Anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I love Etsy, the online marketplace for vintage goods and crafts of all sorts. In the spirit of The 3/50 Project, today I thought I’d share some of my favorite local Etsy sellers and introduce you to a neat feature Etsy implemented a while ago called Shop Local.
Here is Jason McClellan of Sidewinder Studio, who also works here at Hardwood Artisans.
And Annie of imogene., who made the tree-shaped earrings customers always ask me about when I wear them in the showrooms.
And finally, Rania of shoofly, who I have featured before, but is is currently showing some gorgeous Moleskine notebooks.
So not only can you now shop handmade, you can also shop local.
If you’ve already gotten her a Hardwood Artisans jewelry box, check out some other handmade gifts.
Remember to make it a handmade holiday!
I’m lucky to be surrounded by such talented people. Woodworkers, yes (genius, amazing woodworkers). But some of our genius, amazing woodworkers do other things as well. Take my friend Jason, who I worked with last year on the development of the Linnaea collection.
Not only can he build a gorgeous cabinet, he does wood turning and makes chain mail. When I saw his new Etsy store a few weeks ago, I immediately fell in love with a pair of chain mail earrings and today Jason was nice enough to bring them to me. It seemed sort of silly to mail them when we work in the same building!
I feel much the same way about my new earrings that I do about my new file cabinet, which will be ready any day now. These were made just for me by someone I like, who likes me. It’s so rare to get that in a commercial transaction, but it’s a feeling I like and want more often.
This is part of why I’ve recently decided to buy handmade goods whenever I can — both for myself and for presents. Sure, sometimes it’s not possible (handmade iPod, probably not). But somehow my life feels enriched, just like we hope our furniture makes our customers feel.
It’s genuinely amazing to me just how many talented people there are on Etsy. I had always loved going to galleries and local stores like Appalachian Spring and Artcraft to see handmade items by local (and not so local) artists. This past weekend I also made a visit to the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, which I will have to do a post about soon.
That said, another entire world opens up online. This Christmas I bought handmade ornaments for a friend of mine from a woman (Jennifer Orme) in the UK. I just never would have found her without the internet. She makes gorgeous jewelry too. I’m sure I’ll be forced to indulge soon.
Here are some other very talented artists on Etsy working in clay.
Element Clay Studio, Ceramics by Heather Knight
Ceramic coasters, LMNOProducts by Lauren McMahon
Judi Tavill, Ceramic Artist of Handmade Pottery, Vessels, and Objects
With all the wonderful handmade pottery out there, I am seriously reconsidering my decision to continue buying dishes from Crate & Barrel.
While I was talking to a friend the other day, I was surprised that she hadn’t heard of my very favorite website–Etsy. Billed as “your place to buy & sell all things handmade,” Etsy is a collaborative effort by tens of thousands of artists and artisans. Though they do have a full-time professional staff in New York City that runs the website and does their marketing, the true stars are the artists themselves.
There are extraordinarily talented people in every possible category you could imagine. Over the past two years, I’ve bought countless presents from jewelry makers, letter press cards from graphic designers, even clothing. There are even a number of vintage sellers. Nearly anything you could buy in a conventional store you could find on Etsy. Not only are the items often of better quality that anything you could find in a normal store, they are very reasonably priced, especially considering the time and personal effort these people put into their work.
Take my latest find, a blacksmith and metal artist in Phoenix named John Doss who does both practical and decorative work. Recently he posted an item for sale–custom kitchen and bath accessories for $39.00 each.
A few years ago when I bought bath accessories from Pottery Barn, I paid just as much for the same mass-produced fixtures that everyone has.
Image courtesy of Pottery Barn
They’ve been just fine, but had I known that custom made ones that are much more distinctive could have been had for almost the same price, I would certainly have chosen those.
In any case, Etsy is well worth a look, but it can be kind of overwhelming with all those tens of thousands of artists so from now on, every Wednesday, I’ll be posting about a particular Etsy artist or artisan that I love in the hopes that you will too!