Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Why You Should Buy Handmade for the Holidays

There are a lot of reasons to buy handmade as opposed to mass produced, commercial items to give as gifts. As a maker of handmade items (soaps, lotions, and other bath goodies), it's important to me that I put my money where my mouth is and buy handmade for gifts during the holidays and throughout the year. I wanted to share with you some pieces from artists that I've met during my first year in business (and yes, I bought gifts from each one of them...even if some of the "gifts" were for myself!). If you're looking for some ways to shop local, support crafters, and show your gift recipients just how much careful thought you can put into that perfect gift, then read on.

I felt so passionate about buying handmade that I made an infographic about it.
If you knew the extent of my computering skills, you would be super impressed by that. 

Yuko Miki of Honeyberry Studios

Photo by Yuko Miki of Honeyberry Studios. Check out her Etsy shop!

I met Yuko at an event in Ballard this year, and just fell in love with her whimsical designs. From canvas tote bags, to tea towels, to original artwork, Yuko's offerings are functional, fun, and very giftable. Earlier this year I bought a printed notebook from her that I use at events for customers to sign up for my monthly newsletter (which you should totally click here and do right now because I'm about to send out the December newsletter with a really stellar coupon code in it!). Even though I'm really (really, really) bad about getting holiday cards out in the mail, I just bought some of Yuko's Holiday Greeting Cards knowing that I'll be much more likely to actually send them out so that I can share some gorgeous art with my family and friends!

Dan Lecocq of New Leaf Turnings

Photo by Dan Lecocq of New Leaf Turnings. Check out his Etsy shop!

Dan is another artist that I met recently at a holiday themed event. His wood working is so graceful and polished that his Wood Bottle Stoppers stood out in my mind weeks after the event was over as a gift idea for a wine-loving relative. In addition to the wine stoppers, he also makes some really sophisticated pens and bowls. Check out his Etsy site, or for more pictures click here.

Erika Slothower of Sassy Sloth Studios

Photo by Erika Slothower of Sassy Sloth Studios. Check out her Facebook page!

Erika and I met at an event this fall that was really...really...slow. With few customers stopping to smell my soap  or chat about the soap making process, I had a lot of time to look around at what the other vendors were up to. Erika's booth was right across the way from mine, and I absolutely adored her hand drawn tote bags. She does some amazing jewelry, woodwork, and coasters, too! When I was thinking about holiday gifts for a dear relative of mine who I find a little bit difficult to shop for, the gorgeous tote bags came to mind immediately. I contacted Erika on her Facebook page and she graciously did a custom order for me. That's one more holiday gift that I can cross off my list!

Heather Lea Garrick of Heather Lea Garrick Clothing

Photo by Heather Lea Garrick of Heather Lea Garrick Clothing. Check out her Etsy shop!

I met Heather at the same event that I met Yuko! I have to tell you that as a woman of, let's say, Rubenesque proportions (I have a few...ahem...dozen pounds to lose), I rarely browse handmade clothing. It's almost a given that whatever amazing work the artist is doing, it isn't going to fit me. Imagine my delight when I found out that Heather has a line of Voluptuous Yoga Clothing in addition to her other hand painted yoga tops, pants, and jackets! Right now I'm in love with her scarves, which would make a great holiday gift!

Here I am, selling soap in the hand painted shirt I bought from Heather (see it here in her Etsy shop!).

Now that you have some great handmade gift ideas, don't forget to sign up for my monthly newsletter for promo codes, insights into the soap making process, gift ideas, and more!


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