As simple as it is to buy a gift from one of the many megastores blasting you with Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers, you’ll actually have a far easier time finding an original present when you shop local. We’ve curated some excellent options for cool Brooklyn gifts that will impress your girlfriend, husband, mom, cousin, co-worker and BFF. Need some more reasons to shop indie this season? Here are 10 good ones:
1. Brooklyn pride runs deep, and these retro knit Ski-doo hats will broadcast neighborhood love all winter long. You can get them for adults or kids at Owl and Thistle, the Crown Heights shop that specializes in Fair Trade and handmade goods for all ages. Their classes make great gifts, too.
2. Make your apartment smell like the holidays now (and all winter long) with Good Candle. With season-appropriate scents like Campfire, Fig, Spruce and Cedar, their hand-poured candles are made in their Brooklyn studio using American-grown soy wax and high quality essential and fragrance oils. Good candle is offering flat-rate shipping through the holidays, so you can send locally-produced good vibes around the country.
3. Your special green thumb may have to wait till spring to get into the garden, but when the weather is ripe for planting, make sure he or she is ready with an entire plot of veggies, herbs or flowers from Seedsheet. You can also get windowbox-sized sheets to get a head start on your bounty.
4. Even if you don’t have someone who is still afraid of the dark on your list, you will want to brighten up your own dark corners with this handmade Robot nightlight from Brooklyn ARTery in Ditmas Park, which specializes in artistic gifts for adults and kids.
5. For a basket of Brooklyn-made food that says you truly know your friend’s tastes, try the Ginger Lover’s Gift Box from By Brooklyn. The popular shop, which sources all of its goods from Brooklyn artisans and designers, recently added a Williamsburg store to their original Carroll Gardens outpost, so now there are two places to find the perfect borough-made gift, like this South Brooklyn tote or Take Out Block.
6. That kick-ass, beautiful girlfriend of yours could use some new arm candy, and Lady J+1 has bold bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings destined to become her 2015 statement pieces. All are made in Crown Heights by award-winning designer Jessica D’Amico, who stocks her boutique with clothing designers like Mary Meyer and Samantha Pleet and other local artisans, too.
7. For that urban explorer in your life, the one who is drawn to places like the Gowanus Canal for its ability to spawn three-eyed catfish, there is now the Gowanus Souvenir Shop, whose artworks and wares are inspired by the Superfund site’s toxic past and its natural rebirth. These gorgeous, botanical printed plates are proof that beauty can spring from the most sullied of places.
8. There is something magical about miniatures–it’s why you loved terrariums so much. But don’t stop there. Get a custom diorama lamp, handmade at smallhome, an East Williamsburg boutique that handcrafts home goods on site. No two lamps are the same, and you can personalize yours by choosing from a variety of animals and opting for a playful illustrated background from a vintage storybook or a more realistic one based on nature texts.
9. Chef Michelle Warner is on a mission to expand the definition of home-cooked meals. She offers cooking lessons, dinners, farm tours and custom cooking events through her company, By-Hand Culinary. Whether you want to bone up on your fried chicken skills, learn how to make Thai food at home or have a cooler-than-average birthday party, she’s got a class with your name on it. Or, a gift certificate with someone else’s name on it.
10. RawSpiceBar sends three freshly ground, super high-quality spices to your door each month, along with recipes that use those spices. There’s a regional theme to each month, and it’s an amazing, and very affordable, way to try out new flavors and flex those culinary muscles.