Gift Guide 2016: Local Makers

Whether you are short on time or your creative juices just aren’t flowing fast enough to DIY-all-the-gifts, this list is for you!

holiday-gift-guide-1

{Background image credit: Jocie Pots – ceramic goods made in Greenville, SC}

With the holidays fast approaching, I knew I wanted to share some gift ideas from handmade businesses I have discovered and love supporting. When my friend Shanika came to me with the idea I was all.in.! Shanika shares my passion for supporting fellow mover, makers, and shakers – she and I run Cola Indie Makers together. Keep an eye on her blog for more holiday gift ideas featuring handmade shops she loves!

As you may know by now, I feel very strongly about supporting local businesses {specifically handmade businesses} as often as possible. I could go on and on about this for days, but this quote really sums up what I’m getting at…

buy-handmade

When at all possible, buy local / buy handmade / buy from a friend …

In the spirit of staying organized {and hopefully saving you time if you reference this later}, I’ve split the list up by group and highlighted gifts for certain people on your list. I hope it helps!

Less of a disclaimer and more of a point of clarity: I have not been provided anything in exchange for featuring the shops below and I do not receive anything if you purchase the item(s) using the link(s) provided. Unless otherwise noted, all of the shops mentioned were discovered at local craft fairs or events (in the Southeast U.S.). Some I have purchased from and others I simply lusted after. I have seen and felt the quality of the goods in person and recommend them with confidence. 

Happy handmade shopping!

For the GENTLEMEN on your list

1. For the man who needs a leather belt in his grown-up wardrobe | buy it

maycomb belt

Photo credit: Maycomb Mercantile – click the image to shop the item shown.

In addition to the fact that this belt will surely last forever, you can add a personalized message to remind your main man how much he means to you.

2. For the man who needs decor in his Man Cave | buy it

true cotton salmon print

Photo credit: True Cotton – click the image to shop the item shown.

If your guy is more into camping, this print would be perfect.

Just head over to your local thrift store to look for a rustic wood frame.

3. For the man who likes a little heat on his meat | buy it

hot sauce 2

Photo credit: Red Clay Hot Sauce – click the image to shop the item shown.

I bought some of this hot sauce for my Hubs at Made South and he was a big fan!

“It is the only hot sauce born in southern bourbon barrels and cold-pressed to retain subtle and firm flavors.” – source.

4. For the man who likes to travel [or get ready at the gym] | buy it

sansmaps

Photo credit: Sans Map – click the image to shop the item shown.

This Dopp kit is made from repurposed Pendleton wool (so cool!).

You can hear more about our discovery of Sans Map in this post – my sister loved my Sans Map bag so much she ordered her own.

5. For your grandpa who may use this mug for whiskey rather than coffee | buy it

thrifted-sisters

Photo credit: Thrifted Sisters – click the image to shop the item shown.

Grandpas sure are hard to buy for. Thrifted Sisters just made your life oh-so-easy by making this vintage “Grandfather” mug available just in time for the holidays.

Pro tip: Follow Thrifted Sisters on Instagram for hot-off-the-thrift-store-floor items. They find the coolest stuff.

6. For Mr. Money Bags himself | buy it

miss-ashley

Photo credit: Miss Ashley Jewelry – click the image to shop the item shown.

Get him a personalized money clip from Miss Ashley Jewelry.

For the LADIES on your list

1. For your perfectly Southern Grandma | buy it

true cotton porches print

Photo credit: True Cotton – click the image to shop the item shown.

Grandmas are so hard to buy for – they have everything! Just pick up a lovely frame for the print and you’ll be all set.

2. To help your Grandma keep her purse trinkets organized | buy it

trishstitched

Photo credit: Trish Stitched – click the image to shop the item shown.

Fun fact: Her gift card holders perfectly fit 3 essential oil rollers or 2 essential oil bottles {see proof in this post}

Disclaimer: I did not discover Trish Stitched at a local market. However, I have been following her blog for quite a while and won a giveaway where I received 2 pouches she made – you can read more about those in this post. The quality is great – Trish is very talented!

3. For the gal who loves nothing more than breathing the mountain air | buy it

january-jewelry

Photo Credit: January Jewelry – click the image to shop the item shown.

Remind her of her favorite vacation spot with this lovely necklace from January Jewelry.

4. For the free spirited, stylish gal on your list | buy it

sebastian-harper

Photo credit: Sebastian Harper – click the image to shop the item shown.

