I’m something of a hypocrite when it comes to shopping. I enjoy it as much as the next girl, but hate the expectation in our society that we need to own the right things in order to lead successful lives. The solution? Try to make each purchase meaningful. Here are the stories of the connections I have made with three creative artists across the world.

Courtney Tyler (MayFly)
I first discovered Courtney‘s work when I was in Dublin with my mother just before Christmas a few years ago. Courtney was displaying her work in a market stall we walked past, and I was immediately drawn to the steampunk style of her jewellery. I picked up a necklace and a pair of earrings for myself, and my mother bought the necklace shown below, after asking me what I thought of it. I answered that I loved it and that it would suit her well (it would!). But then on Christmas Eve, I unwrapped a small box with the same necklace inside – it turned out that she intended it for me all along.

Courtney now runs a shop in Dublin’s Temple Bar disrict called MayFly together with a group of Irish-based artists. The shop is well worth a visit, packed full with all kinds of oddments, jewellery and curiosities. MayFly is concerned with supporting Irish small-time businesses, which makes it even easier to justify occasionally treating myself to something from their online store.

Jennifer Valentine (Sacred Cake)
I don’t remember how I first came across Jennifer’s Etsy store, but I do recall that I immediately fell in love with her luxurious jewellery, carefully presented in elegant photographs. I bought a few things from her as Christmas presents, back in 2010 it must have been. Then when the bomb exploded in Oslo on July 22nd 2011, she was one of my online acquaintances who wrote to me to ask if I were okay. That thoughtfulness meant the world to me, coming from a woman in Michigan I have never met.

Since then I have continued to buy something from her a few times a year, treating myself to something as well as stocking up on Christmas and birthday presents. These are a few of the earrings I’ve bought from her:etsy-sacredcake

Sami Kelsh (everythingokay)
I first got to know Sami on flickr. She is one of the people who inspired me to get back into shooting film, being a film girl through and through herself, who, in her own words, couldn’t photoshop her way out of a paper bag. And who wouldn’t be inspired by Sami, by seeing what she can do with a Diana:

Running her Etsy store from her home in Canada, Sami has branched out, and sells gorgeous knitted accessories in addition to prints of her photographs and illustrations. A couple of years ago, I fell in love with and bought a knitted scarf cowl from her in mustard yellow – and it would never have occured to me until I saw this in Sami’s shop, that mustard yellow is a colour I would want to wear. The cowl incidentally ended up in the closest to an honest first person selfie I have ever posted online:{254:365+1v.2} Me in a scarf

 So these are the stories of some of the little things that brighten my day when I wear them. What about you? What do  you own that is particularly meaningful to you?

All the best from Jenny.