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, scarves, art, clothing and other holiday gift ideas—all made in Lower Merion.
- PennaInk's Emily Christopher Hollinger, located in Narberth, offers stationery—wedding invitations, save the dates, Christmas cards, etc.—with a designer's touch, as well as some screen printed items, including this I Pretzel Narberth shirt ($18). Patch readers can receive 10 percent off their purchase by using the coupon code PATCH2012, Hollinger said.
- Good Marvin, in Bala Cynwyd, features handcrafted scarves, hats, totes and more. For chilly weather, peruse the knit scarves, hats and mittens section. Owner Melissa also had this gold and black lace clutch ($38) featured in the December 2012 issue of Woman's Day magazine.
- MeganGruganPaintings, from Bala Cynwyd, paints canvases, purses, shoes and other items. Check out this upcycled Coach bag featuring a vibrant floral design ($95).
- GlassSplendor's Mike McIntyre, of Bala Cynwyd crafts unique stained glass pieces, including this blue, green and gold beveled stained glass ($75). The shop also takes color requests and complete custom orders.
- Jessica Schidlow, of Ardmore, sells pretty jewelry on her Etsy site, such as these Silver Bird Nest Earrings ($18), along with some crafty odds and ends.
- PlumetotheWind, of Ardmore, offers Etsy buyers handmade cards and prints, including these vintage-style wedding invitations with a yellow hot air balloon on the front ($3.95).
- MonogramsByMary, in addition to baby towels and bibs, offers these adorable animal baby blankets ($22), with the option to include a monogrammed name.
- Carol Maguire, of Villanova, handpaints floral designs on pillows, including this handpainted roses pillow ($85).
- Elana Rosa Design, in Bryn Mawr, creates adorable pillow friends, fabric wall art and more for babies, kids and adults. Check out this original pink owl wall art ($60) and this organic hippo pillow friend ($38). The seller said she also touts her wares at the Ardmore Farmers Market.
- KaleidoscopeGalaxy, located in Bryn Mawr, sells stained glass creations—kaleidoscopes at the KaleidoscopeGalaxy page, other stained glass creations at StainedGlassGalaxy, and even more at KaleidoscopeGalaxy.com.
- BreakingTile's artist Beth Warren, from Narberth, upcycles and combines interesting materials to create some avant garde art, including this red toys mosaic collage guitar ($145).
- GemstoneWrap's Ivy Gale Monaco creates gemstone pendants wrapped in delicate wire. Check out this reiki-infused amber pendant ($45.50).
- Superdeduper, of Bala Cynwyd, creates whimsical artwork featuring animals. This mug ($10) pictures an owl, but many of Kristy Brennan's pieces feature French bulldogs.
Know of any other great local Etsy sellers we should highlight? Tell us in the comments.