NORTH BAY EMPORIUM Adriann Saslow, maker-associate at the Made Local Marketplace, shows off some of the shop's many worthy wearable wares.
With an expanded store space and items from over 370 local crafters, makers and artisans, the Made Local Marketplace in Santa Rosa continues to be the go-to destination for those who want to spend their precious shopping dollars locally this holiday season. While the North Bay is lucky to be home to more than a few fair trade stores (such as Kindred, just one block away on Fourth Street), the Made Local Marketplace is unrivaled in its dedication to selling exclusively local items, and at reasonable prices. From framed art and photography to artisan food products to jewelry and clothing, not much goes unrepresented in this downtown Santa Rosa gem.
THE ZERO WASTER
Make Bill McKibben proud by promoting zero waste—not to mention a spotless laundry room—this Christmas. Buying bulk is a great way to reduce costs and packaging, but using new plastic bags and wire ties each week defeats the purpose. Melissa Keyser's cloth produce and bulk bags ($8) are made from recycled fabric and come with the tare already listed on the side tag. . . . Thinking about the mountains of tissues used up during cold season is enough to give anyone a headache. Why not pick up a couple of white cotton handkerchiefs ($6–$12) from Tinuviel's Tinkerings, out of Santa Rosa? These aren't any old hankies—each one is decorated with a '40s pinup girl for extra excitement. . . . The laundry is a place where zero waste, aside from water, can be easily implemented. Sonoma Maid laundry soap ($17 for 48 loads) smells delightful and comes in recycled laundry soap jars. Don't underestimate the elegance of laundry detergent in a Le Parfait jar! Plus, when your giftee runs out, they can drop by the Made Local Marketplace to refill the jar for a surprisingly low price. And might as well toss in a reusable dryer ball ($10) while you're at it. This eliminates the need for environmentally unfriendly dryer sheets and saves money in the long run.
THE BEAUTY KING (OR QUEEN)
Now that Clorox owns Burt's Bees, where's a naturally inclined chapstick lover to go for her nontoxic fix? Look no further than Rosemira Organics lip balmset ($32). Made without parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrances or dyes, this Sonoma County company is all about making the skin happy. Add a Rose Mira Grapefruit and Juniper Deep Cleansing Masque ($42) to your giftee's spa basket, and you've made someone a happy soul, indeed. . . . Happy Dreams bath salt ($10), made by Karin Harris of Sebastopol, was created to calm the body and mind for peaceful sleep—and who doesn't need to get their Zen after the hectic holiday rev up?
. . . Ditch that old soap-on-a-rope stock stuffer and get classy with your gift suds. Soap Cauldron's Three Sisters Apothecary brand, out of Santa Rosa, offers artisan shea butter soaps ($6) in an assortment of scents. They even offer adorable, tiny soap gift collections that'll work as both a cleansing agent and bathroom décor!
SWEET CHILD OF MINE
When you're a kid, fairy dust is pretty much the greatest thing ever. Pick up the Fairy Dust Collection ($25), a selection of corked bottles filled with pinks, whites and purples, "fairy dust" (it's pretty similar to glitter), and make the little Tinkerbell in your life truly believe in the power of magic. Keep the fabulous fantasy going with a princess crown ($18) or a handmade wizard hat and wand ($48) by local crafters. . . . For the kid's room, how about a painted Robo-octopus lightswitch plate ($30) by Natalia, or an imaginative Moss Works cat, deer or chicken by Wildflower Creations ($25–$40)? . . . Encourage early literacy and a joyful love of reading with a book from local children's authors Sandy Baker, Guy Conner or Zak Zaikine. Clothing-wise, an original T-shirt ($15) by Katzi Designs, the company run by Santa Rosa artist Jessica Buickerood, will spruce up the fashionable toddler's wardrobe. Carrots, mushrooms, dragons, strawberries, beets—all manner of animal, vegetable, mineral get a starring role on these soft, 100 percent cotton shirts. . . . Stuffed animals are always a good proposition. Cotton Cannibals ($25), by Sara Davis, are pillow-like, boxy creatures in kid-friendly bright, primary colors with personality to spare. Buy a few to decorate a bed or a chair in the nursery.
THE SUGAR FIEND
A smartly curated selection of chocolates and cookies can make Christmas day that much sweeter for everyone (except the anti-sugar space aliens). A pack of PB & Heaven chocolate balls (tagline: "What a peanut butter cup can only dream of being") from Sonoma Chocolatiers ($11.50) will definitely make any sugar fiend squeal with delight. Alternately, go with a pack of Chai Nibbles ($8.50) for the inveterate late night snacker. . . . Holly Baking, out of Rohnert Park, bakes a mouth-watering selection of cookies, featuring flavors like sweet ginger or Meyer lemon ($6.50). You can't really go wrong with Holly's chocolate toffee cookie brittle ($6.50) either. . . . Honey fans will love a jar of Barker's Bee Love ($15), especially the Barnett Valley blackberry or Taylor Mountain wildflower, from local honey purveyor Kiss the Flower Co. Other honey companies claim to be local, but beekeeper DeWitt Barker is the real deal. Toss in a five-pound bag of walnuts ($30) from Siesta Farms and a block of local cheese, and you've got the makings for a gourmet dessert with class. . . . And, yes, if you want a gift that doesn't involve sugar (weird), the marketplace has plenty of those too. Foodies will love a bottle of California Harvest's olive oil ($9), infused with lemon, roasted garlic or chipotle.