This week we’re highlighting one of our favorite sources of unique and handmade baby goods: Etsy.
Etsy describes itself as a “marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods. Our mission is to re-imagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.” It’s also a Certified B Corporation (along with the likes of Patagonia and Seventh Generation), meaning it aims to “use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems” rather than being organized around the primary purpose of generating a profit.
Sounds pretty good, right? And there are lots of benefits for the discerning buyer as well: not only are you supporting an individual artisan or small business, but you’re getting something handcrafted and more unique (sometimes even one-of-a-kind) than the mass-market products sold at major retailers. Many Etsy sellers also choose to use organic and/or sustainable materials, tend toward a more modern style, and produce their products locally.
For all of these reasons, Etsy products also make fantastic baby gifts! Often the presents that get the most “oohs” and “aahs” at baby showers are the unique ones from Etsy. 🙂 You can directly purchase a product to give as a gift, or alternatively you can buy a gift certificate to many Etsy stores to allow the mama-to-be to order something that fits her tastes.
There are so many amazing sellers and products on Etsy that it would be impossible to feature them all. So we will use this post to share just a few of our favorites. 🙂 (NB: We are not receiving any kind of compensation for this post or for the specific shops and products that we have chosen to feature. We are just big fans and want to share some of our favorite finds!)
We love absolutely everything from the Organic Quilt Company. Their expertly crafted baby blankets, quilts, burp cloths, bibs, hats, and towels are made from organic materials, come in a wide range of modern prints, and make perfect baby gifts. We own and love their Essential Organic Baby Blanket ($32.50) — one of our top choices for baby shower gifts.
Petunias features its own digital designs on its quilts, wet bags, and bags. Their Hoot Hoot quilt ($81) is perfect for a newborn photo shoot or as a floor mat. Because they print their own fabrics, many of their products can also be personalized with your child’s name or birth details.
Wall decals are a great way to make a big impact on the look and feel of a nursery very quickly. There’s a wide range of decals available on Etsy — from these simple, classy clouds ($35-45) from Katazoom to weeping trees and elaborate animal scenes. You’re sure to find decals to match or inspire almost any theme for your nursery.
Fabric storage bins are great alternatives to ugly plastic totes. We love these expertly crafted, made-to-order storage bins from Baffin Bags. They are available in a variety of fabrics and sizes — from the 5×8″ version shown below (perfect for use as a diaper caddy; $18) to larger versions appropriate for toys.
If you’re looking for some unique threads for your little one, there are many sellers on Etsy who make handmade baby clothes — many with organic fabrics and modern prints.
North Carolina-based holdyoume is one of our favorite baby clothing shops. They make pants, matching hats, headbands, and swaddle blankets in modern graphical prints. Check out their adorable whale pants ($28-38):
Shoes with soft soles are perfect for crawlers, cruisers, and early walkers. Many Etsy sellers offer made-to-order soft soles in a range of fabrics, including these wonderful nature-inspired shoes from Growing Up Wild ($28):
There are many products made out of recycled wool on Etsy as well, including these adorable owl slippers ($32) from Little Friends. We’ve bought several pairs of slippers from Catherine over the years, some for own our littles and some as baby gifts, and all have been cherished.
We also love Etsy for amazingly affordable (especially given the quality) soft soled shoes made out of leather, like these fabulous owl shoes ($24-27) from Starry Knight Design (are you noticing a trend here? we just can’t get enough of all these adorable owls!):
There is no shortage of adorable handmade baby hats on Etsy. Here’s a classic skull cap/knot hat sporting an adorable elephant print from Paisley Pair Designs ($18). Also available in many other fabrics.
Nursing and feeding
Drool bibs are a must for little ones, and it’s easy to find unique, modern, and organic ones on Etsy. This organic cotton woodland theme bib and burp cloth set ($25) from wilder & bean is just perfect.
And don’t forget some organic washcloths. CurlyMonkey has some organic hemp/cotton cloths that are great for bathtime and for wiping baby’s face ($11.50 for 6-pack). They can also be used as reusable diaper wipes if you’re cloth diapering.
Imagination Kids, based in Indiana, is a favorite Etsy shop that hand creates fantastic wooden toys from sustainably harvested wood and non-toxic paints. Their range includes animals, push and pull toys, stacking toys, and more. Two of our favorites are this rainbow stacker (reminiscent of Grimms, but at a much more affordable price) and adorable hedgehog family ($25 each).
Smiling Tree Toys, based in Minnesota, makes heirloom-quality, natural-colored wooden toys like this name-personalized truck ($20). Its products are hand-crafted from certified sustainably harvested hardwoods and are finished with an organic oil-and-beeswax-blend finish.
Nicole’s Critters specializes in crocheted stuffed animals. Our farm-obsessed toddler has this adorable sheep ($45) and is in love with it. The seller was very happy to work with us to create a custom version out of 100% cotton yarn.
100% organic stuffed animals are hard to find in most stores — but not on Etsy. This pumpkin monkey ($76) from Yarn Miracle is hand knit with organic cotton yarn and stuffed with organic cotton batting. A bit pricey, but an amazing choice if you’re in the market for a new best friend for your child.
For kids in daycare or preschool, we LOVE the personalized clothing labels from Ananemone Labels. You can choose from basic name only (in your choice of fonts) or a wide range of graphic designs; most designs are available in both sew-on and iron-on versions. We couldn’t resist these adorable robot name labels ($18) for our resident toddler. But word to the wise(r than we are): don’t try ironing them onto an insulated lunch box – you’ll melt it (oops!).
Well, that’s it for our Etsy round-up. Hope you discovered at least one new product that you love for your little one or your next baby shower. Did we miss any of your favorite Etsy shops or products? Let us know in the comments!