My Mum loved to shop. I hated it. Saturday mornings were torturous for me as a teenager. I was dragged to the local mall, expected to relish the time-honored custom of mother-daughter bonding and horrified to realise that my boredom with traipsing through overcrowded, overheated shops in search of the perfect bauble caused my Mother much disappointment. We never got the chance to shop online together.
How she would have loved to sit with me huddled in front of the monitor, drinking coffee (or wine), eating cake (or chocolates) and flitting from one shop to the other all over the world in our quest for the ideal curio in the mall of Etsy.
Still people ask what is Etsy? For those of you who don't know, Etsy is a peer-to-peer e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and supplies. The talent pool at Etsy is deep. Indeed it is chock full of accomplished artists, craftspeople and artisans and it is difficult to choose a few favorites from the over 1.6 million sellers and 35 million products.
SOME OF THE MOST INTERESTING ETSY SHOPS I LOVE
Anita Spero Design
Home decor ideas created in a shabby fusion style. Mostly one of a kind pieces designed by home decor creator Anita Spero who lives in Illinois and has been with Etsy since 2012. She is one hardworking woman with an abundance of creative talent.
"The beauty of reworking, recycling, up cycling and recreating is that you are taking something that already exists and giving it new life. Something well made with great bones. You are helping the earth a little at a time and bringing new beauty to someones world"
Angeliki is a polymer clay artist from Athens, Greece, where she lives with her husband and daughters. Her shop name, AnarinaAnar, has special meaning as she combined the names of her daughters, Anna and Eirini for the first part, and the second, Anar, represents her husband's roots. Anar means pomegranate in Farsi, a symbol of good luck. It doesn't look to me like she needs much luck when she has this much skill!
Polymer clay is a magical medium and has endless possibilities! My inspiration is color driven with earthy, organic shapes. I find it fascinating to think of people around the world wearing my jewelry and love receiving photos of them wearing it.
Chicks in Hats
This shop makes me laugh! I mean, when was the last time you saw a chick in a hat? So clever and fun. Chicks in Hats where the chicks are briefly and happily hatted before living a long and happy life on Julie Persons' family farm in Maine.
Chicks in Hats is a project started in 2011 by my 8 year old daughter and myself. She places the hats on the chicks and I take the photos; this is as fun as you can imagine.
Name Design Studio
Founded in 2010 by interior architect Jo Supara Tarakci and Ali Tarakci, NameDesignStudio creates one-of-a-kind pieces of exciting upcycled, contemporary hand-crafted and bespoke furniture that is gorgeous!
Working from their studio in Istanbul, Turkey, the pieces are unique, made by hand and to order. Designed and built to last with a timeless quality.
Sterling silver wire and sheet, gemstones and imagination. These are the materials Diana Anton from Artdi in Syosset, New York uses to create her art jewelry. She designs and makes each piece using the simplest metalsmithing techniques and the results are pure magic.
I tried so many different mediums, but nothing held my interest until I discovered metal. I remember being in a gallery in awe of the metalwork I saw, and wondering how on earth these beautiful handmade pieces were done. I just took a class after that. Then another, add years of trial and error, and here I am!
Two Sad Donkeys
I'm absolutely in love with these felted toys and puppets! Olga started Two Sad Donkeys on Etsy in 2010. Born in Estonia, she studied fine art in Russia, at the Moscow Textile Academy and now lives in the Republic of Georgia with her husband and their three boys. She worked at the State Puppet Theater as a set and puppet designer and has been working in felted wool for about 7 years.
I’m also part of group of women who love to spend our “free” time together making marionettes from natural materials for our small Waldorf school puppet theater. Once a month we show our fairy tales to the school’s children.
And that's the beauty of Etsy!
Next month I'll showcase a Christmas Gift Guide. It's a little early but if you are buying from abroad you'll need the extra time for shipping.