Holiday shopping? 56 ideas for gifts and wraps with Minnesota flair
Here are ideas for gifts with Minnesota flair.
At the Shop at Khâluna, chef Ann Ahmed has curated a wealth of home goods that aim to bridge the gap from Minnesota to her native Laos and other Southeast Asia countries. Turn to textures and layers that when used together create a cozy look, and apart keep you cozy. All handmade in Laos, the pillows and wraps are hand-dyed Hmong cotton, the luggage hand-woven bamboo.
Pillows $40-$50 each, throws $150-$165 each, luggage $185; khaluna.com
No need for lavish arrangements. Forage for a few fresh or dried flowers, grasses or foliage for these petite wooden bud vases. The sculptural pieces are the work of Vince Petruccelli, a teacher during the school year and a woodworker during the summers.
Starting at $22; olivebranchshop.co
Candelabras are hot right now. BluDot's on-trend Tally Candelabra comes in down-to-earth walnut, white oak or whitewashed ash. It's the pillar of all branched candlesticks.
Hand-tied whisk brooms make a sweeping statement hanging near a fireplace, kitchen or as a topper to an oversize gift. They're the creation of Elizabeth John, who started Barnswallow Garden growing heirloom vegetables to sell at farmers markets, but has now embraced her cozy side.
After running a boutique in Denver, it was only natural that Mary Sarah Stokman open a shop after moving to the Twin Cities. Olive Branch, her St. Paul boutique, debuted in late summer with well-curated, quality home pieces. These stylish pine needle trays from Mayan artists come in a variety of sizes and shapes.
Starting at $24; olivebranchshop.co
Earlier this year, Rebecca Sansone rolled out The Mustache Cat in St.Paul, a vintage and home goods shop spotlighting women makers. Among gift-worthy items are artist Julie Kunzman's acrylic two-piece frames held together by magnets. Easily swap out prints from the artist ($15 per print) or design your own artwork.
$35 print and frame; themustachecat.com
While the classic St. Paul leather company has several gift-worthy items, we're zooming in on J.W. Hulme leather coasters. With stitched edging and packaged in a leatherbox, they bring sophistication and warmth to any room.
Twin Cities artist Laurie Jacobi brings us Oak Wisdom Laptops blankets, wool pieces patterned like the tree, with an Ultrasuede trim. They're light and compact enough to tote around but a heavyweight at keeping you warm.
It's named 49M for the approximately 49,000,000 bubbles released upon popping the cork. The Crémant Loire method involves an in-bottle secondary fermentation and long rest that boosts the bubble count.
Whether bergamot and black tea or orchid and fennel, Minneapolis-based True Hue features a range of notes in its reed diffusers. The result is sophisticated and unique scents.
Goats raised on mother-daughter-run Rapha Farms provide the main ingredient for heavenly scented lotion, liquid soap and a shave bar that users say makes their skin so soft they never get nicked.
Roll on CBD and essential oils for an aromatherapy boost to focus,relax, elevate or find pain relief. BLNCD sells other CBD-infused beauty products, as well as gummies and water, plus has a new line of THC products.
$25, set of four $80; blncdnaturals.com
Soaps make perfect hostess gifts, stocking stuffers or additions to your powder room. For something different, gift a heart-shaped lotion bar from Siena Soap Co. It melts on contact with your skin, doesn't count as liquid in your carry-on and oh! the fragrance — cherry, vanilla and almond.
Created to celebrate the beauty and brilliance of Black and brown girls, Rocky Robinson products are made for kids and teens with low-scent, no phthalate, naturally moisturizing ingredients. True to its positive message, the company has a donation program where buyers can purchase items for girls in need.
Gift sets $25-$40, itsmerocky.com
These cards serve as artwork and gentle reminders to be kind to yourself. Artist Jena Holliday takes hopeful words her parents spoke to build her up to do the same for you. Each of the 20 cards is lined, making it easy to pass along the kindness to a friend.
There's more to hair care than shampoo and conditioner. Nurturing Drops help seal damaged ends and After-Sun Hair Mask moisturizes your tresses. The OWay line —the "O" is for organic — is made in Italy with high-end ingredients but is available locally.
Delina White's wraparound scarves come in several colors and share the traditional Ojibwe woodland pattern she uses in her beadwork. Creating fabric with the design is her way of making it accessible and affordable. "It looks like a photograph. You can see the detail," says White, an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe.
The sisters who own St. Paul's Atelier957 arrived in the U.S. from Kyiv, Ukraine, 30 years ago. Marina Shimelfarb is the seamstress who eventually launched their Grand Avenue boutique. The shop specializes in statement pieces — like these of-the-moment leather Lofina boots.
Wear your skyline on your feet. Hippy Feet's clever cotton socks let you choose Minneapolis or St. Paul — or both. All purchases from this local company help create jobs for homeless youth.
