handmade http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5634/all en-US 7 Old Fashioned Skills That Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/old-fashioned-vintage-woman-sewing-machine-Dollarphotoclub_70883513.jpg" alt="vintage woman sewing" title="vintage woman sewing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Home brew? Urban gardens? What's old is new again, and those old fashioned homemaking skills from yesteryear are often more eco-friendly, sustainable, and &mdash; yes &mdash; less expensive than modern conveniences. They're also easy once you get into a routine. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects?ref=seealso">18 Awesome, Practically Free, Upcycled Craft Projects</a>)</p> <p>So, check out these important skills from yesteryear that let you live on the cheap today. You may even develop some new hobbies in the process.</p> <h2>1. Bread Baking</h2> <p>Have you paid attention to the prices in the bread aisle recently? No, really. Store bought bread is expensive and contains all sorts of strange ingredients. I've started baking most of our bread at home to save money and keep our food simple. Some of the best recipes I make require nothing more than flour, yeast, and water. The rest is in the mixing, rise time, and actual baking. Start with this ubiquitous <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html">no-knead bread</a> recipe by master baker Jim Lahey. You'll let it rise overnight and then bake in a Dutch oven for an amazingly crisp crust. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread?ref=seealso">A Beginner's Guide to Homemade Bread</a>)</p> <h2>2. From-Scratch Everything</h2> <p>In the past, most people actually made their pantry items from scratch. For example, oat flour is nothing more than rolled oats pulsed in your food processor. Same goes with almond meal. With some practice, you can blend together an amazing batch of hummus that costs half as much as its store-bought counterpart. The list goes on. And after a while, making wholesome foods in your own kitchen becomes automatic. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy?ref=seealso">35 Grocery Items You Should Make at Home</a>)</p> <h2>3. Food Preservation</h2> <p>Eating local, seasonal produce is usually the cheapest, healthiest option for feeding your family. But what about in the off season? Instead of forking over extra cash to eat tomatoes from who-knows-where in January, consider learning the re-emerging art of canning. You'll need a few tools and some know-how (I love the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0762441437/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0762441437&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YPURNI7KXULSVNMU">Food In Jars</a> book, which breaks down the method of small batch canning into bits and pieces). I have yet to master it fully, so I choose to prep and freeze a lot of my ingredients to enjoy year round &mdash; most produce lasts a year this way. You can also pickle and dehydrate foods for unique taste and texture. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts?ref=seealso">How to Preserve In-Season Foods for Off-Season Feasts</a>)</p> <h2>4. Gardening</h2> <p>Better yet, learn how to grow your own food in your backyard (or, for those of you with small outdoor spaces, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">on your patio</a>). There are a number of hearty plants even beginners can cultivate and harvest with much success. Start with easy-to-grow beets, snap peas, carrots, radishes, squash, peppers, lettuce, and a variety of herbs, like dill, cilantro, and basil. Just be sure to pay attention to the soil, light, and watering suggestions on your seeds' or plant's guide. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-great-container-garden-started-with-this-guide?ref=seealso">Get a Great Container Garden Started With This Guide</a>)</p> <h2>5. Sewing</h2> <p>There was a time not so long ago when a hole in a shirt didn't mean it was fated for the donation or garbage pile. Instead, a quick stitch would fix it right up like new. By learning how to sew, you can also customize your wardrobe and even add new wearables for very little cash. Get started by picking up an inexpensive sewing kit or a needle and thread. Then learn some beginner mending techniques, like how to sew on a button, repair small holes, and fix torn seams. It's a lot of under-over-under-over and tying off to finish. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cute-and-frugal-diy-clothes-you-can-make-for-your-kids?ref=seealso">20 Cute and Frugal Clothes You Can Sew for Your Kids</a>)</p> <h2>6. Cleaning Basics</h2> <p>There weren't a lot of brightly packaged cleaning products back in the day. Instead, people made their own cleaners and solutions at home. Here are five&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes">laundry detergent recipes</a> to get you started. I've saved a bundle of money (and plastic) by making laundry soap at home, and my clothes are just as fresh and clean. All-purpose cleaning is also made simple with a mixture of 1:1 vinegar and water solution. Pour them together in a spray bottle and get busy cleaning. Add some alcohol to the bottle (a couple tablespoons) to make a streak-free window and mirror cleaner. