I did a little guide like this last year and decided, since I have met so many amazing independent creators this year, I should do it again. Let me get dramatic though for a second first. :ahem:
Do you feel the holiday consumer rush crashing in on your unsuspecting body, leaving you frantic, clamoring for any kind of relief from this late-stage capitalist nightmare in which we live? Geez, did this year sure fly by.
Tired of AI-generated algorithmic suggestion determining your holiday gift list? Worried about what’s going to happen if we keep feeding Amazon? Concerned about the ethics surrounding the production of products from some of our corporate overlords? Does any gift you could possibly give someone feel a little fake and not thoughtful enough, or is that just me?
Guess what? I am back again to recommend: Supporting Small Artists™
There are real humans out here making stuff and, even, some things. Not robots. Not children. Not trained animals. Real human adults, right here in central Texas, making all kinds of cool stuff with their hands. Most of whom have their own online shop so you don’t even have to leave the house.
So without further adieu, here’s my collection of gift ideas from 20 local artists for a variety of different kinds of friends. Select the type of friend you are shopping for below, or continue reading to browse all the ideas.
Reminder: Each and every single one of these artisans is an incredibly kind, genuine, and hard-working human being and they deserve your holiday dollars.
Sam’s 2019 Small Artists & Artisans Gift Guide
For your friends who aren’t afraid of a little color:
A pop of color here and a touch of color there. Unlike those who wear all black, the only consistency in their wardrobe is ALL THE COLORS. Bright and sometimes even psychedelic, you don’t know how they put all those colors together, but they do it well. Below you’ll find a three different local vendors who possess those same talents, crafting colorful and unique items that your color-loving friends are sure to enjoy.
Modern Glass Jewelry by Katie Heiselberg
I met this former graphic designer turned jewelry maker at the Fall CraftHER Market meet-up. Her modern glass jewelry designs come in a magnificent array of colors, but stick to a minimalist style that makes them easy to mix and match. Large geometric statement rings and cool bolo ties reflect her love of mid-century modern and Bauhaus design aesthetic.
Check out these fun, hand-crafted Christmas tree statement rings, perfect for a holiday party. You can shop even more of her bold and creative jewelry on her online store at kismetworkshop.com. For a little extra feel-good, with every purchase of her Symphony Special Edition bolo ties, she’s donating $10 to the Austin Symphony.
One-of-a-Kind Statement Earrings by Moxie
I met this amazing maker at Tillery Live! and immediately snatched up a pair of long-chained neon yellow hexagon earrings from her. Each piece of ear candy Moxie creates is a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork created with bright and beautiful color palettes. Using a mixture of resin paint pour and spray painting techniques on laser cut wood, she carries a wide variety of large earring designs, from lips to hexagons to pop-art. Several of them come on long chains making for an even bigger statement.
Take a look at a few of her gorgeous earring sets below and you can browse all of her colorful statement jewelry on her online shop at blckkosmos.com. She also makes artwork and other home decor, so don’t forget to look around.
Bright Accessories & Home Goods by Hermanitas Boutique
I met Jasmin of Hermanitas Boutique through the Spring CraftHER Market meet-up and have seen her again at a few markets since then. She runs this boutique shop with her sister, Violeta, out of San Antonio and, DANG, do they have some cute and colorful items. Their hand-sewn goods are inspired reflections of Mexican culture and Spanish language and slang, all crafted by themselves and their family.
Many of their bright color palettes appear as though taken straight from a serape blanket, like this fun Chingona clutch, a perfect gift for all the colorful lady badasses in your life. Their diversity dolls, representing a wide variety of races and hair colors, also make for a wonderful gift leaving under-represented little ones ecstatic to finally have a doll that looks like them. Shop these hand-made gifts and even more at hermanitasboutique.com.
For your friends who are plant parent AF:
While you can barely figure out how to keep the parsley in your fridge from wilting, they somehow have created a complete indoor jungle. They always come through with the fresh herbs and vegetables. Their gifts of growth are beyond compare and you’re a little suspicious that they aren’t actually some kind of nature deity. You lack the know-how to get them a plant they would really love, but still want to find a gift that plays off of their love of all their plant babies. Here are three local vendors with some items that the green thumbs in your life are sure to appreciate.
