Photos: Courtesy the makers and shops / Seattle Met Composite Image.
Keep the Arts Afloat
This year and next, many arts organizations will struggle to stay afloat. Find out what your giftee’s favorite spot to see or hear art in the city is, or what artists are important to them. Northwest African American Museum? Beacon Hill’s Clock-Out Lounge? Wherever it is, support their pick however it makes sense—maybe a T-shirt or an album, maybe digital season tickets, maybe donate to a venue or an artist GoFundMe. —Stefan Milne, Arts Editor
Ballard-based Baleen’s offbeat double disc design (open on top of the finger between two gold-plated brass circles) makes this a striking but clearly-not-proposing way to gift a ring.
Tariqa Waters, the artist behind alternative Pioneer Square gallery Martyr Sauce, explores “the meaning and the power of the word NO” with this Seattle Art Museum tote. What better way to end 2020 than with a resounding objection?
This size-inclusive, sustainable, Seattle-based athleisure moves as effortlessly from public to home life as we’ve all had to in 2020. Sign up for email alerts if you want to snag a limited edition colorway, or pick classic black for a universally coveted gift. —Zoe Sayler, Digital Editor
In my most glorious of holiday dreams, someone would turn me loose for a shopping spree at Book Larder in Fremont, where the shelves harbor everything from food-centric memoirs to volumes dedicated to layer cakes or boba or recipes of Xi’an. Right now visitors shop by appointment; it’s unlikely I would leave without a copy of Hot Cheese, a newly released tribute to the sort of melty foods that got me through this crazy year. (Author Polina Chesnakova also happens to work at the shop.) —Allecia Vermillion, Editor in Chief
Cameron Bishop, the typically Brooklyn-based artist behind handmade ceramics studio Beau Rush, is closing in on year three of an extended trip to Seattle. Lucky for us, that means her colorful funfetti tumbler and other playful, sophisticated goods are bona fide locals.
Glasswing specializes in voguish classics. Ebbets Field Flannels specializes in replica vintage sportswear. Combine the two and you’ve got a wool hat that walks the line between fashion and game day, making it a solid bet for a wide range of giftees.
Lib Tech has always brought a skater boi vibe to the unisex skis they make in their Olympic Peninsula factory, but this year they finally launched a women’s-specific line, the LibStick. These playful all-mountain skis have the company’s signature Magne-Traction serrated sides; they help the edges grip the snow, kind of like a steak knife. The name may be a bit girly (catch the lipstick pun?), but cheers to a women’s ski with nary a splash of sparkles or pink. —Allison Williams, Deputy Editor
Seattle-based conceptual artist Natasha Marin’s Black Imagination project has manifested as playlists, exhibitions, actual bottles of Black Joy, and recently this book from McSweeney’s. Marin mixes poems with Black creators’ responses to three prompts: “What is your origin story? How do you heal yourself? Imagine a world where you are loved, safe, and valued.”—SM
Compact and sleek enough to be a teen’s first foray into carrying a learner’s permit and all those holiday gift cards, this unique half-zip bifold is handmade in Portland from high-quality leather that’ll also impress the fashionable adults on your list. Ballard boutique Prism carries the silhouette in electric green and black.
Choose a category, from instant oddity collection (think strange bones and alligator claws) to totally random (the goth-niece-approved choice), and a price-based size, and let the folks behind the counter do the rest. It feels appropriate, in Ballyhoo’s curious Ballard basement, to leave your gift-giving to fate.
These soda fired interlocking spice cellars from West Seattle–based potter Damian Grava are as versatile as they are sturdy. Available in one, two, or three tiers. Essentially it’s art that you keep on your kitchen counter (and fill with artisanal salts). —Jane Sherman, Art Director
Since working from home, I’ve developed a serious relationship with the Camp Cup from Fremont-based Miir; it’s shaped like a classic mug, but keeps contents warm for hours. Even better when it sports art by Kyler Martz, another point of local pride. This special “Alone Together” release initially donated $5 from every sale to Feeding America’s Covid-19 response fund. —AV
Gender-neutral, Seattle-founded intimates brand TomboyX is here with the underwear gift no one will have to pretend to like. Grab three or more basics—soft, brightly colored cotton bras, rainbow boy shorts, boxer briefs (with or without fly)—for 15 percent off.
Marcus Lalario’s streetwear venture went online-only earlier in 2020, but continues to sling bad-mood merch with a positive message: “Unfuck the world,” now more than ever. This is what gifting in the time of widespread seasonal depression looks like.
