These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: A 2018 Texas Holiday Gift Guide
Around here, we take “shopping local” and “supporting small business” pretty seriously, right? So, last year, I decided to create a “Holiday Gift Guide for HER” that featured only items that were made or sold by Texas makers and businesses…and this year, I’m doing it again! We have a lot of awesome shops and products to cover and no time to waste, so let’s get to it!
(NOTE: I’ve used both my own photos and photos belonging to the individual businesses in this post. If you have any questions about this, please email me directly!)
1) A piece of artwork that’s handmade BY YOU.
Gina Marie’s Art Studio, Maker’s Place, and Ms. Sue’s Art Studio are all located right here in Boerne and offer classes where you can create your own masterpiece, with step-by-step instruction. What a great gift for a parent, grandparent, or even a close friend who’s recently moved into a new home! And guess what…kids can do it too. You can even gather a few friends or family members and do it together!
2) A classic, cross-back, monogrammed apron from Hoopin’ It Up Custom Embroidery, Boerne.
Everything goes in cycles, right? And lately, this classic kitchen staple seems to be making a huge comeback. Not only with avid bakers and chefs, but also with stay-at-home moms, home-school teachers, gardeners, homesteaders, makers, and crafters too! Linen is the fabric of choice these days and that personalized monogram adds just the right touch. And they have pockets, y’all. POCKETS.
3) El Arroyo’s Big Book of Signs from El Arroyo Mexican restaurant, Austin.
If you’ve spent a fair amount of time in Austin (or trolling memes on the internet), you’re probably familiar with the ever-changing, always chuckle-worthy marquee sign outside of beloved Mexican restaurant, El Arroyo. A new joke each day has always meant that once they’re gone, they’re gone…until now. Now, those daily funnies have been bound into two coffee table books; choose Volume One or Volume Two and give this one to the collector-of-unique-and-funny-things in your life!
4) Luxurious, handmade body products from Eden’s Promise Goat’s Milk Soaps, Boerne.
Eden’s Promise goat’s milk soaps, balms, and lotions are made from-scratch, in small batches by local mom, Lorie Diller…in her very own Boerne kitchen and with milk from from her very own goats! These products are all natural, ultra-moisturizing, and great for sensitive skin. And with fragrances such as “Grandma’s Kitchen”, “Promised Land”, “Leather & Tobacco”, “Hill Country Bluebonnet”, and “Texas Sage & Cedar”, you just can’t go wrong!
5) A one-of-a-kind, handmade doll from Pops of Whimsy, New Braunfels.
These little guys and gals are super cute and come in a whole slew of options for colors, prints, and animals: Even mermaids, dinosaurs, and unicorns are a part of the Pops of Whimsy family! Whether you’re shopping for a special little boy or girl, there’s a doll for you…or you can have a custom one made!
6) A handmade Eco-Folk Art piece from Hannah + Nemo, Comfort.
Hannah and Nemo are Hill Country Eco-Folk artists living the small van life in a big way, as their van is not only their home, but also their studio. They create beautiful, movement-filled art from little more than wood, nails, and aluminum cans. Each tiny round circle is punched from the can by hand then meticulously placed into their designs so that it moves with the slightest breeze or vibration. Go big with a stunning 24 x 48 piece or go small with a Mini Eco-Folk block…perfect for front-and-center over the sofa or to start an Eco-Folk Art collection in any man-cave, that’s for sure!
7) Hand-poured, small-batch soy candles from Karma Candle Makers, San Antonio.
Roseann and Mario of Karma Candle Makers are not only some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, but they also know how to craft an amazing natural soy candle with a throw for days! Get ‘em in a traditional mason jar-style container, a beautiful rose gold or hobnail glass…heck, I’ve even seen them in a half of an up-cycled Topo Chico bottle! Of course there’s too many wonderful scents to list, but Pear Spice, Texas Cedar, or Fiesta Sangria are all great places to start.
8) An awesome, super-cozy holiday sweatshirt or tee from The Texas Wildflower, Boerne.
Truth time: I may have actually bought one of these for myself…and I may just be wishing I’d bought the other design too! I know these are meant for “tamale season” or “cookie season”, but is there really such a thing? It’s a good time for tamales and cookies anytime, in my book!
9) Finding Claire, a novel by local Hill Country author Pamela Humphrey, San Antonio.
How cool is it to read an entire fictional novel that takes place in your “neck of the woods”? To hear actual city, restaurant, and street names you recognize? To imagine the story line unfolding right here in your own back yard? Well, that’s exactly what you get with local author Pamela Humphrey’s storytelling. And romance/mystery novel, Finding Claire, is just the beginning of her Hill Country Secrets book series. Head to Phrey Press for details and pick this one up for the book-loving Texan on your list!
11) A gift box from Cool Beans Box, Las Colinas.
Cool Beans Box is a gift box company that delivers only handmade, small-batch artisanal goods made right here in Texas. You don’t have to sign up for a subscription and you don’t have to guess what will be in your box…you can create your own! What a great gift idea for those who just love Texas and truly appreciate handmade. And an especially great idea for those displaced Texans living out of state!
12) Pairing chocolates from Truffle Gateau, Austin.
I had the pleasure of trying these tasty treats at Saint Tryphon Farm & Vineyards recently, and I can personally attest to Truffle Gateau’s melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Plus, they’re specially crafted to pair perfectly with wine, beer, whiskey, or champagne, which I’m pretty sure covers your bases when it comes to gifting them to those family members who have their own “signature drink”. Don’t be afraid to throw a little blue cheese into the mix when you sneak a taste!
13) A gift box of handmade body and pampering products from From Scratch Farm, Boerne.
Amy Bierstedt of From Scratch Farm creates her own handmade salves, lip balms, bath salts and balls, cleaning products, dryer balls, and more…right from her own home. And just in time for Christmas, she’s partnered with another local maker to offer gift boxes filled with her amazing products and an oh-so-cute sleep mask, to boot. Shop online or at her store on Main Street…and don’t forget that your fabric choice and product scents can be customized!
Oh, I have so many more amazing local makers and shops I’d love to share, but that’s enough to get you started, right? Looking for something in particular? Feel free to ask about it in the comments. If I don’t know where to find it, I’m sure someone will! Merry Christmas and happy shopping, y’all!
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NOTE: Sometimes our family receives samples of products to try, but I only post about those we really love. If you see it here, know that the recommendation is real. In this case, we received one complimentary apron from Hoopin’ It Up Custom Embroidery…let the Christmas baking begin!