Valentine's Day, the time when people look for that special gift to say how special you are to them. In previous years, we've been inundated with t.v. ads for every major jewelry store under the sun. We've seen ads in magazines for all the major floral delivery companies. But I think this year is a little different. With the trend towards more thoughtful and economical gifts, instead of diamonds, roses or other high price items, we are searching for the most meaningful gifts, for the cheapest prices. I believe the best place to find that special gift at a great price is Etsy.com
I don't just say that because I have 2 Etsy stores. I say that because I have seen some amazing and amazingly cheap, high quality items on Etsy. I've seen other baked goods for very low prices, and they are fresh, with no preservatives, like you'd get from a major online candy/bakery retailer. I've seen someone who sells gemstone bracelets for $5. I don't know how she can make any money on a margin that small, but it works for her. I do have to honestly say that I think she does a disservice to other jewelry sellers by offering her bracelets for so cheap, but that's another post. The time it takes to make such items is as valuable as the item itself. I make greeting cards for several holidays and I've seen other sellers who make equally nice cards on Etsy. Home made soaps, colognes, perfumes, facial scrubs and even coffee are sold on Etsy. The list goes on and on, for what you can buy.
I've mentioned that I recently took a pledge to buy more handmade and local items, not shopping at major retailers. I never really bought much from major retailers anyway, except for an occasional piece of clothing, but you can even buy that on Etsy. I ordered a shirt from a seller on Etsy and loved it. I also loved the personalization that came with it. My shirt came with a lovely matching black box and grey tissue paper, with a handmade tag attached. It's the personal touches that make a difference and knowing that I have furthered someone else's dream to have their own business and make their own schedule, a reality. I am glad that trend of "buying from the little guy" has a strong hold. There are many people who are doing what people of the great depression did . . . making handmade items to supplement themselves, while in between employment. Just that little bit of extra money can mean a great deal to someone, giving them a sense of worth, as they are being turned down for the few jobs that come their way. I should know. I am one of those people. So support your local stores and small businesses this Valentine's Day. You can even request specially made items on Etsy, and you'd be surprised at how cheap you may be able to get them. I see lots of Etsy Alchemy listings from people wanting someone to recreate a high priced item for less. You should check it out.