Friday, November 22, 2013

Small business spotlight - Etsy

Continuing with our small business theme... Let me introduce you to Etsy if you're not familiar with it.

I call it the E-Bay of crafters.  Etsy itself is not a small business, but it is a collection of small businesses.  Etsy consists of individually owned shops.  The shops sell things from clothing to jewelry to vintage items, to just about anything you can think of.  Many of the shop owners don't have a brick and mortar store.  They work from their homes.  It is the epitome of small business.

Here is an example. This my shop.  I have mostly sewn and knit items.  If you are a crafter, you can find patterns for various things as well.

One of my favorite shops is Sky Feathers Trading.  They sell beautifully hand crafted Native American items.  Many of the items can be customized.  I bought an amazing hand painted feather when our pastor left to go on to a new job.  The painting was customized for the journey she had already been on, as well as where her life was taking her.  It turned out beautifully.

These are some samples of the feathers.

In case you think you can't find anything for someone on your list, let me challenge you.  My father-in-law is one of the hardest people to shop for.  However, he loves Silverton, Colorado. I did a quick search on Silverton.  I found a wide variety of things, and one thing in particular that I think he'll love.  If he's reading this, no... I'm not going to disclose what it is.

Check it out and support these home based businesses.  They'll be happy to help you out.  Many stores have the ability to custom make gifts for you as well.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Small Business Spotlight - Olivu 426

Our family is doing something different this year.  We are going to make a point of shopping small businesses for our Christmas gifts.  Yes, it's easier to shop the big box stores, and online, but I have met some amazing people, who own great businesses and we want to  support them.  I'll be spotlighting various small businesses over the next few weeks.  Below is our first business.

I met an amazing young woman at a business meeting.  (She's just 30 years old and to me that's young.)  Her name is Caitlin and she owns Olivu 426.  She sells all natural beauty care and body care products, but here's the kicker.... they're AFFORDABLE! Her most popular product is an anti-aging oil, and it sells for a mere $12.  Bet you can't find that in a big box store.  

While Olivu 426 may be a small business, this is a woman with big ideas, and she's not afraid to share them.  She has an amazing presence when you meet her, a warm smile and a great sense of humor.  

If you live in the area, I encourage you to get to her shop in Sheboygan, WI.  You will find a warm welcome and fabulous products.  If you're from out of town, you're in luck.  Olivu 426 has a fabulous website and you can order online.  

There is something for everyone on your Christmas list. From the smallest to the tallest, you can find something in your budget.  Start with Caitlin's first product; an all natural lip balm, just $3.  There are gift baskets and stocking stuffers, men's products, baby products, and products for every lady on your list.  

If you see something you like, but want a different scent, or for many people, no scent at all, just let them know.  They custom make products, and one of the things you can do if you go into the store, is make your own products.  They even host parties where you can make your own products.  The parties aren't just for adults. What little girl wouldn't love to have a party where she and her friends can make their own beauty products, and you can feel good knowing that they're not filled with chemicals and preservatives.

Being the wonderful woman that she is, Caitlin is offering a discount for readers of the blog.  Use the code HALFBAKEDLIFE and get 10% off your order until December 1st.  

I also happen to know that Olivu 426 will have some great sales for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.  Be sure to check them out!!  I was lucky to get some of the deals at the meeting we attended. I promise, you'll like them.