A friend, who owns a beautiful little store in Samara asked me to help translate this statement from Spanish to English so it could be posted in the shop.
“When you buy something handmade, you are buying much more than an object.
You are buying hours of experiments and failures.
You are buying days, weeks and months of work.
You are not buying a thing, you are buying a piece of the artisan’s heart, a moment in the life of another person.”
I wish every shop owner who sells things made here in Samara would title this, “Made in Samara with Love” and post it in his or her own shop.
We can’t assume that everyone who looks at our work recognizes what has gone into creating it. You have to tell them, or better yet show them. And as a community we need to embrace and promote our artisans. When visitors ask where to shop let them know this is a special place with talented people making amazing things.
The friend who requested the translation is Simone and her husband is Carlos. They operate Cocotales, a place that sells Carlos’ handmade jewelry and Simone’s soaps as well as other local Costa Rican goods. Carlos has become a master at working local materials including coconut shell, local Jade and seashells.
When Carlos first arrived he had few tools, a small table and the skills to make and sell some special items. He camped on the beach and sold his work on the street. But Carlos had dreams and the discipline and the skill to become an established entrepreneur, not only supporting his family, but providing employment to others. He and Simone now live in a nice house and have a beautiful baby boy. This was all possible because people valued the things he made by hand and because Samara is a community that provides space to people who make things.
When you shop in a chain store buying goods made on the other side of the globe, you are supporting corporations and their owners. The people who actually do the work rarely see much reward. But when you buy things made here, by people who are a part of the community, you change lives. You help good, hard working people succeed, and in turn, help Samara to be a strong community.
Shoppers, when you shop, check labels, ask questions, learn about the things you buy. They will be so much more valuable to you when you know a little of the backstory. You will be investing instead of shopping. And sellers, make it easy for the shoppers to recognize and appreciate your work.
We have artisans here who make clothes and jewelry, carve wood, paint, construct furniture and sculpt, hand make glass beads and decorative glassware, bake, make condiments and cheeses, yogurt and organic Popsicles. Why on earth would anyone want to buy corporate mass produced junk when Samara produces treasures that come with a hefty dose of heart?