Why does it always feel like the holidays sneak up on us? If you’re a procrastinator like me, then never fear! Austin has no shortage of wonderful and unique gifts sure to make your loved ones happy. Shop small; shop local; and support Austin makers!
Disclosure: Most of these recommendations are things I found, purchased, or would purchase. However, a couple of these companies have extended me a complimentary taste or sample of their goods. All opinions and recommendations are my own.
1/ Watercolor ATX
I first discovered artist Anna Muniz on Instagram, and loved her Austin-centric watercolor paintings and prints. She lovingly paints watercolors of Austin businesses, and has expanded to include a coffee map of Austin, an A-to-Z poster of iconic Austin locales, and a map of several women-owned businesses. Check out her mini-series on the 12 dogs of Christmas and on local women entrepreneurs.
2/ Olivia Rains Art
Another Instagram find, Olivia Rains puts her unique spin on anatomical art with personality and a sense of whimsy. She paints with a technical eye, but puts serious thought into the fun side of art, as well.
3/ Heather Harris Art
Heather Harris is a photographer who edits her photo creations and extends the scene through the frames she creates, by welding and/or etching the metal.
She explained, “When people view my art for the first time, they don’t always see the connection between the image and the frame. As they look at my work, I love that moment when their eyes light up, and I know that they understand. It is in that instant, when they are lost in their own private thoughts and emotions creating a memory, that I know we will share a connection forever. What better legacy is there for an artist?”
4/ Shock Factor Matter
Artist and writer Hank Jove makes one-of-a-kind stained glass jewelry, each item created with a specific intent. All are gorgeous conversation pieces. I love how wearing mine makes me feel powerful.
Jove explained, “The patterns I create become intentional and each cut shape represents an idea, maybe a threat, a fear, a blessing, or some element of a story that occurs naturally when assembling.”
5/ Haiku Press
Artist Libby makes statement jewelry from found or deconstructed elements. “Each piece is crafted from deconstructed and found elements and comes with a handwritten haiku, as a reminder to wear your poetry.”
6/ Electric Fish Jewelry
Defined as “couture art jewelry,” Electric Fish Jewelry is perfect for when you want to to add a little drama to your look. These eye-catching, dangly earrings are lots of fun.
7/ Ponytail Mafia
Girl gang gear has rarely been this fun. These powerful messages on colorful shirts remind us to embrace our feminine essence with dignity and strength.
8/ J. Muzacz Gear
This local artist and muralist has a line of cool, wearable designs. J. Muzacz’s new “Give” hoodie embodies Austin’s casual, easy-to-wear comfort, but with a nice dose of swagger.
Maybe you’ve seen his stained glass-style lowrider paintings or his big sea turtle mural at Lustre Pearl East. Now you can buy a J. Muzacz original to wear all winter.
9/ A Taste of Koko T-shirts
This donut t-shirt designed by one of Austin’s favorite food bloggers reminds us to take our food seriously, but our fashion with a sense of humor and fun.
10/ Bake Austin Classes and Kits
Pascal Simon hosts super creative and fun baking classes for kids and adults. In her classes, she teaches everything from French macarons to ghoulish Halloween cakes. Simon’s creativity is inspiring, and I am always delighted to see her students’ creations.
Bake Austin is also selling an adorable Unicorn Baking Kit right now, with recipes and tools to make unicorn cookies, pop-up pastries, and ravioli. It even has a secret code to use online, to unlock more recipes and creative ideas for the kit.
11/ Chef Vanessa Musi Classes
Since finding out she was hypoglycemic years ago, Chef Vanessa Musi learned to master healthy pastry making. Austin is lucky to have her and the world’s first healthy pastry-making school right here in Austin.
Musi’s signature courses include paleo, keto, or vegan baking classes, creating decadent desserts within the constraints of special dietary needs.
12/ From Maggie’s Farm Classes
Maggie Perkins’ recipes always make me drool. She often prepares her recipes at Texas Farmers’ Market (Mueller and other locations) and also offers classes. Her focus is on classic yet healthy fare using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
I personally fall into the category of “If you see me running, then you’d better run, too, because it means something scary is chasing me.” That makes me the exception and not the rule in Austin, so I found this item for you trail beasts.
For runners and others who want a hands-free workout or night out, the SPIbelt was built with active users in mind. Fanny packs are back, baby, and this one is designed to decrease bounce and stay close to the body. It’s much sleeker and cooler than your mama’s fanny pack.
14/ Silk Smartish
The perfect gift for the person who hates carrying a bunch of stuff, this all-in-one, locally-made phone case is practical and convenient. Silk Smartish offers cases that are slim, as well as versions that are more for those with the frequent dropsies. You know who you are.
15/ Ben Milam Whiskey
I’ve written about this whiskey before. But tasting it during a recent happy hour at the Austin speakeasy, Dumont’s Down Low, reminded me how smooth and tasty it really is.
