As I prepare to jot down a holiday shopping list for my people this season I am cheering on my fellow handmade artisans. I’m eyeing up my local boutiques and their cute store fronts they will spend a lot of time preparing for the holidays. We have all witnessed small businesses come and go as they may get swallowed up by big box and same day shipping. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many handmade artisans and have experienced getting to know them and their wares. Although I’d LOVE to showcase everyone in this blog, I’m focusing on some handmade goods that I’ve purchased in the last couple of years. Find out who I’ve connected with and who I smile about every time I use their handmade item. I may just sneak in an item of mine for that hard to buy for gal….
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SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
That’s a Wrap
Meet Alisha Christiano of Ardo Amor Custom Creatives. During a beautiful 70 degree day at a local outdoor market, I had the privilege of being Alisha’s “handmade neighbor” as she was selling her crocheted items and I selling my handmade hats. Selfishly, I was admiring a colorful cowl neck scarf out of the corner of my eye all day long and hoping nobody would come by and snatch it up. I literally imagined cooler temps and wearing this beautiful neck wrap in the Fall. As the day crept on I couldn’t stand it much longer and I had to try it on as I am a sucker for color! After some chatting and getting know Alisha and her creative process, I purchased the colorful neck wrap (photo below) and I feel so fun and funky every time I wear it. Her craftsmanship and quality of her work is so impressive the fact that I know exactly who made it, makes it even more special! Alisha will be showing at Handmade Neighborhood at the Winona History Center in Winona, MN on Saturday, November 18 from 9-3 pm. Find her cheery face and fall in love with her cowls and the many other beautiful items she makes! Thank you, Alisha!
Let’s head over to Mandy Bock. Mandy is one talented mamma of four kiddos and still finds time to throw together the cutest clothes and other colorful awesome sewing items for her kids and us ladies. I am drawn to Mandy’s handmade goods because of her colorful vibe and versatility of products. Last year, I desperately needed something for my checkbook (yes, I still use one), but I didn’t need to carry it with me all the time. Mandy had some cute wallets at a craft market and although I didn’t purchase right away – I couldn’t stop thinking about Mandy’s wallets and how perfect they would be to solve my checkbook problem. A quick message to Mandy and the wallet was mine – simple as that! Little did I know this pink wallet is perfect for when someone upstairs is looking for me to write a check for dance camp – so I yell, “Grab my checkbook, it’s in the PINK wallet!!” (Don’t deny it, you’ve yelled it). Thank you, Mandy! To get in touch with Mandy and see what she can make for you, contact her via email at email@example.com or message on Face Book at https://www.facebook.com/mandy.bockflesch.
Kids R Heidi
Heidi, owner of Comfortbugbyheidi, is one talented lady at making kids and moms feel like rock stars with her recipe for cuteness. From kids’ aprons to backpacks she throws colors together that would make a rainbow blush. After eyeing up Heidi’s creations over the years, I just had to purchase some burp cloths for a new mom. Wow! They are the softest little cloths you’ll ever feel. I imagined myself holding a brand new little 8 lbs. scrapper and these little burp cloths on my shoulder soaking up drool, snot and buggers (can you tell I’m a visual?). When purchasing Heidi said to me, “Shelly, you could make these why buy them from me?” and I think I said, “Why would I make them when I can buy them from you!”. Heidi will be hosting a “Local at the Stone House” sale of her handmade items and more on Saturday, December 2 from 9-4 pm in Mantorville, MN. More information here! Thank you, Heidi!
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
Finally, my gal pal, Lynn Block of LjBlockDesigns is a soulful individual with mindful creativity flowing faster than her hands can create. A few years ago, Lynn gifted me a gorgeous cloth bracelet with an heirloom pendant delicately attached and it is often found around my wrist. Not only does this bracelet get ooo’s and aaa’s but I love wearing it. While visiting Lynn’s studio a few weeks ago, she reached down and picked up a rock, inspected it and tossed it back to the ground. Shortly later, I found that her recent creative process is incorporating her drilled thin rocks with other gorgeous pieces – a beginning process that I witnessed from the inspection of a rock. From leaf etching necklaces to leather wrist wraps, LjBlockDesigns jewelry can be found at Dwell Local in Rochester, MN. Thank you, Lynn!
I don’t know what to get her!
I’ll throw mine into the mix here – not nearly as cute as the ladies above but none the less a gift certificate option for that hard to buy for person on your list. Have a hat-loving friend? Or need to buy a unique gift for the kid that has everything? Or do you need to drop a subtle hint to the hubsters? Well, I love to solve your problems (no, not the Math kind) and I’m here to help!
Keep your eyes and ears open this season for shows and sales loaded with handmade artisans. Walk your downtown boutiques, browse your library bulletin board for craft shows in your area, the local coffee shop is bound to have a postcard or five of the nearest handmade sale. Thank you for your support for the handmade artisan! XO
Bound to be…thankful for your support,