Tis the season to buy stuff. To aid in your process, I’m going to be putting together a few gift guides for your shopping pleasure with various themes.
The theme of this first guide? Awesome customer service. Shopping can be hectic (especially for those last-minute shoppers) and buying online can be uber nerve-wracking when you’re hoping to meet a holiday deadline.
Over the past few years, I’ve made my share of Etsy purchases. One of the very best things about buying handmade is the one-to-one connection. So many shops have really spectacular customer service (and more than a few need some lessons in being nice …) coupled with some amazing products. So if you want to bring your business to someone who deserves it, might I suggest the following shops?
I have purchased a number of hand-stamped charms from Krabby Kasey, and the speed of her creation and shipping is never less than Road-Runner fast. Kasey’s prices are reasonable, and her quality is stupendous. I’ve purchased hand-stamped from a few shops, and her materials and technique is by far the best I’ve received.
I first found Phul Effect on a blog (can’t for the life of me remember which one) because I entered a giveaway sponsored by Phul Effect. As I started to peruse Crysten’s shop, I found these little lovelies. I adore quills, and I’ve never seen these pen tips made into necklaces before. I convo’d Crysten to see if she would be willing to sell me just the pendant, and she was more than happy to accommodate. Her shipping was fast and — I can’t stress this enough — the entire idea and creation behind this pendant is brilliant.
It must be said: When I was starting out on Etsy, The Peach Tree is one of the first jewelry shops I remember. I looked at Amy’s shop and said, “I will never be like that. But man, oh man, this is the shop to use as a goal.” Her photos were and remain some of the best I’ve seen on Etsy, and her customer service is top notch. I’m the happy owner of two pairs of Peach Tree earrings (here and here, if you’re curious), and Amy’s packages always come with such sweet surprises: a package of mint tea, a handwritten note, a button from the Etsy labs. One pair of earrings came with another as a thank you, which I gave to a friend for her birthday. When purchasing from The Peach Tree, it’s almost as much about the experience as it is about the jewelry, which is simple and classic.
I first found Clever Hands because the shop was featured on the front page of Etsy. The item was a bandolier — a creation by Emily of an elastic band that is meant to fit over a journal or sketch book. My beau is an artist and regularly carries a sketch book with him; his pens, pencils and markers regularly scattered all over the place. Solution: a Clever Hands bandolier. When I made the order, Emily didn’t yet have the appropriate size (her collection has since expanded), but she had timely and friendly communication with me to create one in the right size and color.
A few years ago, I purchased a few bookmarks from Paper Planet. (Dog-earred pages make me weep — use a bookmark, people!!) Since then, I’ve been in touch with Sherry a few times. Though we have never met face-to-face, she donated items to both Joey’s Auctions, 2010 and 2011. She has a heart of gold and is beyond a sweetheart: the exact person you want to have your business.
Best of luck, happy shoppers. I hope you’re able to find an awesome goodie or two from some very well-deserving shops.