Saturday, November 15, 2008

Must Read Holiday Shopping Recommendations!

Like many Etsy-ers, I discovered Etsy quite by accident. For me, it happened while I was thumbing through a magazine at a doctor's office in November of 2007. It was a holiday gift edition of Parents magazine, and there were some REALLY cool items featured. I surreptitiously ripped the page out of the mag (shhhhhh!) and looked up some of the items when I got home. Lo! What? Not only were these awesome items on Etsy, but Etsy was, gasp!, an entire site full of hand crafted goodness. As a person who strives every year to give the most unique and meaningful gifts possible, this was like a dream come true for me! I did much of my holiday shopping on Etsy last year, and spent about a month dreaming of opening my own little shop there, too.

I took the plunge on New Year's Eve, 2007. My first listing went up January 1st, 2008. 231 sales and what seems a lifetime later, I am so proud of my leap. I love my shop. I love what I make. But, most of all, I love the opportunity to meet people from around the world who appreciate the whole handmade community and lifestyle.

So, since I have shopped and mingled with so many AWESOME people, I thought it would be wonderful to send out some holiday recommendations. The shops featured in the minis on the lefthand side of my blog are ALL shops that I have personally had transactions with. They are shops that I can vouch for with 100% certainty; the quality of their products and the kindness/professionalism/customer service of the shopowner is top of the line. Clicking on the pictures of their products at left, or their shop names within this post, will bring you to their shops. You will not be disappointed with a purchase from these amazing artists. I absolutely guarantee it!

If you are in the market for soap, SeattleSundries is the place for you. There are many fabulous soapmakers on Etsy, but Anne at SeattleSundries has it all going on. I purchased the 10 bar listing (most bang for your buck!), and am currently battling with myself over which ones I could keep, since I bought them all as gifts. In the meantime, they are making my craft room smell like heaven!

If you are browsing about for beautiful jewelry, look NO further than these four shops! Anything you want can be found or made at ThePeachTree, JessiJewels, GenuineArticle, or RunsWith Scissors4. Amy, Jessi, Sarah, and Karen (respectively) all have their specialties, from elegant gemstone wire wrapping to paper beads made from maps. You are sure to find a special treasure for someone on your list.

Looking for beautiful art? I've got you covered! Scharart (for original paintings, prints, magnets and more), Lewesiaglass (for beautiful handpainted glass jars, pendants, and cards), Blossoms (for handformed clay flowers and arrangements), and lindabutterfly (for watercolours, aceos, and cards) are sure to have the perfect something for that special someone. All four of these fabulous artisans ship promptly and securely, and would bend over backwards to do a custom order just for you.

Need a kitschy, cool, or particularly unique gift? I can't say enough about my positive experiences at Lousupcycles, BoxingDay, tudordesigns, sweetirie, wendiwinn, and kitsandcaboodles. Each and every one of their shops bears peeking into. They have some of the most well crafted items on Etsy, and are some of the most kindhearted humans I have ever met.

There you have it- my personal favorites for holiday shopping 2008. If you pop into their shops and find something fabulous, post a comment here! If you have your own shopping recommendation, post that here too. With hundreds of thousands of shops on Etsy to choose from, it can get a little overwhelming. While it's fun to try out new sellers, it's also nice to KNOW that you will be pleased with your purchase. Did I say it earlier? Let me reiterate, I PROMISE, you will be overwhelmingly pleased with your experience at any of the shops mentioned in this post :) Have fun!!!!


Sarah Jane said...

Excellent recommendation!! :D And I'm not just saying that because you mentioned me. ;) But it helps. ;) lol

Don't forget to check out Jennie's shop! She's AMAZING to deal with. I vouch for her 100%. :)

Linda said...

This must have taken you an age to write, Jennie. You are so kind to do this; your followers now have ample choice and your recommendations give a feeling of security.
It is very kind of you to mention my art, thank you.

jessijewels said...

have i told you lately that you rock??? hehehe

i know i have! what a great write up! thanks so much jennie. xo

Schar Freeman said...

Jennie FABulous reccomendations and super writing! My shopping is just about finished this year thanks to all these many wonderful shops and friends of ETSY!!! Mahalo for this!! You DO RoCk!!! ♥

juliaa said...

nice recommendations! i'm going to have to check out that soap seller.

:) juliaa

Schar Freeman said...

Had to come back because I Love your music too!!!

RunsWithScissors said...

Thanks for including me, Jennie! I think you have a great list to pick from and I plan on doing some shopping!