It may sound strange but handmade items are one of the joyful ways we remember Kim and honor her spirit. Kim was an OG at RFD shows. She was an inspired card maker and a stellar human being who was an utter delight to chat with. She brought cheer and laughter to everyone, vendors and customers alike. I think we (the original RFD sellers) all miss her every time we think about those shows...items hold so much. They remind us of people, places, and events. We remember when. We think about...
That's the thing about handmade-----there is a story behind the product. These are not machine made, there is no factory cranking them out on a belt. No. Each piece is made by hand, with a pair of hands...the hands that hugged Kim. Hands that have held another hand in time of fear. Hands that cook spaghetti dinner every Sunday. Hands that hold a coffee cup and share a laugh with someone who needs to talk. Hands that hold on. Hands that let go. Hands that tell a story.
As I write, I think about how many ways I have converted to handmade wherever possible. Some people don't understand when I say something handmade is like a hug...but truly - it is. From the bar of soap in the shower made by someone who cares about my skin, to the mug I have my tea in as I write this. Every time I pick up the mug I think of the makers, they are my friends. And I smile. The tea in that mug is from a small business, I like knowing I support someone's dream when I brew it. Yes...I like encouraging people. Validating them. Fueling them to continue on and create.
Buying from small business is so much more than trendy and fun. It changes lives. One product at a time, one bag of tea at a time, one mug (or ten) at a time. I remember Kim's first really good show, she texted me even though she was 20 feet away from me. She was OVER THE MOON about making sales. People actually liked her stuff! No they didn't, they LOVED her stuff, they special ordered her stuff and had requests for her stuff! She was validated. She was encouraged. She was excited, inspired and her hands were busy creating until they ached. What a good ache....her heart was full. Her cup of joy overflowed. It was beautiful.
This is what happens every time you buy handmade. You encourage the maker, their products ARE amazing and people like them. You validate their hard work, their learning curve, they are spurred on and fueled to try something new. Every time you pick up your mug, your bowl, every time you send that card to someone - there are memories, there is love, there is a hug in that item. If ever love could be infused into something, it's into handmade.
These new items are so special to us.... many of you never knew Kim. But someone said to me, "I never knew her, but I can know Kim through these" - and that struck a chord. She is right, Kim is part of our Red Front Door group, our vendors and our memories. If you didn't know her, we honor her with these. And there is a story behind these items.....those stories and reasons are included with her family's permission in the item descriptions on the website. We are honored to bring these things to you, to invite you into our Red Front Door family.
No matter where you are, whether or not you shop with us, we encourage you to choose small every chance you have. Go to the small cafe instead of the chain. Get the hand crafted latte and pastry that someone got up at 2am to bake. Go to the craft fair instead of the mega mart. Seek out and take the time to ask friends who makes what you're looking for. We thank you for shopping with us, for reading this, for telling your friends about us. Onward we go.
And so...from our hands to yours - we humbly offer our lovingly created products. Each piece is one of a kind, created with love, thought, skill, inspiration and memories. From our hearts to your home.