Elizabeth John is an avid outdoorswoman who often knits while sitting 'round a campfire or gazing at a lake. The result? Lamb's wool or merino chunky mittens, fingerless gloves, infinity scarves, neck gaiters, hats and more.
Dyani White Hawk is best known as a painter and mixed-media artist. She also happens to love earrings and designs limited edition sets (only seven or fewer pairs are made) like these fans on acrylic discs. If purchased from the Walker Art Center gift shop, proceeds support artistic and educational programs there.
Marina Shimelfarb at Atelier957 has an eye for assembling everyday looks as well as the store's signature showstoppers. This combo can top jeans, dress trousers or a skirt. Available online or in the St. Paul shop.
Sweater, $328; necklace, $150; atelier957.com
Yes Cocktail Company's bitter-infused, 100% natural cocktail cubes recently spotted at St. Paul's the Mustache Cat couldn't be more convenient. Mixup a classic by dissolving an old-fashioned cube in a shot of bourbon, add ice, stir and garnish with an orange twist. Or, drop a lavender-lemon cube into a glass of sparkling and all that's left to do is say cheers.
$14 (serves 8); themustachecat.com
The shop in an unassuming strip mall doesn't reveal the magic that's happening inside, where sisters Jule Vranian and Hope Klocker create their award-winning Sweet Jules caramels. Opt for the large gift set, a festive box filled with a sampling of the eight original flavors, including bananas Foster and beer and pretzel. Have someone on the really nice list? There's a monthly subscription, too.
Box sets $17-$47, sweetjulesgifts.com
Maybe you're Old Fashioned or have your sights set on Manhattan. Either way, your favorite cocktails now come in stocking stuffer-sized packaging. Cherry-pick your favorites or grab a set of six preselected in this holiday cabin packaging and then toast yourself (the Minneapolis distillery has glassware sets, too) for getting at least one thing checked off your shopping list.
Singles from $6, set $40; tattersalldistilling.com
Nougat has never tasted so good. Pastry chef Melinda Norman's Burnt Sugar, named for the process of turning sugar to caramel, puts swirly new spins on classic textures and flavors. Peanut roll, seafoam toffee, Italian Torrone, meringues and more — no need to decide, just pick up a sampler pack. There are gluten- and dairy-free options, too.
$12-$55, burntsugar.com and at several local retailers
Warm hands and hearts with locally crafted teas. St. Paul's Heritage Teas, from Rosemary Williams and daughters Raeisha and Kendra, blend family traditions and recipes into their line of all-natural beverages, which includes more than 25 teas. At Well Rooted Teas, Rachel Banken infuses locally foraged herbs, fruits, berries and more into handcrafted loose-leaf blends that aim to nourish and nurture both people and the environment.
Some makers are farm-to-table; Terroir Chocolate is bean-to-bar. Josh and Kristin Mohagen source their ingredients and inspiration from places near and far but handcraft their original flavors in small batches in northern Minnesota. Whether your craving calls for cozy cardamom krumkake or fiesty scorpion pepper, it will be prettily packaged with purpose.
From $14, tcchocolate.com
Could Firestick Pretzels be as fun as the packaging? Yes, they can. The central Minnesota company, the brainchild of Becky and Randy Tenvoorde, started with the couple's cayenne-laced spiced pretzel sticks (hence the name) and now has 10 flavors, from curry and lime to white cheddar and Bloody Mary. And they know their audience. Another flavor? MN Mild.
$5.99 at Lunds and Byerlys or online at firestickpretzels.com
Founder Robyn Frank took what was a family favorite — her mom's signature miniature cinnamon-sugar cookies, each finished with her thumbprint — and turned them into a business that proves good things do come in small packages. Several sizes and flavors are available, including gluten-free and vegan varieties. And while they may be little in size, they are big on flavor.
From $9; at Rosedale's Six for Good and Nolan Mains or online at thumbscookies.com
Entertain the sustainable way. This sturdy bamboo charcuterie board will be the life of the party, holding whatever you choose to serve, from cheese and crackers to bagels and lox. It also does double duty by storing its utensil tray underneath, meaning no more tearing apart drawers looking for the cheese knife. Again.
Spices, herbs, teas, salt — keep kitchen helpers at your fingertips with a trio of lidded jars, spoons included. They're sold individually, so pick up extras to moonlight in other rooms of the house. They can dispense bath salts just as easily as Himalayan salt.
Jars $14 each, base $12, khaluna.com
Artist Maggie Hathaway's Wild Perla has an array of colorful finds, including this whimsical Scandinavian-inspired cotton tea towel (also available in gold). It will brighten even the darkest of winter days, and comes packaged ready for gift giving. Buy several to keep on hand as hostess gifts any time of year.
Jordan and Alex Akens' White Bear Lake company Bamboo Switch is dedicated to helping people live sustainably, and the kitchen is an easy place to start. Complement their light bamboo utensils with ones made of wood from Southeast Asia for an eye-catching array of cookware.
