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Maine may have a reputation for being traditionally seafaring or practical and preppy, depending who you ask, but for our first-ever Shop Local Guide to the Holidays we found a surprising array of bleeding-edge style in our top gifts under $50 made Downeast.
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!
Sea Bags Reclaimed Sail Wristlet
The statement accessory for downtown Portland ladies in the know, Sea Bags makes classic totes and other accessories from recycled sails — like this chic little going-out wristlet ($22). Check out the rest of their special holiday savings for her, him, and the host at SeaBags.com. Have a sail to recycle? SeaBags even offers a barter system: your sail for their bags!
Portland General Store Grooming Set
Inspired by the earnest look of apothecary products from the last century, owner Lisa began making a sustainable, organic, paraben-free (some even vegan) grooming and aromatherapy line with a thoroughly vintage aesthetic. Grab the manly man in your life some whiskey vetiver beard oil, Alpine shave jelly, or Professor after-shave — or nab a TSA-friendly travel trio ($45) to go in his dopp kit (like this local collaboration from Sea Bags + Woolrich) or this Cigar Box Sample Set ($45) of PGS best-sellers.
Handmade in Portland, this all-natural play dough was created by parents Cammie and Kip, who started molding the same dough Cammie's mom had made for her when she was a girl for their three kids...and then starting selling it to rave reviews at farmers markets across the country. The fun colors, gentle smells, and cool packaging make eco-kids all-natural art supplies (from $7) a no-brainer.
Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co.
Send your favorite Mainer a taste of home to complement their holiday feast with some frozen specialty foods shipped directly overnight from Hancock Gourmet in Cundy's Harbor. With classic Maine staples like whoopie pies, lobster stew, sea scallops, and lobster tails all under $50, shipped frozen within mere days to anywhere in the continental US, it's going to be hard to pick just one.
FOR THE HOST
Angela Adams Happiland Gift Set
Since 1998, modern design lovers and Mainers alike have loved Angela Adams and Sherwood Hamill for their graphic patterns with Downeast-inspired nature and nautical themes. Give a token of your affection to your holiday host with these pretty pattern wrapped soaps ($18).
Planet Dog Outfitters Orbee-Tuff Toys
Right on the waterfront in downtown Portland sits a mecca of smart buys for active pets: Planet Dog. Since 1997, this catalog company has been providing feel-good stuff for pet owners everywhere with their eco-friendly, made in the USA, affordable and just downright practical products — they even donate 2% of every sale to the Planet Dog Foundation, which gives more than $800K annually to train assistance dogs for people in need. Our picks for winter dogs with cabin fever are the Mazee treat ball ($17) interactive brain-teaster and the Lil' Bulb with Treat Spot ($8.50).
Did we miss your favorite locally made products from Maine? 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.