Searching for a standout holiday gift? Artisans across the state offer handmade, often upcycled, wares for your perusing pleasure on Etsy.com. Take a virtual shopping trip to these online stores to find that one-of-a-kind present, while supporting local Etsy shop owners.
1. The Pillow Girls, Cherry Hill
Things We Love: Pretty mouse pads, cute desk decor, printable calendars
These chic mousepads give flair to any home or office. Sisters Tammy and Tiffeny create hand-pressed mouse mats from fabric and rubber. Their designs have even been featured on Buzzfeed and Popsugar. Join their movement to turn drab workspaces into places of inspiration.
2. NJ Coastline Photo, Belmar
Things We Love: Jersey Shore prints and photography
A Jersey Shore native himself, Wally Bilotta started snapping photos with his iPhone a few years ago—a hobby that soon developed into a passion for photography. A captivating image of what is perhaps our state’s most cherished feature is an ideal gift for Garden State residents or any ocean lover. This art print is a photograph taken in Spring Lake, New Jersey.
3. Mt Lebanon Soap Company, Port Murray
Things We Love: Paraben-, sulfate- and phthalate-free soaps
What started out as an idea for wedding favors soon became a soap-making business for massage therapist Erin Csernica and her husband, Chris, a chemical engineer. The couple opened Mt Lebanon Soap Company in 2011, the same year their daughter, Summer, was born with Down Syndrome. All of the profits from their Etsy shop go towards a trust for her future. Their apple cinnamon soap is pictured.
4. Rendered Impressions, Cranbury
Things We Love: Original oil paintings
Cranbury artist Catherine Martzloff creates one-of-a-kind landscape and still-life oil paintings. Years after studying art in college, Martzloff reunited with her artistic side when she set up an Etsy shop. “Sharing my paintings and artwork here is an opportunity to affirm my creative voice and honor the painter inside,” she writes in her bio. Her landscape paintings are typically created on location in scenic areas of the Garden State, such as this one at Sayen Gardens in Central Jersey.
5. Rehabulous, Hoboken
Things We Love: Re-purposed glass bottles.
John Rosano and the eco-minded Rehabulous team cut, sand, sculpt, melt and glue—or rehab—the glass bottles that Hoboken bars would otherwise toss out. Rosano discovered his passion for repurposing when he started experimenting with a bottle cutting kit he received as a gift one Christmas. Now, he transforms bottles into planters, dishes, candleholders and other items.
6. Happenstance Paper, Glen Ridge
Things We Love: Place cards, stationery, linen napkins, kitchen towels, wine totes
Monogrammed stationery and personalized kitchen towels marry a love of cooking with a passion for stationary and handwritten notes. Happenstance Paper creator Susan Krien illustrates “simple pleasures,” such as fruits, animals and flowers in her handmade linen artwork.
7. Archivie, Montclair
Things We Love: Printed scarves
Book-lover Anne Liedtka aims to “add wit to what women wear” with her printed scarf collection, Archivie. Inspired by popular figures in history and fiction, Liedtka incorporates Miss Fury, Sun Girl, Miss Espionage, Black Cat, Lady Luck and Venus (some of the first super heroines to appear in comic books) into this textile. Other available Archivie prints feature mermaids, cats and dogs, a moon and stars and roses.
8. Candles By Cayla, Williamstown
Things We Love: 100-percent organic soy candles
In search of some extra cash while saving for her wedding, Cayla Clee started creating candles. Soon, friends and family demanded more of the 100-percent organic soy candles, such as the cranberry marmalade scented variety pictured. She quickly churned out her first batch of hand-poured candles, signed up for a craft show and opened her Etsy shop.
9. One Man Gathers Studio, Boonton
Things We Love: Reclaimed picture frames, home décor, wall art
One Man Gathers Studio gives old wood a second chance. All products are made from reclaimed wood—including wall art, picture frames and a six-pack holder. “I enjoy taking items that would have been destined for the landfill and creating something new and upcycled,” owner Matt Myers writes in his Etsy bio.
10. Mermaids Masterpiece, Point Pleasant Beach
Things We Love: Driftwood creations
Jeanette Wehner looks to the Shore for artistic inspiration, and all driftwood used in her products was found along the Jersey coast. Her driftwood creations—some painted, some natural—are mounted on cardboard backings with a piece of hemp for hanging. Choose animals, letters and symbols such as anchors.