Unexpected Indie Finds

Do you find yourself sometimes shopping at the larger retailers because there is no alternative? Braving the oppressive ambiance of the local chain store in search of deodorant, toothpaste, menstrual supplies, carpet freshener? Hitting the department store in search of a new pair of shoes? Home Depot for your tools?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably found compromises: buy toiletries from the health food co-op, brand-name tools from an independent hardware store. Did you know there were indie options?

The rake above is one of many handmade tools available from The Japan Woodworker Catalog. They have many tools for gardening, camping, and woodworking as well as kitchen knives. I haven’t tried them, but the quality seems outstanding, and the prices are reasonable.

The deodorant is from a new Etsy seller, humbleglory, who also sells foaming handwash, pet cologne, and things you’d expect like candles.

The carpet freshener is from another Etsy seller, environmart, who keeps a pretty small shop. Other Etsy sellers feature similar products, but enviromart had the best picture ;). Search for ‘carpet freshener’ on Etsy if you want more options.

Lots of people sell cloth pads, like those pictured above, but many women either don’t know about them or afraid to try. I guess I fall in the latter camp. For now I buy organic cotton disposables, but I do plan to try these or something like them. Soon.

Warning: the website for that Vita-Myr toothpaste could definitely use some revamping, but it seems like an interesting indie product, and the guy who makes it is very enthusiastic. You can also make your own, or support some of the larger brands like Marvis and Fresh that haven’t strayed too far from their indie roots. Watch the prices, though.

Finally: shoes. Regular readers of boxvsindie will probably hear me talk about shoes fairly often. I love to walk. I walk a lot. But all the shoes I try hurt my feet. The search for shoes that actually fit me seems never ending, but I do think these custom shorties from Walking Liberty stand a chance. I may try them some day, despite my concerns about leather and the $300 price tag. If they last for years (and I think they will), and they fit me, it might be worth it.

Have you made any unexpected indie finds? Please let us know!