Salt Blade makes its charcuterie in north Seattle, entirely from meat raised on a small-scale Washington farm; I often gift these to various food-obsessed nonvegetarians in my life. Founder Bob Blade has a background in software, an excellent surname, and a knack for really memorable flavors like the galangal and ginger-laced Urutan, and a porcini and sage salami that tastes like Marsala wine. —AV
Tiny heads, your time has come. This year Ballard-based Coal Headwear reworked its classic uniform beanie into a low-profile version. Ideal for pulling off the trendy fisherman-esque snug fit rather than a more slouchy style. —AW
This sweet gift set from Anacortes-based Bunnies by the Bay comes with a fluffy stuffed bunny, sheep, rooster, or little blue octopus, plus a bedtime board book that details the creature’s adventures. Inspired by stories the founders' grandma told about the bunnies in her garden, it's steeped in imagination fodder for the toddler crowd.
These charming muted prints by local artist Michael Doyle would be equally at home in an impeccably designed living room as in a child’s nursery. —Nate Bullis, Deputy Art Director
Seattle company Feathered Friends throws down some serious warmth, and this down throw’s manageable size makes it versatile and packable, equally at home on a camping trip as on a barstool. Subdued PNW tones like shadow and rainforest are, naturally, available, but the long winter ahead calls for bright colors like anjou and marigold.
Health wearables are no longer just for step-counters and marathoners. Along with sleep activity, heart rate, and, yes, step counts, this new wrist wrap from a Redmond-based startup tracks your blood oxygenation and body temperature levels, making it the perfect outlet for your pandemic paranoia. —Benjamin Cassidy, Associate Editor
We’re spending our entire winter on frigid bar patios, so, yes, we’re including two blankets in this gift guide. Seattle-based Throw and Co. works with designers to create dozens of woven cotton blankets. You can’t go wrong, but this pick from Seattle artist Stevie Shao supports local two ways.
PR professional and fashion blogger Sydney Mintle got her daughter in on curating Boma's kids’ gift guide this year. These earrings, made from recycled sterling silver, are among London’s picks.
What self-respecting Seattleite would forget to get a gift for their furry companion? Downtown Dog Lounge Bakery (located in Fremont) bakes treats adorable enough to be fun for people: sprinkle-topped carob donuts, shepherd’s pup pies, pumpkin and oat frosted cookies emblazoned with a sweet message (or, simply, “Bitch.”)
As if the adorable pink jar weren’t enough of a selling point, each purchase of this cult-favorite Seattle beauty brand’s facial sends $1 to the Trevor Project, an organization focused on suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth. —ZS
Oh, hey, it’s us! Local landmarks transform at artist Rudy Willingham’s hand: the Space Needle becomes a UFO, the Elephant Car Wash sign becomes a plea to soap up. We collaborated with Willingham on the only souvenir we want to emerge from the pandemic with—remind passersby to wash their hands and wear their masks while repping your favorite city (and your favorite city magazine).
Inspired by DJ Tanner’s uber-’90s bed sheets, this four-pack of barrettes from Georgetown-based indie designer Tiffany Ju is an on-trend throwback dream, perfect as a standalone gift or peeking out the top of a stocking.
Everyone and their mother will be gifting Kraken garb this winter. Why not stand out with an homage to Seattle’s original hockey squad? Fashioned with 16-gauge worsted wool, Ebbets Field Flannels knits this vintage reproduction in its Seattle workshop. The process can take up to 12 weeks, so buyer beware: It might not arrive by the holidays. But that still leaves plenty of time before the puck drops next year. —BC
Its headquarters outside Yakima may be far from the sea, but Liberty Bottleworks enlisted artist Brianna Reagan to evoke the best of the Pacific in the company’s artist-designed line of water bottles. The 20-ounce double-walled stainless steel version is made from sustainable materials and insulates hot or cold drinks. —AW
Vegans are accustomed to being spurned during the holidays (so much milk chocolate, so little time). Show them you didn’t forget! This gift box is packed with seven bars of plant-based dark chocolate, with flavors like orange blossom espresso that feel far from an afterthought.
For the friend who still hasn’t perfected the art of the home haircut. Originally founded in Capitol Hill in 1993, this local barbershop chain is now conveniently located throughout the city (and outside it, too), from Ballard to Columbia City to Bellevue.
Customize these three-inch statement hoops from Tacoma-based OHME Shop with your boldest giftee’s name or favorite catchphrase, or pick among premade options, which include “Smash the Patriarchy” and, yes, “Your Name Here.” Note: Custom hoops take up to four weeks to ship. —ZS