Does walking into a mall bring up some anxiety for you and make you feel a little icky? Me too. Something about malls feels not right to me. Deep down, I know that most of the things being sold there have probably not been created in an environment that I support.
I know you care about what your money supports. Every time you purchase something you make a conscious decision to support the process in which that thing was made, which is actually pretty amazing.
I know this may not seem like our normal conversation here, but you might be surprised…
The way you choose to spend your money is one of the most empowering and spiritual choices you can make.
My love of handmade was a driving force behind creating Zenned Out. Have I purchased last-minute gifts from the mall in a pinch? Yes, definitely. But, do I try to avoid it whenever possible? Absolutely. I believe that if we all simply try purchasing more responsibly it can make a BIG difference.
Need more inspiration? Here are four quick reasons to stick with handmade for the holidays.
Handmade is Better for the Environment
Work created by hand requires much less energy than a machine run assembly line! It’s even better if you can purchase from handmade producers that live locally or in the same country as you and purchase their material from the same country too. Did you know that Zenned Out purchases all of our sheet metal from the US? Most coming from right next door in New Mexico!
Did you know that 75% of our metal is cut in house for our rings and bracelets? It is! The only metal that isn’t is our aluminum and we have that cut, by hand, by a lovely small business in Illinois. Even many of the stones we purchase for our OOAK pieces are designed locally and our Zenned Out exclusive stamps are produced right in California. The only time I purchase materials from out of the US is when it’s a supply emergency.
Handmade is Better for the Job Market
When you purchase handmade goods you’re supporting our job market, plain and simple. With an economy that’s shifting more and more to machine-made products, you’re giving real support towards handmade goods which will, in turn, create more jobs for real people, just like you. Trust me, I know, because I hire them! Meet the Zenned Out staff here…
Did you know that the average minimum wage in China ranges from $1.23-$2.51 an hour? Money aside, we hear little blips in the news about poor working conditions here and there and sometimes horrible catastrophes like the building that collapsed in Bangladesh in 2013 that killed over 1,000 people. It can be easy to ignore but this is the world we live in. What do you want your dollars to support?
You’ll feel better. No, really, you will.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, something about the mall just feels icky and if you’re like me, you take stock of those “icky” feelings. Energetically speaking, you’ll feel better about your purchase if it’s created in a way that supports your values. So, be sure to check the values of the place you’re purchasing from.
When people are making your products it’s more likely that you’ll receive interaction from a real person. It’s also more likely that a business that specializes in handmade goods will be able to customize your products and create something for you that is truly one of a kind.
Why the Holidays are the Best Time to Share Handmade Goods
The best part about purchasing your gifts handmade is that you’re able to share this alternative with loved ones that might be more accustomed to heading to the mall or clicking a button. Many still think purchasing handmade means macaroni art sprinkled with glitter (not that there’s anything wrong with glitter!). With marketplaces like Etsy in the forefront, your options for handmade products really are unlimited. It’s the perfect time to convert your mall-loving friends and family into conscious buyers.
I’ve worked hard to make Zenned Out a business that I can feel good about and honors my values. Someone recently asked if I was worried about laws that were passed in Arizona this election about the minimum wage being raised to $12 by 2020. I replied that not only was I was not worried (because I already pay my employees that or more) but that I was happy about the laws being passed because I 100% agree with it!
Does handmade usually cost more, yes, but, it’s for a good reason. The more we collectively put our dollars towards conscious businesses the faster the others will be forced to change.
So, this Friday when you’re faced with the decision to hit the mall I encourage you to find a local market, hit up Etsy, and of course purchase all your favorite soul sisters some meaningful Zenned Out jewelry.
Cassie Uhl is a published author, artist, intuitive, and founder of Zenned Out. She created Zenned Out in 2012 with the mission to build a brand that normalizes spirituality. In 2018 she self-published her popular and interactive Goddess Discovery Book series. In 2020 her writing and art became more mainstream with Understanding Auras, Understanding Crystals, and Understanding Chakras, published by The Quarto Group. Her writing style and art combine to help marry accessibility with deep spiritual topics. It is her goal to help others understand and live spiritual practices that can change the world. Inspired by her open-minded grandmother, Cassie has been meditating and working with her energy since her teenage years. She received her 200hr YTT in 2012 with a focus on breathwork. Now, her work focuses on energy work, journeying, mediumship, death midwifery, and healing through traditional Celtic shamanic practices.