The colors in this vest make my eyes melt into hearts! Shanika [of Sebastian Harper] uses all natural dyes – like indigo and madder root for this one – to make her knit and sewn goodies even more one-of-a-kind.

I mean…look how chic the vest looks in use!

sebastian-harper-2

(This isn’t the exact same vest [it’s actually this one], but I HAD to show you how sexy it looked on!)

PS: I have knit ear warmers from Shanika that I purchased a few years ago and wore all over England when we visited in December 2014 {documented herehere & here} which is proof 1) it was so warm and cozy and 2) well-made [after all the travel, the head band is still in perfect condition!].

For the LITTLE ONES on your list

1. Because a bonnet with ears is a necessity | buy it

owlette

Photo credit: Owlette – click the image to shop the item shown.

…and why not get a matching bib while you’re at it? You can mix-and-match/choose your own pair here.

2. Because babies can’t decorate their own rooms | buy it

little-red-flag

Photo credit: Little Red Flag – click the image to shop the item shown.

The best part about these safari prints is that you can print them yourself! So no one has to know that you forgot to buy the baby something 😉

I have 2 prints from Little Red Flag in my living room: a gold foil print of South Carolina (my home state) and one of Georgia (the Hubs’ home state).

3. Because some people only have FURRY little ones | buy it

sup-dog

Photo credit: Sup-Dog – click the image to shop the item shown.

Don’t forget to treat your fur babies too! Sup-Dog makes the best collars. It’s all my three pups wear (mostly because they don’t have a choice, but even if they did I’m sure they’d choose Sup-Dog collars!).

For EVERYONE ELSE on your list

1. For your Friends who just bought their first house | buy it

key fob 2

Photo credit: @maycombmercantile on Instagram

A pair of these custom key fobs from Maycomb Mercantile with “HOME” stamped on them would be perfect.

2. For your Friend who loves to Travel | buy it

maycomb tags

Photo credit: Maycomb Mercantile – click the image to shop the item shown.

Get a tag he/she will love and truly appreciate in those moments of frantically searching the conveyor belt for a sign that this generic red bag is theirs {Been there. Literally. In London. Thankfully we found a lacrosse ball in the bag verifying our possession. #awkward}.

3. For your Friend who loves Essential Oils | buy it

essential oil case

Photo Credit: Cotton and Cursive – click the image to shop the item shown.

This essential oils case from Cotton and Cursive is perfect for travel or carrying essentials oils on-the-go.

4. For the hostess with the mostest

The Hippy Do-Da Creations shop on Etsy is closed until December 4th for local shows, but you can follow along on Instagram and Facebook until then.

I have a really fun stamped bracelet from Chris that says: “wake up. kick ass. sleep. repeat.” – I love it!

5. For your friend with sensitive skin | buy it

carolina-soap-works

Photo credit: Carolina Soap Works – click the image to shop the item shown.

Carolina Soap Works sells Authentic African Black Soap which is supposed to be amazing for sensitive skin. Shanika is a big fan of it. I also have a friend who bought it for her sister who has rosacea.

CSW also carries a wide variety of Goats Milk Soap which I love. My favorite scent: Rosemary Mint.

You can also find Carolina Soap Works on Amazon (and use your Prime account for 2-day shipping)!

6. For your friend who truly believes breakfast is the most important meal of the day | buy it

kyle-smith

Photo credit: Kyle Smith Pottery – click the image to shop the item shown.

These egg cookers from Kyle Smith Pottery are supposed to be all the rage. You can cook the perfect omelet in 1 minute – count me in!

I have several pieces from Kyle and love to gift them – they make great housewarming gifts. He also made my friend Caroline’s set of dishes for “everyday wear” for her wedding (see one of the bowls in this post).

More gift ideas

Here are a few recaps from markets I’ve attended that are packed full of handmade gift ideas and shops I discovered while there…

If you’re planning to DIY some holiday gifts, check out my Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas post from last year and my 2014 Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop – find links to all of the blog posts from the 2014 “hop” in my recap here.

So remember this as you are shopping this holiday season…

small-biz

I hope this list has inspired you! I would love love love to hear who your favorite handmade shops are! Leave a link to their shop in the comments below – I love discovering new artists and shops to support.

