Local artists encourage holiday shoppers to give local handmade gifts this season

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Local artists are encouraging the community to buy local handmade holiday gifts this year.

They believe the benefits of spending your money on locally crafted products are endless.

Artists said the biggest reward isn't always given to the recipient of the art.

"It's important because you're not helping a corporation. You're helping someone in the community," said Cassey Harrell. "You're helping them with their bills. Their everyday lives. And you're supporting their passion. What they do everyday."

Several artists at Lowe Mill said its important to continue to support the "little guy."

"At least this way people can connect with the person who produced the product," said Harrell. "It's just a different experience."

Some of the artists said they think handmade gifts make for a better gift exchange, but one local artist said the money she's making from her work is helping her family rebuild after a tough loss.

Jessica Eaves, a local artist, lost a lot of her belongings in a recent apartment fire.

"In our situation, because we were in that Rime Village fire earlier this week, the money that we get from this right now helps to go and re-buy the stuff we lost in that fire," Eaves said.

Eaves said no matter how much money someone spends, even if it's only a couple of bucks, the reward for her family is priceless.

"The way I look at it, because I also go and help out and shop local too is that, that item that you're buying even if it's anywhere from like a smaller item only worth a few dollars, to a larger one that's fifty, or a hundred dollars. That could mean to the family, that's a Christmas gift for their kid."