We all know the advantages of shopping locally: It's an investment in your community, an important way to keep money local during trying economic times, and a way to lessen your carbon footprint. But, what if you prefer to do your shopping from the sofa?
Never fear: there are still ways to shop close to home without actually leaving home.
Etsy, a website for vintage and handmade wares, is a great resource for the online shopper. The site has sellers from all over the world, but includes an Etsy Local page where you can select your location and only shop close to home.
Check out the lists below for jewelry, soaps, scarves, dog treats, spices, art, clothing, journals and other holiday gift ideas—all made in the Chestnut Hill Patch area and surrounding region.
- Bijoux By Meg, located in Philadelphia, features beautiful wrapped wire, metal, and Swarovski crystal necklaces. The designs are targeted at brides and bridesmaids, but items like this gold initial necklace with wrapped wire and rose Swarovski crystal ($34) can be worn by anyone—and crystal color is customizable.
- Cutesy But Not Cutesy, from Philadelphia, sells sweatshirts with a sense of humor for kids and adults, like this Little Monster Hoodie ($45), along with assorted monster accessories.
- BlueToad, located in Philadelphia, offers handbound journals in a number of sizes, styles and designs ($15 to $25) for the writer in your life.
- Ashley Heath Design, located in Philadelphia, focuses on handmade pillows—some with Philly pride, and others that are whimsical and fun, like this bird pillow ($20), or pink flower pillow ($30).
- Bathtub Jungle, from Philadelphia, offers some unique jewelry items, like this handcut Octopus In Claw Bathtub necklace ($45), or similar necklaces with teeth, kitchen utensils or whales. There are some tamer pieces too, like this LOVE Necklace ($70).
- ExoDesign, from Philadelphia, features some pretty, delicate jewelry pieces, as well as a wire whisk necklace ($42) that is making the rounds on Etsy and would be a great present for any bakers with whom you're exchanging gifts.
For gifts that are still local but not quite so close, check out some of our other favorites:
- Amble Ergo, located in Broomall, specializes in beautiful handcrafted soap for $3 to $6 a bar, and also offers handcrafted hats and scarves that begin at $12.
- 111collegedesign, in Havertown, showcases the interesting mixed media pieces of artist Abby Sernoff. The pieces range in price from $3.50 for a 2.5x3.5, to $150 for a 9x12.
- Signature Bonz, located in Broomall, offers edible treats for the pups and dog lovers in your life, like Christmas cannoli dog treats ($8).
- Sugared Spice Shop, located in Newtown Square, is perfect for the foodie in your life. Get treats like sundried tomato sea salt, poultry rubs or lavender sugar, for about $6 to $9. Sugars and spices are available in 4 oz. containers, or larger ones.
- Rachel Ink, from Havertown, features cool ink prints, hand drawn illustrations and cards with a touch of whimsy, like this Seahorse Love card ($2.75) or this set of eight Lace Handkerchief Thank You Cards ($12).
- Harmony And Grace, located in Newtown Square, is full of beautiful handcrafted jewelry, like this Labradorite Pendant Necklace with Drops of Moonstone, Labradorite and Aquamarine ($68).
- Under The Umbrella Mom, located in Broomall, creates custom bridal hangers for the bride-to-be in your life.
- Julie Gregory Designs, located in Havertown, features beautiful necklaces, bracelets and earrings made from metal, crystals and stones. Her Citrine Crystal, Apatite Silver Necklace ($49) even made it to the front page of Etsy.
- Carol Segal, in Wayne, offers a plethora of cool—and fairly affordable—vintage jewelry finds, like this Renoir Vintage Copper Necklace ($30) or these Judy Lee Peridot Rhinestone Earrings ($24).
For a non-Etsy gift, consider buying a gift certificate from Group On, Living Social, or another similar site. Both offer great deals on local restaurants, spas and businesses that can be used for yourself or bought as a gift. Living Social also offers another incentive: buy the deal, get three friends to buy the deal from a special link, and then yours is free.