As the gifting season is upon us, I thought I would share a few simple gift-giving ideas inspired by my talented artisan friends and small businesses. Many of you know I am surrounded by talented people who work so hard to create beautiful, unique, and high-quality treasures. The things my friends create are one of a kind and made with heart. When my creative friends surround me, I feel at home. Again, I would not have thought that goats and soap could bring so much to my world. I thought I would share some gifting inspiration today, combining some of my talented, creative, and hard-working friends' beautiful creations.
Of course, I'm going to suggest our soaps and moisturizers. After all, I have a business to build and a family to provide for. This week, our Milk and Honey moisturizer and Milk, Honey, and Oatmeal soap are on special exclusively on the website. You can save four dollars on bars and jars. Combining these wonderful gender-neutral scented products with a jar of raw, local honey from Pisarcik's Flower Farm, a beautiful hand towel, and perhaps a fresh loaf of bread from a local bakery would make a wonderful hostess gift. Present your gift in a lovely basket or small wooden crate, and you have a beautiful and unique presentation. It's something different other than the traditional bottle of wine.
However, if wine is your go-to for hostess gifts or a gift for your neighbor, you could give a bottle of mead (old-fashioned honey wine) from the Laurel Highlands Meadery located at 1400 Broad Street, Greensburg, Pa. You can find a list of their products on their website, LaurelHighlandsMeadery.com. Pairing our Milk and Honey products with a bottle of mead would be a lovely gift for the wine lover. I might suggest our Lavender products and a bottle of Chamomile Lavender Mead for this presentation. Include a lavender sachet from Yellow Creek Gardens and present it in a small basket lined with a lavender tea towel, and you have the perfect, lovely gift.
Another lovely gift idea for a favorite teacher, a co-worker, a friend, or a neighbor would be hand-blended, locally grown herbal teas from Broken Locust. My sweet and fiery friend, Sherry, blends the most delicious herbal teas. Pair Sherry's Peppermint Tea with Pisarcik's Flower Farm honey, a beautiful handmade mug from Stoke Hole Pottery on Ream's Road or 31 South Carpenter Avenue, Indiana, PA., along with a bar of Peppermint soap and a jar of Peppermint moisturizer, and you offer someone days filled with warmth, comfort and goodness. Broken Locust Teas can be found on their Facebook page and Lone Oak Farm in Georgeville, PA.
Speaking of Stoke Hole Pottery, you now have two convenient locations to visit. Why not gift someone the experience of making pottery surrounded by lovely people who are true masters of their craft? Perhaps you can create a handmade soap dish for some lovely handmade goat's milk soap…insert a wink. Deb and Birch offer a variety of classes for all levels. I believe some even include wine. Experience gifts are all the rage; don't clutter the home, and you get to spend quality time with people you love. Why not support a lovely local family and their business while you are at it?
My lovely friend and talented pastry chef, Christina, makes the most decadent candies, desserts, and macrons. Not only are her creations divine, but she packages them beautifully for an eye-catching presentation. Christina creates unique and locally flavored candies, baked treats, and her signature macrons. Pair several of Christina's delicacies with our Pear Soap and Moisturizer, a beautiful vintage plate, and lovely vintage linens like cloth napkins, and you have a gorgeous, high-end presentation for very little. Confections by Christina Elizabeth can be found at Lapp's Family Market in Latrobe and The Laurel Marketplace, 14 West 2nd Street, Greensburg, PA. The Laurel Marketplace is a beautiful collaboration with the area's most talented artisans. You will also find my friend Amanda Vos's Sweet Home Vanilla Products here, along with many other talented artists. It's worth the trip.
Jewelry also makes a lovely and affordable gift when you support local handmade artists. My beautiful friend, Jen of Light Shine Jewelry, creates inspired pieces with her own two talented hands. Jen works magic with clay and resin to create beautiful pieces to wear or for your home. If you have a "Yinzer" in your circle of loved ones, Jen makes gorgeous pendants inspired by Pittsburgh's bridges. Her pieces are true works of art.
If fun, whimsical, and gorgeous are your style (and who doesn't love fun, whimsical, and gorgeous?), LuLuLux Jewel Boutique is your go-to. Lauren's creations are on Facebook and at The Laurel Marketplace in Greensburg. LuLuLux is the epitome of high-quality, fun, and creative jewelry. I love her creations, and she is the sweetest person.
We can't forget our four-footed family members. Canine Confections, located at 420 E. Pittsburgh Street, Greensburg, PA, has delicious, nutritious, and adorable treats for your cat or dog. Tricia, Hailey, Quinn, and Elaina can help you find the perfect treats, collars, or jackets for your fur babies. I might suggest pairing Canine Confections treats with a bar of our Unscented soap (this is what I use to bathe my boys) to create a perfect gift for the dog-o in your life or the avid pet parent. Present your gift in a hand-crafted or store-bought dog bowl lined with pet-themed fabric, and you have an adorable, useful gift for the pet lover in your life.
I hope my suggestions inspired you to think outside the box. Local artists and small businesses appreciate your support. Remember, when you shop small and local, you support the local economy, help someone realize their dream, and provide for their family. It's a beautiful gesture and very much appreciated. Give gifts that make the receiver smile, and the small business owner do a little jig…or bust a move.
On this chilly December day, stay safe, be smart, support small local businesses, give meaningful gifts, and keep washing your hands.