Well the turkeys have been eaten, Black Friday is over and the winter holiday/Christmas shopping is in full swing. It’s that time of year where we brave the crowds, the lines, and the traffic jams to find that perfect gift for loved ones. This year I have decided to do something a little different here in BGIM-land to honor the spirit of the season. If you are a regular reader, you know that this blog is hardly a commercial endeavor. Aside from the random tips that come through the tip jar and the occasional advertisers, this blog is a labor of love. It started on a lark, a little over four years ago and some days I amaze myself that I have actually kept it going. Guess, I have a lot to get off my chest and blogging is cheaper than therapy.
All jokes aside, this online space has given me so much. Blog readers have become offline friends, connections made through this space have enriched my life in so many ways that for the holidays I want to return the favor in my own small way.
I try to support small businesses whenever possible because having a self-employed spouse and being an occasional freelancer myself, I know that the impact of spending my money with small businesses means even more than when I go to the big box stores. Granted it is not always possible to avoid big box stores, but I believe in moderation. So if you are still looking to do some holiday shopping, here are a few of my online favorites, these folks have all been vetted by me, either I am a customer or they are folks whose work I believe in whole heartedly.
Magpie Creative: First off, I just love Maggi, I have met her in the flesh and she is a delightful gal and fellow Midwesterner exiled in the great state of Maine. However Maggi is a hell of an artisan, her glass-work and jewelry are to die for. I own several of her pieces and love em all. Trust me, if I had a bag of money, I would own more of her stuff. So if you are in the market for jewelry, check out Magpie Creative.
Michelle Estell: I came across this sista a few years ago in Portland, ME and she has the coolest earrings. She is often found on the streets of Portland, ME rocking the baddest fro around but her earrings are even badder. So if you need some earrings for you or a special someone, she is not to be missed.
Infusion Handcrafted Bags: I spied these folks on the sidebar of another blogger’s blog and went to check them out. Oh my! The prices were a little more than I could afford, so I put a few of their bags on my wish list and the Man Unit surprised me with one for our anniversary. This bag is my new workhorse bag, stylish and functional and trust me I am hard on bags. If you need a bag for day to day stuff and you are hard on bags, Infusion is the place to go.
One in the Hand: While I have yet to purchase anything from the shop, the shop owner is a gal whose work I believe in and have on my list to check out this holiday season. After all, everyone has that ugly but favorite mug that needs to be gussied up.
The Simple Boxcar: This shop has delicious goodies that constantly make me wish I had some crochet/knitting skills but alas I don’t and that is where this shop comes in. I have a gorgeous crocheted yoga carrier from here and it always gets compliments. Seriously, this is a must see and her shop is chocked full of goodies. Besides Ani is a young mother who earns her living from her work, so buying these goodies gives her the flexibility that she needs as a single Mama.
Homesewn by Kelly Hogaboom: First off, I just love Kelly; her sweet spirit is just amazing. I fully admit I have a deep girl crush on Kelly because she is so filled with the awesome. She is multi-talented and one of her skills is sewing. She makes the coolest stuff, her offerings change regularly but its worth peeking in often to see what she is offering up.
These are just a few of the things I adore and I may do a second installment this season of other shops. But if you are looking for a one of a kind or handcrafted item, these are the folks to check out.
Disclaimer: Nothing sponsored here, some of these folks don’t even know that I am writing about them. I just liked the idea of offering up a few cool gift suggestions where your purchases can really make a difference to the artisans.