This week I want to introduce you to a fantastic website called Etsy. This is a website dedicated to homemade and vintage items. You can find custom designed Christmas cards, boutique children’s clothing, holiday decorations, etc. If there is something you are looking for check Etsy, chances are you are going to be able to find a custom item to fit the bill.
To start with I highly suggest you get a free Etsy account. I recommend an account because you can save shops or items to your favorites so that you can go back to them. To open an account click on Register at the top of the screen.
Once you have an account set up you can starting looking through the items and the shops. On the right hand side you can browse select categories or if you scroll to the bottom you can see the recently listed items.
Lets say you are looking for new Christmas Tree Skirt. Just search for Christmas Tree Skirt in the search bar (note when I typed this there were 2,761 items listed as Christmas Tree Skirt). Then you can use the options on the right hand side of the screen to narrow your search. If you see some thing you like just click on the picture.
When you click on the item you are taken to the item. Once in the item you can click to add the item to your cart, favorite the item or check out that particular Etsy shop. You can also click to add the shop to your favorites or see who favorites this shop. Definitely recommend you play around with these options. It opens a whole world of possibilities.
At any time you can click on the heart next to the search box. This will take you to your favorites.
At your favorite page you can see your favorite items, favorite shops, your followers and other information.
If you click on followers you can see who is following you, click on the following tab you can see who you are following and you can also click the tab that says find friends (I can be found as annzwick). This is a great feature for the holiday season. You should definitely consider searching for your friends and family on Etsy and begin following them. Just think of it as a custom wish list. It is a great way to pick up a totally unexpected gift for someone on your list.
Now for some special notes and hints in regards to Etsy. The shops in Etsy are generally run by individuals who are happy to work with you on custom items. For example I found a piece of art work that I really liked however it was not big enough for the space I needed to fill. I e-mailed the shop owner and asked her if she would consider repainting the picture at a larger size. She was more than happy to accommodate my request. She made a sell and I got a beautiful one of a kind, original piece of art work that I absolutely adore. Moral of the story if you find a shop that you like and would like the owner to do some custom work, say a different size than what is offered or a different color scheme just e-mail the shop owner and ask the question.
I highly recommend you check out Etsy for your holiday shopping this season. These are small business, often run by stay at home moms trying to earn a little extra money to help out with the household income.
Be sure to check out the shops shipping policy to get your merchandise in time. After you check it out let me know your favorite Etsy shop.