Being thankful, making wishes, & guiding gifts
I love giving gifts! It's honestly one of my favorite things to do. I love coming up with the perfect idea or tracking down that perfect find, and nothing makes me happier than wrapping presents. (Of course—it's paper!)
For the past seven years, I've had some type of a product to sell this time of year. I'm grateful that I can make that statement—it's honestly all I've ever wanted to be able to do. To make things people want to buy and give each other as gifts.
While I'm grateful for this, it also means that I find a lot less joy this time of year than I used to. It's stressful for us makers—we are insanely overworked right now, and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do obscene amounts of work in a tiny window of time, all while appearing to be joyous and celebratory with our friends and family.
This year I passed on one of my favorite markets—the very first market where I ever sold my flowers—exactly one year ago! It was a hard decision for me, and I'm still a little sad I decided against it, to be honest. But I did so because I wanted to be able to enjoy Thanksgiving and a long weekend before things start to get even busier than they already are.
This is one of the hard truths of being a maker or a small business owner—we often have to decide between things like family and friends, or our business. The more time I spend in this world and with other makers, the more my appreciation and respect for crafted goods and the people who face these decisions, week in and week out, grows.
So before the official shopping season kicks off tomorrow, I wanted to share a few hopes and wishes, and a list of fellow makers who I am thankful to have gotten to know this year.
This year for Thanksgiving, in addition to giving thanks,
I'd like to send out a few wishes over the pies.
I wish that everyone finds a way to make some time to enjoy this season. Even if that means having to say no!
I wish that everyone would do some of their shopping locally or with small businesses. It's as easy as coming out to holiday markets, or ordering things online now so that makers like me have time for production.
I wish for people to continue to appreciate the value of craftsmanship and one-of-a-kind gifts.
And I wish for the makers I know who rely on this season to make or break their year, to hit their goals.
I'm going to try my hardest to remain focused and enjoy this year. I'm proud of my new collection, so I'm going to keep sharing it. I'll try not to sound too salesy—believe me—I hate sounding salesy! But I want people to buy my work so I can keep making it. It's just as simple as that.
And if you think about all of the other makers out there who you appreciate in that respect, maybe it will help you decide whether or not you're willing to spend a little bit more on their gifts than something you can order from Amazon.
Do you want to keep liking their photos on Facebook or Instagram? Do you want to continue to follow along to see what they come up with next? The best way to make sure that happens is to support their business.
My favorite makers: Things for gifting (or keeping!)
Here are a handful of businesses that I'm always happy to support.
Please check their holiday schedules for events and order cut-offs, and try to shop early!
Erin works harder than anyone else I know, and her products are always stylish, functional, and sure to wow.
Lightbox Print Co.
Matt and I gifted each other this special edition print for our anniversary this year. I can't get enough of their work.
Morris & Norris
Emily is always busy coming up with something new, so I can't wait to visit her booth at Handmade Holiday. I have my eye on her wrapping paper at the very least.
Speaking of pups, I strongarmed my pal Joe into creating this watercolor of my parent's puppy last year. I'm not sure if he'll do this for everyone, but he has hilarious cards and can be easily bribed with donuts.
Adriaan makes the sweetest pouches the other fabric goods that are super handy to have around (or just pretty to look at!).
Amanda is the perfect stop for stocking stuffers and for all of the nature lovers on your list. Her salts are on my list (always).
Tasha is a long-time friend of my husband, and it's been awesome to watch her business evolve over the years. I've been gifted many of her lovely works and can attest that they are well received and loved for years and years to come.
Robin's Egg Jewelry
Kate's jewelry is modern and fun, but it also has a hidden function. I snatched up this piece on a 95-degree day in June when I realized it could be used to disperse cooling peppermint oil at the back of my neck. (Also shown: another BeegoHandmade pouch from my collection!)
Double Denim Dude
Samantha is the recipient of my very first Paperversary order, and she makes the coolest enamel pins, patches, and other accessories.
I'm sure I missed others, and if I remember any I need to include I'll make sure I add them to the list. If you have any suggestions of your own, send me a note or add a comment.
And before you get too busy shopping, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving spending time with friends and family. And pie.