The season of holiday parties, special family dinners, and Friends-Giving is here! It’s my favorite time of the year because of the extra time I get to spend with my friends and family, the curled up cozy nights with my man, and the beautiful holiday decorations, colors, and smells. The whole atmosphere of the holidays is magical.
I love picking out gifts for my family, friends, and coworkers. It’s fun to try and match up the perfect gift with their personality, an inside joke, or whatever it is that will make them smile. Sometimes finding those gifts is hard because the stack of way too strong fragrances just doesn’t feel right. Heck, maybe it does, especially when you’re stuck or in a time crunch, but it usually doesn’t work for me.
Making this year a Handmade Holiday is going to make this year’s Secret Santa or family gift exchange mean so much more. Handmade gifts give you the opportunity to create something or buy something from a creator that fits the receiver perfectly. Maybe you want to give your aunt a porch sign to welcome her guests with specific colors and a twist of her personality. A local crafter – or someone on a website like Etsy – will be able to help you! Maybe your husband would love a painting in his office that represents your marriage. Working closely with an artist will help you get that perfect painting.
I’m trying to make this year a Handmade Holiday (among other things!), and I’ve rounded up some of my favorite local artists from the Fox Valley. I’ve purchased from some of these artists and some of them I’ve admired from afar (so far). And then there’s me (shameless plug, but can you blame me?).
Check out some local artists for you to start check-check-checkin’ things off your list!
For the Art Lover: Handmade Paintings + Drawings
Kaylin is an artist based out of Southeastern Wisconsin, and she is so talented! I’ve seen her work evolve from when she was a student until now, and her art is unique and so colorful! Her Etsy shop is constantly being updated with new work, and she will commission a piece to capture your vision too!
For the Cold Person: Warm Knit Products
If you are looking for something to warm up the person you’re shopping for, Molly can hook you up. She can knit up pretty much anything, but she’s especially talented at chunky, warm cable hats and beautifully patterned beanies. She bought a book earlier this year with two hundred knit pattern swatches in it – 200!! It made me want to learn how to knit just so I can whip up anything and everything with little designs on it. But we have Molly for that! She loves custom orders, so if you are looking for something cute and made exactly how you want it, give her a shout!
For the Purse Obsessed: Local Made Bags and Purses
Brand Bags, LLC is a company based out of the Fox Valley, and I’ve seen her bags featured at Rise & Grind in Oshkosh, and they are beautiful! They’re handmade from leathers, and each bag is made in limited quantities, so you know what you’re getting is going to be unique. Your bag-obsessed friend will love you forever.
For the Urban Farmer: Egg Collecting Apron
Urban farming has been growing in popularity over the last several years. If you know someone who’s added some chickens to their space, they might appreciate a little bit of help with their egg collecting duties. Or maybe they have little ones running around that want to be helpful too. An egg collecting apron can be made for adults or children, and is super cute and functional, leaving your hands free for other things. I’ve been whipping these up like crazy this year, and I love making custom color combinations (like this Packers-themed child apron).
For the Compulsive Lip Balm User: Bees Wax Lip Balms
I have been raving about Sharon’s lip balm for years because it is that good. I used to be all about Blistex, and I still have some laying around for emergencies, but I pretty much only carry Ginger & Waldo lip balms now. They’re made with bees wax and are so soft. They last way longer than other lip balms I’ve used and they don’t leave a nasty, thick layer of wax on your lips. They moisturize your lips and have such a great, but not over-powering, taste. Sharon carries everything from vanilla lavender and lemon drop to pizza and cheese curds flavored lip balms. She launches a new collection a few times a year, and I’m always excited to see what she comes up with. I’m obsessed with her lip balms (clearly), but she has a selection of soothing bath and body products as well.
These are some of my favorite creators from around Wisconsin that have caught my eye and/or that I’ve purchased from and have loved. I hope that they are able to help you check some things off your list this holiday season!
Who are some of your favorite creators? Are you a creator too? We are everywhere and the great thing about the Internet is meeting more! Sound off in the comments. 🙂