Okay, so part of my whole deal, and much of what inspired me to start this very blog, is that I eschew the normal, mainstream (and may I say, very wasteful) consumer culture that makes America what it is. Part of this is that I HATE spending any serious amount of time in a soulless mall that makes you feel like you could be anywhere, which feels an awful lot like you are nowhere. And I want to have things, even when I only have them long enough to give them away as a gift, that are unique, handmade, inspired. Moreover, if someone is going to benefit from my spending, I'd rather it be an independent crafts person than a corporation. But even I do have to shop sometimes and so I've become more and more taken with a few great websites that sell great, interesting, handmade, and cool stuff. So I'm going to post about a few of them, and keep a running list of them up at the top of the page.
First, I was introduced to Etsy a few years ago by a good friend. She recommended it as a place I could sell the jewelry I design and produce, which I may or may not do (a tautology, I know) sooner or later. But meanwhile, it is a great site for finding really cool stuff. I've never bought myself anything there (perish that thought), but I have bought various gifts on it. It is a little like Ebay, without the adrenaline-driven thrill of the auction. But Etsy simply provides the site, so that all the transactions take place directly between the buyer and maker/seller.
I've had nothing but good experiences so far, and have found some nice gifts. So save yourself a trip to the mall, support someone who is trying to make a living making things, and check it out!