Black Friday thoughts from Jess of Sweet Eventide.
Most Americans know Black Friday as the term referring to the start of the Christmas shopping season. And for most Americans, it means heading to their "local" big box store to score great deals. As I wrote here last month, the big box dollars do not stay in your community the way your true local, independent store purchases would. While my last post focused on brick & mortars, today's post will focus on the importance of also buying handmade.
On one of the biggest shopping days of the year, I would like to encourage you to step away from the mall today and take a few minutes to read 101 reasons artists and designers want you to buy handmade. This list was put together by Poppytalk which curates Poppytalk Handmade, a monthly street market to showcase handmade goods.
Being a shop owner and blogger, I figure most everyone has heard of Etsy by now. Their most recent weather report indicated $17 million in sales last month. Yet at a recent fundraiser for my son's school, I met several people who had not yet come across the "world's most vibrant handmade marketplace."
Etsy is promoting sellers via Twitter who are offering Black Friday deals or free shipping. They have all kinds of ways to help you find the perfect gift. Here is a link to search results for sale listings and you can refine it with the categories handmade, vintage or supplies. Here is an article with more information on how to shop Etsy today through Monday.
So please don't fight traffic and spend hours looking for parking and standing in line today simply to hand over another generic, mass market gift to a loved one this holiday season. If you aren't crafty or don't have time to make your own gifts, you can purchase handmade gifts and know you are supporting an artist, someone whose passion is to create and you will know your gift was made with love. Can you say the same for your shrink-wrapped object from Target, et. al.?
Etsy is not the only handmade marketplace out there, by the way. There is also Artfire and Big Cartel. Don't forget that you can get more than gifts from all of these sources, you can get vintage holiday decorations, candles and soaps for guests, a pretty platter to serve your favorite holiday recipes on and clothing as well.