Some of My Favorite Things

The season is upon us, and whether it came with great anticipation, or it snuck up on you without much notice, there’s no denying that Christmas is just around the corner. And while many will head off to big box stores to grab up TV’s, tablets, and the like, there’s something you won’t find there. Unique artisan quality gifts, as special as the person you’re shopping for. Here are some of my favorite things to give, and get this Christmas season:
Lampe Berger
Lampe Berger Air Purifiers offer something a candle or diffuser never could. They not only fragrance the air, they also clean it. Invented by Maurice Berger in Paris, 1898, these amazing little lamps were originally created to clean the air in hospitals, preventing the uncontrolled spread of airborne illness.
With the ability to remove bad odors from the air, and the addition of fragrance, soon the Lampe Berger lamps were a collectable luxury item. Famous Designers from the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, including Coco Chanel and Pablo Piscasso, all designed lamps.
The company, still based out of Paris, continues to reinvent itself, with a wide variety of lamps and fragrances. Starter sets begin at just $30, and lamps exist in every price range.
Houston Llew Spritiles
Houston Llew's Spiritile collectibles are created with molten glass on copper. Designed for free-standing or wall display, enhanced with words of wisdom from around the world, these unique works make wonderful gifts to honor special moments.
Each Spiritile design wraps around all sides of the panel, offering a different glimpse from any direction. Terrific on their own, even better in multiples, these durable works can easily tolerate direct sun, humidity or even outdoor conditions.
Display on a wall, or stand them on a mantelpiece or table--they are certain to spark a conversation.
Maruca Design
Based out of Boulder, CO, Maruca creates American made handbags and accessories. They work with small runs using cottage industry to create a unique, well made product. All fabric designs are created in house and milled in the USA. They use local seamstress to assemble each bag with care.
Limited seasonal collections make their bags not only durable and functional, but also collectable and unique. New color palettes are introduced twice a year, and are available in everything from small coin purses to large totes.
Sunleaf Naturals
Created in Waconia, MN, Sunleaf Naturals is the eco-friendly brainchild of Teresa Andrys. As a former scent designer, Teresa started her company to offer a healthier alternative. They create all-natural plant based shampoo and body bars, body oils, body balms, reed diffusers and beeswax candles. None of her products contain chemicals, preservatives, or GMOs. With her own signature scent combinations, such as Amyris Bergamot, Orange Ginger, and Juniper Sandalwood, the Sunleaf Naturals line of products continues to collect new fans.
With the recent release of the holiday scent, Bayberry Balsam, available in reed diffuser, winter soap with comfrey, and a bayberry and beeswax candle, Sunleaf naturals continues to expand on a successful environmentally conscious and affordable (starting at $6.95) line.
Wilderness Woods
Wilderness Woods, from Northern Illinois, offer beautiful products made with American hardwoods. They have a large collection of wooden jewelry, music, and decorative boxes, including a variety of wood boxed pocket and hunting knives, boxed pens and cribbage boards. They are very reasonable starting at just $7.50.
These five collections are atop my gift list this year, and are sure to wow anyone who receives them. Other collections that would make the cut include Polonaise ornaments, Native American Sterling Silver Jewelry (starting under $15), KC Pottery mugs(under $30), and Glass Eye Studio paperweights ($45+).
So, whether you’re shopping here at Koerten’s, or at any of the great independent shops in the area, you’ll surely find options you’d never thought possible.