Plant Medicine Home Decor & Totes by Wishcraft Goods
I met Maggie when she came by my table at the Spring CraftHER Market and became instantly obsessed when I saw her minimalist, bewitching designs. This self-proclaimed green witch has a whole host of beautiful plant-centric designs, all screen-printed on ceramic match holders, jewelry catchalls, tote bags and candles.
Take a gander at these cute Plant Medicine designs that she’s put on tote bags and coffee mugs. You can pick them up for your plant loving friends on the Wishcraft Goods Etsy shop. Also, browse through some of her other moon phase artwork for some of the moon children in your life.
Growth Prints by Catie Lewis
I had the privilege of vending with this babe at two different events this year, Fall CraftHER Market and Tillery Live! She does all these gorgeous, minimalist line work pieces, many of which feature various indoor plants. The simple, single-color stylings make the pieces a perfect match for any home aesthetic and complement the real houseplants your plant friends may have, like monstera or fiddle-leaf fig.
Follow her Instagram to catch her original artwork all around town at the regular pop-ups she does or you can shop a selection of her work on her site at catielewis.com. Her online store also features a bunch of cool single-line face artwork that she’s got printed on totes and t-shirts.
Ceramic Pottery by HelloBlooKat
I met Kati of HelloBlooKat at the Final Friday Showcase at Austin Eastciders Collaboratory and was blown away by all of her cute and functional ceramic work. I got a teeny ceramic crown from her that sits on my indoor plant rack. On top of ocarinas and ceramic charms, she also has these CUTE planters. The hand-painted glazing and sweet hand-pinched faces will add a whimsical touch to any garden.
I mean, just look at these little planter babies. They are the most precious and quirky things I have ever seen. Send her a DM on Instagram or visit Plant Party in East Austin to pick one up for your favorite horticulturalist.
For your friends who need a whole snack:
We all have more than a few foodies in our lives. They’re constantly posting photos of their perfectly plated meals on whatever new dining excursion they are on. They are always down to try out new places and often have the best restaurant recommendations. They’ve tried out so many foodie hotspots that you sometimes have trouble finding a unique gift to tantalize their tastebuds. Read on and I’ll tell you about some truly scrumptious offerings from a few of the amazing chefs and bakers I met this year.
Holiday Travel Plans 7-Course Dining Experience with 3 Small Plates
#OOOYUM First off, I cannot begin to tell you what a wonderful and joyful person Chef JRodi is. I met her at the Spring CraftHER Market meet-up and every time I see her I can’t help myself but smile because she just exudes this happy energy. But, most notably for gift giving, she’s one hell of a chef. I’ve treated myself to her culinary delights at both CraftHER Market’s this year. I’m talking moist pound cakes, delicious teacakes, and scrumptious paninis that make you wanna “tell sumbody.”
For an early holiday treat, she’s teaming up with two other Austin chefs to bring you the Holiday Travel Plans dining experience, featuring an international 7-course meal plus pairings. It’s going to be a night to remember, for sure. Additionally, she can make your holiday prep easy with her made-to-order holiday dishes and sweet treat boxes all available on her site at 3smallplatescatering.com.
Sweet Treats & CBD Edibles by Cereal Killer Sweets
I met the ladies behind Cereal Killer Sweets through the CraftHER Market. This San Antonio-based bakery makes a host of melt-in-your-mouth sweets and treats. They’ve got massive rice crispy treat bricks and gooey cookies and even some specialty CBD treats for your most stressed foodies.
Just look at this Biscoff rice crispy brick. Does your mouth not water? You can place an order with them on the Cereal Killer Sweets online shop.
Delightful Baked Goods by Crema Bakery & Cafe
Crema Bakery & Cafe was another CraftHER Market find who I got to know a little better over social media. If you want to make holiday baking easy on your foodie friends, this LGBTQ-owned bakery has you covered.
All of their made-to-order options are available on the Crema Bakery & Cafe website. I’d also highly recommended swinging by their cafe for a delicious brunch with your favorite foodie because they have some amazing offerings.
For your friends who are feminist and proud:
They attend every march they can and are never afraid to speak up for what is right. They value their autonomy and challenge everyone to empower themselves, especially feminine-presenting and minority people. They spend their weekends at marches, canvasing, and dissenting to their local congressperson. Sometimes it can be a bit daunting to find a gift you know they’ll love. Don’t despair, because I have found some badass gifts made right here by some local female artists that even the most hardcore of your feminist friends are sure to love.
