All posts by AJ Sophia Ravenna

So Much to Be Excited About

A lot has happened since our last blog post! After a wonderful experience at Cues & Tattoos it was time to move (again). Simultaneously, several of our beloved events had exciting news to share, so we’re passing along this news to you.

Settling into the New Studio

Sakkara Clothing & Costume has relocated to a new studio in the Seattle area. This move meant that the shop had to close for a bit, but the website and Etsy shop are both live again. You’ll even find some new additions to the sale sections.

Copyright 201 Sakkara Clothing & Costume, LLC

Exciting news: our best-selling Corrie tops are on sale for the first time! With Summer festival season right around the corner, this is the perfect time to stock up on different colors, try something new, or ditch your underwires for something more comfortable.

Hooray for Hexenfest!

You may recall from last year’s blog post that Hexenfest is one of our favorite events. For a minute we thought it was going to end like so many of our other beloved festivals, but thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign, it’s here to stay!

We’re pleased to announce that Sakkara Clothing & Costume is a proud sponsor of Hexenfest. We strongly believe in supporting the things we love. We can’t take festivals and other events for granted. Our community has lost too many good events in recent years. Support the events you love in any way you can: financially, on social media, and by inviting your friends.

Speaking of Events…

We’re also big fans of JamBallah NW! You may have heard that this event has moved to a new venue, which is true. The new site is Smith Memorial Union on the Portland State University campus. The great thing about this is that you can stay in the PSU dorms for a really reasonable price, which leaves more money for workshops and shopping (or late-night Voodoo Doughnut runs, we’re not going to judge).

Speaking of shopping, of course we’ll be vending! Come say hi.

We love how JBNW caters to dancers of all styles, levels, and abilities. If your budget is tight, there are workshop scholarships you can apply for, thanks to the generous support of Odd Fellows and micro-donations from other attendees. Lack of funds shouldn’t hamper your artistic growth, so we’re really pleased that this option is available.

Stay Tuned

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more exciting news from us and our favorite events. You can also join our FB group and chat with other Sakkara fans about style, dance, and more.

We Can’t Wait For Cues and Tattoos

This great event is happening at the Seattle Center April 5-8.

Cues & Tattoos 2018, artwork by Medusa Dollmaker.




We can’t wait–and not just because we’ll be vending!







Here’s a lineup of what to look forward to:


Mardi Love, Cues & Tattoos Instructor
Mardi Love.

One of the best reasons to attend a belly dance festival is the opportunity to study with your favorite teachers. This year there are some interesting workshops from some of the best instructors in tribal/fusion belly dance:


Fat Chance Belly Dance performing at Cues & Tattoos.
Fat Chance Belly Dance performing at Cues & Tattoos.

When you get this many talented dancers together in one place, you know there will be some amazing performances. You’ll have five chances to catch some great belly dance.

  • On Friday night at 9, catch The Emerald Vardo Opening Night Party at Vera Project. This show offers dance and live DJ sets in a cool nightclub style setting (which means yes, there are drinks, too)!
  • Saturday night is the Theater Showcase at the Seattle Art Museum, from 8-10:30. This is a beautiful venue with a big stage and production quality.
  • On all three days of Cues, students and aspiring professionals will show off their skills at the Serpents Muse showcases from 12:30-3. This free event happens at The Armory, in the same room as the vending.


Sakkara Clothing & Costume Booth

Obviously we’ll be there with our collection of eco-friendly, handmade dance and street wear. But this is also a great opportunity to pick up a 25 yard skirt from Magical Fashions or a stunning belt from Fool Proof Studios. Check out the full Vendor List and start saving your pennies now, because you’re going to want to shop.


Don’t you hate it when you’re at a dance intensive and you have to find someplace to eat lunch? Well, The Armory has an entire food court downstairs, with everything from healthy vegan food to burgers with all the fixings. There’s also a few coffee places to get your caffeine fix.

Humor us. The blogger is always hungry. She’s thinking about the mini cheesecakes at The Armory…right now!

This is Your Last Chance!

Sadly, this is the last year of Cues & Tattoos. Let’s show Adrienne and Julia how much we appreciate the hard work they’ve done for the past decade by sending this beloved festival out with a big crowd and lots of love.


