Started by two women, Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker, notonthehighstreet.com is a place where over 3,000 independent artists and craftspeople can sell their products. It is kind of like Etsy, only the products and artists are carefully selected and vetted for quality and dependability, and for the most part they maintain a certain vibe. I am not sure when it was started in relation to Etsy (I suppose I could do some research, huh?), but these ladies have been racking up awards like crazy as the site has grown. It is definitely as addictive as Etsy, that's for sure! But on to the good stuff; here are some of my favourites from the site. I was going to do one board, but there is just so much good stuff on there, it kind of got out of hand!
I was drawn to the bright, cheerful colours in their kitchen section. How cute is that polka dot butter dish? My mom greeted me every morning with the phrase on the mug (usually used sarcastically I am sure), and maybe it would get me off to the right start each morning. There is something about blue and white ceramics in a kitchen that is always fitting, and the beautiful dog pitcher is cute without being cutesy. The cheese slicers are definitely cutesy, but who wouldn't smile seeing them lying among an array of cheeses? Such a pretty graphic tea towel - my boys would love the double decker bus. These tea cups are so very pretty, they remind me of Anthropology. And that retro toaster would be like a beacon of sunshine gleaming at you from the countertop every day, would it not?
I would say one of the most noticeable aspects of the merchandise on notonthehighstreet.com is that much of it is customizable. Like most things, some of it can be cheesy, but here are a few items I would give as gifts and have personalized:
The kids selection is adorable, starting with these clever personalized t-shirts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), which I personally think could also be awesome on a grown-up. I always love a good alphabet print, and I adore these pillows. Of course I chose the William street sign and Christmas ornament; the boys would love the train door sign, and the idea of a personalized story, especially with that charming-looking bear on the cover, it so special.
Then there are all the little things that would be lovely to receive (HINT HINT) - fun paper lanterns, pretty bangles (4) and bracelets (2) with the names of my kids on them, or a unique and personal iPhone case. These neon lights NEED to go in my new and improved basement (should it ever be done). Chris once gave me a painted portrait (6) of the house I grew up in, and I cried when he gave it to me. And I often have traced a special journey on a map with highlighter as a keepsake; stitching it on a beautiful bespoke map really takes that idea up a notch!
So what would you pick? Do you see any stand-out items on here or any I missed on the site?
Aaaaand here is my disclaimer: I of course wondered if it was cool to accept something like this gift-as-incentive to write a post. Since it a concept and product I personally like and that totally fits within the subject-matter of my blog, and since I think you guys would be interested in knowing about it, I don't feel badly writing the post. And a friend reassured me that not accepting a product I like for free could be considered
dumb an ethical overreaction.