November 22, 2011
Uwishunu’s Holiday Gift Guide: Our Top Picks For Where To Buy Locally Made Goods, Highlights From Each Place, And Upcoming Neighborhood Gift-Shopping Events
The tree lights are atwinkle, the store windows are bursting with red, green, silver and gold, the ribbon and wrapping paper and cards are calling your name from inside your cabinet.
It’s officially gift-giving holiday heyday, and there’s no time like the present to stock up on Philadelphia-made crafts, clothes, food and more for the lucky ones on your list.
Enter: uwishunu’s holiday gift guide, complete with the events you can rely on for gift-shopping, the best places to find local gifts and our curated selections for specific finds from each. Note that our roundup is solely comprised of Philadelphia-made gifts, so if we missed your go-to gift shop it may be because they don’t stock locally.
Everything that you need to give locally this season, below:
• Center City District Shopping Saturdays: Support local, independently owned small businesses throughout Center City over the next month. Here are the featured dates and locations. November 26: Midtown Village. December 3: The Shops at Liberty Place. December 10: The Gallery at Market East.December 17: Rittenhouse Row.
• NOLIBS Holiday Shopping Spree: December 3-4, from 2nd to 3rd and from The Piazza to Spring Garden. At this annual boutique crawl, 10 independent boutiques will be offering refreshments, free gift wrap and an opportunity to get up to 25% off your purchases. Shoppers are given a Shopping Spree Card and collect a sticker for each store at which they make a purchase. You get 10% off the first store, 15% off at the second, 20% off at the third and 25% off at all shops after collecting all three stickers.
• Stag & Doe Nights in Chestnut Hill: Wednesdays, December 5, 14, 21, 28, 6-9 p.m., throughout Chestnut Hill. All the shops open their doors and welcome you with wonderful gift ideas, refreshments and personalized, friendly service.
• H.O.P.E. for the Holidays Craft Bazaar: December 8-10, St. James Hall, Elkins Park. H.O.P.E. stands for Helping Other People Endure. The event includes a theater performance followed by a bazaar stocked with local crafters and artisans’ work.
• Greensgrow Holiday Bazaar: December 10, 11, 17, 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 2501 E. Cumberland Street. Make a dent in your Christmas shopping at Greensgrow Farms’ Holiday Bazaar featuring local, handmade gift ideas from some of the neighborhood’s most talented crafters and artists, Christmas trees and holiday greenery.
• Crafty Balboa Holiday Edition: Saturday, December 17, Broad Street Ministry. Rooted in South Philly, this annual local craft extravaganza is a treasure trove of gifts.
• Punk Rock Flea Market Holiday Edition: Sunday, December 11, Punk Rock Flea Market Dome. Get pumped for 300+ tables of vendors selling old records, clothes, art, music, bicycles, stereo equipment, instruments, automobiles, tools, posters, furniture, computers, skateboards and more.
• Rittenhouse Farmers Market: Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Walnut Street between 18th and 19th Streets. In addition to fresh flowers, produce, meat, hot apple cider and other edibles, you can pick up locally made crafts likes Timothy Bahash of 4mula’s living ornaments and wreaths.
• Clark Park Farmers Market: Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 43rd Street at Baltimore Avenue. Participating vendors (all local of course) include Eden Garden Farm, Fahnestock Fruit Farm, Forest View Bakery, Slow Rise Bakery and plenty more. Pick up baked goods, handmade chocolates or locally made cider as great holiday gifts.
Where to Shop
Clothes & Accessories
• R.E.Load Bags: Create your own custom-designed messenger bag, choosing from seven styles of single-strap bags and three styles of double-straps, plus a trillion color combos. All construction work is done on site at the Northern Liberties shop. They also sell wallets, bike accessories and more. OUR PICK: The “Build Your Own” bag.
• Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney’s We ♥ Philly line: The 13th street dynamic duo has funneled their love for Philadelphia into a Philly-centric, everything-is-irresistible line of goods. The totes, cards, coasters, T-shirts, candles, paperweights and onesies are designed locally. Order online, at Open House or Verde, both in Midtown Village. OUR PICK: Pretzel necklace in silver or gold.
• SA VA: Local eco-friendly clothing designer and entrepreneur Sarah Van Aken is a true champion on the local Philly designer scene. Anything from her shop, above which her design studio is located, makes a special present. OUR PICK: Any of the wide range of eco-friendly and fair trade dresses, what SA VA is known for.
• Smak Parlour: This dollhouse-like establishment nestled in Old City is an edgy boutique where city-wise shoppers dabble in the hip and flirty. Founders Abby and Kate, who design all of the store’s garments and accessories, have created a perfect marriage of sugar and spice. OUR PICK: A chic warm sweater for the coming winter.
• Egan Day: Though not all the stock is made here in Philadelphia, much of it is. You’ll find gorgeous jewelry, from earrings to pendants to rings. OUR PICK: Jonathan Wahl’s cufflinks. Philly-born and -raised Wahl’s clients include Bruce Webber, Anne Hathaway and Caroline Kennedy.
Continue reading below for our top picks for home goods, food and drink selections and more.
• Bohema Artisan and Vintage Boutique: Located in Roxborough, Bohema carries vintage clothing plus an assortment of handcrafted goods from Philly artists. OUR PICK: Any of the Birdqueen Designs jewelry.
• Tselaine: Featuring reasonably priced, handmade jewelry by local designer Elaine Tse, this cute Rittenhouse boutique is a great place to find a gift for someone…or yourself. OUR PICK: Philly LOVE necklace.
• Adorn Boutique: This Frankford Avenue shop from local jewelry designer Sarah Lewis features handcrafted jewelry, accessories and apparel by Lewis, as well as collections from other artists and designers. OUR PICK: Gemstone earrings hand-made by Lewis.
• Metro Clothing: This East Passyunk shop stocks local brand 611Lifestyle,from former DJ Nigel Richards. OUR PICK: Tees featuring Philly sports-themed renditions of the 611 logo.
• Duke & Winston: This independent Philadelphia-based apparel company launched in 2009 as a casual-wear brand for men. It’s gained a fervent following for its clean and simple apparel. OUR PICK: The classic Logo Tee, so you can wear your Duke & Winston pride proudly.
• Reward Project: Old City’s Reward stocks a selection of independent designers for both men and women, including the Philly-based clothing brand Bandit. OUR PICK: Hand-made dip-dyed crochet dress from Bandit.
• Scarlet Fiorella: One of the hot shops along 13th Street, Scarlet Fiorella stocks unique and stylish apparel and accessories for women and kids. Locally made goods include jewelry from local designers Sultana Aschim and Marlyn Schiff, and hand-painted silk scarves by Anne Foresman. OUR PICK: Any of Anne’s scarves, perfect for the colder weather.
• Duross & Langel: Step inside and swoon from the delicious combination of fragrances wafting all around the store. From soaps to balms and salves to bath products, everything is made right upstairs in the kitchen. And is amazing in every possible way. OUR PICK: One of the flavor gift sets, so you don’t have to choose just one thing.
• Philip H. Bradley Co. Antiques: Early Philadelphia side chairs, Lancaster County hanging cupboards and Pennsylvania German house blessing boards are among the 200-plus year-old finds here. OUR PICK: Berks County, PA walnut cupboard — if it’s still there when you get there!
• Origin & Ash: T.R. Risk has been creating one-of-a-kind furniture since the early 1990′s in his West Chester studio. Hand made from reclaimed lumber, vintage hardware and antique glass, each piece is an original work of art. You’ll also find paintings, upholstery and more. OUR PICK: Jade dragonfly serving bowl.
