I adore the holidays, I love the holiday decorations and the meaning behind Christmas. It’s a month full of celebrating and there is just something magical about it, especially as a parent. I still don’t love the holiday shopping. It drives me batty that stores are now open in the evening of Thanksgiving for for the “Black Friday Sales” when I believe employees should get the evening to spend time with their families if they choose – and if they don’t, they can enjoy a day off. Those days are gone though sadly. We much prefer to shop online instead of in stores these days anyway. Since we moved out a ways from the city it’s easier to just hop online and place our order then have it show up at our door whenever possible. One thing that it makes sense for especially is handmade items. As most of you know, I run The Indie A-List a list to help exceptional shops standout among the sea of indie businesses and be a reliable resource for consumers to know they can find any shop on our site and have an awesome experience. We are nearing 90 shops as we close 2014 and I’ve tested out every single shop on the list and I know they offer quality products, great customer service and run on integrity.
Sometimes shopping online is scary enough but shopping handmade can be even scarier. Trusting something will show up off amazon or ebay in one piece and as promised is sometimes scary enough but you toss it into someone’s hands that said they made it, the scary can turn into a whole new scary. There are shops who are over promising on quality or on ship dates or overcharging creating major distrust from shopping indie and handmade. One bad experience makes you unsure if you can trust any shop online after one just ruined the experience. I’ve been there and I totally get it. This is exactly why I created The Indie A-List in the first place. Not only is the site regularly updated with shops I’ve experienced first hand, but during the holiday season we take it one step further and create our annual gift guide.
This year is our third year making holiday shopping easy for you with our Holiday Gift Guide. This year we have 29 shops listed inside, 25 discounts of 10-50% off and recipes & wrapping tips. It’s seriously awesome and will make you feel at ease when shopping handmade this holiday season – and even better, you don’t have to even leave your home to go shopping and there is minimal chance double gifts will be given at your holiday gathering.. Every time you shop a small business on our list you are contributing to someone’s income and even more…their passion and dream. Does it get more awesome than that?! It really doesn’t.
So when you are shopping today for Christmas Black Friday deals, tomorrow for Small Business Saturday or even Monday for Cyber Monday – consider buying handmade, even if it’s not from the A-List’s gift guide. Just make it a goal to buy at least one item from a tiny busy that puts their heart and soul into every single piece they make. You’ll feel good knowing that you are making a difference in someone’s life!
What do you think? Will you be shopping handmade this year or braving the local crowds?