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Buying Local Buying Handmade

In a world overwhelmed by mass production, handcrafted objects become more precious than ever. Locorum’s aim is to highlight the artists and artisans who have taken time to perfect their craft, so that you might enjoy the beauty of a well-made product. We are here to help you discover the variety of skills and the depth of imagination scattered across the diverse regions of Europe. 

At locorum, we believe that every object, designed, molded, hammered, glazed or sewn with care, is a heartwarming expression of the artists’ passion for their craft. Through their studies or apprenticeships, they have tested the boundaries of their own creativity. Some choosing traditional methods, passed down through generations, while others latch on to new technologies or sustainable methods, carving their own path through time-honored traditions. By highlighting their personal stories, we hope to inspire a new love for these makers and their dedication to the trade.

Many independent, local businesses across the globe are struggling in the wake of lockdown measures, changing customer habits and competition from larger manufacturers. Now, more than ever, the onus to shop local and help our communities is on us. We hope that by providing a wider platform for sharing their craft, outside of brick and mortar shops and the smaller audiences in their regions, we can help the sellers expand their clientele.

That’s why this site is also dedicated to all of you – to the ones with wanderlust, missing a far-gone adventure in Europe, to the new craftsman searching for inspiration, to the shoppers, the revellers and the lovers of all things design. And especially to those hoping, like us, to help their local artists find their voices and share their stories, ensuring their trade is passed on for generations to come and their shop doors stay open another day.

Our hope is that our curated marketplace will help you discover something new and unique and maybe even inspire your next adventure, once the world has reopened for business.

How do we select our artisans?

We want to make sure that every product selected for the edit meets a majority of our self-invented criteria. Hopefully, the result of our selection brings you joy, is never boring and is always inspiring. As a mother/daughter team, we are surprisingly aligned in our choices, often texting excitedly when we discover something new, and agonizing over how to narrow down the list.

6 principles we try to follow at Locorum

1. Handmade

The obvious main criteria is that the product is made by hand. We are learning a lot along the way and we hope to open your eyes to the many diverse craftspeople across Europe. Amongst the artisans highlighted you will find ceramicists, jewellery makers, glass blowers, woodcarvers, knitters, designers, painters and more. There are many ways to work with your hands and we realize we are just scratching the surface. In case you know of a local artisan, please feel free to drop us an email with their name.

2.   Keep it local

Equally important is that the artisan is located in Europe and their products are made in Europe too. Designed here and made there? No problem. As long as both locations are in Europe. Bonus points are given to those who source their materials locally as well.

3.   Genius Loci

We intend to promote all product categories, including home goods, fashion, beauty, children’s goods, and maybe even food! It is a large range, therefore the ethos of the makers is equally as important as their final product. Simply said, we’re suckers for a good story. Behind every product in our edit, there is a person or a team with something to say and we intend to share it.

4.   Discovery

We would like to shine a light on some of the lesser-known artists. That’s why we scour all corners of Europe, highlighting a diverse range of artisans and products. Yes, some brands may be known in their own local lands, but we hope we can help them cross those borders and grow their international audience. To find these smaller artisans, we would appreciate your help. We are always open to tips and would love to hear about your favorite local finds.

5.   Design

Whether elegant in its simplicity or brash and bold, we would not like to exclude any amazing find from our list simply because it doesn’t fit our color scale or age bracket. Simply put, we love all things beautiful.

6. Sustainable practices

Just because it’s handmade, doesn’t mean it’s ethically made. This is something we understand and highly appreciate and respect. When searching for our makers we try to take a deeper dive into where they source their materials, what methods they use, and how sustainable the product is for our planet. When we see someone doing something good, we will highlight their achievements. 

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