I am a little embarrassed to admit it but the holiday rush is a little bit more rushed than I had anticipated and I keep falling behind on my blogging. My days have been filled with filling orders, working on a top-secret project (more on that in a later post), introducing new pieces to the shop, finishing my read of A Christmas Carol for the book club, and trying to fit in my own Christmas gifts before the holiday arrives in less than three weeks. (ACK!) I’ve been making a lot of progress everyday but I think daily posts are not going to work out for the foreseeable future, so from here on in, I am going to do the 30 Days of Handmade Christmas in slightly bigger post with more than one reason at a time. With that said, here are this week’s reasons why you should have a handmade Christmas this year:
Day 7 – Convenience
Shopping for handmade gifts in online marketplaces like Etsy is quick, easy, and convenient. Instead of braving cold weather and crowded malls, you can browse in the comfort of your own home, on your lunch break at work, or while waiting for your son to get out of his piano lesson.
Day 8 – Customer Service
Small creative businesses give great customer service with lots of personal attention and often offer samples, free gift wrap and other little tokens of their appreciation to thank you for your business. (That reminds me. Have I mentioned that I am offering free holiday gift wrap in my Etsy shop this month?)
Day 9 – Community
Many handmade artists maintain active blogs, websites, and social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest where you can get to know the artist, their process, their inspirations, and other behind the scenes information that makes the gifts you buy from them even more interesting and special. By following your favorite artists, craftsmen, and Etsy sellers on social media, you will not only be in the know about new and upcoming products, sales, and special events, but it can be a lot of fun to make friends with others who love some of the same things you do! For example, the C. S. Literary Jewelry Facebook page has a great community of book lovers who are always up for talking about books, new and old. On Wednesday night, my Twitter feed is filled with great handmade items from a wide range of artists and craftsmen for #HandmadeHourUSA.
Day 10 – Collaboration
Another great reason to be part of a handmade community is the chance to collaborate with the artist. Creative business owners like me often post sneak previews of in-progress products or ask for opinions and by giving them feedback, you become a part of the process and help that crafts-person offer the best products possible.
A little while ago, I posted about some new fairytale jewelry that I was designing on Facebook and not only got some great feedback on how to make these great bangle bracelets better but even got suggestions of what stories people wanted me to add to the series next.
And with that, I have to get back to my workspace and get a few more orders made up and sent out. There is still time for you to add your Christmas gifts to my list but you may not want to wait much longer. My shipping cutoffs are: Dec. 8th (International) and Dec. 15th (U.S.) with regular shipping and Dec. 15th (International) and Dec. 20th (U.S.) with upgraded shipping. Visit my shop today at www.etsy.com/shop/csliteraryjewelry