This year hasn’t been easy, but finding a gift for the people you love from the city you love is!
Kalamazoo’s artist and maker community make shopping local this holiday season a no-brainer. Read on for a list of some of Kalamazoo’s standout locally made products and how you can easily connect with their makers to find something for that special person on your list this year.
Note that shopping in Kalamazoo is a little different at the moment. Most shops are open. Some are offering in-person visitation, with safety guidelines in place. Other stores may still solely offer curbside pickup or delivery. And most have online stores. Your best bet: Look on their websites or social pages for updates.
Tiny Giant Farm is a small, half-acre organic vegetable farm in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They grow high quality Certified Naturally Grown vegetables and seasonal salads that you can pre-order for pickup or find at the local Kalamazoo Farmers Market.
Julia Whitney Brown is one half of Tiny Giant Farm’s business, but she spends most of her time as a ceramic artist, as she feels passionate about the fact that veggies can’t go from the “Farm to the Table” without the plate!
Her work focuses on connections, relationships, and the natural world. You can also find her pottery alongside the vegetables at their Tiny Giant Farm booth at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market, or online here.
Owner, jewelry designer, and Kalamazoo native Amy Zane specializes in handcrafted jewelry made of highly unusual and often rare quality gemstones. What began as a gallery in downtown Kalamazoo has now evolved to a space where art and apparel intersect.
You can find the work of artists, makers, and small-batch designers at this local shop, which you can find on the Kalamazoo Mall.
Some of our favorite ideas for holiday gifts are anything that is Kalamazoo-themed, like the Kalamazoo pennant merch above by Little Lumber Jack Design Studio. And for a year like 2020, who couldn’t use a handmade felted teddy bear to hold on to?
Mike Klok is an artist, designer, and screen printer living in Kalamazoo. Fueled by his love of cartoons, pop culture, punk rock, and skateboarding, Mike has combined these with a gritty Do it Yourself attitude, and has built Stuffed Brain into a bold, illustrative, and risk-taking branding and graphics studio.
Some of our favorite prints of his pay homage to Kalamazoo or the great state of Michigan! The Checker Cab print would make the perfect gift for that die-hard Kalamazooian in your life this holiday season. You can purchase that here.
Don’t forget to grab our Kalamazoo: Made For You T-shirt, designed by Mike and available for purchase at The Spirit of Kalamazoo!
The term reverie refers to a daydream or the condition of being lost in thought; Emily Carra, the artist behind Emily Carra Studios, says that her work emerges from this idea. She shares her most recent work on her Instagram profile.
She uses a muted palette to create beautiful abstract landscapes. If you’re local, you might recognize her signature style from seeing it around town. A few recent projects include a painted mural inside Rose Gold Coffee, and also some fun illustrations at Bee Joyful Shop.
After moving to Michigan from Portland, Oregon the husband and wife team behind Damn Handsome had a thirst for craft beer that was – well – unquenchable. Fortunately they had one of the best craft beer cities right in their back yard.
After getting to know many of the brewers in the craft beer community – the more Jarrett and Bridget learned about the craft brewing process – the more they realized how many healthy ingredients went to waste.
You can find everything from beard oil and hand soap to candles and apparel. Our favorite Damn Handsome gift ideas come from their carefully curated Holiday Gift Guide, of course. The cheeky holiday-themed labels are enough to make us click “add to cart” on every product on the page!
Nicole Shamus is the owner of Shamus Handmade, an online shop that sells handmade polymer clay earrings. Shamus opened her shop in March 2019. You can browse and purchase her earrings here.
Some of her most recent and popular styles include the ones in her Stained Glass Collections. The latest pairs, included in her Stained Glass Collection II, boast some seriously gorgeous color combos that are perfect for the winter season, as well as gifts for the holidays!
Kalamazoo Candle Company handcrafts candles in the heart of Kalamazoo with 100% natural soy wax, paper-core cotton wicks, and ZERO added dyes, so they’re about as natural as it gets. Each candle burns cleanly and evenly, releasing fragrance throughout the entire burn.
The 6oz tins last 35-50 hours and the 10oz glass jars 60-80 hours. With a mind towards sustainability, all of the containers can be easily repurposed or recycled.
Marketplace by Kalamazoo Candle Company in Downtown Kalamazoo offers more than just candles. There are a wide variety of items that are a lot like the candles they make: high in quality, made as naturally as possible, and with a mindset on sustainability. Bath & body products, home decor, gifts and more, Marketplace is your one-stop shop for gift giving or for treats for yourself!
Michael Beyene is the owner of Kalamagonia. He graduated from Michigan State University’s Game Design and Development program and is currently teaching 3D Art at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
When it came to starting Kalamagonia, he took his love of design, branding and Kalamazoo to create designs that are fun to wear and celebrate Kzoo! He aims to dress those who love our city and wants to let the world know, there really is a Kalamazoo.
You can find Kalamagonia apparel at various spots around town such as the Market on Michigan Avenue, Factory Coffee and RIO in Kalamazoo, Centre Street Spa and Wellness in Portage, and of course, on his website.