If you are what you eat, then is it such a stretch to say that you are what you buy? You can be sure I am not the first one to make this connection. As you read this article, the marketing gurus are busily working analyzing your purchases, movements, clicks, and downloads. Armed with highly advanced computer algorithms, they are trying to compute what you will buy next. The next time you look at your credit card statement, you should consider the question before others do: What do your purchases say about you?
Please let me share with you a defining moment in our purchasing history. In the wonderfully original Soho district of Buenos Aires, we stumbled on a small independently owned store that makes and sells porcelain dishes. We fell in love with a set of espresso cups and plates that we have never seen anywhere else. Simple, functional, and artistic, they are also handcrafted and reasonable in price. The owner herself helped us in our decision. To this day, we feel a sense of pride drinking from our beautiful handcrafted cups.
We now think twice about every purchase we make. It must be original and if possible, handcrafted. We strive to think global, but buy local – choosing local craftsmen, artists, and artisans. However, be forewarned: the marketing experts are getting more clever (or more devious) and will not give up their empire so easily.
We consumers (yes, an awful term, which shows how big merchants view us: mouths wide open and ready to gobble up their mass produced knock-offs) are bombarded with original-looking, not so cheap, imitation products. When you look at where it’s made — or better yet, how it’s made – it’s just more expensive junk. For example, most greeting cards are made in China.
Don’t we all have enough cheap, artificial, and only skin deep good-looking stuff? (Actually we don’t anymore can you say “minimalist”?) Just say no. No one will say it for you. Enough is enough. Buy original, choose craftsmanship, quality and style. True, it costs a little more and takes a little more effort and time (time is only money for the people who are taking your money), but in the end it says something about who we are.
Every purchase shapes and defines us. It contributes or takes away from the quality of our life. Remain a mystery to the marketing gurus. Confuse their complex computer algorithms and throw a wrench (preferably one made in China) in their multi-billion dollar alliances. Stay original, it’s you.