Ice cream, jewelery, blankets- know what they all have in common? They’re all better when they’re handmade! It could be said about almost anything. There is something so great about making eye contact with the person who made your item. It’s the bond you don’t get at say…Wal-Mart. Cause I looked into the eyes of the girl who rang up my Tide last week, she didn’t seem to care one way or the other. But say you don’t have a local farmer’s market or get the chance to go to a craft fair? That’s where the amazing world wide web comes in. I swear I say this once a day, but thank god for the internet! Because now there are so many ways to buy from artists all across the globe, all at the click of a mouse. You may not get to look into their eyes, but you still get the satisfaction of knowing that your purchase was made by hand, and with love. Today we want to bring you some of the best sites dedicated to all things handmade…
Etsy is the gold standard, the largest site out there to both sell your items and buy other artist’s wares. They’ve got it all – clothing, purses, art, housewares, beauty products, etc. With over 2.8 million offerings, you could literally spend all week there. But to help you through the maze, the site is organized really well. Etsy showcases several photo lists a day on it’s homepage from it’s “Treasury”, member-curated galleries of favorite items organized often by theme but sometimes just by love. If your short on time, just reload the homepage a few times to see some of the best the site has to offer. But if you’ve got time to peruse, you can shop by color (this interactive page is really fun, check it out). You can Pounce on shops that have newly listed items or items on sale. Or you can go with the Editor’s Picks and check out their favorite items recently featured on their blog.
Within literally 2 minutes, check out what I found (all images above). Crafty yourself? Try your hand at this Robot Crochet Pattern ($5). I must have this chic Italian Leather wristlet ($62) and this set of 3 delicate Gold rings ($23). And the photographer in me loves the work of ELBfoto ($40).
I heart Design*Sponge, which may just be the cutest site design I’ve ever seen (except this one, of course). And a DIY dream! Check out the inspirational before and afters for those looking for some motivation to tackle a project of their own. Not feeling up to a bathroom remodel? How about making your own Cat scratching post? It’s shown above and really couldn’t be easier! Plus City Guides to find local crafts in your area. And as if they haven’t given you enough already, they offer scholarships competitions for budding art and design students and host the Biz Ladies series which connects local women running their own art and design-based businesses. They travel across the country to host these events in various cities where women gather to talk, network and receive free advice from local experts on the topics of PR and Marketing, Wholesale/Retailing, Business/Legal advice. LOVE that.
We were also recently introduced to Viva La Moda, a new bi-monthly web zine created to showcase especially gorgeous handmade finds. From soaps and green bath products, to fashion and accessories-they source some of the finest artists on the web and bring it to you in one great package. Plus, you have to love the do-gooder aspect to an online magazine, save that paper for letterpress stationary!
So, are you convinced that handmade is where it’s at? Then pledge it at Buy Handmade, a site run by nine prominent forces in the DIY and handmade worlds (2 of them listed here). They explain perhaps the best reason to buy handmade “The ascendancy of chain store culture and global manufacturing has left people all dressing, furnishing, and decorating alike. The connection between producer and consumer has been lost. Buying handmade helps them reconnect.” Viva la Handmade!