Tipis from Vanilla Bug

A sweet reader named Mari wrote to me today asking for some help with shopping for a present for her boyfriend's birthday, which is October 20. She writes:

I've been looking on Etsy for the past hour and a half but there are so many things on there I am getting overwhelmed! I've only found two things so far, one of them being that excellent black gingham tie you have listed on your Etsy! Any help on Etsy or small indie shops that have online shops that you could give me? Any help would be most appreciated!

I'm sure we've all been there! Men are sometimes so hard to shop for. So please, let's help her out. I have suggested that she look through other people's Etsy favourites (here are mine, even though I haven't been updating them lately), and I also suggested the following online shops: Little Paper Planes, The Shiny Squirrel, and Tiny Showcase.

What are your favourite online shops and sellers? Are your Etsy favourites sensational? Are you an amazing Etsy seller? Let's hear it. Let's help her find her boyfriend the best birthday present ever.


  1. my badges suit boys, as you know.

    & maybe he likes vinyl? i dunno, i can't think of anything for my boys xmas present.


    good luck!

  2. I just started a shop of little animals. But, maybe that is more suited for a girl. It depends!


  3. I sell handpainted monogram mugs in a variety of styles, but this is by far the favorite for gifts for "him." :D


  4. I sell love letter kits, called Cupid Kits. I have two in my shop right now, but would be delighted to custom-make one to her specifications. My Etsy shop is at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=7692380

  5. ok, how about my fabulous new sock garters! they are photographed on girl legs but can work for men or women.


    AND a fabulous gingham tie from Fieldguided.

  6. oh yes, a fabulous gingham tie from Fieldguided is right!!! my boyfriend totally loved it!


  7. for men's goods, i would recommend mr. skona. that said, i know the skona household is expecting so possibly production has slowed.


    upon inspection, the shop is empty. but totally worth bookmarking for men's goods.

  8. I'm a wee bit biased because she is my best friend, but ChakraPennywhistle sells AMAZING wallets made out of vintage bank money bags; each one is unique and they are beautifully sewn by her. To see a gallery of examples visit www.chakrapennywhistle.com. From there you can click on shop, and it should take you right to her etsy store (www.chakrapennywhistle.etsy.com). Good luck!

  9. How about the gift guides on Etsy? I always find them inspirational and well curated. :)

  10. Hi Anabella
    I've been reading your blog for some time now and also starting my own etsy shop to sell my photos.I've always been waaay to shy to post, but now I'm trying to be all brave and get to know other crafty arty folks, and do the scariest thing and self-promote (eep!).

    So I can say maybe some of my photos would suit a manly style, if he were the sort of man who likes his things spooky and maybe a little bit pretty.

    But, really, probably one of your ties, because they are so swell!


  11. Yes, one of Anabela's gingham ties would be perfect. And maybe one of these cool wallets, too?


  12. i was looking at http://www.buyolympia.com/ yesterday and found nice things,maybe it helps!

  13. I agree with Elena-- Buy Olympia has great stuff. I got my boyfriend one of the crow t-shirts by Nikki McClure and he loves it. Another source for fun, good quality t-shirts is Suppermaggie.com.

    I also recently bought this t-shirt for him, but it hasn't come in the mail yet. I can't wait to see it in person! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32195032

    Another gift he liked from etsy was the burlap bucket from designsmayamade: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32073073

    If he likes cooking, these are nice! http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5528102

  14. for his birthday this year i got my boyfriend a custom made messenger bag by the every amazing wendy at my all-time favorite etsy seller, Moop Handmade. he loves it and uses it all the time!



  15. Speaking of fabulous ties (I love yours, Anabela!), I'm obsessed with XO Elle's bow ties on Etsy; wish I had a man to buy one for!

    I love this print specifically, though it doesn't seem there are any in it for sale right now:

  16. Here's a shop I bought Luke a dish set from ages ago. Note: my boyfriend loves zombies. Folded Pigs

    and a fieldguided tie.

  17. my husband wears ties, so i get him screen printed ties. the last one i got him had bob dylan on it. does that help at all???

  18. I've sold a lot of my vintage desk lamps to men it seems... I am always on the lookout for the cool & unusual!

    Love the ties in your shop though!

    -Carol, a fellow Torontonian

  19. Here's a little something to add to the mix.

    Check out the vintage "Number 1 Fire Co" tumblers I just posted at www.TwoThriftyGirls.etsy.com. A fun way to say, "You're hot!"

    Or you could give your boyfriend some "Good Karma" from www.BentoBoxGifts.com. Who doesn't need good fortune, good luck and good karma?

    Good luck in your gift search!

  20. I suggest that you give him an hypoallergenic pillows or bolster pillow that he can embrace at night. It's like you are the pillow, and he will remember you everytime he sleeps.