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by Alexandra Evjen

Whether it’s a birthday, Mother’s Day, an anniversary or a graduation gift, we are often looking for small, special things to give friends and loved ones. Many times we end up resorting to gift cards because we are unsure of what they want and we don’t want to disappoint them. But when I think back to the gifts that I have received and loved the most, none of them are plastic cards with a magnetic strips on the back. They are ones that are handmade, sentimental or unique. And let’s face it, stores like Target, J.Crew or Nordstrom rarely offer things that fit into those categories.

So where do you shop? Small businesses, of course! There’s a place for big business and small, and when it comes to unique, special gifts the small businesses dominate, in my opinion. I LOVE to shop Etsy because I can always find exactly what I’m looking for, and I know that I am helping some guy or gal pay their bills all while getting to do what they love.

Wallets, tote bags and small purses are gifts that all women can use. I love the canvas tote above because you can take it to the beach, to class or grocery shopping. Also this fold-over clutch is a new trendy style that any fashion lover would enjoy.

Jewelry is never unwanted. So, it’s a safe bet that you can buy a great bracelet or ring for someone and see a happy face. In the past year, gold has taken the place of silver, so these hand-made bangles would be a timeless and stylish gift.

If you want something a bit more unique, agate and other interesting rocks are all different and make a great statement.

Sometimes you can find things on Etsy that are not only very fashionable, but are one-of-a-kind pieces of art like a hand-painted scarf. Scarves can even be wall art with a simple frame.

Just remember the little guys when you’re looking for something unique. You’re supporting someone’s passion all while finding something special.

Do you shop on Etsy? Which are your favorite shops?

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