Gift Hunting: Buying Local

Think the concept of “buying local” is limited to produce, meats and dairy products?
Think again.

You don’t have to go beyond the borders of Central Pennsylvania to find great merchandise for every person on your gift list.  Whether you’re seeking baubles or nibbles, furnishings or finery, you’ll never have to go far to get exceptional deals on unique, fun, tasteful and elegant novelties.
Not interested in traveling from your home or office?  You’re in luck.  Many neighborhood artisans, craftspeople and entrepreneurs have set up online stores.  It’s never been more convenient to support your community without compromising on quality or diversity.
Check out some of the incredible finds available to you this year.

Wearable Art

Jewelry pieces are hot ticket items for holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. Having a variety of selections is essential; after all, every person has his or her preferred wearable art leanings.  These jewelers offer possibilities that run the gamut from delicate to bold, ensuring that you’ll be able to match your recipient with eye-catching earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more.

Helder Designs, Carlisle

Helder’s mixed-metal creations have an earthy, natural feel.  She utilizes techniques, such as hammering to foster interesting textures in her works, and often incorporates blue-green Amazonite gemstones into the pieces. In addition to selling her jewelry online, her works can be purchased at The Greatest Gift, Carlisle, and Perry County Council of the Arts, Newport.

Griffins Nest Jewelry, Central Pa. Etsy Store (same name)

Sandy Martinez has a passion for bringing semi-precious and precious gemstones together with metals in clever ways. Each piece of jewelry is handmade, with the stones always taking center stage.  Be prepared to spend a little time at her online shop; Martinez has amassed quite the collection of options!

Meeka Fine Jewelry, Camp Hill

Although Meeka Fine Jewelry is owned by artisan Monika Krol, her brick-and-mortar location is a celebration of jewelry created by multiple artisans hailing from nearby communities. This variety is ideal for shoppers who want to mix and match looks or aren’t quite sure what they need. Additionally, Meeka is open to making custom jewelry items.

Body Beautiful

Pampering is always en vogue! For special celebrations, why not purchase from these vendors, each of whom provides something to add a little luxury to everyday life?

Lyes and Lathers, Mechanicsburg

Reaching back in time, Lyes and Lathers has taken the art of soap-making to higher levels for modern consumers. Each bar of soap is captivating in its simplicity: orange/clove/frankincense, lavender/sage, eucalyptus/cedar/thyme and many more choices. Lyes and Lathers also dabbles in other skin-care products, such as scrubs, salves and balms.

Stash, Harrisburg

Vintage is hot, and Stash has a collection of vintage clothing to tempt anyone’s taste. Want to relive the 1970s?  Feel fresh in a 1950s frock? Bring back the 1980s? You can do it with a trip to this quirky, fun store on Walnut Street in Harrisburg. No time to make it downtown? Buy anything online, but hurry! These are one-of-a-kind offerings due to the vintage nature of the store.

Tasty Treasures

It’s virtually impossible to resist the pull of a homemade treat.  From savory to sweet, the East and West shores around the capital are bustling with tasty options and yummy flavors.

Brittle Bark, Mechanicsburg

One look at this company’s name, and you know that they’re in the confections marketplace. Their menu of irresistible, gourmet selections includes truffles, chocolate-covered licorices, peppermint bark, lollies and even “chocolate pizza” slices. You’ll be able to fill up your holiday gift baskets in a hurry by buying Brittle Bark items from their store or online.

Derry Church Bakery, Camp Hill

Tucked away in a strip mall, Derry Church Bakery features rustic French baked goods, such as breads, pastries and European-style desserts. Their motto is to use organic, genuine ingredients, including whole cream, farm fresh eggs, unbleached pastry flour and pure cane sugar.  If you are looking for a last-minute gift item to be enjoyed soon, it’s worth a visit to this old-world-committed bakery.

Nifty Notables

Sometimes, you just want to find an eclectic something for a loved one on your gift list. Luckily, you have tons of choices in the region.  Below are just a few of the many branching out from the waters of the Susquehanna River.

The Garden Gallery, Carlisle  –

If you’re in the mood to do some serious shopping, take a trip to this Carlisle mainstay. The Garden Gallery is filled with work from talented artisans working in mediums such as blown glass, fabrics, metals, ceramics and paints. A visit to this gallery will open your mind to incredible gift-giving possibilities.

Tickle My Senses Gallery, New Cumberland

Your senses will indeed be tickled when you walk into this gallery along Bridge Street.  The focus of merchandise is on unusual collections made from materials like wood, glass and metal. In addition, Tickle My Senses entices buyers to browse paintings and photography. Local crafts are always available, as are made-in-the-USA items.

The Village Artisans Gallery, Boiling Springs

Walking into The Village Artisans Gallery, your senses might be initially overwhelmed by the treasury of gift possibilities. With a distinctive nod to Pennsylvania’s talented artisans, the curators of this store have amassed products made from textiles to wrought iron. It’s definitely worth a trip to Boiling Springs to check out this phenomenal variety of merchandise.

Lovely Libations

Midstate breweries are a big deal, and they make it simple to buy something for beverage aficionados.

Yuengling Brewery, Pottsville

Yuengling offers tours of this site of the oldest brewery in America, as well as the chance to taste test some of this brand’s favorites.
Tröegs Independent Brewing, Hershey
Since 1997, Tröegs has been growing by leaps and bounds. Enjoy your visit and get some insights into how their craft brews are developed.

Aldus Brewing Company, Hanover

Visit Aldus Brewing Co.’s brewpub for some on-tap libations like American Blonde Ale, Arrow Matic Amber IPA or Wee Dame. Big plus: It’s nearby the Snyder’s Pretzel Factory. What goes better with microbrews than freshly made pretzels?