Happy holidays ❤

 

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Vintage Charlotte

{Brace yourself for a long post chock full of love for handmade + vintage businesses and loads of holiday gift ideas – explore the links and images that will take you to the shops!}

glasses

Glasses from Dress My Room Interiors – click the image to be taken to her site.

At this point, you’re probably familiar with my love of all things vintage.

Well, this weekend I discovered Vintage Heaven!

Vintage Charlotte at The Fillmore

Vintage Charlotte at The Fillmore

Over the summer, my friend Emily of Butterfly Vintage participated in the Vintage Charlotte pop-up market. In the months leading up to the summer event, I started following Vintage Charlotte on Instagram and Facebook and actually won the giveaway via social media (but I forfeited the gift since I couldn’t make it to Charlotte that day…le sigh).

After hearing how amazing the summer show was and drooling over all the pictures, I made sure my calendar was marked for the Winter Market!

I talked my sister into taking the day trip with me early Saturday morning.

Here we are just before skipping inside - can't even hide our excitement!

Here we are just before skipping inside – can’t even hide our excitement!

We happily paid the $5 early bird fee to get in at 10am (admission is free after 11:00) – and let me tell you: that’s a definite recommendation! When we left the market around 12:30pm, the line was wrapped around the building – there had to be 200 people waiting to get in! And inside it was elbow-to-elbow.

We grabbed a Yelp tote…

yelp bag

…and a scavenger hunt worksheet (yes, we’re total nerds who can’t resist the enticing challenge of possibly winning a prize!)…

Yep, that's right: we got ALL the stickers! AND we were the first to turn it in. #TeachersPets

Yep, that’s right: we got ALL the stickers! AND we were the first to turn it in. #TeachersPets

…and off we went into #VintageHeaven!

We quickly found Emily to give her a good luck hug and check out her booth.

I'm always excited to see what Emily's mannequin is wearing because she has such great style! You can't see it here, but the behind me that mannequin is wearing a long sleeve floral print dress with a calf length fur vest - tres chic!

I’m always excited to see what Emily’s mannequin is wearing because she has such great style! You can’t see it here, but the behind me that mannequin is wearing a bright, long-sleeve floral print dress with a knee-length fur vest – tres chic!

After greeting Emily, we started our first loop. It wasn’t long before I fell in love with this bag from Sans Maps:

sans bag 3

{Photo credit: Sans Map – click the image to be taken to the shop}

As a gal who loves sewing bags, I am usually pretty good at resisting buying purses, but this bag really got me. The design is absolutely brilliant – the top flap is a fully functional (and very spacious) zipper pouch, the adjustable strap allows you to convert from a shoulder bag to a cross-body / messenger style with ease, and there’s even a clip on the inside to hook your keys so they don’t get lost in the pit!

The exterior of the bag was made from a vintage wool skirt (there’s even the hint of what used to be a pocket on the back) with remnant leather accents.

sans bag 2

{Photo credit: Sans Map – click the image to be taken to the shop}

The interior is made from vintage floral print linens and Marimekko fabric.

sans bag 1

{Photo credit: Sans Map – click the image to be taken to the shop}

The abundance of pockets and storage solutions prove this to be a very thoughtfully made bag.

One of my favorite things about going to pop-up markets is being able to meet the maker and hear their story. Corey’s husband is French and in their time together they have lived in several different countries. She named her company “Sans Map” as a nod to their life without borders. I enjoyed chatting with Corey and was so excited to support her handmade business. This bag is going to be the perfect travel companion for my trip to England – it’s big enough to fit my essentials with room to spare for souvenirs while still being comfortable (& stylish!) to tote around town.

Speaking of my upcoming trip, I found this very fitting travel journal (well, that’s what I’ll be using it as!) at Vintage Concord‘s booth:

england

You know my love for snail mail so it should be no surprise that I stocked up on cards at the market!

Sable & Gray‘s booth caught my eye with their quirky-yet-lovely prints.

sable & gray

And how perfect is this sweet postcard?! Kristin snuck 2 in my bag without me noticing – such a sweet surprise!

Here are a few cards I picked out from Sable and Gray:

s&g thank you

{Click the image to be taken to Sable & Gray’s shop to buy this card for yourself!}

happy bday

{Click the image to be taken to Sable & Gray’s shop to buy this card for yourself!}

Looking for a birthday card for the ladies? Check out this pretty one – I bought one of those too 🙂

And my personal favorite:

cool card

{Click the image to be taken to Sable & Gray’s shop to buy this card for yourself!}

While completing the VTG CLT scavenger hunt, I stopped at Shannon Newlin‘s booth for a sticker and spotted this gorgeous scarf:

s.newlin scarf

No, I didn’t buy it, but I almost did! Isn’t it lovely? I wish you could feel how soft it was. The print is just gorgeous.

