As someone who worked in a local boutique for years I have first hand experience seeing the difference it makes in a community when you shop small and local. I absolutely loved working for the Galleria in Edina, the mix of both local charm and larger anchor stores made the mall really something special, especially around the holidays!
Whether you're from the Twin Cities and want to stop in on some of these local shops, or from around the country (I know many of you are!) and want to check out their websites or Etsy pages, I encourage all my readers to consider some of these beautiful items, handmade by our community here in the Twin Cities!
1. Jewls by Jewls - The Mother-Daughter duo behind Jewls by Jewls are known for their headbands, jewlery and more - but this holiday season they are really wowing with their adorable fox-fur poof ball hats. The fox fur is detachable, making these easy to clean, as well as mix and match fur colors! This look is so on trend right now - would make a perfect gift for any fashion forward friend or family member!
2. Thumbs Cookies - This sweet little company originated in Minneapolis when Robyn noticed how addictive her Grandmother's thumb cookie recipe was - she then started her own business selling them! I specifically suggest the "Black and White' cookies, which couldn't be cuter or more addictive. Order an extra box for yourself, you wont regret it. Perfect gift for anyone on your list - especially those with a sweet tooth :)
3. Flaunt This - Started by St. Paul native Anne Hauge (one of the most fabulous and hilarious people I've ever met). After failing to find what she was searching for in stores, she started creating jewelry and accessories herself! Her items are available online and perfect for the fashion forward women on your list. She also has her annual (and amazing!) Holiday Trunk Show this Sunday Dec 6th at the Pioneer Endicott building in St. Paul from 3-6. Stop by for unique holiday items like the ones pictured above.
4. Kitchen Window - Have you ever been inside Kitchen Window in Calhoun Square? This large and trendy cooking emporium is filled with enough gifts to impress any foodie or cooking lover. But for the novice chef, their best asset are their cooking classes! Matthew and I took a Thai cooking class here together 2 years ago, which prompted us to buy a wok, which we now couldn't live without! This is a perfect gift for someone who prefers 'experiences' rather than 'things'. Matthew doesn't like stuff (baffles me too...) so instead we spent a few hours cooking and laughing together. Oh yeah, AND we learned skills we're using nearly every night we make dinner! It really was the perfect gift.
5. HeartWritten - Operating out of Bloomington, MN - HeartWritten specializes in custom made canvas pieces adorned with handwritten calligraphy and illustrations. Popular on Etsy for their engagement and wedding related business, these custom works have been used everywhere from nurseries to the wonderful sign "Make it a double" I saw hanging above a bar cart in a home. A great personalized gift that you can create for someone to incorporate their personality and brighten up their home!
6. Lucy & Co - From the humans behind @dogsofinstagram comes Lucy & Co, the website where dogs meet design! Their local website is filled with adorable dog hoodies and extras like gorgeous leather collars and beautiful water bowls! Pick up some cute swag for your favorite pup, and maybe even some 'Le Petit Treat' snacks for good measure!
7. ClothandOil - Minneapolis Native Gilliann Charnstrom positively blows you away while browsing her Etsy shop ClothandOil. She describes her esthetic as painting curious things on everyday objects. Using (primarily) everyday casual shoes such as Vans, Toms and Keds as her canvas, she creates a unique work of art with each pair! Browse her selection available online, or custom order a pair for adults or children! An amazing gift when looking to impress an artsy friend, or for a creative and color loving child!
8. Wool & Whiskey - Jessie started knitted in 2012 while teaching English in South Korea as a way to break the language barrier with other students and teachers in her community in the foreign country. It soon spanned into a growing business ranging from scarves to hats to clothing! Her designs are made of thick and chunky wool, intended to keep you warm from the inside out, just like Whiskey! Wear the infinity scarves long when inside, and bundle up outside for the cold - these make a great gift for anyone interested in staying stylish in the cold weather!
9. Oh Baby! - One of my favorite stores in the Galleria has always been the creative and handmade (in Minnesota!) magic you find at Oh Baby! As I mentioned in my post on Nursery Inspiration, we ordered a custom made bassinet from them (which we love love loved), as well as receiving many of their handmade blankets and clothes from friends and family. Their clothes couldn't be cuter, their blankets softer or their accessories more playful and fun. I was in love with this shop before I ever had a baby, and now I need to stay away to save our bank account! The perfect place to shop local for special and unique presents for the little ones on your list or expectant parents to be!
I hope you loved this list - I know many of these artist and creators personally, and the work that goes into running a small business and crafting handmade items is truly remarkable! I'm supporting small businesses and local shops all over the country this holiday season, I hope you will consider doing the same!!
Please let me know in the comments what some of your favorite local and small businesses are - Twin Cities and beyond! I'd love to hear from all of you!