8 Made-Local Gift Ideas
Brighten someone's day with these handcrafted wares by makers in your community.
Seeking a pick-me-up for a friend or a bit of self-care? These handcrafted wares are locally made and available for online purchase. Some are also carried by boutique retailers offering curbside pickup or delivery.
You may have spied Lucy Carr’s whimsical fabric goods at art markets such as Handmade Arlington, URBN Market Mosaic District and Art on the Avenue. The street fairs are on hold for now, but her sewing machine is still humming. She’s been making face masks by the dozens, and you can shop her patterned Carrhoots totes ($55-$65), makeup bags ($38) and storage baskets ($40 and up) at facebook.com/carrhootshomemade and instagram.com/carrhoots, and at The Urban Farmhouse in Arlington’s Bluemont neighborhood.
Anna Leigh Southworth is a Fairfax County teacher by day, but she also has a thriving side business in Tiny Tudor Cookies, a confectionary venture named after the architectural style of her Falls Church home. Her almost-too-pretty-to-eat sugar cookies ($60-$80/dozen) can be tailor-made for any occasion—graduations, baby showers, birthdays—and the self-taught baker “loves a good challenge,” including experimenting with different decorative styles. Royal icing is the secret to that porcelain-like finish.
Perhaps you’ve been spending extra time on the trail and gained a newfound appreciation for its winged creatures. If so, you’ll find a kindred spirit in Falls Church architect and designer Jess Michetti, owner of Good Goose Graphics and a volunteer with the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia. Her studied portraits of finches, nuthatches, owls, hummingbirds and robins are precious in their simplicity. Prints range from $35 to $150. Available at etsy.com/shop/goodgoosegraphics and at Botanologica in Falls Church.
Time to Breathe
Occupational therapist Anusha Moodley created her Falls Church-based aromatherapy company, Sanctuary Beauty and Bath, after she became a new mom and began using essential oils to soothe her stress and fatigue. No time for a lingering soak in the tub? Try her dissolvable shower steamers ($15), which turn that everyday ritual into a spa-like experience with scents such as lavender-geranium, eucalyptus and rose. You’ll find them online at sanctuarybeautyandbath.com and at Covet in Arlington.
Kate Amarelo’s lightweight resin jewelry is as easy to throw on as the tanks and leggings you’ve been living in lately, and her cute stud earrings ($15 and up) and pendant necklaces ($24 and up) come in a rainbow of hues, some with a touch of sparkle. Also? She’s a dog-lover; her rescue pup, Moose, makes up the second half of her company name, Kate & Moose. Explore the Arlington designer’s colorful baubles—including a collection that donates a portion of the proceeds to animal rescue efforts.
Commemorate the return of the 17-year cicada with a set of French provincial-style “Cigale Toile” notecards ($16) by Arlington artist Liz Hutcheson, owner of Fast Snail Greetings & Design. Her inventory also includes fine art prints, graduation cards (inquire about custom announcements), tea towels and stainless-steel flasks with washable covers. Shop her wares at fastsnail.com and find select items at Two the Moon in Arlington.
Is yard work your new therapy? Holly Radus’ Benella Garden Designs is currently on hiatus, but the Arlington-based landscape designer has a few choice outdoor accessories available through her Etsy site. Add some extra color to your raised vegetable beds or potted herbs with these hand-painted garden markers ($9 each). They’re made with river rocks that won’t blow away—to help you remember what you planted where.
The daily routine feels less monotonous when you’ve got a special mug for your coffee, a rustic bowl for those summer peaches or a set of hand-thrown earthenware plates that make takeout sushi look like high art. That’s where ceramic artist Scott Kaye of Kaye Pottery comes in. His studio at Lee Arts Center remains closed for now, and so does his gallery at the Torpedo Factory, but he is throwing pots (and more) in his Arlington backyard and accepting commissions. Shop at kayepottery.com or choose among select pieces at Trade Roots in Westover.