It’s that time of the year again. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us. We’ve already been bombarded with countless catalogs, ad’s and emails directing us to spend our money at all of the big box stores and internet retailers. This year, I’m trying to be a little bit more conscientious about where I spend my money. I’m looking for ways to directly support my local economy, as well as others who are trying to sell their arts and handmade goods. I have found several places where you can buy Unique Gifts for the holidays, outside of the big box stores.
Saturday, November 25th is Small Business Saturday. All over the country, small, locally owned businesses will be rolling out the red carpet for you. Look at your locally owned boutiques, art shops, antique stores or gift shops to find some great Unique Gifts for your loved ones.
The Craft Fair/Bazaar season has already kicked off. This is a great way to support local artists and crafters in your community, while finding some handmade gifts. Keep an eye out on your local Facebook feed, radio, newspaper or news station for these events. If you are fortunate enough to have a Christmas Market in your community, make plans to visit. Not only will you get to shop for some fun, unique items, many Christmas Markets also provide other entertainment such as ice skating and traditional German foods.
Handmade on the Internet
I have discovered several places on the internet, where you can directly support individual artisans.
Etsy is a place where artisans can create their own virtual store. You can find just about anything here. They have jewelry, personalized gifts, home items, clothing, toys, art…you name it, you can probably find someone who sells it. They even have supplies for the crafters in your family. Plus, you can read, and leave, reviews of the sellers so you know who does a good job, and who doesn’t quite make it.
At Society6, artists and photographers provide the images, you pick the products. From the expected framed prints, to cell phone cases and coffee mugs, they have dozens of ways to showcase great art. All of the items are made when ordered, and shipped directly from Society6. So, there’s no worry about dealing with each individual directly.
Threadless is a similar concept to Society6, but they specialize more in graphic T-shirts. Each designed by individual graphic artists. They also offer a selection of home goods, other apparel and accessories. This would also be a great place, if you wanted to create your own custom designs for holiday gift giving.
At Uncommon Goods, you will find a wide variety of Unique Gifts, handmade goods, jewelry, home accessories, etc. Unlike Etsy, the goods are not shipped from each individual artisan in the market place. Instead, Uncommon Goods receives, stores and ships direct to you. They have a variety of artisans from all over the world, and provide a little bio of each one. I’ve already bought some of my gifts from here, and received great service!
Normally, I wouldn’t mention Amazon on a list like this. However, they have added an Handmade Department onto their site, where artisans and crafters can sell their handmade goods. There is a large variety of items sold through here. You will encounter some items that ship from Amazon, and some that ship directly from the artisan.
Giving Unique Gifts for the Holidays
While I know that not all of my gifts will come from these artisans and crafters, I am making a concerted effort to do a good portion of my shopping this way. I love handmade gifts, and it is great to know that I don’t have to make them all myself 🙂
What Unique Gifts are you going to be giving this Holiday Season?