It’s that time of year when we’re all frantically rushing around to find gifts for our friends and family. But it’s also a great time to think about how we can support small businesses and craftspeople. Shopping for handmade gifts at Etsy.com not only shows your friends you care enough to pick out something special just for them, it also allows you to avoid the parking hassles and crowds at your local mall.
For the mod dog
Etsy seller Diane of The Olive Crow makes pet bed covers that function like duvet covers. I love that they’re washable, and she encourages buyers to stuff her covers with pillows, foam, or other items you already have around the house. Diane selects bold, modern prints in durable upholstery fabrics like barkcloth so your pet’s bed can be a design highlight rather than an eyesore:
For a gift that gives back
Handmade4Hounds is an Etsy shop where pet-loving Etsy artists donate their wares, with sales supporting Greyhound and other sighthound rescue groups. This month all proceeds, minus fees, will be donated to Greyhound Placement Service of New Hampshire. Etsy seller ClassicHound has donated one of their elegant design-y Martingale collars to the cause:
For the eclectic cat lover
If you’ve ever wanted to re-create the leg lamp of “A Christmas Story” fame, but as a cat scratching post, you’re in luck (what, just me?!) Cat-in-the-Box Creations sells whimsical feline furnishings that think outside the beige, carpeted box:
For lovers of doggie decor
Cindy and Kirby Pringle of Dogtown Artworks use their own pets as models to create whimsical photographic art for dog and cat lovers alike. They’re also the authors of “Happy Tails: Earl and Pearl on the Farm” and “Happy Tails: The Call of Nature”:
For the 007 Dog
Do you have a sophisticated pooch on your gift list? Because it would take a very elegant pup to carry off luxemutt‘s Martini Bow Tie collar:
I really like the colors available, and the construction looks solid, especially compared to “novelty” collars I’ve seen in shops.
Still at a loss for special gifts for friends and family? For more gift ideas, even for non-pet folks, check out Etsy’s social Gift Ideas feature. It uses your Facebook friends’ interests to recommend handmade gifts. And it won’t post to your wall unless you ask it to.