Want to send the perfect Colorado gift this year, but have no idea what to get? You can’t mail marijuana, so skip the Colorado merchandise and shop on Etsy for a present that’s authentically made in our state by local artists in Colorado. These Etsy crafters are extremely talented, and your loved one will love your unique present. You might want to even buy one for yourself. Here’s what the artists had to say about their Etsy products.

1. Warm Personality

Warm Personality. Photo by Melissa Larsen.

Warm Personality. Photo by Scott Griffith.

Name: Melissa Larsen
Craft: Handmade plushies, pillow pals and small gifts
Price Range: $13-$40
Etsy: warmpersonality

303: Describe your products. What are they made of? 

Melissa Larsen: I create sewing and textile-based fine goods using a combination of machine sewing and hand stitching. I design all of my patterns myself which lends to the unique and whimsical feel of them. My product line includes plushies or pillow pals and small accessories like wallets, passport covers, eyewear cases and key fobs. I also make kitchen goods such as potholders, tea towels, cup cozies and decorative magnets. My products are made from a variety of different fabrics. I use cotton fabric, super soft minky fabric and synthetic furs. All of my small accessories are also made from synthetic leather to create vegan-friendly products.

303: How did you get started in your craft? 

ML: I am largely self-taught. My great grandmother was a master seamstress, so a passion for sewing runs in my blood. In college, I purchased a wonderful quilt for my bed found myself looking at it thinking, “I could make this myself.” I then taught myself to quilt. I gave the quilts I made as gifts and my friends and family told me I should sell them. I soon realized quilts would be hard to sell, so I began designing smaller products that were more affordable [to make]. My sister and I were shopping one day, and she found a cute pair of knee socks and asked me if I could make them into a sock monkey for her. I said it would look weird, but I would try. It turned out to be quite cute, so I made more. The sock monkeys were my first big sellers on Etsy, and the rest of the business kind of grew from there.

303: Why would one of your products make a good holiday gift?

ML: I believe handmade items are tiny items with souls. An artist puts so much of themselves into their work, and it’s apparent when looking at a finished piece. I’ve been told time and time again that people can’t help but smile when looking at my work. I create every single item by hand, making them one of a kind. While I make many that look similar, no two are ever the same. When giving one of my items as a gift, customers know they are giving a truly unique item and they can also be sure they are giving someone a smile, and that is simply priceless.

2. Salt Fox Designs

Salt Fox Designs. Photo by Anthony Sandrin.

Salt Fox Designs. Photo by Anthony Sandrin.

Name: Becki Lee
Craft: Handmade jewelry
Price Range: $16-$200
Etsy: SaltFoxDesigns

303: Describe your products. What are they made of?

Becki Lee: I create wilderness-inspired jewelry. As an indie business owner, metalsmith, and one-woman show, I create conscientiously, investing solely in ethically sourced gemstones that are hand-cut from their respective motherlands—American-mined turquoise from the dreamy Southwest, and recycled silver when possible. All of the sea glass, succulents and coral I use have been handpicked or hand-grown by me during my sea-fueled travels. I only work with pure silver since I want my pieces to be well-loved and worn for generations.

303: How did you get started in your craft? 

BL: I have been an artist pretty much my entire life, but struggled to find a medium that truly resonated with me. Like many humans (and magpies), I had always had an affinity for sparkly trinkets, so, on a whim, I decided to take a quick course in metalsmithing. Many moons later, with tons of scrap silver, exasperated screams into the sky, superficial burns and failed design attempts, Salt Fox Designs was born.

303: Where do you find your inspiration? 

BL: My designs are deeply rooted in inspiration I draw from botany, saltwater and genuine sea glass (I adore the idea of picking something up that somebody threw away hundreds of years ago and creating a gorgeous heirloom piece with), and learning to love the process of creating a distinct handmade piece that is as unique as the human it will one day adorn.

3. Lindsey Kay Collective

Lindsey Kay. Photo by Meg O’Neill.

Lindsey Kay Collective. Photo by Meg O’Neill.

Name: Lindsey Nichols
Craft: Handcrafted art prints
Price Range: $12-$30
Etsy: LindseyKayCo

303: Describe your products. What are they made of? 

Lindsey Nichols: My art prints are digitally created collages using vintage textures I have collected over the years. These textures include old wallpaper pieces, vintage book covers, old magazine ads, fabrics, paper packaging, antique letters and postcards, and whatever else I come across that I think is visually appealing. I also do hand-drawn typography as well.

303: How did you get started in your craft? 

LN: I have always found the craft and technique of collage intriguing. I love the idea of creating something out of found objects. Each piece can tell so many different stories.

303: Where do you find your inspiration?

LN: I find my inspiration everywhere. As a full-time designer, creative people surround me all the time, which helps spark new ideas for prints. Also, just getting out and exploring new places helps influence new ideas.

4. Plain Papyrus

Plain Papyrus via Etsy

Plain Papyrus via Etsy

Name: Luis Mata and Marlon Mata
Craft: 3D paper sculptures that you can print and build yourself or buy pre-made
Price Range: $7.99 for DIY assembly. Pre-assembled will vary on size and material.
Etsy: PlainPapyrus

303: Describe your products. What are they made of? 

