It's that time of year again—holiday gift-giving season is upon us. But this time, there’s not only still a pandemic but also snarled supply chains, making holiday shopping a pain even if you order online.
By buying locally, you’re supporting fellow artists and creators in the community, helping spread the word about their talents and goods, and giving gifts of beautiful handmade products to your family and friends! It’s a win-win for everybody.
We asked some creatives and arts workers across the state where they’re shopping locally this holiday season and who are some artists, makers and brands in their community selling anything from wines, ceramics, books and original art.
Where are you shopping this holiday season?
“As little as possible on Amazon...unless we have to purchase gift cards for teenagers. We LOVE and definitely support our local bookstore, Griffin Bay Books. When asked what we want we request gift certificates to the bookstore.” - Diane Martindale, Art Consultant, San Juan Island
“I will be shopping at the “Valley Goods” store – located on the TwispWorks Campus. This store features a wide range of “Methow Made” products.” - Tori Karpenko, Director of Campus Operations, Twispworks, Twisp
“I’m hand making most of my gifts. I usually create seasonal herbal things like soap, candles, bath salts, and teas. Radiance in downtown Olympia or Zenith supplies in Seattle has many of the supplies you’d need for this. I like to focus on incorporating our local evergreens into my gifts. Cascadia Terroir offers amazing locally wildcrafted essential oils of this nature. They are online and also have a booth at the Olympia Farmers Market.” - Marissa Laubscher, Project Manager, Art in Public Places Program, Washington State Arts Commission, Olympia
"I am dedicated to shopping local this year. Indie bookstores for books and stationery, jewelry and leather DIY kits by local craftspeople or shops, and treats from our local or regional farms." - Ayn Carrillo-Gailey, Writer & Artistic Advocate, Orcas Island
“We will be doing most all of our shopping at the Schack Art Center in Everett. During the holiday season, we will be representing well over 200 local artists with a broad variety and selection of art to give for the holidays. You can shop for unique gifts from our Annual Holiday Art Exhibit featuring works from Northwest Watercolor Society’s Signature members as well as a large mix of regional glass, ceramic, wood and jewelry artists through January 2.” - Judy Tuohy, Executive Director, Schack Art Center, Everett
“Gallery One's gift shop features works of makers from the PNW! I'll also be on the lookout for any local arts and makers fair such as the Gallery One Resident Artist show on December 12, the PUNCH Projects show on December 5. In the surrounding areas we have the Yakima Maker Space, Collab Coffee, Pybus Public Market, Tieton Arts and more!” - Monica Miller, Executive Director, Gallery One Visual Arts Center, Ellensburg
“Robert Karl Winery is a small winery tucked away on the east side of downtown Spokane by the railroad. Super great wines at an amazing price for the quality. The owners are on site whenever they are open, are super knowledgeable and will show you how everything is made.” - Ben Stuckart, Forward Principle Consulting, Spokane
“This holiday season I will be buying from local artists and Olympia’s downtown merchants. I also plan to make some online contributions to nonprofit arts organizations and social service efforts that benefit the region. Catching my eye (and my imagination) at Olyphant Art Supply in downtown Oly: a travel box of watercolors, some cool pens, a great selection of sketchbooks and journals —all fitting well into my gift boxes.” - Kris Tucker, Olympia Artspace Alliance, Olympia
“I often give tickets, a-donation-in-your-name, or “let’s go together” to arts organizations. Here’s a listing of local ones in Southwest Washington (including galleries where work is sold).” - Betsy Henning, Founder and Managing Principal of AHA Inc., Vancouver, Washington
What are some local makers and crafters to check out in your community?
“Fine jewelry maker Jennifer “Paris” Lilly of Burnt Ginger Studios is originally from Pateros. She moved from living on Maui for 12 years due to the pandemic and is currently living in Twisp. Her products include necklaces, rings and earrings. She has done remarkably well at the local Farmer’s Market as well as the Mazama Store and Methow Valley Goods.” - Tori Karpenko, Director of Campus Operations, Twispworks, Twisp
“Teresa Mitchell of upfashioned takes used men’s and women’s clothing and outerwear and upcycles it into stylish backpacks, doggie coats, handbags and coin purses. She has traveled all over the world and also was an English teacher at the Bush School in Seattle. Her wares are sold exclusively at Methow Valley Goods in Twisp, WA.” - Tori Karpenko, Director of Campus Operations, Twispworks, Twisp
“Alexandra Anne makes polymer clay earrings with celestial inspired shapes.” - Monica Miller, Executive Director, Gallery One Visual Arts Center, Ellensburg
“From paper drawings and commissioned paintings to teaching art classes and spreading Central WA pride, Sam Birks Fisher brings art to life in the Kittitas Valley.” - Monica Miller, Executive Director, Gallery One Visual Arts Center, Ellensburg
“I send off Nikki McClure calendars to friends and family every year. Every month is an original image and a compelling theme (November 2021: Participate) depicted with a papercut image. I will also shop from Jobyglass for colorful and unique glass jewelry, fused glass plaques and bowls.” - Kris Tucker, Olympia Artspace Alliance, Olympia (read our interview with Joby Shimora here).
“Darleen Nixon of Nixon Art Glass has been a glass artist for 20 years in both mediums of lampwork and kiln formed glass. She has such glowing work and a broad variety of items, so taking my shopping list there is a delight.”- Diane Martindale, San Juan Island
“Merging function, craft, and art, Paula West explores texture, contrast, and line, creating whimsical motifs, geometric patterns, and carved surfaces using unique surface decorating techniques. Everyone on my gift list wants her contemporary and fresh art.” - Diane Martindale, San Juan Island
“Karen Mobley is a local artist who has done so much for the local community that Spokane Arts named their lifetime achievement award the Karen Mobley Impact Award. She has a heart of gold and her art is amazing.” - Ben Stuckart, Forward Principle Consulting, Spokane
"Orcas Island Leather Goods' DIY Leather Kits let customers make their own leather chess boards, wallets, tote bags, clutches, and home goods, providing a fun way to develop new talents, and give uniquely thoughtful gifts to family and friends. " - Ayn Carrillo-Gailey, Writer & Artistic Advocate, Orcas Island
What is your favorite local brand?
“Silagy Hot Sauce—the Hatch Green Chili is fantastic.”- Betsy Henning
“Located on the boardwalk at the scenic Olympia Marina, the Splash Gallery Artists Coop is a one of a kind art experience in the South Puget Sound. They offer a vibrant selection of local fine art including oils and acrylics, watercolor, jewelry, fused glass, ceramics, photography, textile art and more.” - Karen J. Hanan, Executive Director, Washington State Arts Commission, Olympia
“The Artists' Gallery is a co-op in Olympia that specializes in outstanding fine arts and crafts by Washington artists. With over twenty visionary artists in the cooperative, you will find styles to compliment everyone's taste; from traditional paintings to modern abstracts, or gifts made with hands and heart.” - Karen J. Hanan, Executive Director, Washington State Arts Commission, Olympia
"Girl Meets Dirt is a huge success story and now shipping out around the world. The brand's award-winning Heritage Preserves are inspired by the long history of orchard keeping on Orcas Island, and head jam-maker Audra's journey to the fruit of the matter & back, from her island farmette." - Ayn Carrillo-Gailey, Writer & Artistic Advocate, Orcas Island