Saturday, January 18, 2014

Buying Handmade gifts in NZ

Is there more value in a handmade gift these days? As a busy mum (or dad), no one has time to scour markets, or local fairs for handmade products from the local grandmothers but with the internet, handmade items have never been so accessible. However I was passing through a little asian warehouse the other day and almost picked up a little costume for little 9 month old daughter to attend a wedding as all the handmade I scoured were so expensive.

Here are tips, tricks, and links to some great handmade items for your wee one.

Benefits to buying Handmade: 

-Helping others: Its plain and simple; big businesses will always be there but Working at Home mothers need your help to get of the ground.

- Higher Quality: Most of the products are sourced locally used to Handcraft which is good for the health of your children, no Chinese cheap fabric- bathed in 'who knows what' feces. The Quality will generally be excellent

-Custom sizing and design: It gives that personalized touch to everything. Lets face it, who doesn't enjoy seeing their name hanging on the wall.

Where to Find What?

Here are our top 10 Handmade stores:

Sewn clothing can look beautiful --- Especially on Kids but Handmade clothing can be really expensive as it is a fairly competitive market. We scanned around the NZ Handmade stores to do a vague price comparison. Here are our top ten Handmade item stores in NZ rated on quality, customer service, feedback and price ranging from clothes, decorations and toys. Enjoy:

#10- "Little Fae Handmade"

What I like about this store is the One-man-band or One-woman-band in this case but still keeping professionalism within the store. The clothes are reasonably priced with the pretty little piece below costing $20 + Postage. This is about what it would cost in one of the baby stores but this seems to guarantee quality and it turns up right at your front door to.

#9- "Arlie Girl & AG Boys Clothing"

Because of my love of tutus this Clothing store would be Number 1 but unfortunately the prices are a bit expensive for the everyday mums. However the clothing is exceptional quality, it has a large variety of clothing, both girls, boys and adults. Fairy dresses complete sets for girls (like the picture shown below)  are around $55 which isn't actually overpriced for all the effort of designing and creating them. I love the friendly and homely vibe of this shop!

#8- "Pepi's Boutique"

Just the word Boutique always catches my attention, and this wee shop deserves. Run again by another one-woman-band, it is a range of beautiful, unique custom designed clothing. A dress like the one below is about $36 which for the quality, design, colouring and finish is beyond reasonable.

Owls along with tutus are my new favorite obsession and this online store makes the cutest wee owls ever.

They are only $20 and a must have for any owl fashion lover (Owls are totally in right now)

Apart from the owls this shop has a lot to offer. I try to critique well so mothers have the chance to do a quick evaluation, but its hard to find anything at fault here. They have a range of headbands starting at $10 which I believe is well priced and they have a clearance section on their website (Click here to visit) 

#6 - "Monki Business - Sock Monkeys and Softies"

They sell Sock Monkeys (amongst other things)! How is this not the cutest thing you have ever seen and so original to. They do charge out of the reasonable range, you're looking at around $45 for the one below but boy I can imagine it must be quite hard to make!! Without price entering the equation, it seems very professional, there is great feedback and they sell owls too!

#5- "Kate's Paper Dresses"

A precious new piece of wall art that can be custom designed. What a wonderful idea! So impressed with the quality and detail gone into these. I think the only thing that lets them down is the price but they would make a beautiful addition to any wee girls (Or big girls) room!
The one's below are about $40 + Postage.

#4- "Sammi3's Handmade Embellishments"

I'm not usually a big fan of card makers. In fact I will generally pick the funniest one from the warehouse and be done with it but these cards are beautiful! Especially with Valentines just around the corner! Reasonably priced cards for what they are at about $5 each. Also they offer canvases although the prices aren't clearly displayed, the photography is fairly average but the product seems to speak really well for itself.

#3- "The Stitch Witch"

Whoever can spend hours doing thousands of stitches on 14 count Aida Cloth is full of patience (or a mother in that regard) I like the customization of this site. Reasonably priced and personalized handmade craft doesn't get much better than this. It does lack professionalism but makes it up with heart. I like that each piece is designed by them. It covers so many aspects of gift giving as well from weddings to babies. The piece below is priced at $15.

#2- "Choo Choo Couture"

It seems that this is New Zealand's best kept secret. Such talent and a beautiful range! Worth checking out just to revel in the 'How she does it'. Reasonably priced and such rare designs. Professional and usually sold out before the picture is available. The item below is priced at $35 + Postage.

#1- "Cadenza Bella - Tutu's, Clip holders and more"

Why is this number 1? Because this shop wins out in all categories, customer service, feedback and most importantly price. The clothing is amazing and the hard work that goes into it speaks for itself. Check out this wee beauty for only $25.

All of these shops are wonderful! I suggest you check out each of them. Help other mothers out, customize your gifts and have fun designing while you are at it.

Etsy- Beyond all other sites this is the one you must visit to scour for Handmade items. Etsy makes sure the shops are reputable. Definitely worth looking at.

Etsy Links:
Little Fae Handmade
The Stitch Witch
The Knitting Inn
Cadenza Bella

FOOTNOTE: All photos were taken from the pages of those businesses they are linked with. These are not the property of the blogger.


  1. Wow thank you for the great review Tumara
    Sonya (Arlie Girl)

    1. Thank you so much for dropping by! Your store is definitely one of my favourites! I can't believe what a wonderful response I have had, hoping you have some visitors to your page aswell!!

  2. Oh wow! Thank you very much! Love it and I love to see all those other talented businesses too!
    Krystal Pires (Pepi's Boutique)

    1. I love Pepi's Boutique and I am so glad I can share it with others. You run a fabulous online store and your work is exceptional!! You deserve it!!

  3. Thanks so much for the review was a wonderful surprise to wake up to Tumara again thanks so much ~ Sam from little fae

    1. I think you are wonderfully talented and can't wait to purchase something from your online store! Keep up the great work!!!

  4. Thank you so much for those wonderful words. yes i do really want a camera so i can start taking quality photos and i have been updating the albums so yes to update my descriptions are still to come. but to be 4th on your countdown was totally amazing and i don't quite know how to repay it but to continue to create unique pieces.
    A HUGE THANK YOU from Sammi3 at Sammi3's Handmade Embellishments.

    1. Please don't take it to heart! I think your shop is wonderful and anywhere that has such unique and wonderful products like yours deserves to be in the top ten. It was really hard to find anything critical to say and I mean I'm just a mother what would I know! Thank you so much for stopping by anyway!!

  5. Thank you for the lovely review of Choo Choo Couture, Tamara - a lovely surprise, passed on to me by one of your readers.

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  7. Argh I have tried to post this twice and it never seems to actually post, lol! I wanted to say how wonderful it was to hear from one of your readers that you had not only written a wee blurb about my wee shop but also that you picked me to be your number one. I am very humbled, thank you so very much :) And thank you so much for supporting handmade :D

    1. Oh and I have an etsy shop to ;)