Most of us would much rather buy something than make it, especially if it's hand-made by a much more creative and talented person. Fortunately, the rise of Etsy and the DIY trend has made it much easier to find unique goods crafted by individual artists and not sweatshop workers. No longer are crafty types and artists relegated to flea markets and gallery showings.
Even though Etsy is a global market place for artisans, that doesn't mean that it isn't possible to shop local when you're looking for handmade prints or vegan, gluten-free soaps. Add these ten Etsy sellers to your radar, and prepare to max out your credit card on their varied and excellently crafted wares. At least you'll be stimulating the local economy.
Pepino Chick When she's not making music with the Polyphonic Spree, or stealing the show on stages across Dallas, Natalie Young is crafting up one-of-a-kind fiber art for her Etsy shop Pepino Chick. Young's minimalist dreamcatchers, "low-impact" wall hangings and jewelry are visually arresting and made with "magic, goodness, natural love." Whether or not Young's art will actually bring you good juju, your walls, or outfit, will certainly look better. If you're looking for a special gift or really unique piece of art, you can also commision Young to hand-draw a 3-D portrait of you in a super-cool flower crown.
Hurd & Honey With a little reclaimed wood and infinite creativity, the minds behind Hurd & Honey create stunning, one-of-a-kind furniture and decor. Each piece is unique to its buyer, and painstakingly made to order after purchase. All things considered, their prices are also insanely reasonable. A snooty New York boutique would charge the price of most people's first home for a hand-made chevron end table made from reclaimed wood. At Hurd & Honey, this beauty is only $170.
Dowdy Studio The world really doesn't need any more cheeky t-shirts, but if you're going to wear them, you may as well make sure they're the best. Illustrators (and husband and wife duo) Pamela and Dylan Dowdy design the kind of t-shirts that will eventually end up being ripped off by Urban Outfitters, without all the corporate overlord ickiness. The Dowdys are also the founders of Etsy Dallas, where they organize events that showcase the work of local crafters and artists.
Mama Said Kitschy old art is given a snarky, smart-assed new life at Mama Said Studios. The artists take old paintings, likely scored at vintage shops, and hand-paint snarky quotes like "bitch, return my tupperware" and "stop tweeting boring shit" over the art. Original paintings are available, but the studio also creates inexpensive prints of their work if you're decorating on a budget. Find a cheap-ass old frame and you've got something that would sell for much more in one of those dumb "home design" boutiques.
Current Classic Upcycling is one of those buzzwords that just won't go away, but some shops manage to give it actual meaning. Etsy shop Current Classic turns the random old knick-knacks and bric-a-brac from the past into interesting pieces for homes with any decor. Imagine if all the weird stuff from your grandma's house could actually somehow be made cool and interesting - that's Current Classic. There's also plenty of vintage decor and other ephemera that you will absolutely not be able to resist, even if your shelf space is pretty minimal.
Tess & Ivy Vintage Thanks to Don Draper and ad buddies, mid-century decor is probably more popular now than it was back then, especially since hipsters now have plenty of cash to waste on old furniture. Tess & Ivy Vintage is the place to do that. This shop is relatively small but well-curated, and has all of the finishing touches to make your place look like a lower-budget version of the Mad Men set, if you're into that sort of thing.
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The Pig & The Peacock It's weird to think of taking art into the shower with you, but that's exactly what The Pig & The Peacock is creating. Each of their handmade soaps look like little pieces of art for your soap dish, and they're full of herbs and plant butters and other hippie stuff that will make your skin look awesome. The Pig & The Peacock also makes lotion bars, pure soy candles, and lip balms. Also, because this is Texas, they have soaps in the shape of a gun.
P.S. Artisan Jewelry A piece created by local artist Polly Simon is as much wearable art as it is jewelry. Using reclaimed and sustainable metals, Simon hand crafts one-of-a-kind designs that range from hipster twee to bohemian chic. If you can somehow resist buying the entire shop for yourself, bookmark P.S. Artisan Jewelry the next time you need a gift for that stylish friend that is impossible to buy for.
Dovetail Goods Typography prints are insanely popular right now. Everyone loves their art with a few words these days, and Dovetail Goods is happy to oblige. The "bohemian minimalist" style of these prints and cards works well with modern decor, and adds a little bit of attitude to your otherwise-boring walls.
Beige/Dusk/&Greys This paperie-slash-indie skincare line, created by Dallasite Andrea Rogers, is totally handmade. Rogers upcycles her print art to make organic, hand-bound notebooks and cards, but the skincare line is the real star of Beige/Dusk/&Greys. Using botanicals and natural clays, Rogers creates all-natural cleansers, soaps, bath salts, serums, and mud masques. Then there's the beet juice-infused lip salves, French pink clay creme blushes, and grapefruit-infused lip scrubs for makeup junkies.