People complain a lot about holiday shopping, but I’ll confess here that I love it. I’d rather lick a subway platform than be confronted with a task like “buy yourself some black work pants,” but scouring shops to find perfect presents for other people is a different story, especially when I find unique things that I know they’d love but would never buy for themselves. To seek out offbeat, interesting gift ideas, I’m usually trolling the holiday craft fair circuit every weekend leading up to Christmas, which is how I found myself at the Made in Brooklyn Holiday Market in Industry City the Saturday before Thanksgiving. There were dozens of local vendors showing beautiful, design-forward furniture, jewelry, woodwork, and more, but a few things really stood out to me and have made my preliminary list of potential buys. I might end up spending a bit more than I would scooping up doorbuster deals on Amazon or whatever, but I like knowing that the presents I’m giving are different and that my money is supporting Brooklyn-based small businesses and not horrendous mistreatment of employees. Here are a handful of my favorite picks from the fair, all of which are available online. Hopefully something will fit the bill for a friend or family member on your list.
For your favorite frequent cyclist, this wooden Rider Box is a simple, beautiful and functional way to store a bike and all its accountrements, not to mention mail, keys, and other loose junk. It’s handmade by a woodworker based in Red Hook and is way more attractive than those rubberized hooks you can buy at the hardware store. The first 10 shoppers to email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Brooklyn Based can pick one up at the discounted price of $149.