A craft renaissance is upon Los Angeles, giving rise to the makers with a passion for preserving time-tested techniques perfected by makers before them. As we approach the holiday season, make your gift giving efforts extra special by supporting our local makers. We’ve put together a few ideas to get you started.
For great gift ideas, Atwater Village based Studio DGH creates contemporary terrariums with succulents, moss, forest, desert, and air plants that beautify your indoor spaces. With an eye for design, Studio DGH goes through a rigorous selection process with the creation of each visually stunning plantscape, making sure that no two are exactly alike. This year, founder Duong Hua is excited to introduce Peterson Pottery Company as a new vessel for his creations. Handmade in small batches in a local backyard studio, this Pottery is perfect for those looking to get gifts from local spots. Sourced from the US and made with traditional craft methods, Haand pottery is another new inclusion this year. Their high-fired Cloudware works create a dreamy sky-like canvas for the earthy compositions they contain. After all, nothing compares to the mini-escape that gazing at a little piece of nature can provide after staring at a glowing screen for hours on end. Studio DGH can be found locally at the arts and crafts section of the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Space 857 (second Sunday of every month) as well as the Melrose Trading Post at Fairfax High School (every Sunday except for the second Sunday of each month).
Making “Earth’s Friendliest Candle”, Redondo Beach’s PiecebyPaz uses empty glass bottles and repurposes them as candles which fill the air with naturally invigorating fragrances. Everything from cutting the bottle to labeling the candles (with tags that double as flower seeds when planted) are done in house by co-founders Kelsey Paz and JD Snyder as well. These sustainable sweethearts are steadily gaining traction; they’ve received some of their largest orders to date and are the proud finalist for Martha Stewart’s American Made Awards. Top scents for the holiday season include Sappy Holiday, Relaxation Station, Secret Garden, Bad Habit, and for you beach side dwellers, the South Bay. For those who like something a little more rustic, try the unique wood wick which crackles when lit, reminiscent of campfires and fireplaces. For a list of local retail stores where you can find PiecebyPaz, visit their website.
1350 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
Those who have kids with four legs and paws know exactly how enormous of a role pets play in their human parents lives. Just ask Venice based silhouPETte Founder Jessica DiPaola, whose business idea was inspired by her 14-year-old feline Silkey. Offering readymade and custom crafted pet silhouette jewelry and keepsakes, silhouPETte creates all in the likeness of your best furry friends. There are no cookie cutters when it comes to custom orders either. Each piece is hand outlined to bring out the special details unique to your pet. What’s better? Their commitment to spread the love beyond their business doors; they give back 30% of their profits to animals in need in LA shelters.
The Dailey Method
1327 1/2B Abbot Kinney Street
Venice, CA 90291
Offering show stopping leather sandals that go effortlessly with everything, SOIYL also uses vibrant fabrics which are added on some styles to bring a pop of color and playfulness. Thoughtfully handcrafted in Culver City, local work is standard and the name of the game here is quality trumping quantity. Says Founder Delores Melgoza, “My mission has always been to provide jobs and give people confidence in the arts. I want to provide for the local community and give people decent work in the US.” Hoping to inspire more companies to think and act this way when it comes to how we do business, Melgoza also makes a donation for each pair bought to Raincatcher.org, a non-profit that provides clean drinking water to impoverished regions of the world. Be on the lookout for the new Leon boot, releasing just in time for cooler temps. Check the website to stay in the loop and to view a list of local boutiques that carry SOIYL.
Most conventional face and body products are full of harsh chemicals and preservatives, unable to live up to their fancy marketing claims. Fed up, Prima Essentials Founder Mia Tschirhart began making soap to recapture the simple goodness that vegetable soaps provide. After her friends and family saw their skin issues vanish after using her handmade soaps, her soap making hobby evolved into a full-fledged business. Fast forward six years to today, and still, these luxury soaps are handcrafted locally in small batches. Made with premium vegan oils that nourish skin with 100% natural recipes, these face and body products are perfect for all skin types. Supple skin during the cold months is hard to come by, but with rich soaps for home, Ku’uipo Lathering Sponges for travel, and natural body butter, you’ve got them covered. A full line of facial care products are also offered, using the same skin loving ingredients found throughout the line. South Pasadena based Prima Essentials is available online and at select local gift shows.
The written word is fast becoming a lost art, part and parcel to what makes it increasingly special to receive a piece of handwritten mail, especially if that mail is hand pressed. Enter Carrie Howe Hersom, who started Anemone Letterpress seven years ago. With quirky and smart greeting card designs printed using hand-mixed inks on 100% cotton paper, they are unlike mass produced chain store bought cards and are the perfect gift. In fact, no two creations are alike. The perfect accessory to accompany a present, yet appropriate as a gift all its own, Anemone Letterpress is a great option for whatever use.
What started as an unassuming idea involving confit and a do-it-yourself screen-printing kit, quickly turned into a shirting line that has received much fanfare. While wearing her DIY masterpiece around town, Founder Cyndi Grasman’s creation took off, prompting her to come up with other foodie designs that would sell like hotcakes. Fun puns like “Oh kale yeah!” and “I’m all that and dim sum” are printed across super yummy fabrics that gourmands will want to live in.
Joy Bitonio has the phrase “Joie de Vivre” tattooed on her shoulder, a reminder to enjoy life every single day. She has a voracious appetite for fun, adventure, food, good cocktails and works out like a madwoman to keep it all together. Check out what else she recommends around Los Angeles in the links below.