Who wouldn't want to cook like award-winning Restaurant Alma chef Alex Roberts? Alma Provisions, the latest endeavor by Roberts and his wife, Margot, carries a curated selection of the restaurant's signature spice blends, including mole chili powder, za'atar, a barbecue rub and chive salt. Timid cooks will be relieved the smartly packaged set also comes with descriptions and suggested uses.
Pair this supersized, Lao-style mortar and pestle with a season's worth of spices. This is one kitchen tool that shouldn't languish in a pantry or cupboard — made of heavy clay, its rustic, industrious look elevates it to shelf status.
Sushi lovers will enjoy having their own sustainable set for two. A pair of sushi mats are wrapped around a cloth case holding serving tools and two sets of chopsticks (all made from bamboo), making it easy to take sushi-making skills on the road. Make it a double date and buy two.
Pint-size artists can create their own masterpieces, thanks to Minnesota artist Frank Big Bear. But he didn't do it alone — the Anishinaabe artist created the designs, and teens from the Little Earth Arts Collective wrote the accompanying text. The activity pack includes coloring pencils, eraser and a tote bag with a Frank Big Bear design.
Let these sturdy yet lightweight bamboo bowls be the workhorse of the kitchen, from morning yogurt to evening ice cream. Use with abandon during party season, too: strategically place snacks, serve dessert or tuck a few holiday treats inside and send them home as party favors.
$6 each, bambooswitch.com
14 Gauge's Jesse Purvey may be from Minnesota, but he's left room in our hearts for other states. Made from 14-gauge steel (obviously), these keychain/bottle openers are durable enough to withstand heavy happy hour use yet small enough to not be unwieldy in pockets or purses.
You may know artist Jena Holliday from her murals around Minneapolis, her journals for Target or her children's book, "A Spoonful of Faith." But her whimsical designs and spirited work also include apparel, prints, hand-lettered inspirational quotes and home decor like this trinket bowl, hand-painted and designed by the artist.
Molly Yeh, the Midwest's answer to the Pioneer Woman, has debuted a line of kitchen essentials at Macy's, and it's as bright and fun as the author/chef/blogger/Food Network star. Among the items in the Girl Meets Farm collection is this colorful silicone suction plate. Gift this to the tot in your life and parents will thank you — it actually sticks.
Learning that Rock N Roll Jewelry was started in Minnesota was music to our ears. Inventor Peter Holmbeck creates jewelry from guitar and drum parts — strings, picks, drum keys, amp plugs — with catchy names like the Bass-let. With rings, bracelets and necklaces, you just may have found the gift for that hard-to-buy teen. Rock on.
It's a stroke of genius in canteen form. Ice cream innovators Bebe Zito now make it easier to take pints of Animal Frossting ice cream to go. These crafty coolers will keep your favorite flavors cool for up to four hours on their own, or up to eight when packed in a cooler. A game-changer for potlucks and movie snacking.
The explosion in popularity of pickleball has also led to the explosion of pickleball accessories, and Kim Schueller of Burnsville took notice. She curates The Pickleball Court, populated with everything from apparel and tote bags to earrings and these clever coasters, all made by local artists.
We've come a long way from brown paper packages tied up with strings. By thinking out of the box, gift wrapping will become one of your favorite things.
Mahogany Ellis-Crutchfield started GiftyWrap after she couldn't find wrapping paper that represented her diverse community. She collaborates with local and global artists for the designs, ensuring everyone feels seen.
Make a statement by sending your seasonal greetings with Wild Perla's hand illustrated greeting cards. (Other occasions available, too.) And don't forget the thank you cards — mom would be proud.
$4.25 each, wildperla.com
Add a festive touch to mantles, doorways, living room walls or office cubicles with this 4-foot upcycled garland by Kallie VanOrsdol's Lunar Lotus Designs.
Micah and Cassidy Rude started Shōr to help eliminate plastics from lakeshores near their Grand Rapids home. The beeswax wraps can cover everything from cans to casseroles and the array of patterns make adorable gift wrap, too.
Bright ribbon or twine and a little double-sided tape can turn a festive cotton tea towel into one-of-a-kind wrapping and a bonus gift for the recipient. This one's from Maggie Hathaway Rojas' Wild Perla.
Handcrafted from invasive jungle vines by Lao artisans, this gift-bearing tote will become indispensable, carting everything from broccoli to books.
Kallie VanOrsdol makes her Lunar Lotus Designs by hand in her Twin Cities home. Reusable gift bags — available for any occasion — come in three sizes and several patterns, all with ties to complete the package.
Treat your sweetest friends to baked goods nestled in a stylish cake carrier. Try this wooden keeper from Molly Yeh's kitchen line (it has a removable shelf); or find your perfect vessel at kitchen stores or vintage shops.