Rolling with Stone
Welcome to our local artisan holiday gift guide issue! As you begin thinking about the people on your Christmas list, I want you to remember all of the great artists and crafters we have right here in Haywood County.
Obviously there are too many to feature or even list in The Guide, but I put a call out on Facebook and these people are the ones who responded and sent me information on the things they make.
Many of these crafters use their spare time to pursue their hobbies or passion. This holiday season, let’s support locally-made products instead of buying cookie-cutter, cliché gifts made in who knows where. Plus, homemade gifts are just better — they have a special story and chances are, they will last much longer than a fruitcake.
The local artisans featured this week make a wide variety of items that would make perfect gifts — pottery, soaps, picture frames, jewelry, home décor, instruments, artwork, beauty products, scarves, flip-flops, lamps, ornaments and more. And if you explore the local shops in Waynesville, Maggie Valley, Canton and Clyde, I bet you will find a local gift for everyone on your list.
Wherever I am living at Christmas time, I try to buy gifts for my family that gives them a piece of where I am. I couldn’t ask for a better location than where I am now! The choices are endless. Food items are always a hit in my family and I love putting together baskets full of things my family members love.
A coffee mug from a local potter with delicious coffee beans from Panacea for my mom, locally-written children’s books at Blue Ridge Books for my nephew, a growler from Frog Level Brewing and locally made salsa for my dad, guitar strings and picks from Strains of Music for my husband and art supplies from Mountain Home Collection for my sister.
Don’t forget local artists — our local galleries are full of locally made artwork or support local musicians by purchasing their music to share with others.
I hope this holiday gift guide gives you some new ideas for thoughtful presents this year. Whatever you give, try to keep it local. Supporting our local artisans helps to support our local economy and keep that money in our community instead of sending it to a large corporation elsewhere.
Be sure to check back with me for the Nov. 27 Guide when we will be featuring more local businesses to support “Shop Local Saturday” instead of the hyped “Black Friday.” If you are a local Haywood business, email me one item you have that you believe would make a unique holiday gift that no one else has in town. I’d love to highlight those gifts in The Guide!
In this week’s Guide
Besides the local gift guide, we also have some great features this week. I had the pleasure of interviewing Judy Sipes, who recently released her book, “My Home Sweet Kentucky Home.” The book contains fascinating stories about her small-town upbringing in Kentucky as well as her musical journey that still continues in Haywood County. Judy plays a number of instruments, including the fiddle, piano, dulcimer and Autoharp. Her musical background runs deep in her family and encoded in her DNA.
Another Judy in this week’s Guide is local artist Judy Rentner. Margaret Roberts featured Judy in her new column Artists in Our Town. Her work can be seen at Twigs and Leaves on Main Street or in the Asheville Art Gallery.
Lastly, if you haven’t bought raffle tickets for Wheels Through Time Museum’s annual motorcycle giveaway, do it now! Talk about the perfect Christmas gift, how about a restored '39 Knucklehead Bobber? The winner will be chosen about 3 p.m. Nov. 16 at Wheels Through Time.