I know. It's holiday time. Gift-giving season. There's family, there's friends, there's the neighbor that watches your dog, your co-worker, the party hostess, your hair stylist, etc. It can get crazy and Amazon is oh-so-easy. But I'm here to tell you there's something else: independent makers.
They are harder to find. But they appreciate your business so, so much. They are using their hearts and hands to bring you something delightful in this world - you can feel the personal touch in their products. So here are some indie gifts that are big on quality and heart.
Late Sunday Afternoon - softest scarves
Stumbled over them at Renegade Craft Fair and was told they have the softest scarves ever. They are not wrong. My plain gray jersey scarf is my favorite by far and yes, it does feel like a little hug every time I put it on. Might have to pick up this Japanese Rain design.
Voz Collective - brightest wood jewelry
These two sisters keep coming up with the coolest pieces. With its bright colors and geometric designs, this jewelry is perfect for finishing a neutral outfit. I'm eyeing this Theia necklace but also love their bangle sets named after favorite female musicians.
Martine USA - structured leather goods
Having a good leather purse that will only get better with age is a smart investment (and a stylish one). These handmade bags are structured yet made of the softest leather. I especially love the sun ray detail of this deep chestnut Nazca purse.
Casey D. Sibley - most colorful bags
Winter is coming. Dark days are ahead. So keep the spirit of summer with you to brighten your days. Casey encourages a happy life with her colorful patterns and quality pieces. This Flora clutch will have you dreaming of the beach even when it's a blizzard outside.
Emily McDowell - feel-good pins
Twenty-four different small victories are celebrated in these fabulous enamel pins. From "Put Myself First" to "Drank Enough Water" to "Gave My Last Fuck," there's a ribbon for everyone. Check all of them out. As for me, I'm going with "Chose Hope Over Fear."
Bad Dog Coffee - whiskey-infused beans
Nosh This - bacon + chocolate
Nine Herbs - goldfish-shaped tea bags
The Spanish Tin - infused salts
Potlicker Kitchen - beer jelly
Atmosphere Soap - human-made soap
First off, I love the geometric logo, sharp packaging and clean (no pun intended) design feel. Unwrap the beautiful packaging and you have an even more beautiful soap. Made with organic ingredients and exacting standards, you'll wonder how you ever used that store-bought crap. Honestly. I have tried almost all the scents but especially love Lavender Orange and Resonance.
Wild Hearts Apothecary - herbal lip balm
Created by a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, this non-profit sells handmade organic products to nourish you. 100% of proceeds go to organizations that bring alternative medicine (like acupuncture) to impoverished countries and areas hit by disaster. I recommend this Mandarin Ginger lip balm - yum.
Mala Collective - mala bead necklace
Also known as prayer beads, mala necklaces have 108 beads. These necklaces are handmade and blessed in Bali, with stones sustainably harvested and fair trade. I meditate with this Amazonite one, to open the throat chakra, encourage communication and invite adventure! It is one of my favorite things.
Juniper Ridge - natural, subtle incense sticks
Calling their items "Wilderness Perfume," the makers go out into the forests of the West and handpick the ingredients. Most incense burns heavy but this smells natural - like standing in a forest. I have tried most of the scents and you cannot go wrong with any.
Sage and Synergy - Himalayan salt tea light holders
A Himalayan salt lamp is a great addition to your home and not just because it looks cool. It reduces contaminants in the air, increases negative ions to boost energy and regulate sleep, and - perfect for the coming winter - fights against seasonal affective disorder (dark days). And this Etsy shop also has a nice selection of crystals.
Just for Fun Gifts
Milktape - make a USB mixtape in an old-school cassette package
Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen - celebrate "100 remarkable women who changed the world"
Shelter Pups - get your dog's likeness made as a plush toy!
Marshall - they know amps, so here's the best portable speaker
Tattify - cool temporary tattoos and nail stickers
Panapufa - super-chunky knit blanket
Don't you just want to wrap yourself in this blanket and sit on the couch in front of a fire forever? Handmade out of soft merino wool, this throw comes in a multitude of colors. Happy wintering!
Poppin - set of metallic notebooks
I know this may come as a surprise to you, but I like metal and metallics. (Ha!) I'm also very old school and always carry around a pen and notebook with me for when inspiration strikes. So of course I was drawn to this notebook set. Look smart AND sassy.
Bespoke Glass - cactus set
These are so adorable. I never quite got used to the heat in Arizona but I could certainly go for these cactus. There are also a lot of patterned and geometric hanging pieces in the shop and I think I want them all.
Papirmass - monthly art prints from emerging artists
By artists for artists. The perfect gift who for someone who loves art and has some wall space to fill. Choose how often you'd like to receive prints and a new artist is introduced to you via mail via a gorgeous print. Spreading art everywhere! (This by September artist Sandi Falconer)
Mudshark Studios - popcorn bowl with kernel sifter
We pop corn on the stove and dress it ourselves (my favorite: olive oil spray with parmesan cheese and cayenne). But I am not a fan of the unpopped kernels. So I feel this bowl was made just for me - and I especially love how big it is! Made exclusively for Uncommon Goods.
I'd love to hear about your favorite indie makers so please tell me about them below!