The 2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Artisan Gifts from Makers + Product Designers

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We were coming off the heels of a big election cycle in America as I sat down to design our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide. After a year that saw an tremendous divide come to light in this country, many months of side-eye as increasingly acrimonious political ads blared across our screens, and wave after wave of hurricanes and wildfires seemed to wash over us… I was ready to submerge myself in a happy bubble by curating some of my favorite products from among the Lucky Break client community.

 

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This project became cathartic in some sense, and as I started pulling together beautiful collections of design-centric products made with heart by some of the best small businesses I know, I was once again reminded of how incredibly grateful I am for artisans. For small businesses. For communities. And for courage. The Lucky Break roster of clients has all of that in spades. It drips from our pores and its’s what drives us when we’re on our eleventh work hour of the day.

 

As I dug deeper, this project evolved from the Holiday Gift Guide to the Holiday Gift Encyclopedia Britannica. What began as an idea to recommend 48 gifts ballooned into 55 page catalog featuring 230+ suggestions. Forgive me… for I have a hard time editing myself when it comes to singing my clients’ praises.  I was again reminded of the magic we make together and I’m incredibly inspired by how many of these brands have moved the ball forward this year in big, big ways. You peeps have been busy!

 

Open the 2018 Holiday Gift Guide to discover hundreds of unique offerings from some of the amazing small businesses I have the privilege of working alongside. Whether I’ve helped them nail down their pricing strategy, or get their work into more shops, or dig deeper into their brand to better communicate the value they deliver, I’m honored to help amplify their voices.

 

The Holiday Gift Guide for Makers + Product Designers

 

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Why Shopping Small is so Important

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Shop small is more than merely a catch phrase.

 

When you choose to spend your holiday dollars with a small business, you empower people, families, and communities in ways that Amazon or Target can’t touch. Here’s how…

 

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SIX REASONS TO SHOP SMALL THIS HOLIDAY

 

 

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  • You foster a more sustainable economy. According to the SBA, big businesses have eliminated 4 million jobs since 1990, while small businesses added 8 million jobs within that same time period. Small businesses are more likely to be people-oriented, more likely to be community-oriented, and more likely to support local causes.

 

  • You support the creation of greater diversity. When you spend money with local, independent businesses, those businesses tend to hire people who represent the demographics of the surrounding community, including historically underserved populations. And it’s not just diversity of people, but a diversity of product, too. Local shops are more likely to carry a varied selection, and local artisans create goods that represent their culture.

 

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  • You build a stronger community. A series of studies by the research firm Civic Economics found that 48 percent of purchases at local independent businesses go right back into the community, compared to less than 14 percent of sales made at chain stores. Supporting small businesses means that the community you call home receives the tax benefits, providing a deeper well of funds for spending on public services like education, libraries, fire protection, road and park improvements.

 

  • You enjoy better customer service. Small businesses deliver more personable, hands-on, and memorable customer service. They take pride in serving their people and deeply desire to connect with you.

 

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#FavoriteMakerFriday

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I’ve been playing with Instagram lately and, as I looked around my house this week, I was struck by how many beautiful things I’ve acquired from makers around the country.

 

That sparked an idea: what if I post one picture each Friday with the hashtag #FavoriteMakerFriday and share a few of my most special treasures from this collection o’ gorgeous things? Sounds like fun, no? I thought so.

 

Here it is…. my very first #FavoriteMakerFriday.

 

ElementWhat: Geode Ceramic Centerpiece Bowl in Amber

 

Who: Element Ceramics by Heather Knight
Where: Asheville, NC
How Much? $164

 

I’d love to see the amazing things you’ve picked up from the maker community! Share them on Instagram with the hashtag #FavoriteMakerFriday.

 

(P.S. My Instagram pics of dogs, dinners, and works-in-progress are right here.)