What is Mass Production. An article I read which is something that will appeal to a lot of craft folk and designers of handcrafted and bespoke items of all kinds.
Mass production is the producing of identical items in extremely large volume on a continuous basis. It is usually done on an assembly line by laborers who often use specialized machinery and have low skill levels. Itís popular because, of course, more products are made at a cheaper cost, thereby making the final product itself less expensive than hand crafted products. Ever since Henry Ford created the Ford Model T. in the early 20th Century, mass production has taken over the world at the expense of the small business owner, the outstanding customer service only a small business owner can give, and the hand crafted products they create.
Low cost? Sounds great, doesnít it, but what about quality? When laborers produce jewelry on an assembly line, they arenít putting the time or effort into making sure they are perfect and blemish free. They do exactly what their job isóno more, no lessóbecause thatís really all they have time for and thatís what they get paid to do. A bracelet might look pretty when purchased, but what good is it going to do you if you only get to wear it once and it snaps in two because inspections arenít that thorough?
Crafters take pride in the quality of their products. When a crafter creates an item, you can be sure that time, talent, thought and energy go into its creation. Great effort has gone into each individual pieceómaking certain every one is lovely and of the highest quality.
How about originality? When you buy mass produced, you get what everyone else has. Sometimes thatís fine, but one reason many people wear jewelry is to stand out. We want to wear jewelry thatís as unique and individual as we are. We want it to represent us as such. Your local chain department store may have some attractive jewelry, but itís not really symbolic of who we are as individuals because everyone is wearing the same thing.
Hand crafted jewelry is original. You can pick a one of a kind piece of jewelry that embodies your individual taste. If you like dainty things and specific color combinations, you might choose to wear sparkling Swarovski Crystal earrings in your favorite colors. If you have a bold personality, you might wear something bright and sassy that will really catch someoneís eye. If there is something you like, but cannot find, many crafters take pleasure in creating exactly what you ask for.
Of course, mass production has its advantages too, but the sad thing is that it doesnít represent a nation's pride, nor does it support the small business owner. Large chain retailers are wonderful for the general population. They make shopping easier and more affordable for middle class society, but many items you see at these stores are imported. Quality is poor and the small business owner struggles to support his familyóoften putting them out of business.
If you ask me the reasons to buy handcrafted jewelry far outweigh those of buying mass produced. Handcrafted jewelry is a superior, quality product, it is unique and original, and it supports the small business owner. I think Iíll splurge on the hand crafted jewelry. Which do you think is the better choice?