When: April 5-8, 2018

Where: Seattle Center

Workshops:  $45-225

Shows: $0-25

Vending:  free and open to the public

Parking: available at lots and garages around Seattle Center

Ruffle Pant Revival!

There’s just something about ruffles. They add depth and movement. They look great on stage.  They’re super fun to wear.  Obviously, we’re very pro-ruffle at Sakkara Clothing & Costume. 😉 We’re excited to announce that our Deluxe Ruffle Pant is back for a limited time!

Ruffle Pants
Ruffle Pant Revival ©2018 Sakkara Clothing & Costume, LLC

We’re offering so many sizes and colors that we had to separate all that ruffly goodness into two listings. Between Deluxe Ruffle Pant and Deluxe Ruffle Pant – More Colors you will find seven gorgeous options. Want a custom color? Contact us to see if it’s possible!

Deluxe Ruffle Pants start with the same organic cotton and bamboo fabric you know and love. Then, they’re embellished with oodles of handcrafted ruffles. Did you know the ruffles come from past projects? Each pant is a little different as a result. The mix depends on what we’ve been up to! Needless to say, this is one of our favorite practices for keeping textiles out of landfills.

Copyright 2018 Sakkara Clothing & Costume, LLC

Not sure how to style them? Well, they look great on their own. We also love how they look with a short overskirt (if you’ve picked up one of our Velvet Ruffle Mini Skirts at a recent event, that would be a cute combination). You can even wear them under a full-length skirt. The ruffles give you extra volume and lift at the bottom. Add your favorite belt and costume bra, or a Corrie top, and you’re set!

Like all of our work, Deluxe Ruffle Pants are made to last. They will be a part of your wardrobe for years to come.

The Ruffle Pant Revival will only last as long as we still have ruffle making supplies, so don’t hesitate to order yours today!

Looking Back at the Sakkara Skirt

The Sakkara Skirt.

One great thing about having been in this business for a while is sometimes customers send us pictures of “vintage” Sakkara. Recently we were reminded of our first skirt design, thanks to Lisa who found it while cleaning out her dance closet.

The Sakkara Skirt

Since this was the very first skirt design sold under Kim’s old label Kim Sakkara Clothing, she named it simply the “Sakkara Skirt”. This cute, versatile cinch skirt added some nice variety to a line that had previously focused on pants and custom work.

The original Kim Sakkara label.

When it debuted at Rakkasah West in 2007, it was available in copper, plum, brick-red, and black. Kim sold a ridiculous amount at that first show, which really felt like a “making it” moment.

The Sakkara Skirt was incredibly popular for several years for obvious reasons. Many dancers like a little extra layer over their leggings (and this one really hugs the curves!) Plus, the adjustable ties meant you could ruche it to the right length for your legs.

Over time, mermaid blue and sparkly camel joined the color selection. For a time Silk Road Tribal carried them, which helped them get on to even more dancers’ booties. Some famous fans of the skirt were Bevin Victoria and Gypsy Caravan.

Kim modeling The Sakkara Skirt back in the day.

Whatever Happened to the Sakkara Skirt?

As is often the case with popular designs, other designers came up with their own variation on the gathered tube skirt. Eventually the market was saturated with this and other cinch-y designs, so we’ve actively been moving away from them to explore in new directions. That said, if you still love the ruched look, we’ve got Cinch Pants and Cinch Tops in our Sale section. Give them a happy home!

It makes us happy to know that over ten years later, these skirts are still being worn in classrooms around the country. With the trend towards patterned leggings, a solid-colored accent skirt like this definitely makes a great accent to your outfit. To that end we’ve now got an adorable velvet ruffle mini skirt that was a big hit at shows in 2017 and will be on the website in the near future.

Sadly, these being the pre-smart phone days, we weren’t able to scare up many pictures of the Sakkara Skirt in the wild. But if you have pics of yourself rocking one, we’d love it if you’d drop by the new Sakkara Clothing & Costume Facebook Group to share it…especially if you’ve still got yours!

See Us at the Night Market!

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve got one more event coming up before the year ends. You’ll find Sakkara Clothing & Costume at the Life:Forms Night Market Holiday Shopping Soiree. This event will be held at Om Culture, a beautiful yoga and event studio just blocks away from Gas Works Park in Seattle.