Empowerment Stickers by Sheyna Makes
I met Sheyna through the Fall CraftHER Market and I actually picked up a cute little cross-stitch crystal ball piece from her at the market and a sticker of Jiji with a flower crown that I put on my cup. All her work is pro-women, pro-lgbtq, and pro-cute and sure to please the feministas you are closest to.
Look at all these amazing Texas gay, bi, trans, and women’s empowerment stickers she carries. Shop her stickers and crossstiches on the Sheyna Makes Etsy shop.
Hard to Kill T-Shirt by Adrienne Renner
When I was nervous at my first meetup for the Spring CraftHER Market, as I am at many introductory networking events, I awkwardly found a corner to sit and doodle in. This lovely lady sat down next to me at the table I was at to do some doodling herself and I got to see a small glimpse of her awesome illustration style. By the time the Fall CraftHER Market rolled around, we were both vending again, and she had released this bad ass t-shirt design. I picked up one for myself, and I can guarantee you that all the third-wave feminist sweeties in your life are going to love it too.
You can send her a message on Instagram or shop the offerings on her site at adriennerivers.com.
Jackknife and Self-Defense Whistle Necklaces by Just Pake
I met Pake at the SprATX Ignite E.A.S.T. Artisan Exchange because I spotted and immediately needed to have one of these jackknife necklaces. They are so cool. She has other amazing self-defense jewelry with whistles and arrowheads, creating a magnificent blend of utility and vintage glam. Sure to please any babe that values her personal space.
Send her a DM if you’re interested in getting one of her beautiful pieces or you can shop her site at justpake.com.
For your friends who are free-spirited wanderers:
It’s hard to keep up with them because they are always running across the country and around the world for various travel experiences. All day they dream about #vanlife and always crave their next outdoor adventure. They love the natural beauty of the world, but are sometimes hard to shop for because they are often very eco-conscious and like to stay minimal in their possessions. Here are a couple of local artisans who create some cute gifts your free-spirited friends are sure to appreciate for their thought and eco-friendliness.
Handprinted Bandanas by Tawa Ties
I got connected to Tawa Ties through the Spring CraftHER Market. She has a ton of hand-printed bandanas in rich earthy tones. They make the perfect gift for the outdoorsy folks in your life as bandanas have SO MANY uses in any scenario: dust protection at a festival, sun protection on a hike, or the various myriad of uses in a camping situation.
Even better, proceeds from every purchase benefit Texas State Parks so it is sure to please your most earth-friendly travelers. Pick up one for your favorite wandered from the Tawa Ties Etsy shop.
Handcrafted & Upcycled Statement Jewelry by Katrina O’Day
I met Katrina O’Day because we were vendor neighbors at the SprATX Ignite E.A.S.T. Artisan Exchange. She was this friendly and glowing bubble of positive energy all day that was a pleasure to be around. Her jewelry is beautifully hand-crafted from a mixture of found objects, vintage reuse, and hammered metal. I got a wonderful vintage chain necklace from her with a resin globe containing dandelion seeds that made the flower child in me sing.
Pick up one of her handcrafted statement pieces for the free-spirited folks in your life on the Katrina O’Day online shop.
For your friends who are moon children:
They’re dancing under the light of the moon and casting their worries away on the breeze. You can always depend on them to have a killer fire circle and love the magical perspectives they bring to your life. Some might call them witches, but I like to think of them as moon children. Often a little spacey making them difficult to shop for, I’ve included some beautiful gift ideas for your favorite moon worshipper from three amazing Austin artists.
Moon Child Hoodie by Brutha Liberty
I’ve had the privilege of vending with this talented fellow at three events this year: TrapXArt in March, Almost Real Things We Got Issues Celebration in June, and Austin Eastciders Collaboratory Final Friday Showcase in September. His illustrations feature a great use of color with some really awesome pop culture references.
I just love this Moon Child hoodie design he has and I am sure the moon children in your life would adore it as well. You can pick one up for them on the Brutha Liberty Etsy shop.
Reina de los Discos Artwork by Stellar Roz
Jenny, the woman behind Stella Roz, is actually an artist I have looked up to for years and have been obsessed with all of her murals and artwork. This year I finally had the opportunity to meet her through several Almost Real Things events and had the opportunity to vendor alongside her at the SprATX Ignite E.A.S.T. Artisan Exchange Market. Her work is beautiful. She does all these ethereal swirly-haired ladies that the spaciest moon child in your life is sure to love.
