Leela’s Handmade/Local Challenge

December 13, 2011

If there was ever a time to hone in on the handcrafted spirit, I feel like this holiday season is it.  This year is all about the conscious gift.  Whether that means the amount of money being spent (or not being spent), the practice in which something is made, or it’s country of origin; it is more important now than ever to focus on how you treat your dollar.  Plus, it makes for better, more thoughtful gifts!…and isn’t that the point?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock of bliss and utter isolation from all things media, I feel it’s safe to assume that we are all painfully aware of our nation’s current financial state (or lack there of).  For years, boundless credit lines made shopping for our loved ones a sparkly, department store breeze (and let’s not forget about treating #1!); leaving in the not so distant future the heavy burden of repayment……mega bummer.

Sure, you could just make all of your presents (would it be offensive to break out the ol’ potholder loom?), but let’s be serious.  Most of us don’t have the time to make all of our loved ones a special gift (even if they really do LOVE potholders).  What is one to do, if you want the convenience of browsing the internet in your PJs, and the originality of a piece of art?  That’s where Etsy.com comes in:  An e-commerce site focused on handmade or vintage items, as well as art and craft supplies (BRILLIANT!).  I’ve compiled a list of my favorite shops on Etsy, as well as favorite local shops in the Atlanta area.  There is nothing more fulfilling than paying someone directly for their hard work , and getting a beautiful, one of a kind product in return.

But seriously folks…when it comes down to it, who would you rather support?  The more we keep our mullah close to home, the more our community thrives, and that’s always more fulfilling than an Indonesian made cable knit sweater from McTarget-mart.

Garden Hood: A beautiful garden center in Grant park complete with friendly staff

Ninainvorm Ceramics: Redesigned vintage ceramics made in the Netherlands

Leah Duncan: Original textiles and home goods based out of Austin, TX

City Issue: Mid-century and vintage modern furnishings in Inman Park

Corduroy: Orignal art and ceramics by Jen Ray, based out of Atlanta

Cacao: Handcrafted artisan chocolates by Kristen Hard based out of Inman Park

Young Blood Gallery: An independent showcase for indie artists and crafter in Atlanta

Highland Row Antiques: Affordable vintage, retro and modern goods in Poncey-Highlands

Switch Modern: The premier modern furniture and accessories showroom in Atlanta

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