Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Making a Difference


When I first started blogging, it was simply a creative outlet for me and me alone. I was in graduate school full time back then, and I wanted that outlet because I wanted to create something for myself and no one else. I was spending most of my creative energy writing and doing research--it was all work that would be judged, critiqued, and graded by someone else. It started to weigh on me that I was only creating to satisfy someone else's requirements. But when I wrote about our home and life, it was just about putting what was on my heart into words, and that filled up my soul.

Then a crazy thing happened.


Other people started to read what I was writing. And they opened their hearts up right back at me. Together, we found community around a shared goal of living the good life, working with purpose, loving with honesty, and making a difference.

Some of the people I've met along this journey are doing the exact same thing. They're using their creativity to give something of themselves to the world simply because it fulfills them. Through that work, they're discovering something more--community, connection, purpose, and meaning.


This is one of the biggest reasons I believe it's so important to support small businesses and artisans.

Small businesses are the heart and soul of our communities. Last year around this time, I shared about the many reasons shopping small is especially important to me, and I introduced you to some of my favorite people who are doing good work with their creativity.

What a lot of people don't realize is that small shops earn almost one-third of their annual revenue during the tiny window of the holiday shopping season. That is a truly remarkable fact.



Imagine if your family depended on just a few weeks' of your income to support a third of your annual needs.

Shopping small is a big way to make a difference in our communities.


It is such an honor to partner with the kind folks at Etsy.com for the second consecutive year.  There are so many terrific small businesses that I love, and I make an effort to highlight many of them throughout the year. Today, I'm thrilled to introduce you to some of my favorites who are creating truly unique gifts and decor for the holiday season!




Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Etsy, however all opinions are my own. Some links to products that follow may be affiliate links, and I might earn a commission if you make a purchase through that link. This usually amounts to cents, not dollars, and helps to support the projects featured on this blog. I only recommend products from companies that I have found to be trustworthy. Read my full disclosure here.


1. Rustic Farmhouse Wreath



I've been collecting bottle brush trees to use in my own decor for several years, and I absolutely adore this sweet wreath from Kara at White Ruffles and Lace. The neutral colors and rustic, farmhouse vibe are oh-so-perfect, don't you think?

{Click here to save 15% off at White Ruffles and Lace}



2. Chippy Trees



Salvaged and upcycled materials are such a great way to support Mother Nature, and they look so cool to boot! These rustic trees from Gilby's Goods are a charming farmhouse accent. The chippy and distressed white ones are my favs!

{Click here to save 20% off at Gilby's Goods}



3. Vintage Marquee Letters



Be still my vintage loving heart! Traci at Rustic Eye is one of my blogging besties, and I have to admit that I'm just a bit addicted to her shop. She calls it her "vintage general store", and there are so many treasures to be found. If you're looking for anything in the typography or letterpress world, Traci probably has it!

{Click here to save 10% off at Rustic Eye through January 31, 2020}



4. Scandi Christmas Gnome Garland



Centuries ago, Scandinavian people believed that house-gnomes guarded their homes against evil. If you were good, the elves were good to you, but if you were bad, the mischievous elves would play tricks on you. This felted gnome garland from Handcrafted Buffalo is the perfect accent to your fireplace mantel, doorway, or tree branches!

{Click here to save 15% off at Handcrafted Buffalo through March 1, 2020}



5. Wooden Christmas Houses



I'm so smitten with these darling wooden houses from Daisy Sue Design. They're available in several variations, and I think they would make the sweetest Christmas village clustered together on a farmhouse fireplace mantel!

{Click here to save 10% off at Daisy Sue Design through December 20, 2019}



6. Architectural Salvage Snowflake



Old building materials should never end up in landfills! These beautiful snowflakes from Hogg Barn Antiques are crafted with salvaged wood that retains the history and originality of its past life. If this is a new shop to you, you are in for a serious treat! Shannon has a way of displaying her vintage goods that is absolute eye candy!

{Click here to save 15% off at Hogg Barn Antiques}



7. Vintage Schoolroom Stamps



Are you like me, and old enough to remember using these wood-handled rubber stamps in school? My friend Traci from Rustic Eye has a huge collection of these that span just about every season and topic you could imagine. I think they look so cool nestled into decor on a shelf, and I have several tucked in around our own home. Talk about a unique stocking stuffer for a vintage lover!

{Click here to save 10% off at Rustic Eye through January 31, 2020}



8. Knitted Yarn Garland



I love anything that evokes a cozy feeling during the holidays, and is there anything cozier than knit sweaters? Kara from White Ruffles and Lace makes these beautiful knit garlands that would be perfect for a cozy-themed tree, or draped across your holiday mantel or tablescape.

{Click here to save 15% off at White Ruffles and Lace}



9. Vintage Sheet Music Stars



I've said it before, but I'll happily say it again--Shannon from Hogg Barn Antiques has an amazing eye for styling vintage decor. Her entire shop is loaded with inspiration! And I'm totally in love with these stars cut from vintage sheet music. The crafting and decorating possibilities are endless!

{Click here to save 15% off at Hogg Barn Antiques}


Small Shops Giveaway!
Join me over on Instagram where we'll be giving away a fantastic bundle of gifts to one lucky person.
Click here for all the details.



More Small Shops!
Love supporting small shops? Looking for more great gift ideas?

Check out these themed gift guides on Etsy.com for more unique items:
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4 comments

  1. Fabulous Post!!!It's interesting how we evolve as a blogger. You chose darling gifts! I sent your link to my Sista because she lives in a farmhouse too! Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Hi Katie! It really is interesting to see how the things that truly matter to us, our values, show up in our journaling world. I believe so much in small businesses...I guess it's no wonder that I enjoy highlighting my favorites! Thank you so much for introducing your sister, too...I hope she'll drop in a comment so I can say hello! xo

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  2. I just LOVE everything about this article! Thank you for continuing to inspire and spread love and kindness. Merry Christmas, Kristi! <3

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    Replies
    1. You are always so very generous with your kind words, Traci! It's quite a compliment from someone with your talent and heart. Merry Christmas to you, too!

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