In the 21st century, it has become increasingly easy to buy, well, pretty much anything. With the click of a button or a quick trip to the mall, holiday shopping can be done in a matter of minutes. Yet this kind of modern-day shopping can often turn gift-giving into an impersonal, expressionless activity. In the pursuit of the perfect gift, we drive to big-box retailers or go online and buy a nameless, faceless product that usually doesn’t feel as special as the person we’re giving it to. It’s unlikely a consumer knows where something is made or by whom, or anything about what makes the gift unique. In a recent conversation with my grandmother, I asked her how different shopping is now than it was for her many years ago. Her response went something like this:
“Do you remember hearing stories about the milkman making a daily delivery right to the front door? That actually happened. When we needed to buy a gift, we walked into town and went to the local family store. No big supermarkets, no shopping malls. I knew those people by first name.”
In conversations with both my grandparents, I’ve detected a certain nostalgia for this time - when knowing a maker by name was commonplace. With the holidays upon us, it’s the perfect time to rekindle that maker-consumer relationship and make gifting a little more special for grandma this year. Whether she needs a problem solver, wants to be pampered, or would love a sweet something from her grandchildren, she’ll know that her gift was made by a real person with a story to share. And the best part is: she’ll know them all by name.
To Make Grandma’s Life a Little Easier:
La LOOP Eyeglass Holder: Elizabeth Faraut, entrepreneur and mother of three, founded La LOOP because she couldn’t find a stylish eyeglass accessory. Equal parts function and fashion, Grandma will never fish around for misplaced glasses again.
RainRaps Waterproof Wrap: Designed by two longtime friends, Stacy Struminger and Rachel Teyssier, RainRaps were created for practical and stylish women. With no fussy sleeves or zippers, Grandma can easily slip on this piece when skies get stormy.
Help Grandma Unwind:
Fiat Luxe Felted Soap: Nancy Rosenthal came up with the idea for Fiat Luxe while making soap as gifts for family and friends. This handcrafted soap is sure to delight Grandma’s senses with its vibrant colors and botanically-derived essential oils.
PJ Harlow Lounge & Sleepwear: Tina McMillen created these luxurious satin and cotton pajamas to be both comfortable and sophisticated. Made in the USA, PJ Harlow will have Grandma feeling cozy and pampered morning, noon, and night.
From the Grandkids:
Lauren Wimmer Initial Charms: Designed by New York jeweler Lauren Wimmer, the sterling silver initial charms are an artful new take on the ID pendant. By pairing multiple initials together, Grandma can always keep her grandchildren close at heart.
Byer of Maine Birdhouses & Feeders: With Jay Shields at the helm of this 133-year-old company, Byer of Maine handcrafts sculptural birdhouses and feeders for your outdoor space. With their unique design and clever features, watching birds fly in and out is sure to delight both Grandma and the grandchildren.