At this point, we all know why we should shop local. Keep the money here in our community, help small business owners compete against big-box behemoths, get better and more personalized service from store owners who can actually take the time to remember your name, etc. But the best reason of all to shop local is this: here in Macon, we just have cooler stuff. With several quirky little retail showcases helping local artists and artisans get their name – and their wares – out on the street, there’s rarely an excuse to resort to a generic gift when you can give something that’s been created intentionally and meaningfully. So keep it local. Support our artists. Be excellent to each other – and happy holidays, dudes.
On Tuesday, November 26 from 5-7 pm, the Bakers Collective at the Mill Hill Community Arts Center will be having a Christmas pre-order/Thanksgiving pickup event– there will also be some items for sale. Holiday treats to look out for include Oh Honey Baking Co.’s assorted Italian macaron boxes, which are adorable, unbelievably delicious, and make great stocking stuffers– if you don’t eat ‘em first. Oh Honey will also offer gluten-free and vegan cake options for those trying to accommodate family members with food sensitivities.
Erin Hawkins, also known as Mama Hawk Draws, will be one of 7th Street Salvage’s vendors at a new location on 2nd Street downtown, and she has adorable ornaments available this holiday season– 3” acrylic ornaments hand-painted on one side in a variety of colors to match any personality and hand-lettered on the other, or 4” wooden Georgia-shaped ornaments hand-lettered with “Macon” or “Home Sweet Home.” Both ornaments are completely customizable with the text of your choice– just message Erin via her Facebook or Instagram accounts, @mamahawkdraws, for more info.
Macon’s own Good Boy Goodies will also be available at the new 7th Street Salvage location, as well as at Travis Jean and various local markets. These all-natural, healthy dog treats, which come in flavors like Perfect Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Delight, are the go-to gift for every pampered pup’s Christmas stocking, and for every doting dog owner who delights in treating their four-legged family members.
Supporting local artists by buying their work and sharing it with loved ones as a holiday gift is an action that truly spreads joy in all directions, and I can’t recommend it more. Stop by Gallery West downtown to check out gifts for the music lovers in your family– Kirk West has spent a lifetime capturing amazing talent on film, and his vision is amazing. Prints are available in multiple sizes and feature artists like Gregg Allman, Tom Petty, B.B. King, Merle Haggard, and so, so many more.
You may have seen work by talented photographer Dsto Moore pop up in your social media feed– the Macon-based artist has been hustling hard this past year, capturing a diverse snapshot of local musicians in his Macon Music Project, and now he’s working on Macon Hidden Gems, a series of photos highlighting lesser-known local folks doing cool, important, or otherwise interesting things in our always-fascinating city. Check out Dsto’s work and hit him up on Facebook to purchase a print or schedule a photoshoot with Lovely Portraits, the photo studio owned by Dsto and his wife.
For local folks on your list who are more interested in reducing their carbon footprint than they are in grabbing the latest gadget, give the greenest gift of all– composting service from Secondhand Soil. Serving Bibb County and within Forsyth city limits, this service aims to make composting a less intimidating process– they drop off a bin, you pre-arrange a pickup either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, they pick it up, then deliver nutrient-rich soil back to you at home for gardening use – or if you’d prefer, they’ll donate your share to a nearby farm to support local agriculture. It’s a wonderful service that, as the website states, wants to help you “turn your good intentions into actions.”
Don’t forget Macon’s Mulberry Market, a producer-only farmer’s market held every Wednesday in Tattnall Square Park from 3:30-6 pm, when you’re making your shopping list. While picking up fresh, organic produce, dairy products, and meats to create stunning holiday meals, you can also stock up on goat’s milk soaps and other sumptuous body products from Bone Creek Farms. “Her lip balms are– for real– in every room of my house,” says Mulberry Market manager Lacey Resch– so be sure to treat yourself to a little something, too.
Also available at Mulberry Market– gorgeous hand-turned bowls made from a variety of different woods from Porter’s Place that are perfect for beautifying any countertop, adorable repurposed earrings and other jewelry from Mandyland Fun, and handmade BBQ rubs using Georgia Grown pecans from Chris McDaniel aka The Savvy Smoker, available in flavors like Sweet P Pecan Rub, Sweet Heat, and Garlicky– these are the perfect stocking stuffers for the BBQ aficionado in your life, and, as a bonus, if you give ‘em to, say, your husband, you’ll get to share in the tasty end result, so it’s a win-win.
No local gift guide would be complete without Travis Jean Emporium– this Cherry Street staple features Downtown Macon’s largest selection of Georgia-made goods. Stop by and let charming owner Scott Mitchell help you select the perfect gift for everyone on your list– there are Christmas ornaments handmade by a variety of local artisans, Earth-friendly refreshment in the form of teas from Biron Herbal Teas, handcrafted jewelry made from the heart by Covered. by Colby, an extensive collection of paintings and other artwork made by local artists, cool reclaimed guitar string bracelets from Wear Your Music, and so, so much more– do yourself a favor and stop in to browse.
On December 14, look out for the Christmas Georgia Grown Showcase at the Shoppes at River Crossing. This event will run from 10am-4pm in the parking lot of Barnes & Noble under the big tent, rain or shine– it’s an all-enclosed and heated space. Over 30 Georgia Grown vendors will be on-site with their products available for sampling and purchasing, and 100% of the money spent at this event will go to support Georgia’s economy.