Welcome to the 2020 Holiday Gift Guide, a round-up of local Charlotte artisans and businesses.
If you’re new around here, you may not know that this is the 3rd annual “gift guide” from Dana Gray Studio. Last year, we actually produced a physical gift guide magazine. It was stocked in coffee shops and boutiques around Charlotte, NC for passersby to pick up for free and take home for their enjoyment. (Click through to view the 2019 Holiday Gift Guide.)
There have been a lot of questions on whether or not we would produce a magazine this year, and for the longest time we had every intention to. This year was supposed to be AMAZING. 2020 — a year of clear vision and goals, and all that. A lot of things were supposed to work out differently. (Story of everyone’s year, I’m sure.)
This year has shown us that small businesses are resilient — to be successful is to learn to pivot, embrace change, meet it where it is (whatever it is). Even though we didn’t have time to put together a physical magazine this year, we still wanted to highlight some of our favorite businesses and shops around Charlotte, NC.
Helpful tip: Hold buttons Ctrl-F / Cmd+F and type in a keyword if you’re looking for something specific! Everything is listed in order from A to Z under each category.
Please go support these businesses. Buy from their shops, share about them with your friends, and reshare their graphics on social media. Do whatever you need to do to support local this week, this year and especially for #smallbusinesssaturday coming up!
Independent Artisans & Makers
Chelsea Leigh creates jewelry to stand the test of time. She usually releases new pieces in larger collections. This image is from her Beautiful Beginnings birthstone and zodiac collection, releasing very soon. From what we hear, she has a pretty big Black Friday sale going on this week as well!
Yep, that’s us. We are a collaborative design studio that has decided to try their hand in the product world. All art prints, illustrations, and stationery is original artwork by owner, Dana Gray. We are offering 20% off your entire cart until the end of Cyber Monday.
Elise Design Company was created to bring versatility to your wardrobe, to provide multi-season options and timeless accessories in a fast-fashion world. Each piece of jewelry is designed to accompany you through authentic moments and memorable experiences.
Geoflora is the joint effort of twin artists turned jewelers Margaret and Ellen Hinrichs. Inspired by nature and form, Geoflora seeks to grace the cool girl who is strong, bold, and looking to make a statement. Take a look at their website and socials for the final days of their holiday sale!
Jackie Rae Studios is a multifaceted creative studio providing handcrafted, thoughtfully curated designer pillows, design renderings and artwork directly from the maker’s hands to yours. She has gift cards available for purchase if you want to give the gift of new home decor.
Katrina Sellers started Jules & Vetiver because she loves perfume but hated the experience of buying it. She has changed the fragrance game with modern, unpretentious, unisex scents. Each fragrance is crafted in small batches, and focuses only on the Good Stuff: quality, artistry, and science.
Karlie Altherr is a local designer and illustrator who creates printable graphics and digital cut files for DIY-ers, as well as art prints and other home goods items. She just released a series of whimsical hand-lettered holiday recipe prints like this one. Fun fact: she just joined the DGS design team!
Peterson MADE is a jewelry brand owned by Barb Peterson. Every piece of jewelry is handmade by Barb in her North Carolina studio and highlights traditional gold-smithing skills with a modern aesthetic. She just released custom Fingerprint Jewelry that is the ultimate keepsake gift for couples, parents, and grandparents. We are proud to have played a part in the custom box packaging!
Pretty Honest Candles is one of, or dare I say *the* best, candle company in Charlotte. They create clean, high quality soy candles that fill your home with warmth, figuratively speaking. Candles are sold in multiple sizes so you can figure out which scents you want to hoard the most. They also have adorable campfire mug candles for the holidays — we love dual purposes!
Bring a little outdoor beauty into your home. Carrie Gordon creates air plant wall hangings and planters out of reclaimed wood in her backyard workshop. The modern and geometric designs add more dimension to any room. The best part is that you can purchase this for someone with any color thumb. Air plants are pretty hard to kill, but Carrie gives some good tips here to send with the gift just in case.
Justine Wiggins is the voice behind Worthy & Badass, whose biggest mission is to encourage and empower women. She offers a range of products including hand-stamped jewelry, home goods, and other custom wares. More recently, she launched a collection of products for serving and hosting — a holiday rite of passage. Go grab a pun-tastic cheese board, name place settings for your dinner table, or a complete tablescape decoration in a box.
Food & Beverage
Birch Fine Tea is a local tea shop owned by two sisters. They carry more than 100 different flavors of loose leaf tea and sell them in 2-oz and 4-oz bags. They also carry stylish teaware like carafes, infusers, and teapots. This is the perfect shop to find a unique blend for the tea lover in your life.
Mariana Troy is the owner of Blossom & Bee Bakery, which started at the beginning of this year. She specializes in gourmet bakes, including pies, pastries, cakes, cookies, and artisanal bread loaves. Turn someone’s regular day into something special by gifting them a Blossom & Bee creation.
Continuing the premise of family recipes and traditions, Mama Ward’s is a niché cake company specializing in Southern Little Layer Cakes. You know the ones — boiled icing, delicately thin layers, stacked taller than a bread box. And if you don’t know, you have to order a cake for your upcoming holiday celebration!
Sweet Spot Studio officially opened in Fall 2018. They offer pastry and baking classes to all levels of bakers, as well as intensive workshops for industry professionals. They recently launched a national cookie club subscription for you to be able to decorate cookies from home with virtual instructions and most of the materials you should need. Fun fact: we designed the packaging!
The Tiny Chef, also known as Susanne Dillingham, is dedicated to teaching those with a passion for learning how to prepare beautiful meals using sustainable and practical techniques while
supporting local North Carolina farmers. Gift a culinary experience from The Tiny Chef this holiday season — a private cooking class, a wine education workshop, or even a catered meal.
Shops & Boutiques
Here are a few of our favorite shops around the greater Charlotte, NC area. All of these shops do a great job at supporting multiple vendors, independent artists, and small businesses.
Just look at that inviting storefront. Moxie Mercantile is a community-centered boutique with a heart for emerging artists & vintage finds. In my humble opinion, they have one of the best selections of unique gift ideas and splurge-worthy items. You will want to browse the nooks and crannies and well-planned space for hours because of the cozy and quaint atmosphere..
Kendle Starcher opened The Catalyst Mercantile at the beginning of this unexpected year. However, shops like Catalyst Mercantile are continuing to grow due to community support rallying behind them. Catalyst has roughly 20 vendors, and growing, who make and sell a variety of items like jewelry, clothing, home decor, paper goods, and more. Kendle’s jewelry business, Neon Love Story, is one of the vendors that can be found in the shop.
We love the boho vibes of the Covet Atelier storefront. They have a wonderful curated collection of small shops and artisans, and it is everything you could hope for when searching for the perfect gift for the people in your circle. If you’re not shopping at Covet Atelier, you can attend one of their events. They range from mini how-to / DIY workshops, artisan markets, food vendor pop-ups, and even book clubs! Give the gift of unique products, or a fun outing.