Sunday, November 29, 2009

Handmade Holidays: The Handmade Gift Guide Feature

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Long before we started tightening our belts because of the economy handmade started making a huge resurgence. Not only do most people love receiving a gift with time and thought invested in it, it is incredibly rewarding to give a gift that isn’t found at the local discount chain store. But what if you don’t have the time or the particular skill required? Support indie artists.

We all know about Etsy. But did you know that there are several other handmade markets available online? Fortunately, someone has done the work of gathering those links together as well as featuring many of the best artists daily.

Anne Hayman, or Enna, is the brains behind The Handmade Gift Guide. The Handmade Gift Guide bills itself as “THE place to go online to find gifts for every occasion. A mix of featured artist's shops, places to buy and sell handmade gifts.”

The beauty of the internet is that we can meet people virtually that we would not be able to otherwise. Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with Enna in just this way. I had my coffee and emailed her questions. She had her tea and answered them. We discovered we share a love of handmade and of talking. ;)

Is this the first year for the guide?
Yep. I just started in October. I am putting together a new page for The Guide called On Sale. It will list all of the sales and special events I find for handmade gifts. I also have a Facebook page where I ask people to post their sales and special events.

Are you the only one who runs the guide?
Yep, it's mostly just me, my daughter does help me find cool stuff, she is 13, and has great taste...

How do you determine who is featured?
I window shop a lot online, and just ask artists if I can feature them. I also have people request to be featured. I try to feature everyone who asks. I do get a lot of requests to be featured from jewelry makers, so I have to space them out a little. I try to feature as many of my twitter followers and FB fans as possible. They are amazing! I try to look at everyone's shop who follows/fans me.

Do you feature Etsy and non-Etsy alike?
Yes, I feature shops from all over the internet. I have had a lot of requests from people who have Etsy shops, but I try to include shops from other venues like 1000 Markets, Artfire, DaWanda, etc...

Do you have a shop yourself?
Yes, I have a few... I make Aromatherapy and Herbal Wellness Products, Spiritual Art, Healing Gemstone Jewelry, and I sew clothes and toys as well. I even make a few purses with my mom :)

How close to Christmas will it run?
It will be an ongoing thing. I try to post daily.

Right up to the day if they offer overnight shipping maybe?
I will do a last minute shopping post of a few shops that are offering overnight shipping for those procrastinators out there!

Or will you stop at some point just to relax and enjoy the holidays with your own family?
I spend a couple nights a week up late after my family goes to bed writing features for the week. That way I am not always on my computer during the day. I work a lot while my kids are at school and baby is napping.

Are there any other handmade markets that you especially recommend?
I love what Tim Adam is doing for Etsy, his HMC app is super amazing. Artfire is really great too. Supermarket is a very cool spot as well. I really like all the ones in my link list. They all have their finer points. :)

Anything else you'd like to share?
I am very grateful for all the help and support I have received from the handmade community. They have helped me so much in the past month. I hope to grow The Guide into THE place to go to find handmade gifts for loved ones. I really believe in the handmade movement, and want to support it fully.

I enjoy getting to know each artist/crafter that I feature. I think people enjoy buying from people they know something about. I really love the 'Causes of the Month' feature... there are some very loving and caring people out there, and I want them to be recognized for their efforts to make this world a better place to live.

I also have another blog, for my aromatherapy/herbal wellness business. I am a busy girl. I detest boredom. I want to do it ALL :) {Editors Note: Sounds like a girl after my own heart!}
You can find me here:

Facebook Sale
and of course on The Guide

*Artists/crafters can find out how to be featured here: How To Be Featured

Thank you for so graciously answering all my questions, Enna! For everyone visiting The Guide, be sure to check out the plethora of links in the sidebar. Not only has Enna gathered her November Etsy Favorites (soon to be December!), but there are also tons of other handmade market listings. And if you still haven't had your fill, check out the archives. Don't forget to grab a button for your own blog to share the love. :)


The Handmade Gift Guide said...

I LOVE IT! Thanks so much! Let's have tea/coffee together again soon! :)
xo, Enna