• Beekman’s COPA Soaps: Beekman’s COPA Soaps are cold processed, all natural soaps hand made in their small shop in Fishtown. Catch them at craft bazaars and design shows in and around the city (and New York). OUR PICK: Travel bar pack.
• The Little Apple: This adorable Manayunk boutique stocks local as much as possible. They sell everything from kitchen stuff to baby items to candles to scarves to home decorations. OUR PICK: Customizable hometown sign.
Food & Drink
• Di Bruno Bros. 2011 Holiday Gift Guide: From German chocolate brownies to an antipasto sampler, you can’t go wrong with Di Bruno helping you pick and package. OUR PICK: Cheese Connoisseur Club Membership, which includes monthly delivery of four cheeses, hand selected by Di Bruno’s knowledgeable staff, plus a pairing card describing each cheese and the best way to enjoy it with wine and beer.
• Garces Restaurant Group: Pick up a signed copy of Chef Jose Garces’ Latin Evolution cookbook, Garces Trading Company’s seasonal macaroons, GTC Éclat Chocolate Bars, Garces Trading Company coffee beans, a gift card or one of three Gift Sets to take the pain out of picking. OUR PICK: GTC’s seasonal macaroons available by the dozen: Caramel, Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Huckleberry, Apple and Pumpkin Spice, shipped fresh to you.
• Iron Hill Holiday Bottled Reserves Gift Packs: It’s a perfect way to share craft beer with friends and loved ones. The gift packs will showcase Iron Hill’s Bottled Reserves series of award-winning and seasonal beers, brewed in small batches and available only in large-format, cork finished 750 mL bottles. OUR PICK: Winter Wheat Wine Ale package, featuring a bottle of winter wheat wine and two etched Iron Hill wine glasses.
• Home Sweet Homebrew: George Hummel and Nancy Rigberg, owners of Home Sweet Homebrew, Philadelphia’s original homebrewing supplier that gave many top craft brewers their start, are celebrating 25 years of serving the region. The duo, dubbed the godparents of homebrewers by Governor Ed Rendell when he bestowed them the Governor’s Inspiration Award in 2008 for their contributions to the craft brew industry, have made the community what is today. OUR PICK: “The Complete Homebrew Beer Book” packaged with a brewing kit and start-up batch of ingredients.
• Metropolitan Bakery: Founded in 1993, Metropolitan is the brainchild of pastry chef James Barrett and Wendy Smith Born who met while working at local-food landmark White Dog Café. Today, the bakery boasts five locations around the city, selling delicious breads, award-winning granola, handmade popcorn with a kick and local dairy and eggs. OUR PICK: Popcorn mix-and-match.
• Capogiro Gelato Artisans: No big deal… Capogiro was just named #1 ice cream spot in the world by National Geographic. Gift-wise, it’s hard to choose from all the local products stocked in the store, including Gilda’s Biscotti and B.T. Brownies. But who wouldn’t want a regular shipment of locally made, farm-to-freezer gelatos and sorbets in stunning flavors like Sweet Potato with Pecan Praline, Chestnut, Blueberry Thyme? OUR PICK: A year’s worth of gelato.
• Pumpkin Market: Owners Hillary and Ian have made a commitment to showcasing the wonderful products of our region, including seasonal produce, meats, dairy, sweets, local coffee roasting, sandwiches, chili, all day breakfast and prepared food. Everything is made fresh daily. OUR PICK: Pumpkin Thunder Pies.
• Plenty: At Plenty, locally grown seasonal produce is paired with meats that are cured and smoked in house. You’ll also find both housemade and locally produced cheeses, jarred and pickled goods, freshly baked desserts and more. OUR PICK: Salted caramels made with pumpkin flower honey from Bucks County.
• Milk and Honey Market: Celebrating the Philadelphia region’s foodways and indigenous ingredients, Milk and Honey Market stocks its shelves with locally grown and produced wares. Owners Annie Baum-Stein and Mauro Daigle, who live nearby, have envisioned their West Philly grocery as a “dream pantry,” and their eager clientele agrees. OUR PICK: Locally made honey.
