Thanks to the convenience of modern technology, we now have access to hundreds of thousands of artisan shops at our fingertips. This means it’s never been easier to “shop small” and support the local arts and crafts artists that help keep our communities thriving.
Not only will you find products which are unique and created with more care, but small business owners go the extra mile to provide a personal shopping experience to make gift buying easier.
Looking for a gift for a holiday, special occasion or just because? I urge you to “shop small” and “shop handmade” all year long.
Do you need ideas on where to shop? What better place to find a small business than in a small town! You don’t want to miss these great handcrafted gifts from three small businesses located in rural American towns.
What a Sweet Spot
Tucked away in the mountains of the Allegheny Highlands, Monterey, Virginia is full of breathtaking vistas, outdoor activities and sweet maple syrup. Living off the land has always been a way of life in this close-knit farming community and maple syrup production is an art form that has been passed down through the generations. Back Creek Farms is keeping those same traditions alive today on their maple sugar farm located just southwest of Monterey in the beautiful Back Creek valley. Owners, Pat and Valerie Lowry, are still making maple syrup by hand over wood fires, in the same syrup pan used by Pat’s great-grandmother. Although they strive to stay true to the “old methods”, they’ve taken maple syrup in whole new directions. With their expanded syrup line, including numerous maple infusions, barrel-aged syrups, as well as hickory syrup, they are finding innovative ways to enhance your maple syrup experience.
For the very best gourmet gifts, check out their selection of quality maple syrup products.
Pure Maple Leaf
This leaf-shaped bottle is filled with pure, delicious maple syrup and is a perennial favorite for gifts.
The Highland County Sampler
With three wonderful flavors to enjoy, including pure maple syrup, spiced elderberry infused maple syrup and the smoky goodness of hickory syrup, this sampling is the perfect gift for breakfast lovers everywhere.
Made from the bark of local shagbark hickory trees, this unique syrup pairs well with both savory and sweet dishes. It’s a must-have gift for any barbecue enthusiast.
Bourbon Barrel-aged Maple Syrup
Using barrels from the highly acclaimed Reservoir Distillery in Richmond, Virginia, the maple syrup is aged to perfection. This complex and flavorful syrup combines the sweetness of maple with the amazing flavors of fine spirits to entice any taste buds.
Coffee Amaretto Infused Maple Syrup
Coffee lovers will swoon over this sweet, decadent syrup. Aptly named “the dessert flavor”, it’s begging to be poured over pound cake, ice cream, yogurt or just about anything sweet!
Nestled in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Staunton, Virginia is one of the oldest cities west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rich in arts and culture, this historic destination is full of charm and personality. A perfect starting point for a leisurely scenic drive, there’s numerous routes that wind through some of the most beautiful countryside in Virginia. At the end of one of these back country roads you might find Hannah Girotti in her homestead kitchen whipping up a fresh batch of handmade soap. After developing an interest in natural health, in 2010 she began making soaps and skincare products using wholesome, high-quality ingredients. Hannah quickly turned this new passion into a successful business. Pleasant View Soaps now offers an expanded line of artisan soaps, lip butters, balms and more.
Created with care in small batches, using all-natural ingredients, these luxurious handcrafted bath and body products are the perfect gift for someone who deserves to be pampered.
Forest Spice Goat’s Milk Soap
With a distinct aroma of cinnamon and cloves and speckled with spice, this rich goat’s milk soap hints at the fresh evergreen scent of the outdoors. By the way, men and women both love this stuff!
Olive & Sage Shampoo + Shower Soap
These vegetable-based shampoo and body bars provide gentle, natural cleansing and conditioning. Made with creamy Jersey milk and beneficial herbs, this versatile soap provides ultra-hydrating benefits for your hair and skin. This is a no-brainer for anyone who enjoys all-natural body care.
Gardener’s Therapy Balm
Gardener’s won’t want to be without this handy salve! Scented with sweet basil and other herbals, it provides moisturizing rejuvenation to parched skin.
Bayberry Goat’s Milk Soap
Treat yourself or someone you care about with this old-fashioned colonial classic. Bayberry soap is enhanced with goat’s milk and made with authentic bayberry wax and essential oils. It has a refreshingly rustic and piney scent with notes of holiday cheer that can be enjoyed throughout the year.
Carrot Calendula Natural Soap
Everyone will love this natural healing soap. Lightly scented with essential oils and vividly colored with natural botanicals, this gentle handmade soap is infused with the healing herb calendula and speckled with petals.
Lavender Farming in the Mountain State
Get off the beaten path and explore a nature lover’s dream. Pendleton County, West Virginia is renowned for its rugged mountain terrain and spectacular scenic features. An agricultural community, the earliest settlers were attracted by the pastoral valleys carved by the South Branch of the Potomac River. In the southeast corner of the county lies Sugar Grove, West Virginia, home to Blackthorn Lavender. Owners, Leonard and Trish Uptain, have taken advantage of the fertile valley soil to pursue their life-long interest in farming. They currently grow five varieties of lavender on their family farm and offer a wide selection of aromatherapy, spa and culinary products.
Loaded with fragrant, high-quality lavender, these gifts promote rest, healing and relaxation.
Lavender Soy Wax Candle
This gift not only smells good but offers multiple health benefits. Infused with lavender essential oils, the permeating fragrance promotes sleep and aids in stress reduction.
Lavender Bud Sachet
These dried lavender buds in an organza sachet bag are an easy way to add a lovely fragrance to any space. This is a simple and fun gift for friends and colleagues.
Lavender Rosemary Soothing Muscle Rub
Give the gift that makes them feel better fast! Loaded with vitamins and natural plant oils, this cream soothes aching muscles and aids in relaxation.
Lavender Citrus Roll On Refresher
Your friends and family will thank you for this mood-lifting and energizing refresher made with lavender and citrus oils.
Lavender-Flaxseed Dream Pillow
Designed to enhance sleep, this warming pillow can be heated again and again in the microwave and makes a thoughtful gift for any occasion.
Whether you live nearby or across the country, you can get these quality, handmade gifts shipped directly to your door year-round.
I hope this has inspired you to “shop small” and “shop handmade” today and every day.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start shopping!