Be there: December 15th, 8:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Life:Forms Night Market

The Night Market is not your typical arts and craft fair. For one, there’s this awesome thing where it runs until 2 a.m.. There is no getting up early on a Saturday morning to get the best stuff. You can get done with work, enjoy a little dinner, and then finish your holiday shopping.

We’ll be among more than 30 great local vendors. Not only will there be lots of handmade goods, but there’s will also be crystals, tarot readings, tea, and kombucha.  DJs will be creating the perfect soundtrack for your shopping experience. It’s a very Seattle kind of event.

Black velvet mini skirt by Sakkara Clothing & Costume.
Black Velvet Ruffle Mini Skirt with black pinstripe ruffle. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume.

If you’ve got some witchy types on your shopping list, this is the place to find the perfect gift from local artists and business owners. How wonderful is that?

Sakkara Clothing & Costume will be bringing a selection of our handmade, eco-friendly clothes, and drawstring dice bags (which make great gifts, or reusable wrapping for other gifts).

Dice Bags from Sakkara Clothing and Costume
Drawstring bags. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume.

There’s no cover to attend the Night Market, so even if you’re one of those organized people who already has their holiday shopping done, it’s worth just coming out to browse. You never know when you’ll find something perfect for yourself, or discover a new-to-you artisan.

5 Reasons Why We Love Bamboo Fabric

You may have noticed that most of our garments are made with a blend of organic cotton and bamboo. The reason for the organic cotton is probably obvious (I mean, it’s the fabric of our lives…wait, is the author dating herself here?), but why bamboo?

We’re glad you asked! Let us tell you five reasons why we love bamboo fabric.

1. Bamboo is a hardy plant. If you’ve ever had bamboo in your yard, you know how persistent it is. Whether you tend to it or not, it just keeps growing. Not only does bamboo grow fast, but it’s drought-resistant and needs little to no fertilizer or pesticide. The qualities that make it a low-maintenance addition to your garden also make it a sustainable crop. Eartheasy has some great information about the environmental benefits of bamboo. For instance, did you know that bamboo forests are so dense, they return 30% more oxygen to the atmosphere than trees? Cool!

2. It has moisture-wicking properties. You’ll find bamboo in a lot of eco-friendly active wear because its unique structure breathes and keeps you from getting sticky. This also tends to make it feel cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, allowing you to wear your favorite yoga pants in comfort year-round. According to Textile Exchange’s Bamboo Fiber Analysis, bamboo  is 3-4 times more absorbent than cotton fabrics.

Organic Cotton and Bamboo Pants
Black organic cotton and bamboo cinch leg pants. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume, LLC.

3. Bamboo is anti-microbial. This is another great property for active wear, as it will keep your clothes smelling fresher longer. That’s why bamboo is especially popular for socks!

4. It’s just so soft. Bamboo lends a lot of silkiness to the cotton blend fabrics it’s added to. You may just find that you want to wear your Sakkara items all day every day; the fabric feels that nice. When we started making pants, only 100% cotton was available. It was the best we could get at the time, but cotton pills and tears faster and is not as soft. Bamboo is amazing because it essentially fixed all of those issues.

Cotton and Bamboo Pants
Charcoal and black striped cotton and bamboo pants. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume, LLC.

5. Finally, because it’s a natural fiber, bamboo is biodegradable. We’re dedicated to sustainable fashion here. We make every garment to withstand years of wear, but nothing lasts forever.  When your favorite pants finally go to the great laundry basket in the sky, they won’t leave behind a synthetic mess in the landfill.

Now do you understand why bamboo is so popular for slow fashion designers? It’s one of our favorite materials to work with and we look forward to producing ethical active wear from it for years to come.

See You at BurlyCon!

BurlyCon X

BurlyCon X is happening in Seattle this weekend, November 9-12. It’s always great to see an amazing event celebrate a milestone anniversary, so a big congratulations to BurlyCon on 10 years! We’re looking forward to celebrating with you.

What can you expect at BurlyCon? First, this is a burlesque education convention. Learn from some of the best performers on the scene who will be covering topics such as The Art of Seduction to Zippers, Snaps, and Hooks, Oh My!  One thing we really love about this event is that it goes beyond dance technique, featuring instruction on the business side of dance, like The Producer’s Tool Kit.

There’s also a lot of opportunity for discussion, with caucuses and panels happening throughout the weekend. Check out the subjects and get your schedule here!

BurlyCon X anniversary poster design.













