Today’s interview is with Anissa from IndieShopping.com, a blog of fabulous finds and possibly the most comprehensive indie shopping directory out there.

This is one in a series of interviews with indie bloggers. You can find previous posts here:

Scoutie Girl
Goldschool
Awesome
Indie Fixx
Modish
Anything Indie
Miss Malaprop

Indieshopping.com’s reviews, articles and interviews have become quite an asset to the indie community. How did the website get its start?
Indieshopping.com got its start in February of 2005. I was also running my other site Femminastyle.com at the time, and in searching for places to advertise, I realized that there weren’t many affordable places for small indies to be featured.

Has it changed at all since you began? How?
When the site first started, it was primarily focused on the newsletter. Now most of the content is in the blog and we’ve added a lot of different features like the shopping directory, gift guides, Spotlight on Emerging Designers and monthly contests.

What has been your favorite thing about running indieshopping.com?
Just being able to help other small businesses in getting the word out about their products is great. I love receiving emails from people I have featured or who have advertised with the site. Knowing that my newsletter and/or blog is getting these artists and designers sales is a fantastic feeling!

What do you look for in the sellers you highlight?
I look for unique items, things that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Quality is also very important to me and a nice website that is easy to navigate is always a plus.

The indie community has many advantages over mega-retailers. Which do you feel is its strongest? Why?
The time and care that indie designers put into their work is by far the best aspect. The quality of their work, the little touches like packaging and handwritten notes, you will never get that kind of special treatment from a mega-retailer.

What is the biggest challenge we face?
I think the biggest challenge is getting your work noticed by consumers. It is getting easier though as more indie blogs and sites come on the scene. Plus there are a lot of online and print magazines that are now focusing on small businesses. N.E.E.T Magazine is one of my favorites.

Where do you see the indie community in five years?
I see it growing more and more. I look back to when I started in 2004 and things have already grown. There are more outlets for sellers like Etsy, more craft shows and events. I think it is only going to get bigger.

What was your most recent indie buy?
I am a true shopping addict so there have been many over the past couple of weeks. A gorgeous top by Michele Lau that I bought at Cut + Paste, two ceramic owls from Fruit Fly Pie and three prints by Kendra Binney.

What was your all-time favorite indie buy? What made is so special?
My favorite indie buy was a pillow from joom. Anyone who reads the blog knows about my obsession with birds so that’s what made it special to me was the adorable birdy printed on it.

You also sell vintage clothing on femminastyle.com. Can you tell us a little about that?
Femminastyle.com got it’s start in the summer of 2004 as an online consignment boutique that carried a little bit of vintage. Just recently I’ve made the change to all vintage items. I specialize in quality vintage clothing and accessories from the 1950’s through the1980’s. All of the items are hand-picked from thrift stores, flea markets, etc.

It has been a lot of fun going out thrifting as my job! It is something that I am so passionate about. I love anything from the 60’s and 70’s. The clothes, housewares, tv shows and movies…I’m obsessed.

Do you have any new projects on the horizon?
Right now I’m focusing my time on making Indieshopping and Femminastyle.com the best they can be. Also, I’m working on some great new features for the site. It’s all a bit secret for the time being.

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