So much handmade, small batch, artisan awesomeness comes out of New York — from upstate to Brooklyn and back — it was nearly impossible to pick favorites for our first-ever Shop Local Guide to the Holidays. Here are our just a handful of our top picks for gifts under $50 made in New York.
Be sure to check out the rest of our 250 picks for made in USA holiday gifts under $50 on our new interactive US map, where you’ll find our favorite locally made products by state — for her, him, kids, the home, the host/hostess, stocking stuffers, even some for pets! — and be sure to add your own in the comments. We’re always looking for new local places to shop and support!
Bow & Drape Custom Clothing
Any Fashion Week-loving New Yorker (or anyone who watched the recent HBO documentary Schmatta: Rags to Riches) knows how important it is to support designers producting their lines in the disappearing Garment District. Bow & Drape, founded by Harvard grad Aubrie Pagano, combines traditional tailoring and pattern making with tech trends in mass-customized fashion to provide ladies everywhere with affordable, made-to-order clothing — right from the Garment District. Order a free Fit Kit to get started (designs from $69).
Warby Parker Glasses
If you haven’t yet heard of Warby Parker, you may be living under a rock…or, you lucky bastard, you have 20/20 vision. Whatever the story, you need to know all about this NYC-based line of modern eyewear that’s revolutionizing the way people buy glasses, by keeping prices low ($50 and up) and giving one pair to a person in a developing country for every pair purchased. Grab a gift card this holiday season and their sassy team will even personally ice a cookie for you!
Ancient Industries Wood Baking Set
The butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker all would have loved for their offspring to play with these kid-friendly classic wooden kitchen tools ($25). The best part? They can actually be used in real kitchens to do real kid-friendly cooking!
Twig Custom Terrariums
Terrariums have been a must-have home decor item for the last few years, with no signs of going away any time soon. In an open studio/shop just blocks from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, lifelong friends Michelle and Katy create tiny little modern worlds made to order (starting at just $25) whose humble beginnings sprung from a booth at the Brooklyn Flea and have since been featured on the front page of the New York Times homes section. Visit Twig in Gowanus or shop online through their new Facebook store — or for more info, watch this cute Daily Grommet video with the Twig founders.
FOR THE HOST
Beekman 1802 Goat Milk Soaps
Something about living in the city year after year will drive a person crazy…or to farm fantasies. We know we’re not the only ones, comforted by The Fabulous Beekman Boys and their amazing exploits as NYC transplants and “gentlemen farmers” in Upstate New York. The authors of The Bucolic Plague and stars of the eponymous (hit) Planet Green show sure do know how to make a mean soap. Stock up on Autumn Bars ($10) for each of your holiday party hosts this season, or try the Blaak Drizzle ($15) and Blaak goat cheese ($48). You won’t be sorry.
If you’ve ever been to the Union Square Farmers Market or to Smorgasburg, then you know how serious New Yorkers are about good food. Don’t be caught without seasoning ever again, in the city or out of town, with this Mobile Foodie Survival Kit ($26), made right in Poughkeepsie.
Love Thy Beast Cat Pyramid
There was pawsitively no bigger design trend this year for pet lovers than cat teepees and pyramids, and we’re completely in love with this original design from Tizania Agnello ($26). Not only is it made from 100% recycled material, it’s also “fat cat certified.” Meow.
Did we miss your favorite locally made products from New York? Definitely share them with us in the comments, we’d love to add them to our shopping lists!
Story & main image: Copyright 2012, Shoestring LLC.
Photos: Courtesy, various retailers.