Today we have a guest post from Celeste from Travelling in Mary Janes, who’s here to share her love and passion for handmade crafts with you and her favourite littles shop, Little Shop Of Handmade. Thanks Celeste!

Hi everyone! A quick background on myself. I am a Music Teacher by day, and a Jewellery Maker by night. I make little accessories for children and classic jewellery for adults from resin, acrylic, swarovski crystals and so on. Handmade items surround me all the time and I am currently on a year-long challenge in which I try to buy only handmade or 2nd hand items. So my love for crafts is pretty huge.

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Now, I do understand that not everybody is into making things. But have you ever thought about supporting the handmade movement by simply choosing to buy handmade? Say you have a mate’s birthday coming up, would you rather pick up something that was stamped ‘Made in China’ or would you rather buy something that was unique and lovingly handcrafted for them?

I know it’s the latter for me. Always was and always will be. And it’s not just that it’s unique. Many crafters opt to go organic and environmentally friendly by using organic cotton or by upcycling unwanted materials and junk into beautiful practical items once more. The possibilities are endless, and by supporting handmade, you not only support the handmade movement, the small businesses, you are also going green and playing your part in being eco-friendly. What’s not to like about the handmade world?

But don’t know where to buy handmade?

I have just the place. Little Shop Of Handmade is a beautiful little store next to Carnegie train station. Stepping into its threshold is like stepping into a magical world of beautiful creations and breathtaking talent. It is a little shop that supports Australian handmade in every spirit, as it not only houses the owner’s own creations, it also plays home to 60 other crafters from all over Victoria.

Bec Albinson (pictured) is the owner of this lovely little shop. A graphic designer of over 8 years, she used to design luxury gifts and personal care items from Chocolate Bar Soaps to Lip glosses for other big companies. It was mass produced, and lacking in the personal touch. Bec felt no actual attachment to her craft so one sunny Sunday afternoon, Bec decided that handmade was the way to go; resigned from her job and started up Little Shop Of Handmade .

The original idea was to be a studio/showroom for Bec as she had completely outgrown the spare bedroom at home (where many crafters originate from, myself included!). Living in Carnegie made Bec realise that there was potential for a handmade shop in the area, and when the perfect little shop front came up, she pounced on it.

The magic of discovering such a shop is not something that can be described by words. Many a times when I’m in the shop chatting with Bec (it’s really easy to spend a whole afternoon with this lovely lady!), a passerby would walk by, backtrack and then come in with this amazed look on their face.

“Why have I never seen this place before?” they’d ask in wonderment. And it’s so heartwarming to watch as their faces light up at the sight of all the endearing and heart warming creations that populate the shop. Equally heartwarming is hearing the stories that Bec tells of her customers. My favourite is of the lady who told her boyfriend that he was welcomed to “buy anything from this shop” for her.

Shopping handmade may not be the first thing you think of when you have a gift to buy. But change that thinking today, and support the handmade world. “Made in China” doesn’t need more support, neither does “Made in India”. It is time we support “Made in Melbourne” or even better yet, “Made in Australia”. Support handmade, the local little businesses and play your part in encouraging the growth of a beautiful heartfelt movement, not to mention the local economy!