Revolution, The Sequel: This time, it’s personalized.*
*I hope you used your best movie-preview-guy voice for the headline.
Image of Rosey Grier* via Extreme Craft
Hand-in-hand with sustainability is independent, handmade design. You've surely heard some buzz the past few years about the handmade revolution, neo-craft, Etsy shops, and indie fashion. There was a documentary, Handmade Nation, and there is a global campaign, the Handmade Pledge, allowing consumers to publicly declare their support of handmade production.
This new(ish) crop of small business-folks and designers fills in the gap between producer and consumer that is left empty by face-less big box retail store. It reflects a demand for connection with the people who create the products we buy, while often– bonus– also being environmentally and socially conscious.
(*I decided to illustrate this piece with the most revolutionary crafter I could find: Rosey Grier, an American pro football player who was also way into needlepoint, and published at least one needlepoint how-to book. A manly man of color, rockin' the needle and thread. More on Rosey Grier here. More manly men doing needlecraft during WWII, here and here.)
Probably the best thing about buying handmade is customization. Most indie designers and crafters will be happy to customize their wares for you, and even create an original design or custom order. Just get in touch with them– we actually answer our email!
So I've put together this very brief, handy guide to handmade fashion and gifts to get you started on the yellow brick road to handmade for the holidays, or any occasion. All of the larger handmade showcases have great search capability, so you can narrow down your results by location, color, material, etc. Happy hunting!
The largest and most well-known showcase of online shops for handmade and vintage wares.
Similar to Etsy, with searchable listings of handmade and vintage.
CT-grown, global showcase of independent fashion designers.
While it's mainly an online portfolio site populated by anime fans, you can find unique art prints and other wares.
Well-known online marketplace of indie fashion, and a dash of vintage apparel and housewares.
Yours truly, with upcycled fashion, vintage apparel & accessories, and personal style services. I also offer custom orders and gift certificates.