Like any good convention, there’s great vending, too! You’ll find Sakkara Clothing & Costume vending this weekend, with ethical fashion pieces for performances, classroom, and street wear.

Ruffle Bootie Shorts
New Ruffle Bootie Shorts! ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume.

These ruffled bootie shorts are fabulously simple, yet super cute. Fully lined and designed with the expert fit we’re known for, these shorts layer great with your favorite leggings! By the way, the gold highlights in the fabric pick up stage lighting perfectly. 😉

Silver Gloves by Sakkara Clothing & Costume.
Silver fingerless gloves with button detail. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume.

Cute, fingerless gloves (that won’t break the bank) are a timeless accessory for any dancer. We’ll have them in a variety of materials and colors to match your favorite costumes. Our gloves are also a great gift for your dance friends back home as a souvenir from BurlyCon!

Teal velvet mini skirt by Sakkara Clothing & Costume
Teal crushed velvet ruffle miniskirt. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume.

Our velvet ruffle mini skirts can go from classroom to stage to nightclub. Teachers, these really help accentuate your bootie, making it easier for your students to follow what you’re doing, especially if you choose a color that contrasts with your pants.

We can’t wait for a fun, powerful weekend at BurlyCon X. We hope to see you there.

Slow Fashion vs Fast Fashion

Depending on what corners of the internet you hang out in, you may have heard the terms “slow fashion” and “fast fashion”. If you have any lingering questions about what these terms mean and why they matter, read on.

Slow Fashion vs Fast Fashion

What Is Fast Fashion?

If “fast fashion” makes you think “fast food”, you’re on the right track. Fast fashion is to clothing what fast food is to cuisine. Both are mass produced to be quick, cheap, and convenient. Neither are particularly good for you.

Where fast food tempts us with the idea of a meal and a drink for under $10, fast fashion offers us the allure of a new Fall wardrobe for $200. While fast food taps into our cravings for salt, fat, and sugar, fast fashion taps into our craving to have something new and to feel cute, on trend, or stylish.

Beyond that, fast fashion also taps into our fears of being the opposite: ugly, frumpy or out of style. The constantly changing landscape of the fast fashion market means that what you purchased is unfashionable almost as soon as you walk out of the store.

Worried about being left behind, you keep returning to the store for new clothes. This creates an unending cycle of filling and purging your closet. It seems easy to justify: with how cheap the clothes are,  what does it matter if you only wear them a few times?

This leads us to our next point: even if you’re not a slave to style trends, fast fashion is not a good investment. Because you’re expected to replace them every few weeks, the garments in these trendy stores are not made to last. Crafted hastily and poorly out of shoddy materials, they often fall apart or fade in the wash.

Thanks to this cheap construction, fast fashion not only wastes your money, it’s also bad for the environment. An alarming amount of textile waste ends up in our landfills. According to Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, America ‘generates 30.6 billion pounds of textile waste per year’, more than any other nation in the world.

Finally, fast fashion is often created in unethical and unsafe sweatshops in developing countries. These factories pay pitifully low wages, insist on long hours,  sometimes even employing child labor.  Earlier this year, an NGO (non-governmental organization) set up a show in Amsterdam that allowed shoppers to experience what it’s like to work in a sweat shop, as reported by Fashion United.

What Is Slow Fashion?

Just like its counterpart “slow food”, the “slow fashion” movement is the antithesis to everything we discussed above.

Slow fashion could more accurately be called…fashion. It’s the way things were done. Rather than a constant churn of new styles, slow fashion houses do only one or two new collections a year (either one annual collection, or a Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter collection).

One of the hallmarks of slow fashion is that it’s created conscientiously. Mindful of the sins of fast fashion, slow fashion designers strive to source sustainable fabrics and are ethical in their hiring.

Slow fashion businesses are a single person operation. They may work with contractors here in the US, or they may have a Fair Trade workshop overseas. For a more in-depth analysis of the benefits of slow fashion, see what Trusted Clothes has to say on the matter.

Flats. #velvetminiskirt #newstuff #velvetruffle #production #candycolors

A post shared by Sakkara Clothing & Costume (@sakkaraclothing) on

Many slow fashion designers also decrease textile waste in different ways. This includes efficient pattern layout, creating accessories out of scraps, and donating scrap fabric to schools and charities.

