What do you get when a former Peace Corps volunteer opens a general store in Crown Heights? Owl & Thistle, a unique gift shop that sells only locally made, sustainable and fair trade items. Owner Keri Cavanaugh opened in 2011, but recently moved to larger digs, to hold the expansive selection of goods as well as to host DIY classes like sewing, crochet and soap making. This holiday season the store will be open seven days a week, and next Saturday, Dec. 13 it will be taking part in the South Franklin Ave. Holiday Stroll from 1-6pm when Owl & Thistle will be offering Gullah Girl Tea samples, a J&L Handmade Soap Pop-up Shop, and free wine while you shop your way through your gift list. From artisanal foods to hilarious stocking stuffers, here are five creative gifts that will light up your loved one’s lives.
1. Boundless Brooklyn Taggable Water Tower Kit: If there was an emoticon for Brooklyn, it would be a water tower. With this ingenious gift, you can give your crafty friends their very own desktop tower. The kit comes with 100% recycled chipboard pieces, non-toxic glue dots, and instructions to put it all together. 5 Pointz may have been whitewashed last year, but your friend can safely tag this public space (spray paint not included) and make their own personalized street art. $20
2. Patch NYC Cologne: If your man has worn the same cologne since high school, it’s time to step up his game. Patch NYC, in collaboration with Soap and Paper Factory, have made these scents with the Brooklyn customer in mind. “Stag” combines Siberian fir, cilantro, citrus and a touch of raspberry for a nice wintry scent, while “Fedora” has notes of citrus, vetiver, nutmeg and patchouli for a stylish mix. The formula is hand-poured into bottles so beautiful that they will help decorate any bureau top. $46
3. Heroes of the Torah Coasters by Fish’s Eddy: Serve up a smile along holiday drinks with these fun pulp board coasters based on antiquated trading card sets of the same name. Yitzchak Spector, A. Hildenseimer, R. Elizer Goldberg and S. Y. Rabinovitch come to life on these 12 coasters, as a humorous tribute to 19th century historical rabbis. Your friends will appreciate them for the kitsch factor, your grandparents will be impressed you came up with such a clever gift. Mazel tov! $8
4. Snow Drop Luxe Gift Set by Soap and Paper Factory: All-natural, handmade products are always a luxury. This beautiful set contains soap, bath oil, hand cream and a candle: all the winter essentials for indulging oneself. Plus, you can rest assured that you won’t be gifting petroleum, parabens or pthalates along with the products. Choose between two seasonal scents. Holiday Spice warms with cinnamon, orange and clove, while Creamy Peppermint energizes with a blend of peppermint, vanilla and bourbon. $38
5. Best of Brooklyn Gift Box: This is a gift box that even your foodiest friends will appreciate. The taste of Brooklyn includes locally made delicacies that satisfy the sweet tooth (Nunu’s Chocolate’s Salt Caramels, Jam Stand Jam, Salty Road Taffy, Liddabit Caramels and Servis cookies) and the savory palate (McClure’s Pickles, Brewklyn Grind Coffee or Tea and Red Head Hot Sauce). And a Brooklyn kitchen wouldn’t be complete without a tea towel illustrated by Claudia Pearson. $98
Owl & Thistle General Store, 833 Franklin Ave. (near Eastern Parkway), Crown Heights, Brooklyn, 347-722-5836.