Sunday, July 29, 2007

Voting with Dollars

So, the purse fairy gives you $500 or $1000, or even $5000. Any purse your heart desires, is yours to own.

From the time we start carrying a purse, they can become appendages. You don't leave home without it. A purse can also be a way of expressing who you are and what you are about.

Huge sums of money are spent on these bags to carry our keys, our money, our cellphones, odd bits of paper, and on and on. Some aspire to own the same purse sported by the celebrity on the go. Knockoffs of purses abound. There are blogs about purses. No surprise really. The Purse Blog. The slogan..."Shallow Obsessing Strongly Encouraged." Seriously. Check it out. Or how about The Purse Snob. Pictures of celebrities out and about, sporting bags by Louis, Kate, Jimmy, Marc,... In case you do not know who the "it" designers are, they have a list, with the links. For me, there was just nothing that got me excited. Nothing I had to have.

On the other hand, if I could own one of Kathleen Dustin's purses, it would make my heart skip a beat. Or one of the amazing beaded purses by Sherry Serafini. I would be tickled to carry one of these fun Flashbags for everyday. As I browse the internet I see touchable shibori bags by Range of Emotions, or these cool metal mesh purses by Bo's Art.

Here is my concern. If what most people aspire to own is mass produced, but has a corporate created sense of exclusivity, does that diminish the really exclusive and wonderful creations out there? Whether it is handbags, fashion, or a beautiful vase. How as artists, can we overcome the name game? How can we create the same interest in our work that the production items have?

One thing we can do is act from our beliefs. Vote with your dollars. Scrimp and save a bit to buy the piece of jewelry, the handbag, the platter, the simple, but exquisite mug that was made by hand and with attention and care by the artist. When you drink a cup of tea or coffee out of that mug you will feel special. When you continually get stopped as people want to know where you got that great bag, or pendant, you will know you were not the only one who sees the beauty in your purchase. You will also know that it is about more than how much something costs, or having other people know you own an "it" bag.

By voting with our dollars, as much, or as little as we are able, we make a choice to support beauty and art in the world. And that has to be contagious. It sets an example for those around us. Don't leave the trendsetting to the celebrities. Most high fashion begins on the street. With people who have their own innate style. They don't follow the magazines, or want to own something because they want to say they know what is "in". They look inside themselves for inspiration.

Sadly, there is no purse fairy. But our dollars do count. Vote wisely.

1 comment:

jenae said...

i am jenae michelle from range of emotion. i am so glad that you found my shibori bags when you browsed the web. i appreciate your views on what is "in". thanks, jenae