Several years ago, I committed to doing a large part of my holiday shopping locally. It keeps my dollars circulating in our community and it’s a great excuse to mingle around town. As an added bonus (procrastinators, rejoice!), it’s (almost) never too late to pick up a gift at a local boutique. (Even FedEx can’t deliver on time if you’re shopping on December 24!) To help you show your local love this season, we’ve rounded up 12 gifts made and sold here in Rhode Island that will please even the pickiest people on your list. And don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone if you leave it to the last minute.
1. Ami & Abo gold leather pouch
Lisette Rooney is best known as a local health and fitness guru, but in her spare time, she also designs jewelry and accessories under the moniker Ami & Abo. Her gold leather pouch (pictured at top) is hand-stitched with contrasting trim – perfect for toting little treasures. Toss it in a purse or use it on its own. Available through the Ami & Abo Etsy shop.
2. Mission x La Maison de Coco Chocolate bars
Newport’s hippest burger bar teamed up with expert chocolatier La Maison de Coco to create a fantastic line of chocolate bars just for the holiday season. Head down to Mission to pick up some of this handmade, organic, fair-trade deliciousness. Bonus: All proceeds benefit Universal Promise, a non-profit that supports international education initiatives in impoverished regions. Can a stocking stuffer get any better than that?
3. Cheap Chic
Fashion is what you buy, but style is how you wear it, and Newporter Caterine Milinaire – who worked at Vogue and later became a celebrity photographer – knows a thing or two about both. Milinaire is also co-author of Cheap Chic, style Bible of the 1970s, which was reissued for it’s 40th anniversary this year. The advice and street style looks are still as inspiring as they were four decades ago. Pick up a copy at Chateau & Bungalow.
4. Newport Bridge token necklace
For the local history buff or loyal visitor, wearing a piece of Newport history is a fun way to show the love. Out-of-circulation Newport Bridge tokens are transformed into necklaces, featuring the six different designs that were used prior to the age of E-ZPass. Head in to Green Envy to acquire yours.
5. Java Skin Care Double Shot body serum
Stephanie Additon operates Java Skin Care out of her husband’s coffee shop in Wickford, where she marries artisan coffee beans and the science behind good skin. Celebrities swear by this stuff, and you will, too. Try Java’s Double Shot body serum, which delivers smooth and silky skin without an oily residue. Order yours online or head into Green Envy to pick some up.
6. Rhode Island Rustic branch hook
The clever duo behind Rhode Island Rustic make gorgeous home goods including these hooks made from found branches. They’re the perfect way to cozy up your house. Available online or at these R.I. locations.
7. Farmhouse Pottery honey
Public service announcement: We have found the world’s best honey! It comes from Vermont’s Farmhouse Pottery (coincidentally operated by a native Rhode Islander) but luckily, you don’t have to travel that far to get it. It’s available for purchase at The Cottage at Four Corners in Tiverton. We eat it by the spoonful. It’s just that good.
8. Narragansett beer tree ornament
Here’s the perfect stocking stuffer for hipsters and old guys alike. A little bit kitschy, a little bit cool, this ‘Gansett beer ornament brings the good times to your tree. New for 2015, it joins a lineup that already includes Del’s lemonade cups, Awful Awfuls, the Big Blue Bug, Autocrat coffee syrup, and a slew of other Rhode Island icons. Order from My Little Town, or head over to Benny’s.
9. Shut Up & Relax bath salts
Sometimes you just need to pipe down and close out the world with a hot soak in a tub. Give the gift of rejuvenation when you wrap up a jar of soothing Shut Up & Relax bath salts. The detoxifying potion – made with sea and Epsom salts and essential oils – is handmade in Newport by Rachel Lessne. Head in to her shop, Green Envy, to indulge.
10. Haarstick tassel
Anything old can be new again when you add a little sparkle to it. From local jewelry maker Haarstick, this small but mighty tassel adds the perfect amount of flair to an existing (or new!) purse. Trust us, there’s a woman in your life who needs one of these in her possession. Available at Chateau & Bungalow.
11. Kate’s Dream Crème
We’re addicted to Kate’s Dream Crème, handmade by local landscape architect Katherine Field right in her Portsmouth kitchen. Crafted from shea butter and essential oils, it can be used on hands, face, body, or wherever your skin needs a pick me up. The latest version – made especially for wintertime – delivers some serious moisture. Get it online, or at Michael Hayes.
12. E. Frances stationery
Saying it with a card? Allow the ladies of E. Frances Paper to do the talking for you. Their adorable designs are the cutest possible way you could say “Happy Holidays.” Designed here in Newport in a former bubble gum factory, these cards know how to bring the cheer. Find them at Papers or online.