The ABC15 Smart Shopper Team Shows You How to Find Savings Online

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PHOENIX — There’s nothing like the convenience of online shopping.

You can do it from anywhere anytime and you know it will be delivered to your doorstep. But, most people go to big online retailers for their orders, which eliminates small businesses from our community, but it doesn’t have to be.

The online marketplace Etsy.com has been a popular site for years. It features local artisans and artisans and provides an easy database to search for unique, handmade items.

Here’s the best part: you can search for Etsy Shop Owners specifically based on their location. This allows you to skip the shops on the main street, buy local produce and possibly get it at a better price because you’re buying directly from the person who makes it.

Some vendors also offer locals the option to pick up items and avoid shipping costs.

ABC15’s Fay Fredricks caught up with local Etsy shop owner Katonya Begay, who runs her bead business through the website.

Begay, who is from the Navajo Nation, grew up watching his uncle create many traditional Navajo items, beading intricate designs into them. However, she says she was too shy to ask him to teach her. “I remember seeing all of her beads and all of the colors,” she recalls.

It wasn’t until she was working in a treatment center that she learned the technique from a colleague. As a graduate student at ASU in social work, Begay recognizes the benefits of the profession.

“To me, beading is meditation…it’s a form of medicine. It’s healthy coping,” Begay told us. She also sees it as a way to connect deeply to her roots: “This tradition has been in our community for so long. I think it’s an art form; it’s a way of expressing yourself.”

Her beautiful designs and colors have earned her a loyal following on Etsy and Instagram. You can find different types of earrings and jewelry ranging from $35 to $80 a pair. That’s significantly less than custom parts can run at major retailers. But, Begay also hopes buyers will agree it’s not just about the money.

“My beadwork is authentic…you know it’s straight from indigenous beadwork. I think that’s the most important thing,” Begay said of his work.

If you want to shop locally on Etsy, here are the steps to filter:

– Search for the item you want to buy

– Click on the “All filters” button

– Scroll down to “Store location”

– Click “Customize” and enter location (i.e. Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale)

– Click “Apply” and search among the listed items

To access Katonya Begay’s shop, click here.

You can also see his past work on his Instagram page.

Katonya Begay grew up in and around the Navajo Nation.

She also held the title of Miss Winslow Native American and her jewelry is inspired by the landscapes of her home as well as traditional designs. Begay is also a graduate student at ASU.

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