Slow fashion lasts. Fleeting trends are ignored in favor of timeless basics that are worn year after year. Many slow fashion designers gravitate towards solid colors or classic patterns such as stripes. The goal is to create a versatile line of clothing that are mixed, matched, and easily accessorized to express your own sense of style.

Why Sakkara Clothing & Costume Embraces Slow Fashion

At Sakkara Clothing & Costume, we create slow fashion for the street and festival wear market. Because we vend in person at many festivals and dance events in the Pacific Northwest, we see our customers year after year. We build a relationship with the people who love our work. We want them to be happy!

We design the sort of clothing we want to wear — yoga pants that last for years, shrugs and skirts that layer well for that unpredictable Pacific Northwest weather, and clothes that pack well for travel.

We also have our eye to the future, which is why we work with environmentally friendly fibers like organic cotton and bamboo, and upcycled textiles. Fibre2Fashion does a great job of explaining why bamboo is great for clothing, especially active wear.

Everything we design is sewn in the USA.

Slow fashion is about knowing what you’re buying and what sort of culture you’re supporting. We stand for handmade, ethical, long-lasting fashion. You can call that “slow fashion” for short.

5 Things We Love About Steampunk

We love the steampunk aesthetic and the community around it! If you’re not familiar with steampunk, it’s a subgenre of science fiction that imagines a world powered by steam — usually a Victorian-era world, but as you’ll find out in a minute, there are endless variations. This literary genre has inspired costumers, cosplayers, musicians, prop makers and more. Conventions around the world give steampunks a place to gather, show off their latest creations, shop, hear their favorite bands, drink tea, and generally escape the mundane world for one powered by steam and imagination.

Here’s just a few of the things we love about steampunk.

Steampunks Are Makers

The steampunk community values handmade items. Many steampunks make their own costumes and props, and what they can’t make themselves, they often buy from other artists.

And as if that’s not enough, many makers in the community share their techniques freely on the internet, as shown in this fun tutorial for a top hat.

Steampunks Are Green

A lot of steampunks love to recycle, upcycle, and repurpose in the creation of their costumes and props. From taking a ho-hum blazer and turning it into a sweet jacket to assembling a ray gun from random bits of hardware, they’re always looking at things others would discard and asking themselves “How can I salvage this?”

In a world that treats so many things as disposable, it’s refreshing to see an entire community built around giving old things new life, and keeping perfectly good materials out of the landfills. In the process of learning how to remake things, you can also learn valuable skills that will help you repair the non-costume items in your home and give them a longer life, too.

Sakkara Clothing & Costume belt made with upcycled textile scraps.

Steampunk Has So Many Permutations!

Although the steampunk literary genre started out with stories that imagined a Victorian England powered by steam, people took that idea and ran with it. Now you can find steam-powered adventures taking place in every corner of the globe, in imagined worlds, and in a post-apocalyptic future. Some steampunk stories rely only on science, while others add in magic.

In its alternate history variations, steampunk can serve as a lens to look at some of the problematic issues in our past, such as Imperialism, colonization, racism and slavery. Many steampunk novels feature anarchist heroes, or at least an element of civil unrest. Others serve more as a fun romp through an imagined past, and can be an enjoyable escapist read when the real world becomes too much to handle.

Gail Carriger’s books feature airships, parasols, vampires, and werewolves.

Steampunk Music Rocks

The funny thing about steampunk music is that it’s a genre bound together by a general aesthetic and subject matter, and not any sort of musical style. As such, no matter what your tastes, you can probably find a steampunk band that appeals to you. There’s steampunk rap, steampunk metal, and steampunk earworms, like this popular track from Seattle group The Nathaniel Johnstone Band.

Steampunk is Fun for All Ages

Although some steampunk conventions will have adults-only events like burlesque revues and absinthe tastings, over all the genre is great for the whole family, Kids can really get caught up in the sense of wonder engendered by floating airships and talking automatons. We love to see whole families dressed up and enjoying an event together.

Steampunk can be an opportunity to introduce your kids to the joy of creating a character and making their own costumes and props. It can also be used as a lens to explore history and culture. If your children enjoy a specific alternate-history steampunk book or movie, it can serve as an excellent springboard for them to learn about how that period in time played out in our own world. Ask them to explore what was the same between the book and reality, and where the author took some liberties. What a great learning opportunity and thought exercise for older children.

Of course, the really little ones just look adorable in tiny boots and aviator’s caps.

This steampunk baby carriage posted by Zoluna on DeviantArt is a thing of beauty.

If you love steampunk too, we hope you’ll come see us at Steamposium 2017 here in Seattle! The event is happening October 27-29 and there’s a great lineup of guests and events, plus vending (that’s where you’ll find Sakkara Clothing & Costume).

Why Local and Handmade Matter

Shop local. Buy handmade. The rallying cries of the small business. You see these phrases as memes on social media, as stickers in the window of your favorite independent book store. But sometimes, you may question why you should spend a little more, and go out of your way, when the local big box store is just so convenient.

Today I’d like to argue that buying local and handmade not only benefit your community, but in the long run it will often save you time and money. Additionally, working with a small business or artist is usually just more enjoyable than dealing with a big corporation.

Shop Local

If you want to see your neighborhood and city thrive, shop local. Multiple studies have shown that when you support local small businesses, more of your money stays in your own community. The most commonly quoted numbers are that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays in your local economy. On the other hand, if you spend $100 at a non-local business, only $43 dollars stay in your local economy. And that’s for businesses that have a store front in your community. How much more of your money is leaving your city if you’re purchasing from an on-line only company?

Economic impact of shopping local

To see the full-size graphic and read more statistics, check out Why Shop Local? on

But the benefits of shopping local go beyond just the economic impact. Local vendors better understand local needs.

Have you ever had to buy a jacket in the Spring? Often it’s still a little cold here in the PNW as late as May, especially at night. Maybe something happened to your favorite jacket and you suddenly need a new one, or a visiting friend didn’t pack one and is freezing. So you head down to the local big box store to pick up a cheap jacket, only to find out that the clothing department is a sea of swim suits and short-shorts, because as far as the retail world is concerned, it’s summer and everyone is having fun in the sun.

Of course if you pop into a local clothing store, they probably have hoodies and scarves displayed year-round. They know that sometimes you need a little extra layer at night, especially if it rains, even in the middle of summer.

Buy Handmade

If you want to take it a step further, don’t just support a local business, support a local artist. Handmade goods are made with love, and they’re made to last. When I spend hours cutting out and sewing a garment, I don’t want it to be worn-out and unfashionable in three months. I want it to be something you’ll treasure for years.

An artist or craftsperson’s reputation is entwined with their work. As such, we strive to design things that look good, work well, and stand the test of time.  We pay close attention to materials and construction, to make sure that they are up to our standards of quality.

This dedication to quality shows in the longevity of handmade goods. To use my own work as an example, I have customers who are still wearing pants they bought from me seven years ago. And even with daily wear, a pair of my cinch pants lasts for an average of about three years.

Black Organic Cotton Pants, made to last

One thing that local business owners and artists have in common is that we’re tuned in to what our customers really want. A large business takes a macro view of things — they analyze trends, look at sales numbers from stores, maybe do some focus groups.

I talk to my customers.

I listen when you say “I love these pants, I just wish they came in green” or “This is my favorite skirt for the summer, have you considered making a heavier one for winter?”

Of course I can’t fulfill every customer request, but I can pay attention to themes. If I’m hearing the same ideas over and over again, I know they’re worth exploring. And if I’m hearing the same complaints, I also know that it may be time to retire or redesign a product.

Artists and craftspeople pay attention to how our products are integrated into your life, and we plan accordingly. We make yoga pants that aren’t see-through, shirts that don’t disintegrate after three washes, skirts that can go from work to happy hour.

The Human Connection

What local businesses and artists have in common is that you develop a real, human connection with them. Even if your favorite local boutique has several employees, you probably still run into the owner from time to time. Even if you buy from your favorite artists on Etsy instead of face-to-face at a craft show, they’re still the one answering your messages and hand-writing a note to go along with your purchase.

By contrast, big business often feels faceless and soulless. Even if you have a great conversation with your cashier at the big box, there’s no guarantee you’ll see them next week. Big business is driven by profit and share holders, not by meeting the needs of customers and communities.

As corporations grow bigger and bigger in an endless series of mergers, that human connection gets harder to find. But it’s right there if you look for it, in your own community. Take the time to find that local business or independent artist who really speaks to your style and ideals. I promise it’s worth it.