• Verde: Besides jewelry, accessories and home goods, this 13th Street shop, part of Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s Midtown Village empire, is home to Marcie Blaine chocolates, whipped up on site in a special kitchen at the back of the store. OUR PICK: Marcie Blaine chocolates, Philadelphia series. OUR PICK: John & Kira’s chocolates (also available at area farmers markets).
• Talula’s Table Market in Kennett Square: As a modern day general store for food enthusiasts of all types, they offer all sorts of homemade specialty foods as well as imported goods from around the world.
• Woodmere Art Museum Holiday Store: During the holiday season the Museum Store expands into the Antonelli Gallery to make room for an extraordinary array of hand-selected and handcrafted items made by local artists. OUR PICK: Locally crafted candlesticks.
• Art Star Philly: This Northern Liberties gallery/boutique runs the super popular and award-winning Art Star Craft Bazaars. OUR PICK: Gocco framed prints on antique maps and antique letters, like the “Flying Over Philly” piece.
• Hudson Beach Glass: Following in a family tradition that spans three generations, Sean Gilvey and his wife Emily opened Hudson Beach Glass in October 2008. The store carries more than 40 types of sculptural, functional pieces, all hand crafted and designed in 13 colors by Sean or one of the founding members of Hudson Beach Glass. OUR PICK: Glass cake stand, perfect for holiday baking.
• Philadelphia Produces Original Design (P.POD) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Store: This pop-up bazaar showcases Philadelphia-designed jewelry, toys, stationary, furniture and decorative arts. There’s also the “P.POD Pantry” featuring handsomely-packaged local brands like Metropolitan Granola, John & Kira’s Chocolates and La Copine limited-edition bourbon cider syrup and chocolate pretzel toffee. OUR PICK: the resin Ill (as in “Phillies”) pendant from Masters of None.
• Penn Museum’s Museum Shop and Pyramid Shop for children: Select from a diverse collection of clothing, jewelry, games, toys, books, souvenirs and more, collected from almost every corner of the globe, including right here in Philly. Bonus: much of the inventory was obtained through fair trade practices. OUR PICK: The Game of Ur, a recreational wooden game found at the Sumerian city of Ur during a joint expedition by the British Museum and Penn Museum.
• Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ Portfolio shop: Set in a light and airy street-level environment in the contemporary Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building, Portflio offers jewelry, gifts, cards, accessories and books carefully selected to reflect the collection and teachings of the Academy. Products include those made exclusively for the Academy, and other items unavailable anywhere else in Philadelphia. OUR PICK: Cube jigger by Philadelphia designer, Josh Owen.
• Square Peg Artery & Salvage: This is an undiscovered gem of a shop in Rittenhouse, stocked with 100% locally crafted goods, from hand-painted ornaments to digital prints and photos to coasters, lamps, magnets, jewelry, you name it. OUR PICK: Chainmaille Ball Ornaments, available in multiple colors, made from anodized aluminum.
• Nice Things Handmade: Located on East Passyunk Avenue, Nice Things Handmade carries locally-made tees, housewares and artwork, plus jewelry from local designers Gretchen Diehl and Typhaney Shanker. OUR PICK: Mike Geno’s fine cheese oil paintings.
• Art in the Age of Mechanical Production: Pick up everything from tees to letter-pressed coasters to books to perfume to liqueurs to soap, all made by hard-working creatives, many local. OUR PICK: Philly-raised Rebecca Suss’s beautiful oil paintings.
• VIX Emporium: This Baltimore Avenue shop offers an eclectic mix of unique handmade gifts, such as jewelry, pottery, art, accessories, soaps, baby gifts and more. OUR PICK: sewZinski hand-embroidered purses and wallets made out of reclaimed leather.