Do you have a Minnesotan in your life that can’t get enough MN gear? Or, maybe you know someone (or several someones) that love buying locally made items? Well, ’tis the season for giving and I’m here to help! I’ve put together a list of local products to help you find the perfect gift for that special someone. Click on the links below to take you to the each section!
Do you have a do-gooder in your life? These gifts are for them!
Essence one is a site full of handcrafted, all-natural products made right here in MN. From body lotion to cleaning products and even natural deodorant, you’re sure to find something you like! Even better, a portion of her profits are donated to mental health organizations. My favorite just due to the cuteness factor alone is the Minnesoapa! It is a combination of spearmint and eucalyptus (YUM!) and even comes with a little honey lip balm! Perfect for the friend who loves smelling good and doing good!
Is your friend into good deeds AND fashion? Pick her up a copy of The Volk magazine! It is a local lifestyle and fashion magazine that is a certified non-profit and is in the process of becoming a 501c3 recognized charitable organization. Their mission is to promote Minnesota artists, share fashion and beauty trends and raise money for Allina Mental Health, Mercy Hospital.
I just found out about Sseko Designs for this post and what a great thing it is. This women-owned business is based out of Portland but has representatives from all over the United States. The company operates under a social impact model giving the women that make the product opportunity to pursue a college education or small businesses with their earnings. Since this is a travel blog, I would have to pick this beautiful Voyager Travel Bag in black. With every bag purchased, you support Christine. She is a single mother with the hope to open her own restaurant in Uganda. A purchase to feel good about!
Still Kickin is a non-profit that helps awesome people who are going through awful things. Each month, they honor a Still Kickin hero with proceeds from the sales of apparel that month going to that person to help them through their hardship. Still Kickin was founded by Nora McInerny in honor of her husband who died of brain cancer three years ago. A lot of people benefit from this organization and all the good work it does so you can spread your purchases throughout the year to support lots of families! Since my favorite color is green, I’m going to have to pick the Original Green Tee as my favorite 🙂
Does your friend never want to leave the house? These gifts are for them!
If you or someone you know loves pottery, you need to check out A Mano. I first discovered her at Art-A-Whirl a couple of years ago and have picked up a couple of things since then. When I was browsing her website, I came across this sublime little pot. That mint green and gold is just too good!
If you want your whole house to smell amazing, then you need Illume candles. They manufacture all their candles here in MN. What’s even cooler, is they have in-house calligraphers, illustrators, painters, and more. I have the Balsam and Cedar candle and it smells so amazing! I love the artwork on this Fa La La La La candle and if their others are anything to go by, I’m sure it smells great as well!
Need some pretty artwork in your life? Then, go check out Flying Colors Canvas. A recent Minneapolis transplant, she started her art here and continues to be inspired by Minnesota’s beauty! I love how colorful her artwork is and it will definitely brighten up any wall you put it on. My favorite is probably Cherry Blossom Lane below.
Know someone who is always throwing parties? Keep reading!
Chowgirls Catering is such a cool business. Started in 2004 by Heidi and Amy, they have become a big fixture in the Minneapolis community. Their catering space even hosts the Northeast Farmer’s Market in the winter. Not only are they one of the Midwest’s leading catering companies, they are also authors! Arranged by season, your next party needs some of these snacks! After over 10 years in the catering business, you can bet your butt they’ll be tasty!
Maybe you cook up some of those mean appetizers from Chow Girls or have an amazing spread of cheese and need something to put them on? Check out Timber and Tulip! She carries the most gorgeous wood items I’ve seen. Her use of materials is so clever and beautiful. Her showroom is in the Northrup King building so you should just browse around sometime. Peep this Burl Charcuterie Board below. If that doesn’t make your cheese and crackers look the best they ever have, I don’t know what will!
Serious Jam is a recent discovery but a totally tasty one! I was at a craft fair over the weekend and got to taste Heidi’s delicious jam. Her company is focused on supporting organic and local farmers and using old-school jam making methods. She doesn’t sell online (yet) but can be found in several different shops like Rustica Bakery or the Mill City Farmer’s Market. Be sure to try all of the flavors because they are seriously good. Get it? Add one of her jams to your charcuterie board from Timber and Tulip next to some brie and you’ll have a party!
Can’t get enough clothing or accessories? You’re in luck! Look below!
Live and Love MN was started by blogger Nicole as a way to document her exploration of MN after she moved here. About 2 years ago, she started a line of really cool clothing and accessories featuring the Live Love MN logo along with lots of other cool graphics. It’s hard to pick a favorite but I think mine is the “North” sweatshirt below. I can picture myself wearing this at a cabin in the woods with a cocoa in my hand next to a roaring fire. Go get your cozy on!
I’ve come across Belle Isle Design Co at several craft fairs and her designs always pull me in. There is anything you could want from simple to over the top fun in her shop. I had a hard time picking a favorite from her shop but these are called Swingin’ Party earrings so I couldn’t resist!
Another cool, local clothing and accessories shop is Sota Clothing. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of people sporting these! They have everything from hats, beanies, to long sleeve tshirts and sweatshirts. I personally have one the long sleeve t’s and I can attest to it’s softness. 🙂 My favorite is their MN sweatshirt with the paddle graphic below. Ok, so I may be on a sweatshirt kick, sue me! Isn’t it cute though? Picture that same cozy scene above but you have another night there so you can bring this sweatshirt along too!
Jewelry is hard to buy for someone else but Everart Designs has such a cool vibe, I think everyone would find something they love in her shop. I first found Chris’ jewelry at Art-A-Whirl and I’ve been a fan ever since! I always get compliments on the earrings I got from her and they go with everything! Browsing through her Etsy shop, these Guitar string earrings caught my eye. They may or may not already be in my cart 😉
Does your friend travel often? If so, they will definitely want this reversible shirt from Anywhere Apparel! They are made of anti-microbial bamboo fabric and made to be versatile and long-lasting between washes when you are traveling. Perfect for those long trips when you don’t want to bring a huge bag! They do all their design work here in Minnesota and the products are manufactured in New York. Go get your casual cool traveler on!
Do you have someone that you need to get a gift for but aren’t really sure what they like or they seem to have everything already? Good news. I have stuff for them too!
For the friend who is hard to shop for, turn to Minny and Paul. Their gorgeous gift boxes are the perfect solution for the person who has it all! Their site has several different box options to choose from and all of the products are locally made. You can’t beat that! Since it is the holidays, I would send out this super cute “Cheer” box! All of the shipping is included and you can send one anywhere country. I may need some of that peppermint bark… just saying.
Do you have someone in your life that has a food intolerance or is vegan? Enter Sweet Root Mpls! Her mission is to provide tasty dairy-free and vegan desserts using organic ingredients. She just released a holiday gift box which would be the perfect gift. Your friend can sip fair-trade Peace Coffee in their handcrafted coffee mug (made by Minneapolis artist, Robbie Spencer Ceramics) while baking Sweet Root Mpls’ signature organic sugar cookies.
This is by no means an exhaustive list because there are so many great companies here in Minnesota! Do you have a favorite not listed below? Let me know in the comments! I hope you find something for your friends, family or even yourself for the holidays!