I think this is more important this year, more than ever before especially when you consider the state of the global economy. It isn’t as hard as you think and you will save time, energy, and gas by thinking ahead a bit and this is the perfect time of year to do it. So very many have lost their jobs (and hope) and have turned to alternative means of earning a living.
Here are just a few ideas for you….
- Everyone has services they need. Buy gift certificates for oil changes, haircuts, and meals from your favorite local establishments. Hire a cleaning lady for a day to help your mom or grandmother. Have her lawn cut while you are at it.
- Just about every single town has a local art gallery or shop where artisans in the area sell their work. Why buy copycat when you can have a real original, handmade, unique item?
- If you don’t have one in your area, don’t fret. You have a HUGE online arts and crafts community in Etsy. You can easily find everything from vintage to downloadable patterns to craft supplies. Folksy in the UK is also great and iCraft in Canada sells only reviewed handmade items.
If you have been following this site for any length of time, you know that I actively sell on Etsy and Storenvy. I do highly recommend shopping on such sites for two huge reasons. First, you can use Paypal to make your purchase. This means your precious credit card numbers are never revealed to anyone. You do have Paypal watching over the transaction. If you don’t receive your items, you can get your money back by simply filing a complaint. Second, you have the site itself. Etsy is very proud of its customer service and fulfillment. Items listed are supposed to be accurately pictured and described or you can get your money back. It’s a double layer of protection that you don’t usually get shopping in a box store.
One other consideration – a good number of the sellers on Etsy do custom work for either no additional charge or very reasonable fees. You can easily afford to give something custom designed to everyone on your list, have it delivered to your door securely, and pay less money than you would fighting the crowds in your local mall.
Think about it.. shop handmade – support handmade!