a dude’s guide to shopping handmade.

sevenply - skatedboard heart necklace
by sevenply

ladies, it’s time to leave the room. i need to speak with the dudes. alone.

okay, dudes, all clear?

great. ya know, valentine’s day is a less than a month away. i know you want to get that special lady (or kidlet, or mama, or boyfriend, or anyone else special) a fantastic, original, knock out gift. right?

right. handmade is the way to go. you’ll be the talk of the town, the most romantic, most thoughtful gift giving dude you know.

but how do you navigate the perilous sea of rough craft waters? my friend, i’m here to help.

pragyaK - light my fire poster print

first off, get yourself an account on a site like etsy, supermarket, or folksy. and then get yourself a paypal account if you don’t have one.

next, with great stealth, find out your love’s account name, if they have one. if they do, search the site for their account name and check out their favorites – pick one. pick two or three. don’t skimp 😉

studiotto - ceramic ring
by studiotto

if you’re not lucky enough or stealthy enough to find out their account name, it’s time to browse a bit. try searching for items with keywords your giftee likes: chocolate, jewelry, diamonds, woodland creatures, skulls with tutus… you get the idea. if you’re completely lost, check out the blogosphere for great gift ideas. i’ve got plenty here. you can also try my girls at try handmade, modish, & kind over matter.

find something beautiful. something you love. don’t put a lot of stress on yourself to find something very original – your effort will speak for itself. relax and go with your gut.

inkling prints - red flower tote bag
by inkling prints

when you’ve settled on that perfect something or three (remember, i said don’t skimp!), check out the seller’s shop policies and shipping information. many times goods are packed up and shipped the very next morning… other times, goods are made to order and could take 2-4 weeks to ship. of course, keep your time frame in mind whilst perusing this info.

next, click “add to cart” and check out. make sure you address information is correct and that you leave any notes to the seller that are required – size, color, design, etc… and if no notes are needed, it’s a great idea to say “thanks” and maybe point out that this is a gift. often the seller will package everything up for you so that no “official” gift wrap is needed! bonus!

check out is incredibly fast and easy if you already have your paypal account set up as i mentioned earlier.

that’s it. you’re set! you’ve done something good for yourself (you’re now the coolest gift giver you know), good for your giftee (s/he’ll love you forever!), and good for society (you’ve supported a micro business). congratulations.

psst. you can tell the ladies to come back now!

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