While it is easy to shoot off digital gift cards or buy something on sale from a department store, there is nothing that says thoughtfulness and true connection like a unique gift from Etsy and the countless American small shops creating unique gifts.
Etsy is an American company that has created a global marketplace, where people can create, sell or buy unique items from all over the world with a focus on handmade or vintage items.
The best part is that the global marketplace is all at your fingertips because it is packaged in an easy-to-navigate online store.
Etsy took off more recently after getting started back in 2005. Instead of other online retailers that have the same vanilla products, Etsy lets you can custom order gifts and find unique one-of-a-kind products that are made just for the person you are gifting.
It is fun to know that the gift recipient will likely not be given the same one by anyone else. Below are some top 4 reasons why you should shop on Etsy as well as some top, unique gift picks.
#1. Buying from the USA
The global pandemic shined a light on the benefits and problems of globalization. While products made outside of the US are generally considerably cheaper, the strain on the supply chain has increased the desire for products created in the US. If spending money in the US is a priority for you, Etsy will give you the opportunity to support individuals and products made in the US. Unlike most online and brick-and-mortar retailers, on Etsy you can filter for US-based sellers. And because the sellers on Etsy are usually the handmade maker of whatever you’re purchasing, the end product you are purchasing was likely created in the US too. Below are some great gift ideas created by standout US sellers.
The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words. Seller BlackCoffeeMorning, who is based out of Rising Sun, Maryland, certainly takes that saying to the next level by taking your photographs to create a beautiful digital or physical watercolor. Despite the intricacies of a one-of-kind watercolor, the process of getting one is not complex! You simply purchase a digital or physical watercolor in a drop-down box (if you pick a physical watercolor, you choose the size of the canvas) on Etsy then you email the artist, Joe Nickle, the photo you’d like rendered, he will send you a proof (a sample) to approve so you have a general sense of what you’ll receive. Once you approve the proof, he will email or ship the final piece to you.
Handmade furniture is generally very expensive and the mass manufactured ones challenging to assembly at home and shoddily made. On Etsy, however, you can purchase handmade furniture such as this rustic table making it an affordable gift. Peter, the seller who owns UmbuzoRustic, is based out of West Palm Beach, Florida.
Because you select not only the types of table legs but the size of the table top, you know you’re getting a handmade piece of furniture built specifically for you or your loved one. There is a certain sense of pride knowing that piece of furniture you purchased is not only built in the USA, it’s also unique to your home.
Candle shopping can be a blessing or a curse depending on your personal bandwidth. You can wander down countless aisles smelling each candle or risk depending on the described scent. On Etsy, you can find sellers such as Ele Jones of Ele Kauai made famous from her hand-poured Hawaiian scented candles and bath products.
Ele lives and works in the sweet tropical air on the island of Kauai. This way the recipient of your thoughtful gift can customize the wrapping too at her own site elekauai.com.
#2. Buying local
According to a survey* of over 5,800 small businesses in 2020, 41% of those businesses reported that they were temporary closed. In 2020, we saw stores that used to be taken for granted as always being around closed — some times for good.
Many Americans truly appreciated the value of their local small businesses and began to keep their spending dollars local. Even more specific than buying USA, you can source unique gifts like this Vermont Maple Syrup for anyone who take breakfast seriously.
Vermont has become synonymous with syrup. With Etsy, you can buy directly from sellers such as Cheryl and Tom Wright of Maple View Sugar Works. The best part of ordering from this seller is that you know exactly how the syrup got from tree to bottle. It’s a perfect gift for anyone who enjoys pancakes and waffles for breakfast, or baking.
Indicative of the iconic Arizona sunrise, Claire of Classic Rock Couture created this beautiful Olive Green Rising Sun Jacket. Touching on the 1970s vibes, this satin bomber captures the vintage feel perfectly. See why this American with an eye for vintage fashion has scored 6,499 amazing reviews.
Another seller that really touches on a locally focused product is Susan of Texas Treats Gifts. The Coffee by the Campfire gift basket is full of Texas inspired goodies including cowhide coasters and coffee from Tyler, Texas.
#3. Put their name on it with personalized gifts
If you already have a general idea of what type of item to gift someone, but want to take a step further by personalizing. From leather goods to neon signs, there are so many options to show that this item was made just for your recipient.
Each wallet is individually cut and hand-sewn at David Smith’s family business, Southern Kick Leather, in Stafford, Texas. Made of genuine leather, custom monograms or short phrases can be engraved in the wallet by laser. Not only is it exceptionally functional, but the added customization shows the recipient and others exactly who it belongs to.
Fun, vibrant signage is the perfect way to brighten up a space. Great for decorating a room with a name or phrase, a neon sign makes the space yours. With the ability to choose color, font and the text, these signs are completely individual to whoever you are gifting. With over 9,298 sales and multiple 5-star reviews, Tony Tran’s shop ZanvisNeon comes out as one of the main contenders for personalized neons.
For anyone who has not been able to find their name or the proper spelling of their name on a mug or necklace, there is nothing more satisfying than finally finding a necklace with your name correctly spelled on it. Iva Jewelry lets you choose the font and customized spelling of your name (or nickname), word, or number in 100% Filled or Solid 14k or 18K Gold or Rose Gold, or Sterling Silver necklace.
Made of wooden plywood and non-toxic paint, these word puzzles can be a fun way to teach kids to spell their name or other words. All of the puzzle pieces are raised, making them easy to get out and play with. Plus, you can add an engraving to the back of the puzzle to make the gift even more personal!
Another reason people find Etsy to be their new online staple is because in addition to selling handmade items, many of those items are unique to Etsy. With over 100 million items on sale on Etsy from almost every country in the world, there is definitely something for everyone.
There is nothing that epitomizes uniqueness as much as a fingerprint, which even identical twins do not share. Esat Gorgun of EST Jewelry can take a photo of a fingerprint or special message to engrave on a pendant of a necklace. In addition to a customized pendant, you get to choose the material and chain length the necklace is comprised of. Now you can buy a gift as unique as a fingerprint!
This distinctive tool is specially made for eyeglass wearers who also wear makeup. Because makeup applied on the face usually includes the eyes, eyeglass wearers usually have to apply makeup on or around the eyes with contact lenses on or impaired vision. With this handy tool, it acts like a stand on your face for your eyeglasses. Giving you a big enough gap to apply makeup around the entire face while looking through your prescription eyewear.
More (non-Etsy) personalized gifts:
More personalized gifts:
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