For another handmade option, try fair trade. The designation means workers, generally abroad, are paid a living wage for their products.
You can find fair trade products, such as jewelry and home decor, in Lawrence at Ten Thousand Villages, 835 Massachusetts St., Kreyten Fair Trade Gifts and Coffee, 2116 W. 25th St., and The Merc, 901 Iowa St.
It’s Christmas crunch time. There are about two weeks to go, and for many people they’ll be filled with parties, baking, cooking or visiting friends and family.
If you didn’t get around to making all the gifts you wanted this year, you can still give handmade gifts — just not made by you.
Researching for this story, which involved wandering Mass. Street on an unseasonably balmy afternoon (I know, my job is so hard), yielded way more options than I anticipated. And admittedly, I didn’t talk to every store in the city. But if you can spare a few hours to come downtown, there is a high concentration of stores offering locally handmade goods.
Here is a snapshot of some of the many options.
- Made, 737 Massachusetts St.: Whatever you buy there will be handmade, and many of the products are from Lawrence and Kansas producers. You can find something for anyone on your list, but notable options for men are Boulevard beer soap, Harry Potter book clocks, Nut Nation nuts and Loveland Acres popcorn.
- The Etc. Shop, 928 Massachusetts St.: Inlaid wooden boxes could hold loose change or other odds and ends.
- U.R.U., 1113 Massachusetts St.: The store’s initials stand for “Up-cycled, Re-purposed, Up-styled.” It stocks a smorgasbord of new and vintage items, home decor and accessories. Locally made items include soy candles, shampoo and conditioner, lotion and body spray. Owner Sharmain Saldana says they will be offering gift baskets, too.
- Prairie Pond Studio, 11 W. Ninth St.: Unique fabric scarves made by a Kansas University graduate, felted and crocheted hats, purses and jewelry.
- Stitch On Needlework Shop, 926 Massachusetts St.: The store doesn’t just carry fabrics and sewing supplies — it also has a variety of gifts, with many locally made options including ceramic dishes and ornaments, coasters and rag rugs.
- Van Go Adornment Sale, 715 New Jersey St.: Adorn your home with gifts made by local youths in the Jobs in the Arts Make Sense (JAMS) program. Items include magnets, plates, signs, wine stoppers and more. The sale will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day until Dec. 23.
- Blue Dandelion, 841 Massachusetts St.: Options abound, from appliquéd shirts and onesies to dapper vests for baby boys to tutus and matching headbands for girls.
- Doodlebugs, 816 Massachusetts St.: In addition to used children’s goods, Doodlebugs also carries handmade accessories.
- Miss Fortune’s Creation Station, 726 Massachusetts St.: The jewelry made by owner Jennifer Fortune is a bit out of the ordinary. Some incorporates bullet casings and small animal bones; she also uses leather, much of which I’m told is from local deer.
- If working with precious metals and stones is out of your wheelhouse, leave it to the experts. Kizer Cummings Jewelers, 833 Massachusetts St.; Marks Jewelers, 817 Massachusetts St.; and Goldmakers, 723 Massachusetts St., all create custom jewelry in-house.
- Jewelry by Julie, 19 W. Ninth St., features sterling silver and gemstones.
There are plenty of places to buy local art, from the many galleries to the many coffee shops downtown. Even skate shop White Chocolate, 933 Massachusetts St., displays and sells some. For a wide selection, visit 1109 Gallery, 1109 Massachusetts.
- Wonder Fair, 803 1/2 Massachusetts St. (above The Burger Stand), is hosting a Holiday Market. As the sign says, “Gifts ahoy!”
- Phoenix Gallery, 825 Massachusetts St., boasts 200 local, national and regional artists.
Several outlets sell homemade dog biscuits and pet accessories. Refresh your memory by reviewing our Go! story earlier this year. Lucky Paws Bakery and Unique Barktique has since moved to 4 E. Seventh St.
- If nothing on the list has caught your eye so far, maybe you need to peruse The Sacred Journey, 1103 Massachusetts St. You’ll find hula hoops, meditation pillows, tie-dye T-shirts and acrylic pens.
- You could also check out Third Planet, 846 Massachusetts St., for dreamcatchers and glass pendants.