How lucky we are to live and shop in Philadelphia. We can bypass box stores and their buffet of bland and cheaply made goods and instead, we can choose thoughtful gifts, sold to us by our neighbors. When we give our gifts, we’ll know our family and friends will recognize the thought and care taken in our selections. And the best part—the whole time we will be stirring the local economy.
When compiling our gift guide, we asked four questions of every item:
1) Is it locally made?
2) Is it made from sustainable materials?
3) Can it be purchased from a locally-owned business?
4) Is it awesome?
If the answer was “yes” to question four, and at least one other, it had a chance to make the cut.
We organized the guide by personality type: The Foodie, Bookworm, Nester, Pipsqueak, Fair Lady, Chic Geek and Gardener.
The list is by no means comprehensive. There are oodles of things we would have loved to include if we had infinite space. But we hope the guide gives you the spark to take to the streets, enjoy where you live and find your holiday treasures.
Ikea gift certificate? C’mon, you can do better than that. Once the tinsel comes down that special homebody on your list will be thankful to have new (or old) curios and oddities to deck the halls. Making use of antiques is a great way to lessen your impact this gifting season, and classy!
#1: Bird and Blossom Pillow Women in the rural Kathmandu Valley of Nepal sew recycled fabric into lovely pillow covers with help from the Association for Craft Producers, which provides design and marketing services to low-income artisans. $38 at Ten Thousand Villages
#2: Napkin Rings Designed by Pennsylvania makers Jonathan and Julia Spoons, these cherry wood napkin rings feature decorative carvings and flame-blackened edges. $18 at Center for Art in Wood
#3: Vintage wind up alarm clock A fun houseware (and great gift) from an online Philadelphia antique shop. $28 at Hoof and Antler on Etsy
#4: Mio Culture Grid Wallpocket A great way to keep those office necessities close to your desk. Made from recycled felt. $70 at AIA Bookstore
#5: Candle Holder Recycled glass mosaic candleholder made by artisans working with Noah’s Ark in Moradabad, India, an organization that provides education and medical treatment for artisans and their families. $16 at Ten Thousand Villages
#6: Red Boots Design Wall-Mounted Bottle Opener Handmade from salvaged wood and screen-printed in fun colors and designs. $28-$32 at Nice Things Handmade or Red Boots Design on Etsy
#7: Vintage General Electric Schoolroom Wall Clock Reminds us of counting the seconds until the end of class, but would be a great addition to a workshop or home. $45 at Hoof and Antler on Etsy
#8: Crates Sturdy vintage wooden crates that make great rustic display pieces and fun forms of storage. $30 at Hoof and Antler on Etsy
#9: Philadelphia Map Hand-drawn, screen-printed posters, maps, charts and diagrams by Peaceful Traveler/Wicked Wanderer. $26 at Fabric Horse or peacefultraveler.org
#10: Glass Containers Vintage-inspired glass apothecary jars with aged metal lids. $18-$20 at Three Potato Four
#11: Take A Seat Coasters Wooden coasters, hand-rubbed with tung oil. Hand drawn chairs have been etched on the cherry wood and tiny pieces have been cut away. Set of four. $28 at Art Star Boutique
#12: Wilson’s Soaps A failed attempt to open a biodiesel plant in Philadelphia led to making soap the old fashioned way—with soybean oil, coconut oil and natural plant-based essential oils. $4 at VIX Emporium or wilsonssoap.com
#13: Green Moss Ornament Vibrant green reindeer moss encased in a three-inch round glass ball ornament made by Square Pin (also available in red). $8 at Square Peg Artery & Salvage
#14: “Brain Column” Bowl Daniel Teran’s etched pottery reminds you to slow down and enjoy life. $45 at The Clay Studio
#15: Letterpress Letters Vintage wooden letterpress type blocks, wonderfully weathered and perfect for a home or office. About $4 per letter at Hoof and Antler on Etsy