Tuesday, December 23, 2008

i've got your indie credibility right here.

It's not a breakthrough statement to observe that much of our power as citizens comes from our voices as consumers. By choosing where we spend our money, we make statements about our values and beliefs in an objective and effective way. I make efforts to be socially and politically conscious with my spending, but I also buy a lot of Go International blouses from Target and cheap dresses from Forever 21.

However, in the current economic climate, I'm trying to be more aware of where and how I spend my money, and what political and social statements that those purchases make. Though I'm still pumping my fair share of dollar bills back into the national economy, I'm also making a concerted effort to support smaller independent artists and boutiques. And since online shopping is my crack, I've been spending way more than my fair share of time on sites like Etsy and Supermarket. Here are a few of my favorite finds.

Necklush in Charcoal Grey (Supermarket): Anything that's too tight around my neck immediately turns me from a relatively reasonable 27 year-old woman into a petulant child. "Mom! Get it off!" she cried as she clawed helplessly at the neckline of her embroidered holiday turtleneck. So I love that this circular scarf can be worn nice and loose. The $55 price tag is more than I usually spend on an easy-to-misplace outerwear accessory, but that's because I forgot my cashmere Burberry scarf in the movie theater when I saw Marie Antoinette and I haven't really gotten over it. But this might just be the item that gets me off of the Target outerwear train. Plus, it reminds me of this squid ink spaghetti that I had at the Loring Pasta Bar a couple of years ago. I never knew that dark gray noodles could be so appetizing.

The Robin's Egg Jewelry Box Breakfast Necklace (Etsy): I've been obsessed with this Etsy shop for a little while now. And though I love the kitschy necklaces featuring mouthwatering sweets, it's the Breakfast Necklace that I'm really craving, That is one good-looking over-easy (or over-medium?) egg. Served with bacon and orange juice on a ball link chain, it's like taking your favorite greasy diner food with you everywhere you go. And, well, wearing it around your neck on a chain. I also adore how large the egg is compared to the juice and package of bacon. Seriously, is that a pterodactyl egg? Prehistorically delicious.

Tiny Meat Bird's Nest Card Case (Buy Olympia): Okay, I probably love this because I'm fair-skinned with blonde hair and blue eyes. I'm a narcissist like that. This rosy-cheeked young woman makes me want to slap on some red lipstick and stick some birds in my hair. (Sadly, cartoon birds do not style my hair in the morning like they do in the animated Cinderella. I'll have to get some fake ones from a craft shop. Like Carrie's bridal headgear in the Sex and the City Movie.) I discovered Buy Olympia when it was first heavily advertised in the back pages of Bust, and I'm pleased to see how much it's grown over the years.

14K Gold Forget Me Knot Ring (ReForm School): At $200, this is by far the priciest item on my little list. But what could be a more charming token of remembrance than this little gold string looped around your finger? Hand cast from a real piece of string by Brooklyn designer Kiel Mead, this delicate ring is a perfect gift to symbolize love, devotion and friendship. It's also available in silver, but I think there's something about the gold that makes the idea even more traditional and romantic. Le sigh.

Bubbledog Hamster Plush (Shana Logic): I'm kind of a sucker for plushes and pillows. They don't really do anything but sit there all cozy-like, and I certainly don't need anymore of them. But look at these hamsters' cute little faces! And they're holding cute little snackable mushrooms! They just want you to give them a home on your couch! But if these adorable little fellas are too precious for you (which, you know, fair enough), check out these awesome Roadkill Plushes from London. Disemboweled raccoons and hedgehogs never looked so cuddly!

Norwegian Wood Harness (Etsy): This chained and zippered harness has become somewhat of a cult item on Etsy and in the fashion blogosphere. Whether layered over a cropped tee, a liberty print dress, or an unembellished tank top and your favorite pair of jeans, this harness adds elements of high fashion and bondage to any outfit. And don't worry about this piece being too trendy, as bondage always eventually comes back into style. Just ask Gwyneth Paltrow. And Madonna. And Rihanna. Custom made to your specific measurements with draping antique silver chains, this unique piece is well worth the $60.

Oddball Paul the Pony Necklace (Frozen Peas Accessories): Feathers were a huge trend for fall and it looks like they'll still be everywhere this spring. Trying giving the trend a new twist. Instead of the ubiquitous feather headband (which, although often gorgeous, have been everywhere lately) try this Native American-inspired pony necklace. The leather printed horse is available in two color combinations and hangs on a bright gold plated chain. At 22," it's the perfect length for a fun statement necklace. And the $32 price tag is a pretty good fit as well. Plus, horsies are pretty.

Hooked Studios All-Natural Face Wash (Etsy): The mother/daughter team of Hooked Studios gave me a sample of this face wash to try ages ago (along with an adorable little barrette that I've already worn multiple times). But since the winter was wreaking havoc on my skin, I put off reviewing it as I didn't want to give the product an unfair shot. However, once I threw caution to the wind and decided to recklessly sample this cleanser, it became clear that my hesitation had been unnecessary. Made with fresh, organic ingredients, this powdered formula mixes with equal parts water to create a thick yellow paste that is more of a mask than a cleanser. I applied it to my skin for ten minutes and rinsed it off in the shower every day for a week, and I was amazed at how soft and refreshed it left my skin. My complexion never felt tight or stripped at all. At $9, it's a beauty product that won't set you back too much. Plus, since it's made of all-natural curry-tastic ingredients, I'm pretty sure it would be delicious sprinkled on rice and chicken.

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