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For better or worse, Amazon has probably become a part of your everyday life in some way or another.
When you need a new swimsuit, you can have one delivered to your doorstep in about two days. If you want to tune out, you can put on episodes of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” via Prime Video. There are escapist books to read on your Kindle, groceries to get from Whole Foods on Amazon Fresh and even designer clothes to get on sale from Shopbop (which, you guessed it, is also owned by Amazon).
During these uncertain times, many of us are making an effort to shop local. We should all spend our money at independent businesses as much as we can, because doing so helps support our communities. But supporting small businesses and being an Amazon shopper don’t have to be mutually exclusive — and the reality is that for many Americans in more rural communities, retailers like Amazon and Walmart are often the most accessible and affordable choice.
Many of the small businesses seeing success on Amazon Handmade are owned by women and people of color because marketplace platforms like Etsy and Amazon Handmade create opportunities for small business owners to scale, grow business and reach new consumers.
Amazon Handmade guidelines are strict. Products sold on the platform are required to be made entirely by hand ― nothing mass-produced is allowed ― so you don’t have to worry as much about buying from scammy Amazon seller accounts, which run rampant across the regular Amazon Seller Marketplace.
There’s also a section dedicated to American-owned shops that lets you search by region and support local makers from the Southwest to the Northeast. We took a spin through Amazon Handmade and found everything from zero-waste soaps made in Indiana to custom-carved wooded housewares from Georgia.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite local Amazon Handmade shops that you can feel good about browsing.
Take a look: