There are several camps of Christmas shoppers, I’ve decided. There’s the uber planner who is done before Thanksgiving. The last minute, week of Christmas shopper. The gradual/early December shopper. And probably more.
I feel like I gravitate toward the gradual/early December category, but honestly? I can be as last minute as they come. (face palm) But for the ones still working on their shopping, I thought I’d share some opportunities for us to support other chronically ill business owners this season!
Today’s feature is this month’s installment of the Behind the Maker series on the blog: Conscious Crafties. You may have noticed their banner off to the side if you read my blog from a computer/laptop. 🙂
Conscious Crafties is an online marketplace where the chronically ill can sell their handmade goods and have the support of other chronic creatives. It’s a worldwide platform with many shops based out of the United Kingdom, but more shops popping up in the U.S. and beyond as they grow!
You’ll find a wide variety of items available, from jewelry and handmade clothing accessories to home decor and so much more. It’s a beautiful collision of all things creative!
It was started by the lovely Karen Thomas, who herself has been battling illness since 2011. She created this space in an effort to bring purpose to the lives of the chronically ill and I dare say she’s doing a stand up job of that!
I connected with her this year through the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network and knew I wanted to spread the word of what she and this fabulous marketplace are doing. And I had an inkling my readers would welcome it with open arms, because, well – you’re amazing!
So I thought I’d highlight a few things that caught my eye!
These necklaces are from the shop Gutsy Goodness and are handmade by Lisa Copen. When I saw her shop I realized I was familiar with her face! I somehow stumbled upon her Facebook page a couple years ago and that was one of my first connections with other chronically ill women. I was so grateful for it!
Here’s a little snippet of Lisa’s story from her shop:
“I have always been drawn to creating something with my hands and writing. Ironically my diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis set the stage for narrowing my focus. I was diagnosed at the age of 24 in 1993, and out of that came my organization, Rest Ministries, a faith-based support 501(c)3 nonprofit. This gave me the chance to become an author, speaker, and I also began a national outreach through Invisible Illness Awareness Week in 2002.”
Amanda Bardgett’s shop focuses on embroidery and her pieces are amazing. Are these towels not the absolute cutest little things ever?! The embroidery on these towels is just beautiful. I’ve decided those robins can visit me anything they want! 😉
And these baby gingerbread men get all the heart eyes from me – SO CUTE!
A little bit of Amanda’s story:
“For a long time I had thought about running my own business, but just didn’t know what to do. One day Mum saw and advert for a embroidery machine, ‘you could do that!’ she said. So, along came this huge machine which initially I was terrified of! Eventually after several months I braved it and in January of this year (2016) I jumped in.”
So glad you did, Amanda!
Who wouldn’t be able to get on board with Lea’s shop name?! Everyone should feel beautiful. I love the choice of aquamarine in this gorgeous sterling silver necklace. It’s somehow both bold and delicate, all at the same time.
Her shop carries gorgeous rings, earrings and necklaces that fit a variety of styles that are sure to brighten someone’s Christmas morning. Like this unicorn pendant and chain! Pretty sure my unicorn leggings would approve.
This shop is one I wanted to highlight. Are you familiar with the Spoon Theory? If not you can read more about it here. The author of the Spoon Theory, Christine Miserandino has been dealt an incredibly hard hand this year and this shop was set up by the Conscious Crafties to contribute to her fundraiser. Each item listed in the shop has been donated and the proceeds will go toward her surgery and treatment fund.
Isn’t this embroidered snowman cosmetic bag donated by Julie Vale’s shop so adorable?! You can snatch this cutie up for yourself or a friend here. Julie’s shop carries cosmetic bags and adorably embroidered water bottle cozies.
Laura McKee donated this vintage style butterfly box for the Smile Shop which has been lined with felt for safekeeping of your jewelry or trinkets. Her shop, Paprika Jewelry & Accessories, carries hand crafted jewelry, brooches, cards and more!
The Spoon Lady Smile Shop is a great place to start if you’re wanting to purchase some gifts for Christmas! Not only will you feel great supporting handmade work, but you’ll be directly helping another illness warrior in their fight.
There are TONS of other shops on Conscious Crafties and they’re loaded to the brim with items to browse and purchase for your Christmas gifts this year! If you find something in the marketplace that we just NEED to know about, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Looking to open your own shop on Conscious Crafties? You can read up on the process here.