Thursday, December 4, 2008

Shopping Local

iPod case from Space Moderne. $16.

Malls make me tired and sad and the thought of shopping for gifts makes me cranky (so does the balance in my checking account). My super organized friend, Mary Alice, has already purchased all of her holiday presents. Show off. And she bought everything from local designers and crafters without going to the mall. She went to Etsy, which lets you search by region and see the latest products from your city. I checked it out today and here are some things that popped up under the Baltimore search:

Baby knit hat for $20 by baby love bug.

Flour Sack Tea Towel for $8 by tlane.

A pendant of real hydrangea petals pressed into a sterling silver by Tiger Lily Shop. $25.

A wheel-thrown stoneware colander by Karamiska for $25. I love this because it reminds me of classic metal kitchen colanders (I got the one pictured below for $1 at a flea market. It can be used as a hanging chandelier with votives inside or a hanging flower basket in the summer)

Personalized stationary by Three Wheels Design for $16.

Poppy shirt by Red Prairie Press, $28.

Handbags by Pistol Stiched, $90.

Then there are all of those amazing Baltimore designers just floating around out there on the World Wide Web. Jewelry designer Lisa Cimino (and good friend; that's a disclaimer), just launched a new site.

And if you're looking for holiday cards (or wedding invites, or birth announcements, or any other printed materials for that matter), visit Fold Invites online (OK, another friend). Designer Jennifer Walter did my wedding invitations and they were amazing —letterpressed on beautiful paper with craft envelopes:

For friends with infants or babies on the way, there's the Small Roar line by local designers Mike and Stephannie Weikert:

Now imagine if, instead of fighting a suburban mall or hunching over a computer screen, you could go to a physical location in the city of Baltimore and see some of these designs year-round? Sound good? There's a movement afoot to create a Baltimore Center for Design, and some discussions about including a physical store in the space. Visit the Center for Design Web site (and get involved in the grassroots effort to make the Center a reality.)