I am a huge Etsy fanatic, both my home and closet are filled with handmade gems from artisans selling on Etsy. As a freelancer myself, it genuinely gives me joy to support a small business owner who is living the dream of being self-employed. Not only does the Etsy platform allow small businesses to thrive, but they also elevate and support artists who are pushing the limits in the design world and serving up fresh inspiration.
Which brings me to the latest and greatest happening at our favorite marketplace, the Etsy Design Awards which honors the work of creatives. Selected from thousands of entries received from around the world, 160 global finalists are in the running for the $15,000 USD Grand Prize or the top prize in one of five categories: Inventive Decor, Signature Style, Festive Celebrations, Earth-Friendly, and Creative Collaborations.
Finding the Perfect Gift for those Super Cool and Modern Loved Ones
I speak from experience because I am one of those impossible people to shop for. I like everything in my life to be curated and have some kind of purpose or meaning. Below I’ve outlined all the key components to consider while shopping for that perfect gift. The fashion designs featured in the Etsy Design Awards fit the criteria perfectly and all the products pictured in this blog post are finalists for 2019.
Natural Elements - Unless it’s upcycled or re-purposed plastic, us hipster types prefer materials derived from the earth. Which usually means it’s going to be of higher quality and built to last. Look for materials such as wood, genuine leather, precious metals, canvas, cotton, silk, linen and glass.
Botanical Inspired - A trending theme and I’m really in love with is plant and floral everything, i.e. botanicals. It has a rare combination of feeling both wild and free, yet soft and inviting. Maybe it helps us feel like we’re getting back to nature and more connected to the Earth. Look for art prints, fabrics with botanical motifs, jewelry, wall-hangings and even paper flowers and plants.
One-of-a Kind - Meaning the product is not mass-produced in a factory, this one is very important to conscious consumers. Factories that make mass-produced products put a strain on our environment with excess pollution and consumption of precious natural resources. There’s often excess product produced which will ultimately become waste because the supply is higher than the demand.
Supports the Local Economy - When you’re shopping on Etsy, you can see exactly where the seller is located and you can take pride that your dollars are going to directly benefit that community.
Has a Story - On Etsy there’s a story behind every maker and each individual piece. The artists didn’t just wake up one day and decide to create masterpieces, it took a long time to fine tune their creative process. And many of the materials used come from locally sourced vendors who also have a story behind their craft. When I purchase a handmade product, I love to hear the journey that went into the creation, and when I look at the product in my home I am reminded of the people behind it.
Makes a Great Conversation Piece - When you’re out and about and you see something unique that really catches your eye, you immediately want to ask about it. Pieces made by artisans really brings people together by serving as great conversation ice breakers. And it doesn’t hurt if it gets you lots of compliments!
Values the Sweat Equity of the Craft - In the digital age of instant gratification, it’s really time to place value on old time-honored traditions. The blood, sweat and tears that goes into labors of love cannot be downplayed or forgotten. We must support those committed to their art and craft, which many would say is a lost art in and of itself. The last thing we want is for quality handcrafted products to start disappearing because no one knows how to create them anymore.
Ahead of the Trend - In the world of “what is hot now”, often what is old somehow becomes new again. Trends have cycles and you can usually see them first on Etsy, or they are so cool that they’ve always been an Etsy staple but the rest of the world is slowly catching up. Bloggers and influencers love Etsy because it truly is that one place where you can get way ahead of the crowd as far as standout pieces that the masses haven’t discovered yet.
Or so Cool that it’s Beyond Trends - Good taste never goes out of style and there’s so many timeless pieces on Etsy that you will wear year-after-year.
Makes Everyone Envious - I’ll leave you with this thought… if something is handcrafted in very small batches (or even just one is made) then you can be the only person who owns it. Let’s be honest, we all love it when we have something that everyone else instantly wants but they can’t have.
More blog posts featuring Etsy products:
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