This holiday - buy LOCAL and INDEPENDENT!

Every holiday season it is so easy to get swept up in the madness of big chain retail deals and steals. Even I was tempted to drag my ass out at 4am to try and grab the food processor I’ve been wanting at nearly 60% off retail. Thankfully, my food coma kept me from such insanity. However, it seems that on Black Friday the nation did plenty of shopping in my absence. While I know that this impacts the national economy in vast and complicated ways, how does this affect us locally? And how does this support New Mexico – a state that thrives on the art and culture of local independent artists, designers, and crafters?

So, here I am thinking of all the nice things I am going to sew and bake for my friends for the holidays (still broke post-wedding), and remembering that there are some spectacular local artisans that make treasures that would be a cherished gifts for any lucky friend or family member. SO, here’s a taste of some of the local folks that I have found, know, or am inspired by. This is not comprehensive, and I welcome people to add to this list and share insight on other local artists that are selling things for the holidays.

Adelita Jewelry
This is an easy one. Lita, we all know, is one of the most beautiful human beings on the planet. BUT, lucky for us, she is also an amazing crafter of GORGEOUS beaded jewelry! I have several of her pieces in my personal jewelry collection, and have given some as gifts. In addition to her etsy store, this fab jewelry can also be found at Et Cetera in Corrales.

Julie D’Arcy
This lovely lady makes all kinds of adorable and whimsical paintings and prints, VERY affordably priced, that would be a wonderful treat to someone who appreciates lovely things on their walls.

Susan See
One of my favorite local photographers, now turning her photo art into wearable art! In addition to all kinds of notecards, iphone cases, magnets, and mugs, she also features beautiful jewelry – all made of photos she’s taken. Many of those photos she’s taken locally! What better way to treat an out-of-town family member that loves ABQ, than to gift them a necklace with an image of our own Dia de los Muertos parade?! Her beauties can also be found at Trend Benderz on Gold & 3rd, & Cellar Door on Harvard.

Have someone on your list that loves all things vintage, handmade, and PAPER? Well check out this chica! She uses beautiful old things and makes them into usable new things! Magnets and notecards seem to be her speciality, but you can also find adorable fabric pushpins there too! Again, very reasonable priced, great for stocking stuffers!

Lori Leigh
This amazing crafter has been featured before on DCF, but I think she’s worth revisiting – again and again! She makes beautiful hand knit hats, all vintage inspired, that are just wonderful. I bought one for myself a couple of years ago, and still wear it when I want to be warm or just darn cute! Lovely gifts for a hat person in your life, or someone looking for a fashionable way to keep warm in the winter.

Board Winos
I found these in an etsy local treasury, and am a FAN! These handmade cork boards would make an excellent gift for the wine enthusiast in your life, or for your own home or office! Admittedly, I have been saving wine corks for YEARS to make myself one of these, and I just don't think I drink enough.

Forever and Afters
I found this crafter in a local etsy search and was BLOWN AWAY! Handmade wooden childrens furniture and toys, at amazing prices. Kids? Grandkids? Nieces? Nephews? How about NOT buying them something plastic, battery operated, and noisy? And give them something handmade and natural that encourages their own creativity and development? Step away from the tickle-me-elmo’s of the world and come to the light of some old fashioned fun!

Caustic Threads
Looking for a whimsical onesie for your adorable niece or nephew? I, personally, spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME looking at things for my cutie pie 14 month old nephew. Erica Voges has all the tshirt goodies for babies AND adults!

Piano Bench Designs
I LOVE THIS JEWELRY! Not only can you buy something local, but also something personal, for ANYONE on your list! Beautifully made, classy, and fun pieces of wearable art.

Have I made my point yet? There are some AMAZING crafters doing great things right here in Albuquerque (and New Mexico). So, while I appreciate the need to get a great deal and save a little money, I would also like to encourage each and every DCF member to buy ONE handmade gift this year. If we all did this, the impact that we would have on our local economy & local artists' lives could be substantial. If shopping online is your challenge, then check out one of these places to buy gifts from local artisans:

Panda Robot – recently featured in the Alibi, this wonderful woman has a shop FULL of local handmade stuff!

Trend Benderz – an eclectic boutique with a variety of items for sale, that also supports local artists.

Masks Y Mas – focused on mostly folk art, this shop has some beautiful pieces from New Mexican artists.

La Parada – a north valley retailer that is filled with all kinds of fun stuff, lots of which is locally made!

New Mexico Creates – a program run by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, this site (and the Museum shops) are an AMAZING resource for local artists to sell their wares, and for the public to find beautiful New Mexican art!

And, like I said above, this list is just a taste of things I found, or people I love. So, if you are an artist, or know an artist or a shop where DCFers can find beautiful local handmade gifts - PLEASE COMMENT AND ADD THEM TO THE LIST!

Views: 116

Comment by papermenagerie on December 6, 2010 at 4:37pm
Thank you so much for the mention! I am new-ish to ABQ so I don't know many local crafters, but I look forward to checking these out!
Comment by RiRiSynCyr on December 6, 2010 at 5:41pm
@john - infinity bacon.....that is too awesome for words. any chance that it's scratch & sniff?

@papermenagerie - welcome to abq! there are TONS of local crafters here and, as you can see, lots of great places and ways to get yourself out there. both in Abq & Santa Fe.
Comment by Adelita on December 7, 2010 at 9:39am
How in the world could I forget to mention the fabulous folk art of Kenny Chavez?!
Comment by RiRiSynCyr on December 7, 2010 at 11:34am
@Sarah - i'm not gonna lie, I'm a little bitter right now. I got married on 10/30 and I'm super sad I didn't know about you and your fabric garland!!!!!! And I bought several handmade things from etsy for my wedding, but somehow I missed your awesome stuff!

@Lita - LOVE his bottles!!!!!!
Comment by Chroma Studios on December 7, 2010 at 1:44pm
Moongypsies: thank you for the Chroma Studios mention!!!

I will also add my Etsy shop and website
Comment by Granjero on December 7, 2010 at 9:56pm
And don't forget Granjero! Unique and collectible art! Old t-shirts and sweat stained hats titled "Local Americano" Pricey, but makes for a great holiday gift! Great as wearable art or framed pieces!

Comment by John Sumrow on December 8, 2010 at 9:27am
@RiRiSynCyr Thank you! Actually... we are discussing a way to make the shirts smelly baconesque. ;0)
@Susan See - Thanks Susan! Appreciate it. :D
Comment by RiRiSynCyr on December 8, 2010 at 9:31am
@Susan - anytime chica!

@Paula - NICE ADDS! <3 Chroma, and <3 <3 <3 your prints!!!

@Granjero - why i outta! ;)

@John - while I think my dog would love me smelling like bacon, not so sure my husband!
Comment by Flozilla on December 8, 2010 at 12:04pm
Old World Imports (& Crafts) has some super excellent affordable handmade LOCAL crocheted hats and mitts by Alleygirl and a superb selection of LOCAL hand made silver jewelry, including some awesome plugs, rings and domed coin earrings by Duane.
Comment by John Sumrow on December 8, 2010 at 4:08pm
@RiRiSynCyr and everyone: If you kow of a way to get some esential oils of Bacon... I could slip them into the T-shirt ink! Just sayin'...


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