Holly Chopsticks, photo courtesy A. Drauglis Furnituremaker
I am on record preferring to do all my shopping online. I hate malls, even when they’re NOT packed with crazed bargain-seekers, stressed about the state of the economy. But I’ve also spent all year trying to source my food locally and enjoying the intangible benefits of spending my dollars within my own community. Fortunately, Etsy.com, which is a marketplace for individuals to sell their crafts and handmade items, provides a handy Shop Local feature so you can specifically search for sellers in your area.
I have to admit that Etsy’s search isn’t nearly as well developed as I’d like- for example you can search item descriptions for the type of item you’re looking for, OR you can search for sellers in a local area, but you can’t search for a particular kind of item made by a local seller. Which is kind of lame, and it means that you have to be pretty committed to buying gifts from local artists to make this work. Or, you can work from our gift guide! Read on for my suggestions: