Why Shop Handmade: Jae Benjamin

This series focuses on why our members shop handmade. The intent is to help give reasons to friends, family and fellow makers for why shopping handmade is so important, especially during the holiday season. I hope you will share and enjoy! You can also read the whole series here.

Jae Benjamin of Benjamin Soap Co.

Benjamin Soap Co.

Austin, TX

Why is handmade important to you? Why does handmade matter?
Handmade is important to me, because it supports a maker. It supports a craft, technique, or otherwise unique process. I hand make every product that leaves our studio, and I know where every single ingredient is sourced from, and tie that to a batch number on every product that I make. I know this, because I care, because I want to make the most affordable, consistent, all natural product to share with my customers. 

So many companies have resorted to out sourcing, and it's so difficult to find American made products. I source all of our packaging from companies in the USA, that provide jobs and help our economy.

Why do you shop handmade for the holidays?
I shop handmade to support other makers like me, that support their families by using their creative talents to do something they love! I think about other people like me, whether they started in their laundry room, or in a studio, they made the decision to turn their dream into a hobby or business, and I want to support that. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for all of the people that supported my dream, and I want to do the same.

What does shopping local mean to you as a small business owner? What impact does people's choice to shop local make on your life?
Shopping local is important to me because it supports people that utilize their creative talents to earn a living doing their craft and what they love. It keeps our community unique, and helps the local economy. We collaborate with other small locally owned businesses, and use everything from raw honey, wine, craft beer, to ground coffee beans in many of our products. 

How has running a small business changed your life?
Being a full time entrepreneur enables me to support my family, and spend more time with my husband and children. I made the choice to leave a job that left me unhappy, unfulfilled, and leaving me little time to spend with people that are most important to me. I do what I love now, and I am fortunate that I can support my family doing so!