There’s a reason why modern day general store Owl and Thistle is expanding soon. The gifts in Keri Cavanaugh’s Crown Heights shop cater to food lovers, slow-fashion connoisseurs, parents, crafters, and more, which makes it easy to find goods for even the toughest person to shop for. And since everything she sells is responsibly made by local Brooklyn designers or comes from sustainable and fair trade sources, you’ll feel great about the gifts you’re giving, too. Look for their new location mid-January, when they move down the street to 833 Franklin Ave., between Eastern Parkway and Union. The bigger shop will be steps from the subway and will have a dedicated crafty classroom, plus exciting new offerings like fabric and craft supplies. In the meantime, here are five great gifts that you can find in store and online now. Owl and Thistle can ship worldwide, and if you can’t decide on one thing, their gift certificates can used for anything in the store, including their sewing classes.
1. Panda Bamboo Sunglasses: Handcrafted from sustainable bamboo, these polarized, lightweight shades offer 100% UV/UVBprotection and they float(!), making them great for pools and beaches. Even better, you’ll be giving the gift of vision. With every pair you buy, Panda will provide an eye exam and a pair of prescription glasses to someone in need through their non-profit partner, the Tribal Outreach Medical Assistance (TOMA) Foundation in Austin, TX. $120
2. Brooklyn Apron by Claudia Pearson Illustrated: Local artist Claudia Pearson’s illustrations have been seen everywhere from West Elm to Martha Stewart to Owl and Thistle, which carries her tea towels, tote bags, coloring books, and her Brooklyn apron. Made with three pockets to stash tools and hand printed with a sweet Brooklyn skyline, it’s guaranteed to make cooking and gardening more fun. $28.
3. Make Waves Kinetic Sculpture: For your favorite art lover, or the person in your life who needs to take it easy and relax, these handmade wooden, kinetic boat sculptures can help even the busiest amongst us to slow down. Turn the crank and watch the boat sail over the waves. (To view them in action check out this video.) $38
4. Turquoise Whale Rattle: Brooklyn designer Cailtin Wicker hand makes these adorable plush squid and whale rattles, which do double duty of soothing and occupying little hands. The bright yellow squid and turquoise whale are made from 100% certified organic cotton, French terry knit and printed cotton, and are stuffed with all-natural fiberfil, so it’s safe for small ones, and when it looses its luster (after a few too many times in their baby’s mouth) you can hand or machine wash it. Sweet! $18
5. Best of Brooklyn Gift Box: If you can’t decide on just one gift for the foodie on your list, go wild and get one of Owl and Thistle’s ready-made gift sets like large The Best of Brooklyn box, a cornucopia of artisan food including McClure’s Pickles, Brooklyn Salsa Co., Nunu Chocolates, Spoonable Caramel, Salty Road Taffy, Brooklyn Hard Candy and more. $95
Owl and Thistle General Store, 720 Franklin Ave., 347-469-0432, near the Franklin Ave. stop on the 2, 3, 4, 5, or C trains or the Shuttle. Currently open 7 days a week, 11am to 9pm.
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