Wednesday, January 28, 2015

40+ From-the-Heart {not from Target} Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day

I was inspired by two great loves to write this Valentine's Day post.  The first was my dad, who has always had a passion for small business, small towns, hard working people, the entrepreneurial spirit and generosity. I've always known him to be a faithful supporter of the "Main Street" businesses and, by his faithful example, he has taught his children to do the same. 

The second inspiration was the book, A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken. Just after getting married, I picked up a copy and quickly fell in love with every page of this beautiful story. It's deep, rich simplicity taught me to delight, in a new way, the precious reality that to love someone is not just to celebrate the things you have in common, but to selflessly embrace everything that you don't have in common, too.  To take a sincere interest in, and to learn about the things your spouse appreciates or enjoys in life is a beautiful act of love. What a joy to discover and come to know everything about the one you love, and to embrace that one soul with your entire being! 

What if this Valentine's Day, instead of the typical commercialized gift of chocolates or roses, we all decided to give something that not only said I love you, but also, I know you? To receive a well thought out gift from someone who truly knows your heart, your interests, your hobbies, your dreams, your goals (or at least your favorite college football teamis a glorious surprise, isn't it??

And, what if this Valentine's Day we all drove on past the Target parking lot and instead hit the Main Streets of America in support of those wonderful little businesses that are just waiting to share something with us, something unique, something special? 

Just think, no circling the big box store parking lots only to be cut off by a teenager driving a faster car than your mini-van. No long lines, no marathon sprinting from one end of the warehouse to the other in search of the perfectly mass-produced gift.  Instead, how about a friendly hello, may I help you, thank you for stopping in, and a hearty come back soon??! Mmmm....that sounds nice! 

Perhaps the loveliness sounds ideal but nearly impossible for so many of you busy moms out there. Well, if your life is anything like like mine, and the mere thought of keeping six squirmy kids away from the breakables makes you sweat, then you're in luck! I just happen to have a perfect little list of fantastic businesses you can support at home, on the couch, in your jammies, from your laptop. 

It's a virtual Main Street just for you!! 

A hearty thanks to everyone who took the time to link up their favorite Etsy stores on my Facebook page. You all truly know where to shop! Here's a visual perk of a few of my faves:
/1./ His and Her Puzzle Necklace from Your Charmed Life (Making a wish list for this site!)
/2./ Gold Heart Shoes by Bad Bebe
/3./ Screen Printed Tea Towel from Oh, Little Rabbit
/4./ Live Like Paul T-Shirt - please support Team Ann and Paul Coakley
(If you don't buy anything else this Valentine's Day, BUY THIS SHIRT!)
/5./ Beard and Mustache grooming set from One DTQ
/6./ J.R.R. Tolkien Cuff Links from Bridgie & Green  (Seriously?? How awesome are these??!!)
/7./ Neckties from Petite Peanut (I dare you to find anything cuter than a boy in a bow tie. Double dare.)

For the Littles
BKY Kid - father/son matching shirts (must. have. these.)
Penny Jules - beaded hair combs (lovely for the locks) 
Whole Parenting Goods (Um, everything here, please.)
Little Crane Headbands - simple yet adorable hair accessories
Wild Explorers - beautiful baby mocs for squishy feet
Mary's Knits - beanies for babies (You must see the photos on this page!)
Petite Peanut  - neckties for your dapper dude
Baby Jives Co. - sweet heart mobile

Clothing & Accessories
Jill Makes - unique jewelry pieces
Call Her Happy - tiny, sweet, embroidery hoop necklaces
Brag, Bling & Bows - the perfect bling for athlete mamas
Todd Borka - hand drawn custom portrait pendants
Ashcraft Creative - hand tooled leather goods
Your Charmed Life - personalized jewelry, key chains and guitar picks
WiReD - jewelry
That Chic Mom T's - Fun, quirky t's for moms
Gameday Couture - Super cute gameday wear

Paper Goods
With Joy Calligraphy - cards, decorative quotes and stationary
Dovetail Ink - beautiful artwork
Fancy Flamingo - burlap and paper banners
Klamoty Studio - custom cartoon style portraits
Best Design Land - instant download cards/wall graphics

For the Guys
Jude Landry Designs - graphic prints on paper and clothing
Bridgie & Green - J.R.R.Tolkien cuff links
Mintage Designs - rustic beer tote
One DTQ - beard and mustache grooming set
Your Charmed Life - personalized guitar Picks
Gameday Couture - Okay, so this is really for the ladies, but the guys will love it, too!

For Your Dwelling Place
Magic Crochet by Helena - cozy hug mug
Audrey Eclectic - beautiful American folk art
Do Small Things With Love - cross stitch
Lizzy Joe Designs - wine cork coasters
Ridge and Valley Metalworks - garden signs and home state love
Mixed Bag Sign Co. - creative quotes and designs for your walls
ME Designs - personalized name with bible verse
The Fair Line - fair trade goods

Faith Filled Gifts
Organic Mamas Shop - So many beauties!
(50% of your purchase goes toward helping the Coakleys!)
Blessed is She - devotions, prints, bible studies
Signs of Love - My morning coffee has just found a new mug!
The Crossmakers - handheld wooden crosses
Trendy Traditions - rosaries
St. Luke's Brush - mini saint figurines
Divine Designs - jewelry

A Twist on Traditional Gifts
The Little Succulent Shoppe - In lieu of roses, a heart shaped succulent wreath.
Artisan Chocolates - Because, there must be chocolate on Valentine's Day!
Treesnail - aaromatherapy + lip balm set

Do you have a favorite Etsy store or 
online business you'd like for us to visit? 
Please share it with us in the comments!


  1. This is a wonderful list! Thank for putting this together! I've been trying to be more intentional about choosing gifts lately from locals and small businesses. You make the task easier. ;)

  2. Wonderful gift ideas - love to support small businesses - continued prayers here for the Coakley family.

  3. What a great list!! As a small business owner I'm all about supporting other small businesses!!
    Those Tolkien cuff links are pretty awesome - Jordan is a huge fan of all of Tolkien's works!!

  4. I'm so glad I came across your website! There's so much here to enjoy! And I feel like we already have so much in common ~ Kansas farm life (I'm a transplant), all boys (I've got 3 sons), and running (and biking) all to enhance the love.

    I'm especially ecstatic with how you've put the focus this Valentine's Day on small town shops and businesses in this blog. And what a great idea to separate it out into categories (especially for men!). I'm going to browse some more.

    Finally, thanks so much for including my little Etsy shop! It means so much more to me than you'll ever know!

    1. You are so very welcome, Pam! Small towns are truly wonderful, for so many reasons, the biggest of those reasons is the people! You have such a fun shop, and I wish you all the success in the world! :)

  5. Thank you so much for the feature, such a pleasant surprise! I totally agree its just so much more personal to by handmade, its a way of life

  6. Thank you so much for including me in this. Truly made my evening.

  7. Hi Susan,
    You are a ray of sunshine! Thanks so much. We just love to be told good things and to be part of you Main Street and be recommended by you is just beyond, beyond,
    Blessing to you and your family.from the OneDTQ team.

  8. What a great listing of Etsy shops and thank you so much for including my little tee shop!

  9. Hello,Susan!Awesome ideas.This post is PACKED with astounding and doable party ideas!I think Target One Spot is my supreme most loved place to shop~I generally stock up on cute and reasonable supplies there… .LOVE IT!Pinning these ideas so I can use them for my little get together.Best wishes.@Susie Houston.


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