12 lovely gift ideas from indie makers + fairgoods


I have severe gift anxiety. Most people get excited for special events like birthdays, winter holidays, anniversaries, valentine’s day etc… Of course, I can’t wait to hang out and share good food and drinks with my friends and family on special occasions but, I get a bit panicky when it come to getting them a little something to show how much I care.

I have this friend who I call the master of gifts. Somehow she’s always able to find the exact perfect present for anyone… for any occasion. At my wedding, six months ago, we toasted with the wine my husband made. It was his first time making wine and it was a lifelong dream of his.

Side note: Truth be told the wine making was done in a pretty old school style in a dank dirt-floor basement. When I went to help them bottle the wine, I was told to watch out for bats in the cellar. I nonchalantly tried to keep one hand on my neck (I assumed all bats were vampire bats and as much as I love True Blood, I really wanted to get married in the daytime) while I helped put corks in the wine bottles using this ancient manual machine.

Back to the master of gifts. Her wedding gift: a wooden wine keeper box that was labeled so that we’d have bottles to drink on our first, fifth and tenth anniversaries. She knew how important the wine my husband made that year was to us and she also knew us well enough to know that if it wasn’t locked in a wooden box (no matter how much we wanted to save it) we wouldn’t be able to hold off popping the cork off his wine.

I want to give a gift that doesn’t end up in the thrift store giveaway pile. I want to give something personal. It’s also super important that the gift reflects my love of, and commitment to, independent design. In past years, I made most of my gifts but, as my schedule gets busier, I don’t have as much time as I did when I spent a week making candles or hand-painted clocks or tiny balsa wood replicas of my loved ones homes. The past few years I’ve done a combination of buying things on Etsy, sneaking in a bit of shopping time at our Patchwork Shows and making a few handmade gifts.

When February hit, I got a case of my familiar gift-jitters when thinking of what to get my husband for the Valentine’s Day. Recently I was introduced to Fairgoods, an online shop based in Canada that shares my ethos of supporting independent makers. Not only does Fairgoods sell a curated selection of accessories, housewares, apparel, and decor, as well as digital goods like type (I’ve spent the past few hours drooling over their fonts – fyi) but they also have an lovely blog chock full of DIY-how-to projects and posts about the people who make the goods they sell.

Lucky me, I found out about Fairgoods now. I’m getting a head start on my gift shopping for this year. I’m trying to be super organized and even made aย  spreadsheet listing loved ones, gifts ideas and occasions. I’m not buying all of my gifts but this way I’ll have more time to make handmade things or research store-bought gifts.

Perhaps I’m not the master of gifts quite yet but at least I feel more like an intern now.

-nicole s.

FYI: I found out about Fairgoods when they emailed me about joining us as a sponsor at Craftcation this year. Although I wasn’t compensated specifically to do this post, they are a sponsor of Craftcation. We couldn’t help but shout out about their awesomeness! We are so excited to have them on board and even more excited for their workshop where attendees will be doing block printing.


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