Shop local (and lazy) by hitting up these local merchants online


‘Buy local’ is a pretty familiar mantra and one that is magnified during the heavy spending of the holiday season. Buying handmade products for Christmas this year from area artists not only makes sense to stimulate the local economy, but will support the crafters and artisans who are committed to delivering quality handmade goods.

Plus, the recipient of a handmade gift gets something that is one-of-a-kind, made with care and attention that can be seen and touched. These products possess a quality that is the result of skill and craftsmanship, unachievable through large-scale manufacturing. Recoil encourages you to support our local artists when buying gifts for the holiday season this year.

Hey, you can even shop for products from these talented men and women without having to tackle the mountains of snow. This is thanks to the powers of the Interwebs and Etsy, a website dedicated to artists worldwide, enabling them to sell their crafts directly to their customers. You can sit down and shop with ease, sipping your cup of hot chocolate watching the snow fall.

Here are some of our local guys and gals who are rocking Etsy with some cool gift ideas.

Based in Grand Rapids, WhiskerButter is a moisturizing formula in a one-ounce tin to keep one’s beard at its healthiest state without a greasy feel. They are made in different scents for your man, by a man.

Mom & Pops Hops & Crops
Hailing from Greenville, these shop owners grow their own products and hand harvest them at their peak. They use hops and herbs for medicinal purposes and beer making. What makes their beer hops special is they preserve the lupulin compound, which is the oil of the hop usually destroyed when it is mechanically harvested.

From Grand Rapids, whimsical, humorous and artistic buttons and lapel pins make for great stocking stuffers. Check it out — the price is right and you can’t resist Beanforest’s artistic sense of humor in this wearable art.

Cat ladies, rejoice! This Grand Rapids couple makes fun bridges, shelves, play places and food dishes for cats. Their creations are very appealing to the eye and even more appealing to your adventurous kitty cats.

A graduate of Kendall School of Design in Grand Rapids, Acey came up with a tablette media table design. These fun and playful tablette tables are attractive and convenient for your mobile devices. Access your precious Smartphone by viewing your mobile devices through the clear, acrylic top.

From Martin, Michigan, Hilltop Designs makes rugs, quilt tops, soaps, balms and glycerin bars — all made from scratch in the country.

This shop is based in Saugatuck and carries quirky needle felting and archival prints. The felted creations are some of the most fantastic I have seen. Each needle felted creation is one-of-a-kind with no molds or patterns — truly a work of art.

Happy Holiday shopping, readers! –Sherrie Coke

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