I don't know about you guys, but if I have to sit through one more celebrity-endorsed, hand-picked, small-batch, curated edit of a website stocked with overpriced, annoyingly "normcore" versions of things the rest of us have been finding all by ourselves for like, ever...well, I'm starting to feel a bit stabby.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoy a bit of high-end tat from time to time. My fridge is full of soy and almond milks, and I even make my own nut butters with the special nut butter attachment on my macerating juicer. So believe me when I tell you that I am the target demographic for this kind of over-hyped flotsam and jetsam. However, there is a limit to what the thinking person is willing to tolerate. These attempts to re-sell us things that we have been finding all on our own, re-branded as somehow more special because a celebrity has "found" them...well. Pthhht. I'm so over it that basically from now on, anyone using the word curated in front of me had better work in a museum.
Take the hot cocoa mix on the left in the above photo. Who in the blue blazes pays $30 for hot cocoa mix!? That's the latest offering from Blake Lively's curated web venture, Preserve (this exact same product also happens to be available on Etsy, for those of us who have already been shopping for overpriced bespoke cocoa for years, but I digress). Sure, it boasts the word "organic" in front of its three ingredients (that's $10 per ingredient by my counting), yet the one on the right boasts seven ingredients that promise a more interesting (albeit less organic) ride. It also includes Himalayan pink sea salt, in case you're worried about it not being pretentious enough for you. And it's five bucks on Etsy. That's more like it.
So if like me, you enjoy a potentially-pretentious, artisan-crafted, small-batch product but can't bear the thought of enduring a celebrity-endorsed, handlebar-moustached, over-inflated price tag, this list is for you, and it's all under $100. Well under. Many thanks to the many artists and crafters of Etsy whose skill and dedication make it possible.
The Highland Fashionista's Small-Batch, Only Slightly Pretentious Gift List.
The following list has not been curated in any way.
1. A personalized flask. Always a safe bet in Scotland. $29.99 - $19.99 without box / 2. A machine-washable hand knit scarf. $35 / 3. Handmade leather gloves. He gets to break them in just the way he likes. $42 / 4. An iPhone case that doubles as a conversation piece. $21-$27 / 5. Handmade suede slippers from Ukraine. $23 / 6. British felted wool and leather messenger bag. $89.16 / 7. Honey & beer soap shaving kit box. $30 / 8. Personalized fly fishing box. $39 - $49 / 9.Wooden watch with leather strap. $77
1. Custom Map Necklace. $21 / 2. Spectrum Mitts - from my Etsy shop. You didn't think I'd miss an opportunity to self-promote, did you? $12 / 3. Handmnade leather cross-body handbag from England. $56.74 / 4. Frozen Margarita lip balm. Yes please. $3 / 5. Monogrammed make-up case. $16 / 6. Woodland Branches necklace. $23 / 7. Chevron Infinity Scarf. $21.50 / 8. 24K gold over brass natural turquoise ring. $65 / 9. Natural perfume oil sampler set. $14
For the Wee Ones
1. Knit hedgehog toy from England. $8 / 2. Kids Backpack from Israel. $33.48 / 3. Baby Crochet Shark Slipper Socks. $27 / 4. Wooden Walking Dog Toy. $25 / 5. Fair Isle sweater. $36-$44 / 6. Astronauts with constellations decals from Latvia. $82 / 7. Baby sweater and hat. $18 / 8. Sesame Street felt finger puppets. $25 / 9. Wooden leaf identification educational toy. $35
Around the House
1. Felted wool kitty cave. $66 / 2. Bas Ass Merry F'N Christmas Candle. $18 / 3. Wooden Christmas Ornaments set of 3. $17 / 4. Meh Coffee Mug. $9.99 / 5. Cherry Wood Bowl. This is my friend Steve's shop. He's very talented. $65 / 6. Dandelion Print Dog Bed. $15-$67 / 7. Custom Pet Portrait. $75 / 8. Holiday-themed cotton-linen dish towels. $17.90 / 9. World Spice Kit. $20.95
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my fellow Americans!