When it comes to holiday shopping, I procrastinate with the best of them. But with yesterday’s launch of a brand-new collection from local e-retailer Ship & Shape, I’m inspired to get a head start on my holiday shopping. The shop stocks handmade giftables from makers and designers from Minnesota, including local jeweler Annika Kaplan as well as ceramicists Erin Smith, Ben Fiess, and Ginny Sims, designer/stationer Maddy Nye, and beyond: Omaha-based ceramicist the Object Enthusiast, Seattle natural skin care company Herbivore Botanicals, and Brooklyn-based ceramic maker Recreation Center.
Founded all the way back in summer of 2011 by Kaplan, Smith, and Nye, Ship & Shape was among the first independent e-retailers in the Midwest, offering a place apart from Etsy to find handmade goods by independent artisans and makers outside of traditional retail. “We started to realize independently that we could reach a wider audience through an internet shop than through a brick-and-mortar,” explains co-founder Kaplan. “There are lots of costs associated with having a brick-and-mortar shop, and we didn’t feel comfortable with taking on that much responsibility. But knowing we could reach a much wider audience–that idea that we could potentially ship them all over the world with ease was appealing.”
Although e-retail was the best way to sustain a business for Ship & Shape, Kaplan says they still felt a desire for physical events to connect with the local community of fellow makers and customers. So the shop has hosted pop-up sales at South Minneapolis boutique Mille and salon Honeycomb, especially as the holidays approach. So far, the shop is planning a pop-up sale at the Madewell store in Southdale (date TBD), and curating a sale at the American Craft Council library in Northeast Minneapolis on December 13, with Ship & Shape makers plus wooden objects by Scott Woodsport, hand-knits and dyed clothing and accessories by Martha McQuade, leather goods by Rachel Blomgren, fiber art by Becka Rahn, and shoes and other accessories by Crystal Quinn.
“There is that desire to see all the products together and create physical space and the visual merchandise when you’re doing an online shop,” she says. “There’s also something exciting to physically touch the products, too.”
In the meantime, here’s a selection of some of my favorite new Ship & Shape offerings, now available at shipandshape.com:
Erin Smith’s hanging planter features a botanical swirl glaze and geometric print, $38 @ shipandshape.com
I’m feeling shades of Keith Haring in Recreation Center’s “Raw Mark” mug, $28 @ shipandshape.com
Let a loved one know just how out-of-this-world you think they are with this card by Yours Madly by Maddy Nye, $4 each @ shipandshape.com
Give your kitchen a kick with Ginny Sims’ colorful ceramic funnel, $42 @ shipandshape.com
This ceramic bud vase from Inesse by Ben Fiess is the perfect receptacle for a fistful of flowers, $50 @ shipandshape.com
Herbivore Botanicals’ Luminous Body Oil is rich in omegas and vitamin C to nourish and hydrate skin, and scented with essential oils, $32 @ shipandshape.com
The Object Enthusiast’s speckled glaze jewelry dish is a pretty way to display rings or soap, $34 @ shipandshape.com
Annika Kaplan’s moonstone and lapis, one-of-a-kind ring is otherworldly, $189 @ shipandshape.com
These French-made cards by Michoucas Design are a retro delight, $4 each @ shipandshape.com
[All images courtesy Ship & Shape]