Luis Mata and Marlon Mata: Lifelike sculptures and masks of animals made out of paper.

303: Where do you find your inspiration?

LM & MM: Inspiration can be found anywhere really. We really like anything that is animal related, since animals and this form of art go really well together.

303: Describe the process for making one of your products. How much time does it take? 

LM & MM: Time is relative. It all depends on the sculpture or mask. Our simplest mask, which is our skull mask, can be built in just less than four hours. Our biggest and most intricate sculptures can range from 18 hours to a couple of days to be fully assembled, but the result is well worth the effort.

5. Leather and Pine Co.

Leather and Pine Co. Photo by Bethany Kicz-Carlock.

Leather and Pine Co. Photo by Bethany Kicz-Carlock.

Leather and Pine Co. Photo by Bethany Kicz-Carlock.

Name: Bethany Kicz-Carlock 
Craft: Handmade home goods and décor
Price Range: $10-$50
Etsy: LeatherandPineCo

303: Describe your products. What are they made of?  

Bethany Kicz-Carlock: My products all tend to be modern minimalist in style and aesthetic, and created from either leather or wood, or both—hence the name Leather and Pine Co.

303: How did you get started in your craft? 

BK: The Etsy shop ultimately started when my husband and I purchased our first home. I was more than eager to decorate and finally make a space completely our own. I found myself getting really creative and hand making custom pieces and items that fit our space uniquely. Before I knew it, people were coming over and asking me where I got the décor. I was then recreating my work for friends and family. It dawned on me that if they liked it so much, maybe other people would too. So, I took the risk and started my adventure.

303: Where do you find your inspiration? 

BK: From all over! I draw a lot of inspiration from modern art, interior design and architecture. I tend to have an eye for a specific aesthetic. Without much intention, most things I create end up being very clean, minimalist, modern and bohemian, yet functional and comfortable.

303: Why would one of your products make a good holiday gift?  

BK: Everything from Leather and Pine Co. is handmade with extra love and character guaranteeing a perfectly unique piece for each buyer. I also strive to keep everything very cost friendly and in a price range that caters to anyone’s budget. Plus, I absolutely love doing custom pieces for buyers who want to create something entirely one of a kind.

6. Pebble and Ore

Pebble and Ore via Facebook

Pebble and Ore via Facebook

Name: Lisa Hamilton
Craft: Handmade jewelry and small gifts
Price Range: $5-$75
Etsy: pebbleandore

303: Describe your products. What are they made of?  

Lisa Hamilton: I mostly do metalwork, but I also like stones—that’s where my name came from. I do a lot of metal stamping and work with fine silver and even copper and nickel. A lot of the things I make are personalized. It’s more like tell me what I won’t do.

303: How did you get started in your craft? 

LH: My mom is one of those people you can’t give a gift to. I would always make her a gift because you can’t reject that. One Christmas season 12 years ago, at my soul-sucking job in a bookstore, I saw a picture from one of those beading magazines of a necklace I really thought was something my mom would like and I thought, “I’ll make that!” and didn’t have a clue how audacious that was since it was a really complicated design. But I got hooked starting that. I had dabbled in every craft before then, but this was something different.

303: Where do you find your inspiration? 

LH: A lot of times it’s just a feeling. When I’m inspired by a day that’s a happy day, I’ll think of a happy quote to put on something. I have a bracelet from when my daughter was sick. It was a very hard time and it gave me encouragement. Now I can wear it all the time, and say, “See, it was really awful and now things are good again.” That’s what I love about custom things. It’s a piece that will really inspire or encourage someone.

303: Why would one of your products make a good holiday gift?  

LH: I think the biggest thing is the person receiving it is going to know their friend or loved one really thought about them. It wasn’t, ‘Oh I’ll just grab this,’ it’s ‘I know that she is going to be touched if I use the thing she always she says and her favorite colors and this will give her a memory of us.’ It touches my heart that someone asked me to do that.

7. Aspen Rustic Creations

Aspen Rustic Creations via Facebook

Aspen Rustic Creations via Facebook

Name: Anthony Gosz
Craft: Handmade Aspen wood candleholders, coasters and home décor
Price Range: $10-$150
Etsy: AspenRusticCreations

303: How did you get started in your craft? 

Anthony Gosz: About four years ago, my sister got married. She loved the idea of a rustic wedding, so my dad had some wood he made into décor. I took the idea and started researching ideas and items that we could make. From there, the business has been going great.

303: Describe the process for making one of your products. How much time does it take?

AG: We cut all our pieces from scratch. After the cutting process, we sand the pieces and prep them for the next steps. Depending on whether it’s coasters, candleholders or painted signs, there are several additional steps. Generally, each piece takes hours to complete. Since we have several different items, the finishing touch takes time.

303: Why would one of your products make a good holiday gift?

AG: All our products are handmade in Colorado. Each piece has its own unique touch. My girlfriend paints calligraphy onto the wood slices, which makes great gifts. Candleholders are great for year round as well.

Lindsey Kay Collective photography by Meg O’Neill.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.