Going a wee bit crazy finding the right gift for a hard-to-shop-for-person on your list? Driving from box store to shopping mall in a blur seeing the same gift all over town? Yes, that was me… But no more, for I am leaving those mass market gifts to the masses, and instead supporting artists and their small cottage industries by buying a handcrafted gift. This decision is not just because I live in Vermont, a haven for the imaginative, for no matter where you live these crafty folks can be found, besides now-a-days they are all online! Here are two perfect examples, one an east coaster, the other on the west, yet both as close as your keyboard.
Let’s start with that 20-something person on your list, who is heading out the door to the job he/she finally landed, with at least three bags over their shoulder: one for the laptop, another for personal stuff, and then that third one for what didn’t fit in the other two! And, let’s take a look at this person. They care about the environment and recycle, in fact they love to cycle too and are often tooling around on their road bike. They have a unique edgy style; clearly a step up from their college days. Well here’s the perfect place to locate a gift for them: Totally Tubular Design! From wallets to messenger bags this Santa Cruz based company custom makes all their products from recycled bike tires and car upholstery. Yeah, so cool right? With sleek designs and attention to detail these products will stand the test of time, and are sure to bring a big smile to the lucky recipient.
Perhaps your next hard to buy for person has just rented their first apartment or is downsizing or is redoing an office space. Well then, some absolutely uplifting art is in order, and the best place to find that is at Jess Graham Studio. Jess makes wood plaques of varying sizes, depicting “split second sparks and lifetimes of ruminations.” Nature and movement feature predominantly in these brilliantly illustrated and reasonably priced prints, so the appeal is universal. I always smile when I spot Jess and her booth of wares at the farmers’ market or artists’ fair for her work brightens every location.
My list of suggestions could go on and on, for there are countless talented artists in our world, but hopefully reading about these two will spur you on to investigate more wonderful craftspeople where ever you find them. At the very least, I hope to have steered you away from buying within the box stores and looking beyond the ordinary to find a genuine gift created by the people for the people. Hohoho!