There are many myths (or rather half-truths) about handmade products and those who produce them. We wanted to dispel some of these stereotypes and set the record straight (at least about our product!)
1.) We are dirty hippies
Absolutely not! While we love the unique nature of all things handmade (and we do own Birkenstocks), we generally do not consider ourselves hippies. Well, maybe sometimes. I do have a hippie skirt that I love... but I digress.
2.) We DO love the earth and want to help it any way we can.
Yes, very true. Handmade products often have a smaller ecological footprint, utilize more recycled or upcycled materials and a benefit from smaller shipping radius than their mass-produced counterparts. Plus, in buying handmade, you support the local economy and the artisans who produce these unique products.
3.) We produce tile by hand as much for the art, process and personal enjoyment, as the green attributes and final product.
Yes, we LOVE what we do! Tile are like puzzle pieces. You need to find the correct fit to create the desired overall picture. Through the design, production and layout of tile, we keep our hands in the mud (quite literally) to produce a very personally satisfying product.
4.) We sell our product everywhere - art fairs, block parties, boutiques, you name it and we're there.
No. We have great relationships set up with the vendors of our tile and laNeva is NOT available everywhere. We have an exclusive product line that is available through Designers, Architects, select showrooms such as Christopher's Baths and Kitchens and our representatives, Spacial Adaptation.
(So instead of hippie, your going high-end with this "Exclusive" thing??)
Well.. in a sense, yes. We create a luxury product by hand and it is not intended to compete with the cheaply made $5/sf machine-made tile out there - Just as a hand-knit sweater with New Zealand wool targets a completely different market than an acrylic sweater from Target made in China. Different markets, traits, aesthetics and buyer motivation.
5.) We urge everyone to consider handmade instead of machine-made products when possible.
Yes!! While we know you can't purchase handmade for everything, the intrinsic warmth, character and care put into development and production of a handmade product cannot be rivaled by machine-made products. We all need to be aware of this energy and help to support those who create (either products or jobs for those who create products) for a living.
We love (did we say love? We mean LOVE) all things handmade and we are thrilled that there are so many people out there who "get" the value of handmade.
As a colleague, Carter Averbeck of Trompe Decorative Finishes put it during this holiday season:
"Bring cheer to your holidays by shopping local small businesses. Not only are you supporting the economy, you are supporting a small business owner who also is in need of a wonderful holiday season. Without Mom & Pop shops and their spectacular approach to customer service, we'd all suffer from lack of a true community and connectedness to each other. Shop local and your impact to make someone else's holiday special will not go unnoticed!"
Thanks Carter, and thanks to all of you who have supported laNeva Tile in our quest for a beautiful, functional handmade product that will last for many years to come. Now maybe I should change out of these Birkenstocks...
May your holidays be warm and bright!
(or if you prefer, Have a Happy Hippie Holiday!)
from Lisa, Jodi and Leslie for laNeva Artisan Tile