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=seealso">How to Clean Everything With 3 All-Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <h2>7. Soap Making and More</h2> <p>Even the whole bath and body DIY phenomenon has its roots in the past. After all, the general store didn't carry limitless products and solutions. Of course, you can get fancy by mixing together bath bombs and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-sunblock-and-6-other-non-toxic-recipes-to-get-your-skin-sun-ready">homemade sunscreens</a>. I like to stick with the basics and use coconut oil as a moisturizer. Melting together olive oil, beeswax, and essential oils makes a quick and useful <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/10/homesteading-natural-vapor-rub.html">vapor rub</a>. Once you acquire the core ingredients, you can make most anything yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products?ref=seealso">50 Amazing DIY Bath and Body Products</a>)</p> <p><em>What old timey skills do you rely on?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guaranteed-easiest-way-to-make-your-own-pickles">The Guaranteed Easiest Way to Make Your Own Pickles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products">50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Food and Drink handmade Homemade homesteading skills Fri, 20 Feb 2015 16:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1300084 at http://www.wisebread.com The Rise In Artisans: Global Lessons From A Local Movement http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/the-rise-in-artisans-global-lessons-from-a-local-movement <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/the-rise-in-artisans-global-lessons-from-a-local-movement" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/the-rise-in-artisans-global-lessons-from-a-loc...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/the-rise-in-artisans-global-lessons-from-a-local-movement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012940895Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From boutique chocolate makers and small greeting card print shops to handmade jean companies, the consumers are enjoying a renaissance in artisanal entrepreneurship. But what&rsquo;s behind the handmade movement? Is it a response to mass production, a push to return to simplicity, a desire to find greater meaning and creativity in our work?</p> <p>Or maybe it&rsquo;s a phenomenon that could only occur in the perfect storm created by new economic challenges and the connectedness of Internet age. Small businesses and independent craftspeople can now reach the masses and communicate their product, brand, and vision with nearly as much polish as the big boys.</p> <p>Sites like Etsy.com <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/8-great-business-ideas-you-can-start-today-1" target="_blank">have capitalized</a> on this zeitgeist by featuring the creativity and artistry of a broad range of sellers. Etsy&rsquo;s forum showcases the work of nearly 300,000 craftspeople from all over the world and connects them with a community of devoted buyers who want something more than what the mass market offers.</p> <p>But Etsy is just part of the story.</p> <p>This wave of independent artisans is on Main Street, too. It stretches from coast to coast in the US and touches nearly every nation on earth. Disparate, but growing, the movement connects buyers and sellers in a way that conventional business struggles with. There&rsquo;s something inspired and romantic about knowing who made your child&rsquo;s new doll and knowing the story behind the design and materials. People are drawn to the idea of putting a face with the brand on their handmade leather boots or understanding what inspired the artist who painted the piece that hangs over the sofa.</p> <p>Let&rsquo;s explore a sampling of unique artisanal shops and see how these veritable Davids differentiate themselves in marketplace of goliaths.</p> <p><strong>Mast Brothers Chocolate</strong></p> <p>Brothers Rick and Michael Mast founded their <a href="http://www.mastbrothers.com/" target="_blank">small chocolate factory</a> in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. They approach chocolate making like vintners approach wine making&mdash;through understanding the unique characteristics of the cocoa bean that vary based upon region, climate, and growing techniques. Their small-batch chocolates are crafted with beans from a single farm not only for consistency and flavor, but also to pay homage to the region and culture represented. Mast Brothers craftsmanship produces a chocolate that&rsquo;s free of emulsifiers, butter, oils, soy, vanilla, and preservatives. Even the packaging is a labor of love&mdash;chocolate bars are hand-wrapped with high-quality paper that feature designs produced by friends and family.</p> <p><strong>Tender Company</strong></p> <p>This <a href="http://www.madebytender.com/" target="_blank">English denim company</a> is all about handmade. Its jeans and jackets are crafted from raw, unfinished, heavy-weight denim that&rsquo;s woven on small looms in Japan. In the true spirit of artisanal craft, owner William Kroll attends to every detail, such as hand-dying each garment in metal barrels behind his shop in Norfolk, England. Even the buttons and buckles on his garments don&rsquo;t go unnoticed; Kroll has them forged of solid brass in England using the ancient &ldquo;lost wax&rdquo; casting method. The result? Heirloom-quality clothing that conforms to their owners&rsquo; unique shape and lifestyle and only gets better with age.