Founder and Austin legend, Marsha Milam, recently brought a ringer on board to maintain the high quality Ben Milam is already known for. Distiller Marlene Holmes, formerly of Jim Beam, joined the Ben Milam team last summer. Holmes’s roots in the Kentucky bourbon world can only add to the already high quality bourbon and rye whiskey Milam is producing.
16/ Caffe del Fuego
Most Austinites are either obsessed with coffee or cocktails. Caffe del Fuego is like that meme girl shrugging and asking, “Why not both?” Having tasted it, I’m on board with meme girl.
This tasty spirit is made from a five-bean coffee blend ethically sourced from micro-lot farms, mixed with cane sugar and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla. It’s then made boozy with 190-proof neutral grain spirits that are charcoal filtered and blended to make a 40-proof final product. Caffe del Fuego is delicious on its own, but also plays well with other flavors when mixing cocktails.
17/ Amy’s Ice Creams Holiday Collection
Amy’s Ice Creams may need no introduction in Austin, but did you know the business also makes and sells yummy take-home treats to complement your ice cream fix? It’s true!
Amy’s is offering a Holiday Collection featuring:
- Shortbread Cookie Decorating Kits
- Mexican Vanilla Marshmallows
- Big Kid S’mores Kits
- Peppermint Bark Pops
- Iced Shortbread Cookies
They come at a comfortable price point, too–perfect for those smaller gifts such as host gifts, stocking stuffers, or that office gift exchange.
18/ Art-is-on Cookies
I simply adore these cookies by prolific Austin artist Briks and his baker wife at Scorpion Bakehouse. Briks creates more amusing characters with more personality in less time than any artist I’ve known. With Art-is-on Cookies, these characters become edible, personalized treats.
You can order a half dozen or more within a theme (artist’s choice of each character within that theme) or request customized work for slightly more. I’ve ordered custom dog cookies from Art-is-on Cookies twice, and they were big hits! The only problem is they are sometimes so cute you want to save them and not eat them. That would be a mistake.
19/ Kohana Cold Brew Coffee
Kohana Coffee sent me three cases of its delicious, potent, smooth cold brew earlier this year. And I fell in love with it. One of my favorite blogger jobs to date was creating a creative campaign for the line.
Austin is fantastic because of all the creative people we have here, especially artists, musicians, and writers. Creative people usually work long and late hours, and we are frequently fueled by coffee. So I set out on the town to share my coffee bounty with my creative friends.
Watch the fun here: Kohana Cold Brew Coffee and The Austinot
20/ “Typewriter Rodeo: Real People, Real Stories, Custom Poems”
Jodi Egerton, David Fruchter, Kari Anne Holt, and Sean Petrie make up the local literary group that composes on-the-spot poems for people, banged out in real time on typewriters for maximum writer-y effect.
Typewriter Rodeo is one of the quirkier businesses in town, the type that makes you say, “That’s so Austin.”
You may have caught the group at a movie opening at Alamo Drafthouse, festival, or corporate party. They wrote a charming poem about my dog Juju, and I love it so much. This book is a collection of several of their poems.
21/ “Big Woods” by May Cobb
If you’re a fan of mystery and suspense, and kind of dig being creeped out, May Cobb might be the writer of your dreams/nightmares. This book comes highly recommended as a thrilling read, “a real page-turner,” as they say. It’s already moved into the top 100 bestselling books on Kindle.
22/ “Weird Homes” by David J. and Chelle Neff, Photos by Thanin Viriyaki
We love Austin Weird Homes Tour because we love Austin’s weird people and places. The Neffs have compiled a book highlighting homes featured on the tour. It’s the perfect gift for those who crave Austin-style design inspiration or are simply curious about these special places.
23/ Alamo Drafthouse Gift Cards
Alamo Drafthouse rules the Austin moviehouse scene with its incredibly diverse and entertaining events, from Master Pancake Theater to Quote-alongs, Sing-alongs, Dance-alongs, and film festivals like Fantastic Fest.
We wouldn’t have it any other way. Buy $50 worth of gift cards and get a $10 snack pass. Even if you give the gift cards to someone else, they don’t have to know you kept the snack pass for yourself.
24/ Birds Barbershop Gift Cards
Birds Barbershop embraces all things Austin, from the Independence Brewing Co. beer served during your service, to the local art hanging on the walls. This place has good vibes written all over it.
25/ Twin Liquors
For many of us, some part of our holiday revelry will include a little hooch. Twin Liquors makes it easy for with cocktail combo sets, local gift packs, and newly launched personal shopper and delivery services. Sit back, relax, and let Twin Liquors take care of you.
26/ Rosso & Flynn
Co-founders Lisa Flynn and Manuel Rosso started online butcher shop, Rosso & Flynn, after realizing they shared the same frustration with grocery store meat. They wanted locally-sourced, high-quality meat to cook at their own homes, so they launched their own “ranch-to-front-door” service, delivering fresh cuts of pasture-raised, humanely treated animals from Texas ranches.
With such a wealth of local goodness to satisfy your holiday shopping needs, we hope you give these Austin businesses and makers a second look. Buying small and local means a lot to them and our local economy!
@theAustinot wants to know:
Where are you shopping this holiday season?