While at Shannon’s booth taking in all of her beautiful paintings, I spotted a holiday card set I just had to have:

cards

I mean, how cute are these penguins?!

penguins

You know I couldn’t stop at just one booth for cards! So if anyone is looking for a pen pal, I’m in the market for one! 😉

One thing I always buy at craft markets is soap. Long ago my Mom got us hooked on handmade soap. That was always the souvenir she’d bring us when she had to go out of town for work. It felt like such a luxury! I’m so happy that more and more soap artisans are popping up so getting my hands on a little slice of sudsy luxury isn’t so hard anymore!

There were 2 shops whose soap collections we liked so my sister and I split the bulk sale at each – a compromise while still getting a deal: win-win!

The first soap shop was Kitsch and Fancy.

I WISH there was a scratch-n-sniff option for WordPress because these gals nailed the Pumpkin Spice scent in this soap! If you love fall, you need to order some and hold onto to this little slice of fall for as long as you can 🙂

kitsch p.spice

{Click the image to be taken to this soap in Kitsch and Fancy’s shop}

My second choice from Kitsch and Fancy: Peppermint of course!

kitsch peppermint

{Click the image to be taken to Kitsch and Fancy’s Etsy shop}

Since there’s no scratch-n-sniff options, here’s a list of other scents from Kitsch and Fancy that I recommend: Fresh Linen, Lavender Basil, Maple Pecan Streusal, and Holiday Berries.

The second soap artisan we loved: Whispering Willow.

From Columbia’s Crafty Feast to Asheville’s Bele Chere festival, I see Whispering Willow everywhere! And I don’t hate it. Not one bit. In fact, I swear by their mint lip balm – it’s amazing.

I couldn’t decide whose peppermint soap smelled the best (peppermint is probably my favorite scent) – so I came home with another peppermint soap! 🙂 I can’t wait to end my day with a long shower filled with the scent of the Goat Milk Lavender soap – such a sweet, soothing scent!

whispering willow

{Click the image to be taken to the Whispering Willow’s shop}

While stalking perusing the feed from the summer market, I discovered Ferris Wheel Vintage on Instagram and fell in love with her style. I knew I would find something great at her booth, and I did!

I found this great navy knit dress – a perfect winter work outfit – at her booth for only $15! What a steal.

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

Even the tag for this dress was adorable!

fw tag

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

Katherine’s tagline for Ferris Wheel Vintage is “beautiful, affordable, hand-picked vintage gems for all styles and sizes” – I couldn’t agree more! Her Instagram feed is drool-worthy and I definitely recommend giving her a follow.

ferris wheel

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

One thing that I do at every craft fair / pop-up market that I go to is collect business cards from all of the vendors selling goods that I like. While I’d love to buy from all of them, my budget just won’t allow it.

biz cards

My collection of “favorite booth” business cards from Vintage Charlotte.

Once I’m back at home, I sort through the business cards and look up the shops on social media.

Tips:

  • If you have an account on Etsy, add the shop to your favorites so that your followers will also see the shop – this helps share the love with some free marketing for your new favorite shop while also saving the shop so you can easily find them later.
  • Build a secret “Gift Ideas” board on Pinterest to collect links to items you think would make a great gift for so-and-so. As you are browsing the shops (on Etsy or otherwise), “pin” the items so you can refer back as holidays/birthdays approach.
  • If you have an Instagram account (let’s be friends!), search for the shop and give them a follow. Lots of handmade businesses are starting to do exclusive flash sales and promotions on Instagram so this is a great avenue to keep up with your shops (and score a great deal on something you wanted to buy anyway!).
  • Remember to support handmade businesses this holiday season! By purchasing from a small, creative business you are fueling the artists fire and keeping them inspired – they rely on your support! As a handmade business owner, I know how special these sales can be – and I never regret supporting another artist. [I can’t say the same for big box purchases..]

Vintage Charlotte is one of the best craft fair / holiday market / vintage-anything I have ever been to! I absolutely cannot wait until the next VTG CLT!

What are some of your favorite handmade businesses? I’d love for you to leave a link in the comments so I can check them out for the holidays!