</p> <p><strong>Archive Bags</strong></p> <p>According its website<b>, </b><a href="http://www.archivebag.com/" target="_blank">Archive Bags</a> is a one-man operation located in San Franscisco, California. These durable bags are handmade one at a time and the full product line includes bike accessories, backpacks, tote bags, wallets, and cell holsters. Archive Bags devotes a large part of its website to a blog that caters to the urban cyclist and speaks to the lifestyle that inspires its products. Archive&rsquo;s approach to engagement is important to note. Artisans offer an organic connection with the customer by making the commercial activity secondary (or at least seem so). Web-based proprietors create a lifestyle site that&rsquo;s genuine and the products themselves become an adjunct to the celebration and enthusiastic exploration of it.</p> <p><strong>Is There Room for Some Artisanship in Your Business?</strong></p> <p>The challenges facing any artisanal business&mdash;fluctuating income, the long process of developing a following, juggling all the aspects of launching a business with minimal staff&mdash;are balanced by some very real advantages. Businesses that are part of the handmade movement tend to have closer relationships with their customers and can respond to changing demand, experiment with new products, and do custom work. They&rsquo;re driven by the immediacy of the consumer feedback and, like all businesses, use it as a source of innovation.</p> <p>If there&rsquo;s one principle that seems to unite most artisans at work today, it&rsquo;s the idea of quality over quantity&mdash;the notion that not only is bigger not better, but bigger may necessarily be worse. Most members of this cadre of craftspeople aren&rsquo;t hoping to grow their cottage businesses into global empires. Instead, they&rsquo;re mindful of the golden mean of success&mdash;sustaining their craft without sacrificing their joy, creativity, and freedom.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/the-rise-in-artisans-global-lessons-from-a-local-movement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sell-handmade-goods-buy-cheap-handmade-goodies">Sell handmade goods, buy cheap handmade goodies.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-oh-where-are-my-worms-be-on-your-toes-when-ordering-from-small-web-businesses">Where Oh Where Are My Worms? Be On Your Toes When Ordering From Small Web Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable">How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center artisans crafts custom built customer service handmade product innovation small business Sat, 15 Oct 2011 18:04:24 +0000 Kentin Waits 747234 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Great Gifts for Teachers http://www.wisebread.com/christmas-gifts-for-teachers-10-great-possibilities <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/christmas-gifts-for-teachers-10-great-possibilities" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gift-78719619.jpg" alt="kid with gift" title="kid with gift" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While there is no requirement for your child to give a holiday gift to his or her teacher, it is a pretty nice way to tell an educator &ldquo;thank you.&rdquo; My parents, both teachers, have received a wide variety of gifts from their students, and over careers of 30+ years, they have amassed some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unusual-gift-ideas-for-a-memorable-holiday-season" title="Unusual Gift Ideas for a Memorable Holiday Season">interesting items</a>. I have compiled some favorites of theirs, as well those of a friend who recently retired from teaching.</p> <p>How about a mug imprinted with &ldquo;#1 Teacher&quot;? No. That teacher&rsquo;s coffee mug cupboard was probably full long ago.</p> <p>What about perfume? Nope. There are only so many gallons of Jean Nate that a teacher can wear in a lifetime.</p> <p>Wouldn&rsquo;t the teacher love a framed photo of your child?&nbsp;No.&nbsp;(One of those really showed up one Christmas, in a popsicle-stick frame.) Do you have framed photos of customers or clients around your home?</p> <p>Here are ten better ideas.</p> <h2>1. Frozen Ravioli</h2> <p>Winning the &ldquo;most memorable&rdquo; category, my father received a box of frozen ravioli. They were homemade by a family that had owned a renowned Italian restaurant on the Northern California coast, and they were absolutely delicious. He was thrilled with such a marvelous gift. While I think <a href="http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Make-Homemade-Ravioli">ravioli are challenging to make</a>, a basket with pasta sauce, pasta, cheese, and bread would be really nice, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-savory-holiday-food-gifts?ref=seealso">7 Savory Food Gifts</a>)</p> <h2>2. Cookie Mix in a Jar</h2> <p>For the teacher who suggested this, who was also a mom, this present represented the gift of time. She just needed to add a couple of things to <a href="http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/cookie-mix-in-a-jar-i/Detail.aspx">this mix</a> and could then bake holiday cookies with her own daughter. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-you-can-bake?ref=seealso">15 Delicious Gifts You Can Bake</a>)</p> <h2>3. A Homemade Game</h2> <p>My dad taught a math class for math under-achievers. Part of his strategy was to play math-related games. A student made him a beautiful <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_6731232_make-homemade-cribbage-board.html">wooden cribbage board</a>, which he uses it to this day.</p> <h2>4. Coffee</h2> <p>Just about everyone loves coffee, and teachers are no exception. My friend Nancy loved the coupon book she received for the local coffee shop. A coffee gift card is also a hit, and a bag of a gourmet blend is nice for the teacher&rsquo;s lounge.&nbsp;</p> <h2>5. All-Purpose Cards</h2> <p>Nancy also loved <a href="http://crafts.kaboose.com/patchwork-star-thank-you-card.html">student-made thank-you cards</a> that she could use right away. This was a gift that was both charming and practical.</p> <h2>6. Add to a Collection</h2> <p>What does the teacher collect? This idea requires a little sleuthing. My mother, for instance, collected snow-globes. She was delighted when a new one showed up as a Christmas gift.</p> <h2>7. Christmas Ornaments</h2> <p>I still have some of the ones that my mother received, made by little hands. I can even tell you which students made them because she was so thrilled with them. The <a href="http://crafts.kaboose.com/holidays/christmas/#tabs">ornaments from Kaboose</a> are so cute that I need to borrow somebody&rsquo;s kid and make some.</p> <h2>8. Books</h2> <p>Some school book programs allow you to <a href="http://www.scholastic.com/bookfairs/experience/cwl.asp">purchase books for the classroom</a>&nbsp;according to the teacher&rsquo;s &ldquo;wish list.&rdquo;</p> <h2>9. Classroom Help</h2> <p>Field trips are pretty tough when you are trying to wrangle 20+ kids. A <a href="http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=11843&amp;pq-locale=en_US&amp;_requestid=27104">coupon for your time</a> would be wonderful. Elementary teachers often also need help with prepping for big projects. However, if you give the coupon, be ready to commit the time when asked.</p> <h2>10. Swedish Tea Ring</h2> <p>This is a <a href="http://www.sandisrecipecorner.com/recipe1799A.htm">wreath-shaped sweet bread</a>. I think I made four of them for my daughter&rsquo;s favorite teachers at Christmas during her senior year in high school. They were very well-received. Besides the great homemade appeal, the wreath shape is very festive-looking.</p> <p>None of these 10 items is very expensive, but they are all fairly memorable. My father chimed in that he felt &ldquo;homemade things were always the best.&rdquo;&nbsp;I thought this was good advice, as many of us look toward simplifying holiday gift-giving. One caveat, though: If your children are not yet mature, you might want to limit their participation to making non-food gifts for the best chance of a truly appreciated and useful gift.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christmas-gifts-for-teachers-10-great-possibilities">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-fitness-gifts-for-15-or-less">20 Fitness Gifts for $15 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-give-thoughtful-gifts-on-a-scrooge-like-budget">How to Give Thoughtful Gifts on a Scrooge-Like Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-these-9-christmas-gifts-now-and-save">Buy These 9 Christmas Gifts Now and Save</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gift-giving-for-the-truly-broke">14 Gift Ideas for the Truly Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spend-almost-nothing-on-gifts-this-year">10 Gift Ideas That Cost Almost Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping cheap gifts Christmas gifts handmade holiday gifts teachers Wed, 01 Dec 2010 14:00:06 +0000 Marla Walters 344709 at http://www.wisebread.com Sell handmade goods, buy cheap handmade goodies. http://www.wisebread.com/sell-handmade-goods-buy-cheap-handmade-goodies <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/il_430xN_6853277.jpg" alt="Geisha stamp" title="Geisha Stamp" width="243" height="277" /></p> <p>In these days of mass-production and Wal-Mart&#39;s low prices and lower standards, it&#39;s great to see handmade artifacts making a comeback. Today, my wife introduced me to a site that is a meeting-place for buying and selling wonderful handmade items. Everything from jewelry and ties to paintings and teddy bears. And it&#39;s all 100% hand crafted. </p> <p><strong>ETSY.COM - your place to buy and sell all things handmade</strong></p> <p>This place is a treasure-trove of beautiful, lovingly-made goods. When I first heard about ETSY, I thought it would be more for my wife than me. But although it does seem to cater more for the ladies, there&#39;s so0me great stuff for the guys. If you want to be individual and get noticed, check out the selection of metallic silk-screened neckties. The <a href="http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6014313">green silkscreened tie with the black raven</a> is awesome. I also loved <a href="http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6021030">Bombs