Jonah Lisa Dyer wrote this post as a farewell to my shop and she summed up the impermanence of handmade crafts so perfectly:
"See, that's the trouble with small businesses and individual crafts people--they're just like you and me. They're often families or work-at-home-moms and sometimes they just move on to a new chapter in their lives. Sometimes they up and decide that life is entirely too short or too complicated or the sun is shining too brightly outside to sit around making adorable doodads for your children. Your chance to take advantage of their skills and creativity are gone. Poof."
This has happened to me too, way too many times. I had a wooden puzzle maker bookmarked for ages but I was waiting until my son was a bit older and more into puzzles. Now that he is puzzle obsessed I've recently discovered that her shop is gone. Now I have to try to make my own.
Thing is, I hate making puzzles. How to puzzle makers do it? All those pieces need to be individually painted and sanded, it is all the work of making more than ten toys yet you can't charge $100 for it. If you happen upon a wooden puzzle maker for an affordable price, please don't let them slip away - and let me know about them too!
Anyway, a long way of saying how precious handmade items are and that is why I continue to strive to buy handmade whenever I can and so happy to have been a part of the handmade community.