First and foremost, HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of you who celebrate this particular holiday. I'm hoping yours is filled with lots of pies and Muppet balloons, or whatever it is you like most if it is not either of those two things.
I originally started writing in this blog because I found myself whiling away the hours on the internet with nothing to show for it. With all that is out there that is both visually and mentally stimulating, I wanted a way to share it.
One of my favorite features that has come about and taken a life of its own is the Etsy Wednesday. It started out simply enough: a way to showcase some of my favorite finds of the week from etsy.com. To keep it cohesive, I came up with the idea to compile products based on weekly themes. All of the items that I find are just that: items I have found and thought were worth sharing. No one has paid me to do this and no one ever will. There is no cost to liking something and it costs even less to tell people about it.
The surprising twist this project has taken on is that I suddenly found myself in a community of people who are also earnestly trying to get the word out about handmade. The sellers that I feature recommend other sellers to me; sometimes it is a seller they know personally, other times it is a stranger's work that they admire and have been creeping around their shops and favoriting items (like I do, every single day, I am such an etsy lurker). It's a really cool thing to see so many people who want to help other people out.
A few days ago, I read a post on Indie Fixx about this very thing and how easy it is to support independent sellers even if you can't buy all of the products yourself:
… it’s about *hearting* other’s shops and works on Etsy, it’s about commenting on people’s blogs when their creations and artistic voice make you take notice. It’s about community and support, and communication, and LOVE.
That to me is the spirit of thanksgiving. Being thankful for what you've been given and finding a way to give back (or forward or sideways or whatever way makes sense these days).
So, if waking up at 4am tomorrow to bust down the doors of whatever store is offering the best sale on whatever item is hot right now doesn't sound like your cup of tea... sleep in. Wake up whenever you want, pour yourself a cup of coffee in that vintage mug you love, read your horoscope, check the stock market (I am trying to cover all bases here), and log onto etsy.com and sites like it. Obviously you aren't going to be able to cover all of your shopping with handmade items (or can you? I smell a challenge and it smells like hot chocolate and magic and the winner gets PRIDE), but consider putting, say, 25% percent of your shopping efforts this holiday season towards homemade or repurposed or indie sold goods. Or, if that's not possible, make your wish list this season include some of the things you've been *hearting* lately. Not only will you end up with good gifts, but it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy knowing you supported the shop of someone who is probably a lot like you.
To help you get inspired, watch this gem of a video: