Ok, I know, handmade can be (and should be!!) more expensive than purchasing mass produced products. Please keep in mind though, the only reason why those factory sweatshop made items can be sold at such cheap prices is due to the fact that they are able to get their supplies at a much reduced rate.
Personally, I much prefer to give and receive items that are handmade. I know that the person who has made it has put in time, effort and a lot of love into their work. Most of us take a lot of pride in our work, and we can be quite critical of it. We seem to think that the tiniest flaw makes it "not good enough" to even consider trying to sell it to someone else. What we tend to forget is that what you buy in those box stores or at the dollar stores are not perfect. When was the last time you had bought a set of glasses, only to put them in the dishwasher the first time and find that at least one has broken/cracked? Or you purchased a lovely top and when you washed it the colours ran or there was that horrible machine oil smell from the print on the t-shirt?
And even big ticket items like houses and cars are not exempt from the "flaws" from mass produced parts. Of course I am certain that quality control does try to ensure that their products are as good as they can be, and for the most part they are. But they certainly are not put under the microscope as much as the Indie Artisan is.
Perhaps a better way of looking at it would be "keep our money in our own local economy" rather than getting the best bang for our buck. Supporting your local farmer, your local small factory made goods (if possible) and your local craftsmen whether it is grandma down the road knitting hats and scarves to the lady who makes her own jams and jellies.