Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I've had a really fabulous and surprising holiday rush! My business this season has more than doubled from last year and I'm thankful beyond belief. This business growth has allowed wonderful opportunities for my family and that's just huge. Thank you to all my friendly and thoughtful customers for supporting handmade and following the growth of an individual artist along this rewarding journey! I hope that you love the pieces you've purchased and that they are big hits with your "giftees" this holiday season.

So, as a big thank you to my customers, twitter friends and facebook pals, I'm doing a quick stone tile coaster giveaway today! Just visit my shop on Etsy and let me know which coaster set you're dreaming of this holiday, leave me comment here telling me who you'd gift them to and why (or if it's just a special something for you!). Around 5PM, my family will pick a number and gift those coasters to that number commentor on my blog! It's that easy! Make sure you've left me a way to get in touch with you! Your new coasters will ship on Monday and be delivered in plenty of time for Christmas gifting!

So, there's no strings attached... no need to follow me on twitter or friend me on facebook, no mailing list signups... just me wishing YOU a happy holidays!

Have a very blessed and joyous holiday season!!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

How To Shop Handmade and Local This Holiday Season

The holidays are here! The malls are bombarding you with deals and your inbox is filled with emails from retailers all fighting for your holiday dollars.

But did you know that there are shops right around the corner, in your own community that offer lovely, one of a kind, handmade delights that you'll never find at a big box store? If you like to give thoughtful holiday gifts, (and who doesn't?) you've got to check out what your small local retailers have to offer!

If you're in the Pennsylvania area, I've got some fabulous suggestions of really neat little shops that deserve a visit this holiday season. These are some of my favorite places to shop for gifts and places that have wonderful collections of goodies sure to please everyone on your gift giving list.

First off, in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, you've got to stop by Square Peg Artery. This shop is bursting at the seams with a colorful array of fun and funky goods that are made locally by artists and craftspeople. There's even a monthly art show that features a local artist in a small gallery setting in the back. It's a must-see for cool holiday gifts!

Another one of my favorites is Earth & State in Media, PA. This shop is full of fabulous finds with an earthy and fair trade vibe. Many of the pieces are local but there are also things from around the country and the world. The staff at Earth & State is super helpful, friendly and so knowledgeable about the products and artists that create them. This is often my first choice when shopping for an unforgettable gift.

And there's a new kid in town this year! Harrisburg's super successful Hodge Podgery has opened up a new shop in Lancaster. It's in right heart of the cool Queen Street area, located in the Stahr Center, which also houses Theater of The Seventh Sister and Lancaster Creative Reuse. This building is quickly becoming a hub of arts for the city. The Hodge Podgery's new Lancaster location is downstairs and is shaping up nicely and the staff there is working tirelessly to get all the new stock out and ready for purchase. It's only been open officially for a week or two and is already looking great! Lots of goodies are being offered there so be the first of your friends to check it out!

Another favorite of mine is The Sassy Tassel in Lititz, PA. The gals there have really expanded their already awesome space and now offer sewing classes and workshops. The shop is utterly breathtaking with a huge collection of lovely home goods and decor. They support local artists and host a local artist during Lititz's monthly arts events. If you have someone on your holiday list that has caught the sewing bug, you've got to swing by The Sassy Tassel to check out their awesome fabrics and sewing books. They also carry a fabulous line of bath and body products that makes the shop smells amazing. Even that is worth the trip!

Nick from Handmade in PA and the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen has set up an incredible resource for finding shops in your area of PA. It's a map that links you directly to the shops in your area. It's a fabulous idea and you can check it out here!

With the economic struggles going on in our country, the most powerful way you can spend your holiday dollars is by supporting your neighbors, local artists and the small businesses that are keeping your communities growing. Keep your money in your neighborhood!

Happy, happy holidays!