Rather than spending all of my money at the big box stores this holiday season, I ordered several handmade items from Etsy shops in support of the shop small movement. Many of these shops are run by only one person. An incredibly ambitious, motivated, and exhausted person, no doubt. Someone who is chasing a dream of creativity, independence, and fulfillment. If I can bring a little bit of happiness to both the shop owners and my circle of friends, my own holiday will be that much more enjoyable.
I’ve collected a few choice items for my 2016 holiday gift guide. I’ve actually purchased from some of these shops myself in the past and have been very impressed by the artists’ incredible workmanship and attention to detail. I hope that you will also patronize small businesses this holiday season. But with Christmas only two weeks away, you’d better start shopping soon!!
For the cat mother
A set of sitting cat and sleeping cat mugs from Jin Designs is the perfect gift for any cat lover. Hand decorated on fine bone china, the black cat illustrations are original drawings of the artist’s childhood pet. These minimalist mugs are microwave and dishwasher safe and are created by Jinny Ursell in Hove, United Kingdom.
For the dapper gentleman
This sleek engraved leather keychain from Maven Metals is made of top grade bridle leather and tough stainless steel hardware. The leather strap is available in three colors and the stainless steel ring can be personalized with up to 35 characters of your choice. This item is handcrafted by Julie and Ben in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
For the teen daughter
This lavender leather wristlet from Gmalou Designs is versatile and fashionable with a bit of flair! Made of high quality genuine leather, this colorful bag features a leather tassel and a detachable strap on the zipper pull. The triangular hologram panel in the center gives this bag a fun and funky vibe. It closes with a metal zipper and is handmade by Georgia in Haugesund, Norway.
For the jewelry fanatic
A cherry and maple jewelry box from Blue Skies Homestead stores all of your favorite jewelry in style. This one of a kind piece has a cherry box, maple drawer fronts, and a maple inlay stripe around the top and down each side. Its eight felt lined drawers open with purple heart drawer pulls. It is triple coated in satin polyurethane and is made by Rick in Holland, Michigan.
For the leather lover
This leather coin wallet from Mr. Lentz is made to order in your choice of three colors and seven sizes to accommodate currencies from around the world. Natural vegetable based dyes give the full grain vegetable tanned leather its rich color. This slim wallet holds all of your pocket change, a medium size stack of cash, and up to six cards. It is made with solid brass hardware and can be personalized with a branded or stamped monogram. To keep your high quality wallet in high quality shape, the artist also includes a free tin of his very own all natural leather conditioner. This item is handcrafted by a cowboy in San Diego, California.
For the little one
This personalized wooden fox teether from Smiling Tree Toys is a lovely heirloom gift that the entire family will treasure long after teething has ended. It is made of non splintering, sustainably grown hard maple and is safe for children of all ages. The extra thick and softly curved lines of this teether are easy to grasp and its adorable fox shape will enchant any young mind. It is made by Justin and Kathleen in Lamberton, Minnesota.
For the seasonal decorator
A four piece village ornament kit from Holiday Spirits Decor will adorn your home beautifully this holiday season. The kit includes a cottage, a chalet, a colonial house, and a church that you can build and decorate yourself. Precut and scored bristol board house pieces plus all of the accessories necessary to embellish your village are provided. Tree and wreath accents are also included in the kit and are available in your choice of three colors. This ornament kit is handmade by Carol Fisher in Chicago, Illinois.