The gift giving season has arrived along with the Autumn winds and cooler temperatures. In the spirit of the season Trish at Scent Hive has gathered together some of her favorite bloggers (links below) to offer a few recommendations of heart warming gift ideas.
Most people will most likely head to the mall or perhaps a favorite street with lots of boutiques for their shopping. It is certainly what I use to do. These days however I am interested in breaking free of supporting the big conglomerates and focusing on small indie business and handmade as much as possible.
The list I have compiled is from items I desire for myself and those I would love to gift to others.
Anna-Marie of MinxShop in Pittsburg designs clothes that are interesting and unique, but also comfortable and wearable on a day to day basis. They are artfully created with attention to detail, expertly crafted as well as photographed.
Another favorite is TreeHouse28 owned by Alix McCauley a mother of two located in California. I have been lusting for something from her shop on Etsy ever since I discovered them in September 2008. The clothes look as if I could easily wear them here in the studio and then dash over to a yoga class looking chic.
I just ordered the most amazing handmade soaps from the Rocky Top Soap Shop in Maine. There is so much to adore with these, particularly the nature loving spirit of the creator Tony. I plan to give them to a few of the guys in my life...as well as ladies. These mindfully handcrafted soaps will also make excellent stocking stuffers!
Another item I just ordered, which has yet to arrive, is incense from Alchemy Works. I am very particular about incense, not only because I want something that is truly made with plant materials but I also want to support artistry. This incense is the best! I love the aroma, the way it burns and the magical aspects which Harry uses to make them. The website is a treasure trove of fabulous details which you can easily get lost in for hours. For those who love magic, wizardry these are for you! Perfect for your upcoming Harry Potter film release party!
Normally I head over to William Sonoma, Dean and Deluca or Sur La Table to find gifts for the gourmet. This year however I have found a bounty of artisanal products at the local farmers market. Supporting your local farmers is another conscious choice that is quite fun and rewarding. We patronize ours once a week to get our veggies, fruits, honey, chicken, fish, bread and...if our income has been good, flowers!
I have found some wonderous hand pressed, local virgin olive oil flavored with blood orange peels as well as incredible vinegars, one was a fig and vanilla infusion!
Other fabulous gifts for the gourmet are specialty baked goods like these from Whimsy and Spice in Brooklyn. Picture above are Earl Grey sandwich cookies which have been flavored with Earl Grey tea. The small indie shop was founded in 2008 by the husband and wife team of Mark Sopchak and Jenna Park. They have a fabulous blog called Sweet Fine Day where you can get to know them and appreciate the fact that you are supporting a sweet family.
How about some hose clothes! These hose covers are made of strong water-friendly fabrics with a textured grip. For those who have high aesthetics and don't like the look of those old garden hoses this is a great alternative! Made in California by Dirt Couture.
Intending this list has inspired you to forage into the realm of handmade, local and artisanal. For more ideas and suggestions, specifically related to scent, please follow the links below to the others participating in the Holiday Gift Guide 2010 blogging event.
I'll post a gift guide for Roxana Illuminated Perfume in the next few weeks.
Images: Gift box, Rocky Top Soap and Corn Yellow cuff photos by Roxana Villa all other photos please refer to individual shop owners.