Check out this gorgeous Reina de los Discos (Queen of Disks) tarot piece. She makes hand-embellished prints of her pieces on textured watercolor paper that are incredibly high quality. Shoot her a message on the Stella Roz Instagram if you’re interested in picking up some of her art for your favorite space child.
Within Art Print by Julia Zipporah
I met Julia through an Almost Real Things meet-up and saw her again at a few other A.R.T. events. She does amazing illustration work and has some really cool rotoscope animations, as well. I am constantly amazed by her work and use of blocks of color with simple line-work.
Look at this beautiful witchy deer piece. You can get this print and many others on the Julia Zipporah Theadless shop.
For your friends who are actual children:
They are small and they can’t online shop for themselves, but they light up your world with their creativity and curiosity. Often hands-on and desperately in need of attention and enrichment, these little ones can be a bit of a handful when they are bored. Shopping for them can sometimes be a bit of a mess because their interests change so frequently. Luckily, I know a few great artists here in town that offer kid-friendly activities and artwork to please your most artsy little friends. Below I’ve included some cute and educational gifts for your teeny friends.
The Create Kit by Theresa Haddow
Theresa vended alongside me at the Almost Real Things We Got Issues 13 & 14 Release Party. She was there with her precious son and husband. It was great seeing her whole little family supporting her there. She is incredibly sweet, a talented watercolor artist, and she comes up with fun and educational activities for kids.
This subscription box will have the little ones in your life beside themselves with creative excitement, and save your parent friends some brain power and time. Check out the subscription box and all of her fun and educational activities available on her site at theresahaddow.com.
Super Cute Custom Llama Paintings and Prints by Akki Brathwaite
I actually met Akki last year at a friend’s birthday party because we gravitated to each other because we were both looking for the quiet corner. Then I got to participate in a bunch of Almost Real Things events with her this year. She is a really talented doodler and does some really cute work and some mind-blowing pattern work. Her cute stuff is definitely something the young and young at heart can fall in love with.
Can you imagine how this cute llama would light up the face of the mermaid loving littles in your life? She has all of her prints up on the By Akki Etsy shop. Also, she does custom llamas if there are kids in your life with a certain obsession!
Children’s Paint Parties by The Painted Panther
I met sweet super-mom Karanessa, aka The Painted Panther, at the TrapXArt show earlier this year. Not only is she a talented painter, but she also spreads that talent to the children across Austin through private lessons and painting parties. It’s been amazing to see her toddler son grow into a little artist with her loving guidance over this year that I have known her.
Look at the pride in this mini-artist’s eyes about her craftsmanship. You can message her on her Instagram to ask about private lessons or book a whole paint party together for your favorite kid and their friends or cousins from The Painted Panther website. She even does commissions, too!
Onward to a more connected, human holiday shopping experience!
Thank you so much for reading my suggestions. I met a lot of really amazing creators this year and thought it would be a miss to not shout them out. Supporting other local artists this year has made me feel really good about the things I am buying and I hope to pass those warm-fuzzies along.
Oh yeah, just a quick side note, I also launched my online shop a couple of weeks ago, so you can grab some holiday gifts and stocking stuffers, like buttons, stickers, matchboxes, and artwork, directly from me by clicking the button below. Just a teeny bit of shameless self-promotion this year.
Use code HOLIDAZE19 for $10 off your purchase of $30 or more, plus free shipping for orders in the United States.*
*Limit 1 use per customer and valid through 12/15/2019.
So go ahead…
Bask yourself in the post-shopping glow of knowing you helped one individual person make ends meet and get gifts for their own during the holidays.
Rest assured, you’ll find super unique gifts that your loved ones will love and see the personal touches throughout your order buying from any of these wonderful people.
Be happy knowing you’re supporting female-owned, feminist-owned, queer-owned, and PoC-owned (or any combo of the four) independent small businesses.
Feel the interconnections of the human experience providing happiness to not just your gift recipient, but the vendor, as well, which is something you cannot get shopping on Amazon or at a big box store.
Try it out. You might really like it. Shower yourself with gratitude from both ends of the gift giving cycle by supporting small artists and artisans this holiday season.
I’d love to hear about your favorite small artists and artisans. Leave a comment below with the friends you turn to to get the coolest, creative gifts!