There are so many amazing options for unique, handmade gifts nowadays, especially here in Charleston. I love that it’s such a supportive community of makers and the arts. So to continue in the holiday spirit, I rounded up another assortment of lovely little gift ideas from some of my favorite small businesses and makers around town.

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1 | monogrammed tote from Stitch-Able Designs $40  2 | element ceramics bowl sold at Surface Craft Gallery $295 3 | No Charleston gift guide is complete without a Rewined candle $28 4 | 8″ Pearl and Aventurine Jade Multi Strand Bracelet from the Pearl Girl of Charleston $75 5 | The Fresh Stitch makes the cutest things for the little ones in your life, organic bib & burp cloth set $19.5 6 | green leaf and botanical illustration by Kristen Solecki, one of my favorites $24 7 | bonjour notecard set by yours truly $15.5

Happy shopping!

My oh my, shopping season is upon us! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It’s hard to believe it’s over already and we’re on to the gift-giving holidays!

Since time starts to run so short at this time of year and gift ideas are always helpful, we put together a few bright and colorful gift ideas for the girls in your life – mother, daughter, hostess, girlfriend, etc. – that you can find right here in Charleston. We do love to support the #shopsmall movement, of course!

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1 – Turquoise Stud Earrings by Birdsong Designs, $50 | 2 – Moroccan Woven Basket by Proud Mary, $78 | 3 – Lemon Chevron Cardholder by Myla’s Bags, $7 | 4 – Yours truly, letterpress recipe cards by dodeline, $14 | 5 – Sand Blooms Print by artist Teil Duncan, $50 | 6 – Signature Candles by Southern Protocol (shop in store or call to purchase)

Stay tuned, we’ll be posting a few more roundups of gift ideas from some of our favorite small and local businesses over the next few weeks. How are your holiday preparations going? Do you like to shop more in person or online? Do tell!

We are in such a time vortex right now. I am in utter amazement that it’s been only 16 days since we took over the house, but at the same time, it feels like we’ve done so much and I can’t really comprehend how. Hardly a night has gone by that we haven’t come home from work and headed right to the house, and we have spent the entirety of the last three weekends painting, scraping, ripping, assembling, and you-name-it at our new address.

So needless to say, before this whirlwind officially began, I spent a lot of time poking around and dreaming up the look. I thought today – in celebration of starting to see light at the end of the tunnel – I’d share some fun home decor picks I’ve been saving around the interweb.

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I just love the look of these linen pillowcases. Don’t they look so cozy and homey?

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We know how I feel about marble. Love these authentic vintage bookends – we are so fortunate to have lots of awesome built-ins in the house and I can’t wait to fill them up with fun things like these.

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This clock would look awesome on the accent wall. So unique and fun.

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I think the hexagonal shape of this cute end table is unique but the materials are still classic. And again with the marble!

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Obsessed with this color and I love the simple type of course. This Etsy shop is adorable – you should definitely check it out!

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This pocket storage set up is awesome in the stripes and would be so good in a mudroom or laundry room.

Enjoy & happy Monday!

baltic linens | vintage marble equestrian bookends | wood starburst clock | hexagon side table | dreaming pillow | wall storage

Boo, Monday. I had such a nice weekend with my husband, family, and friends so I was a bit sad to see it end. So to ward off the Monday blues & bring in the warm & fuzzies, here are a few cute finds for Valentine’s Day gift ideas!

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have a wonderful day!
xoxo

Sarah

Hello friends & hope you had a great weekend! So, who thought I was pregnant from Lisa’s post? That served to give me some good laughs :-)

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I am way overdue on our 1,500 sales celebration + what I learned post. It’s always good to re-cap and review a bit as milestones are reached, which I did with our 500 sales post and 1,000 sales post. Those posts ultimately lead to being quoted in a real live book which was kind of cool – The Everything Guide to Selling Arts and Crafts Online. Crazy right?

As I started to write this post, I ended up going down the rabbit hole a bit in terms of how Etsy sales and orders are actually calculated. The gist of it is that the “# of sales” figure shown on any shopfront is rather unhelpful and tells you relatively little. Here’s why:

– If you buy one Mini Human card and one Biggest Fan Card, that’s two sales, even though you (one person) bought them at the same time, in one order.

– If you buy 1,000 Mini Human cards, that’s one sale. Multiple purchases of the same item count as one sale. Since we sell cards mostly, we actually have quite a lot of multiple purchases of the same item, so the sales number is artificially low.

– Both of the above would be counted as one order.

– In the backend of an Etsy store, the part where the shop owner can see stats, you can’t track your # of sales, only revenue and # of orders per month.

Does that actually make any sense at all? Maybe it’s just me, but once I started diving into it, I realized the tracking is a bit inconsistent and hard to get a real feel for what’s actually happening, especially with the sales number.

Either way, it’s still a milestone I’m happy to reach, but for evaluation purposes, I’m going to go by revenue. 2011 was the best year for the Etsy store with 2013 being a close second and, after considering that for awhile, it makes a lot of sense.

In 2011, I had just quit my part-time job and was finding my place in the world, so one of the easier things for me to tinker with at home while I was trying to “find business” was the Etsy store. I made treasuries and was really active renewing listings, etc. I also haven’t been on the front page or in Etsy Finds since 2011, and I’m going to guess the treasury thing probably has a lot to do with that.

Since then, the business has evolved and grown in different ways. I do a lot more wedding work unrelated to Etsy than I did back then, as well as stationery for people who find out about us in other ways (Instagram, blog, etc.).

Over the holidays, I spent a lot more time doing the packaging and fulfilling of Etsy orders while Kellie was away on a long overdue vacation, and I realized how much I like doing that. It’s fun to send mail, and it’s where this whole thing started.