Away</a> . And the price...just $30. For a handmade silkscreened tie, well, I think that&#39;s rather good. </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/il_430xN_8083334.jpg" alt="silk tie" title="silk tie" width="226" height="301" /></p> <p><strong>Something for everyone. </strong><br />Form gifts for your mom and dad, to cool gear for the kids and babies, there is literally something to suit every taste here. I&#39;m having a lot of trouble keeping myself from buying all of my upcoming gifts from this site. Check out the <a href="http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=5758979">Sunday-best onesies</a> . There are great purses, stuffed animals and all sorts of other cool things. You can also use the <a href="http://www.etsy.com/time_machine.php">TIME MACHINE</a> to see what other folks have been buying, updated every minute.</p> <p><strong>But hang on....there&#39;s also some quality fine art, too.</strong><br />My wife has put me straight on this one. She&#39;s not happy with the cheap part of the headline (hey, I&#39;m a Wisebread blogger) but she&#39;s absolutely right. There are some stupendous pieces of original art on ETSY, hand-painted oils on canvas, some as much as $6000. I like <a href="http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=5206083">this one below</a> , a steal at $500 (as an artist myself, $500 for a piece of original work is a crying shame actually, considering how much love and time goes into a piece of fine art). The word CHEAP should not be applied here. Or, in fact, to any of the items on ETSY. I&#39;m sorry ETSY folks. I certainly didn&#39;t mean to imply that anything you offer is cheap...it&#39;s all just amazing value for money. </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/il_430xN_5608830.jpg" alt="twiggy" title="twiggy" width="324" height="415" /></p> <p><strong>How are the other prices? </strong><br /> I would say reasonable, but sometimes that&#39;s an understatment. Considering everything is lovingly made by hand, these prices are surprisingly low. $60 for a hand-dyed indigo cardigan, knitted with love, seems to me to be a bargain. You&#39;d pay way more for something produced fresh from a slave-labor factory in Taiwan. </p> <p><strong>Selling your own creations. </strong><br />ETSY has made it really easy to <a href="http://www.etsy.com/how_selling_works.php">do your own selling</a> . Similar to EBAY but without a lot of the hassle, you can create your own store on ETSY and the whole process is very reasonable, with exceptional rates...</p> <blockquote><p><strong>Sign Up. </strong>It&#39;s free and easy. Choose your username and password, then confirm an email address. There&#39;s an extra step of signing up to be a seller (after choosing your username). To prevent against fraud we require that you keep a valid credit card on file.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><p><strong>Set up your shop. </strong>Every seller on Etsy gets their own shop (for free), located at username.etsy.com. For example, if my username is rokali, my shop is at rokali.etsy.com. You can customize your shop by adding a banner, bio etc.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><p><strong>List an item. </strong>Listing an item is done in five simple steps. We recommend that you&#39;ve got your photos and description ready before jumping in. Listing an item costs 20 cents per quantity.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><p><strong>Selling an item. </strong>As a seller you get to choose what payment methods you accept. We recommend PayPal, as it facilitates instant payment and offers anti-fraud protection. When an item sells both the buyer and seller are sent emails with the transaction details in it. There&#39;s a 3.5% sales fee.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><p><strong>Fees. </strong>Sign up - free, your own shop - free, listing an item - 20 cents, selling - 3.5% fee. That&#39;s it. All listings include up to 5 images. Listings stay up for 4 months.</p></blockquote> <p>So there you have it. ETSY. A great way to support local artists and craftsmen/women, plus a great way to turn your own hobby into something a little bit profitable. And best of all, you now have a place to get unique, creative gifts for your friends and family. Life is sweet. </p> <p><em>Main photo from ETSY.COM, <a href="http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=5613887">the Geisha Stamp Notecards</a> . Wonderful item. </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sell-handmade-goods-buy-cheap-handmade-goodies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-sites-to-sell-your-arts-and-crafts">The 5 Best Sites to Sell Your Arts and Crafts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-gift-ideas-for-crafters">12 Gift Ideas for Crafters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-money-on-etsy-no-craft-required">How to Earn Money on Etsy — No Craft Required</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gift-giving-for-the-truly-broke">14 Gift Ideas for the Truly Broke</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Art and Leisure arts buy career crafts etsy.com handmade hobby Homemade make money sell Tue, 22 May 2007 20:15:59 +0000 Paul Michael 671 at http://www.wisebread.com