dilemma of craft vs. cheap

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When I was at mall last week in search for an inexpensive dress for New Years, I saw a very familiar knit ‘hat’ in one of the teeny-bopper stores. It was the EXACT SAME style, hand-knit hat that I had bought just last year around Christmas time from Volang, during my (seemingly annual) trip to Union Square, NYC.

Of course, this mass produced product, selling at the mall was less than one-third the price of hat from Volang where, at the Christmas stall, I was able to chat with the craftswoman who made the very hat I wear during these cold months. I suppose this goes hand-in-hand with knock-off and counterfeit luxury brand items. But, at what point does one go for quality and personal touch over price? People want to be fashionable, yet purchase items that are affordable. And even if items are affordable and supporting independent artists and designers, they’re hard to locate. There are very few outlets other than Etsy, which has been saturated with “junk” where people can purchase or browse independent designs. You could try checking out Supermarket, but the best part of experiencing the craftsmanship is actually getting to touch and feel the products! Oh the dilemma…! end rant.

On a side note, the reason I really enjoy shopping so much when traveling is because it allows me to explore new (or old) cities, while hunting for specialty items.. (outside of touristy areas, of course!) Can’t wait for the new adventures that 2010 hold 🙂 Stay tuned!

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