So why don’t I focus on it more? It’s the common small business owner’s problem: we wake up each day and look at today’s to-do list and freak out and try to get everything done, put out fires, make customers happy, etc., and we don’t stop and look up and say – what do I want to be doing next week? Six months from now? Next year?

I’m excited to step back into the Etsy shop with some renewed vigor this year. I plan on listing more items and improving photography as well as trying to make it simpler to order some of our customized options. Fingers crossed, I’m going to get back to treasury making too. I’ve made a few so far already this year and I hope to keep treasuries, blog posts, and SEO/marketing time for our business as a non-negotiable part of the weekly to-do list. We’ll see how that goes – I would love to make at least one front page appearance this year, although I think that gets harder to do everyday with how many people at on Etsy now. Wish me luck!

Hello everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful New Year’s. It’s been a whirlwind month of holidays and family time, hasn’t it? Thanksgiving was only a month ago!

Christmas in our family was really special this year. I hosted my side of the family on Christmas Eve and my cooking was mostly successful. I showed my complete lack of understanding of how coffee works and really flubbed that part up, but I think the rest was pretty seamless. I really like playing hostess and had a fun day on Christmas Eve scurrying around decorating, cooking, and wrapping the last gifts. On Christmas, we had a quiet morning just for us which was really the first time we’d ever done that and really nice to share Christmas as a couple.

As for the presents under the tree, we had planned to keep Christmas lower key this year, but we still had all kinds of fun opening gifts, laughing, and making a big ole mess. One of my favorite presents this year was from my awesome husband and it’s called “monbento.”

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monbento box review

Last year saw a lot of change for me personally in how I eat and exercise, so packing my lunch became a much bigger part of my world. I’d wanted something to make that a little easier, and R found this product. Let’s just re-cap real quick how much of a slam dunk this was:

  • It’s a French company. We know how I feel about France.
  • It’s blue and white and has a belly band.
  • Design wise, it’s thoughtful, efficient, and intentional.

So yeah, I love it. Before reviewing though, I wanted to make sure I used it a few days so I could give an honest impression. One of the coolest things about it is that you can actually microwave each “compartment” separately (it has a vent in the lid), so you don’t have to mess around with pouring soup from your tupperware into a bowl, etc.

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They also have all these cool accessories like sauce cups and cutlery. I have the sauce cups and they are so nice for dressing so you can easily make a quick salad that will stay fresh since the dressing isn’t on it. I also used one for hummus one day and that was nice.

When you get home, throw it in the dishwasher and you’re all set. I don’t know about you, but I dread opening my tupperware cabinet, so it’s nice that I don’t have to mess around with that anymore and I can just throw everything in the bento box and be on my way. I also got a cute little insulated lunch tote that it fits in so I can throw a drink or anything else in there with it.

what’s a bento?

Researcher that I am, I had to get a little more involved to find out about this company and the product. I knew a bento had Japanese origins, but apparently a “bento” refers to a meal in a container eaten outside the home. Of course, the container itself can vary I suppose based on what you buy, but overall there are lots of benefits touted to the “bento box lifestyle:”

  • Eco-friendly since it’s reusable as opposed to sandwich bags / brown bag lunches
  • It’s easier to eat healthy when you plan ahead and don’t end up at a fast food joint.
  • Saves you money and time since you’re not eating out / waiting in lines / etc.

Anyway, I’m excited to pack my lunch oh-so-stylishly this year and I’m already having lots of fun coming up with what would fit well into my bento box.

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Do you pack lunches for work / school? Any fun ideas to try?

Yummy food is always a good gift in my book. Luckily, in Charleston, we have no shortage of good culinary treats!

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One of my favorites is Sweeteeth, made right here in North Charleston. And I’m sure I don’t even have to tell you that one of the best parts is that awesome packaging! I love that the company started out of one person’s experimentation and drive and that it quite literally grew out of one awesome restaurant’s kitchen (EVO) into having its very own.

It’s the last weekend before Christmas, can you believe it? My how the time flies. I cannot wait to show you guys some of the cool pictures we took in NYC! Stay tuned & happy weekend :-)

I am a big fan of experience gifts. In many ways, I think a lot of us adults have what we need and buy what we want when it’s within reason. What’s usually more lacking is time.

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So here are a few fun ideas for “experience” or “quality time” gifts for anyone to enjoy. They’re also good last minute possibilities!

Have you ever received anything cool as an experience gift?

Boys are so hard to buy for. I am probably biased but girls are just easier, which is probably why most of my finds so far have been more girl centric. So today I’m throwing one in for the fellas.

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Brackish Bowties are awesome, unique bowties made right here Charleston. I’ve been a follower of theirs on Instagram for awhile, but I checked them out a little more to write this article and it’s really cool what they’re up to. Featured in GQ and sold all over the world, as a matter of fact!

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One of the things that is so cool is that each one is absolutely unique. There are different design styles of course, but the feathers themselves are all their own. Love that!

It’s a busy day around here as I recover from my redeye (thanks, weather) flight back to Charleston last night. Trying to jump back in as best I can – wish me luck! :-)

For today’s post, I decided to see what happened when I explored the Shop Local feature on Etsy, and I came across this lovely shop: ChaosToArt. She makes lots of different things, but I thought her recycled quilt Christmas stockings were seriously awesome.

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christmasstocking

Stockings are an important part of our Christmas tradition. How does it work in your house? Stocking first, stocking last? Does the stocking have wrapped presents or unwrapped ones? I always love hearing how different families set up the minutiae of the bigger traditions.

Happy Tuesday! Can you believe we are one week from Christmas Eve?