Kalamazoo is tiny haven for makers in Southwest Michigan, with an array of community studios, warehouses and makerspaces that let you DIY your way around town.
Whether you make it yourself or treat your friends and family to a creative experience, it’s super easy to give a one-of-a-kind made in Kalamazoo gift for the holidays! Read on to learn more about some of our go-to local businesses to put on your list this season.
Featured photo above is by Davide Marshall.
The Aroma Labs offers a unique, interactive experience creating your own personal fragrance. Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, corporate events, holiday events, fundraisers…we will completely customize your event for you!
The Aroma Labs is a concept created by entrepreneur Tanya Thompson inspired by her personal experience and passion for fragrance and mixology. Her experience as a bartender for 15 years leading up to founding The Aroma Labs prepared her for helping people have a great time through a personable atmosphere.
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.
The Kalamazoo Candle Company Marketplace offers walk-in DIY candle making, as well as DIY candle kits that you can purchase on their website here. For walk-in candle making, your $15 studio fee ($10 for ages 5-12) includes all materials plus help from their candle making experts. Choose from dozens of fragrances and a variety of vessels!
For the kiddos in your life, consider trying their sand candle making – a fun, fast, and family friendly activity. Layer your choice of colors and fragrances to create a beautiful and functional scented candle. Just add a lid and you’re ready to go.
If you are looking to flex your creative muscle from the safety of your home while supporting your favorite local glass art organization, Glass Art Kalamazoo has your back! You can design in their Virtual Glass Making classes! You’ll create your very own glass bowl and their artists will bring your vision to life!
These classes are designed to provide a hands-off glass art experience. Choose between blown glass bowls, beer mugs, vases, ornaments and more! To see a list and purchase a class go here. You can also choose to purchase gift certificates for your recipients to choose their own virtual class.
Colors and Cocktails is a a DIY art studio experience in downtown Kalamazoo. Visitors to the studio can paint on canvas, wine glasses, vases, coffee mugs and more. No prior painting or art experience is necessary! We teach step-by-step instructional painting so you and your guests can relax and have fun!
Colors & Cocktails provides: easels if painting on canvas, canvases or glassware, paints, paint pens, sponge tools, palettes, paper towels, water cups, brushes, aprons, & table coverings. For those that don’t feel safe to create in person yet, Colors and Cocktails offers gift cards as well!
The Mason Jar Plant Shop is a brand new store located downtown Kalamazoo! They are an independent plant shop offering house plants, a DIY terrarium bar, and a fabulous selection of curated gifts and decor.
If you need a bit more direction or want to have an event experience, they offer various educational and hands-on workshops! Some of the most recent events include a Kokedama workshop, the Japanese art of creating potless plants, and a mounted staghorn fern workshop as well.
Sustainability, being Earth-friendly and leaving things better than how you found them, are the heart and soul of Bee Joyful, Michigan’s first Zero Waste shop.
In fact, that last quote is written in big bold and cursive letters by the front door. Bee Joyful is located on the Kalamazoo Mall and features plastic free alternatives and eco friendly products like beeswax wraps, wool dryer balls, wooden baby rattles, metal bento lunch boxes, laundry detergent and so much more!
DIY enthusiasts can choose to attend one of many different workshops ranging from creating sugar and lip scrub, organic lip balm, and even a reusable beeswax wrap class. Additionally, if a workshop setting isn’t your thing, the shop also has a face mask bar where you can choose your ingredients based on your individual needs!