I have a longstanding love affair going on with Etsy. I can lose hours trolling through the millions and millions of things it has to offer. If it can be made outside a factory, it's on Etsy. Here is what Etsy is about in its own words:
Etsy is an online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade.
Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers.
Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice:
Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade.
I have decided to spend some time highlighting artisans who sell their wares on Etsy as we head into the Christmas season, because I believe in the handmade economy. It is good for individuals, it is good for communities, and, because you are guaranteed to give unique, non-mass-produced gifts if you buy handmade, it is good for you, because you will look extra thoughtful and cool if you do your gift shopping on Etsy.
The last time I highlighted products from Etsy, I concentrated on rat-related items, but this time I decided to go a little more mainstream and focus on large shoulder-bags. I don't do any bag shopping in regular stores anymore, because I have had such success with buying bags from Etsy. People always remark on them, because they are so distinctive, and they are cheaper than crack.
Oh, wait. Let me clarify that. They're not cheaper than crack financially, because crack is pretty cheap. They're cheaper than crack with regard to the toll they take on my soul. A good bag is good for the soul.
Onto the bags!
I figure that if whatever they make seatbelts out of can stay together in a major car crash, then it can withstand my inveterate abuse of messenger bags over the years, which is why this Seatbelt Messenger Bag from Interrobang is my first pick. It also has a fleece lining, so it will treat whatever you put inside it with care.
Minus has some really simply and beautifully designed bags and cushions, including this Fold Top, of which I am a huge fan. Because it folds over to close, it grows with its contents, so the Fold Top can go from holding just your wallet to your whole lunchbox.
The Bean Bag in dark brown caught my eye. I am a fan of very basic appliqué, and this bag pulls it off without looking plain. Check out the other bags and clothing from T. T. Peas and Carrots. They have a knack for awesome.
Where can I pick up an extra $150? Because I want this Leather Birch Tree Tote in brown and rust from Starfish Clothes Girl. I like the way leather wears over time, and I own not a single leather bag.
I know. It's tragic.
This one's not quite my cup of tea, but I really appreciate the design of and the textiles used in the wine Pleated Soiree Drawstring Bag with polka dots from Crystalyn Kae. It is waterproof, sturdy, and lined with red ultrasuede. There's something a little dirty about that.