow them on social media to see their new offerings and stock.

Much like stopping by their stalls and stores, boosting and liking social media posts helps others find the artisan’s work while a regular browse ensures you get to know their work better and spot that ideal gift for someone special. This also informs artisans what people like so they can plan their new projects with that in mind.

Close up of a hand holding a glass ball with words relating to social and government elements. Text: Tip 4 Involve artisans in council and civic matters,

4) Involve artisans in councils and civic decisions that impact their livelihood, such as developments in foraging areas.

Cutting away the right to forage or the availability of local material results in one of two things: the end of the artisan’s means of earning, or the end of locally sourcing material. One is a tragedy, and the other is an economic setback for more than just the artisan.

5) Consider your local artisans first for corporate, wedding, and party gifts and party favors.

Special occasions need special attention to detail and greater heart, both of which your local artisan probably has in spades. Not only can you custom-order exactly what you have in mind with most artisans, but you will save on shipping, packaging – and often for higher quality, too! Just remember to give your artisan plenty of time to create the items in the quantity you require. Unlike most factory-produced goods, artisans tend to be one-person set-ups. If the item requires foraged material, this will only add to the time needed to create a large quantity of items, but you can be sure that every one will be 100 percent unique!

Corporate events can also become something extra special with décor from local artisans or gifts sourced from local markets. Not only will you be showing instead of telling the community about your social, economic and environmental mission statements, but these gifts are more likely to be treasured by attendees because of their uniqueness.

6) Tell friends and family about your local artisan shops and stalls.

This is another great way to spread the word about your local artisans. You never know who will be interested in the work or workshops your local artisans may run. It also brings something new to your conversations!

7) Let your local artisans and artisan groups know of other artisans you have discovered on your travels and who you feel may make good collaborators.

Collaborations open up new opportunities for everyone involved. Not only can this generate new products or opportunities for local suppliers, but it also helps keep disappearing arts and crafts alive. Skill swaps and greater creativity is another wonderful benefit for those involved.

Sketch pad with the Workshop written on it with a pencil on the paper, some colored pencils on a wooden desk and a glass of orange juice Text: Tip 8 Support Local Artisans. Invite local artisans to lead workshops.

8) Invite local artisans to lead workshops at schools, libraries, and for special interest groups.

Everyone benefits from learning a new skill, particularly if it is special or incorporates elements native to your town and its history. With so much of the world now homogenized, reviving a truly local craft tradition can bring new life and hope to many. The artisans will, in turn, gain new supporters—always a good thing for a small businesses and individuals!

9) Display locally sourced work in your business areas or in your business décor.

Not only will you echo and harmonize your business feel with your location’s environment and flavor, but this can often provoke curiosity in customers that adds another dimension to how they may perceive your business and its values.

10) Get to know your local artisan and help them help you create the best gifts possible for those you love!

The better you know each other, the better communication you will have—a strong plus when sourcing those precious gifts for magic moments in your life.

Infographic from Artisans Cooperative with pointers on how to support Local Artisans: Stop, Let Friends and Family, Commission Unique, Boost, Involve, Invite, Display, Consider.

Do you have a great way to support local artisans? Have you done something similar to support your local artisan? Let us know in the comments.

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