10 Obscure Sites For Great Holiday Shopping
To an entire breed of gift recipient, bumper sticker and T-shirt humor is a big deal. Really big. Key-portion-of-their-personality big. These are the folks who converse with you in Seinfeld quotes after it's been in reruns for more than a decade. They want to make old ladies laugh at their screen-printed play on words. They're a hard-core, difficult type of geek that's tough to hold a conversation with, but easy to shop for. For about $23 a pop, the shirts on this site can warn unwitting friends and coworkers that this person still takes The Princess Bride very seriously and that their geekdom is often used for evil and seldom for good.
Sure, this Portland, Ore.-based shop skews a bit close to the "Put A Bird On It" sketch in Portlandia, but that's giving a bit too little credit to an idea that spawned hundreds of competitors. Founded in Olympia, Wash., in 1999 to help a friends sell handmade items online, Buy Olympia was a less unwieldy version of Etsy before Etsy gave everyone who could crochet a pair of fingerless gloves a marketplace for their wares. Instead of just flinging the doors open and letting anyone sell whatever decoupaged stools they have lying around, the site keeps its ranks to a hundred artists and organizations. Contributors range from author Dave Eggers' literary journal McSweeney's to pea coat/hoodie hybrid designer Abigail Adams. It's still unique, still inspired, but, still, sometimes there's a bird on it.
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