‘Tis the season to be making lists, checking them twice, and strapping on your fanny pack full of debit cards and sale flyers in preparation for some holiday shopping! But it’s also time to geek out about the huge number of Northwest Arkansas artists and crafters making unique gifts for everyone on our list – from the babysitter, to the guy whose name you pulled in the office gift swap.
I’d like to encourage you to support the local economy by spending some of your holiday budget with local artists and craftspeople. I am blown away by the number of our Northwest Arkansas neighbors who put creativity and industry together to handcraft gift items that are, in many cases, one-of-a-kind. Below you’ll find a couple of lists to get you started. They will definitely make your 2009 gift-buying merry and bright.
Local holiday markets
Fayetteville Farmers’ Market Holiday Market
When: Saturday, December 5, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks
Info: Great selection of crafts by many of the regulars seen at the Saturday markets, and a few “guests”.
2009 Community Creative Center’s Holiday Bazaar
When: Saturday, December 5, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Nadine Baum Studios
Info: Handmade art by local artists, and make-it-yourself gift options for the whole family.
2nd Annual Walton Arts Center Holiday Market
When: One hour prior to performances of Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 5-6), UA Winterfest Choral Concert (Dec. 7), The Rat Pack is Back (Dec. 8-13), and Manheim Steamroller (Dec. 16).
Where: Walton Arts Center
Info: Items available at the market include vintage-inspired jewelry, handmade soaps and bath products, precious metal and gemstone jewelry, holiday and note card sets, handmade pottery, paintings, photography, painted wooden decor in acrylics and oils, hand painted Ozark crafts.
Shops featuring locally handmade art and crafts
Bella’s Clothing & Gifts – 218 E Emma Ave., Springdale, 756-9984
Info: Children’s clothing & décor created in NWA.
Fayetteville Underground – One East Center St., Fayetteville, 387-1534
Info: They are featuring an exciting collection of affordable, creative gifts crafted by Fayetteville Underground artists for the holidays. Located in the basement of the One East Square Plaza building.
Good Things Boutique – 108 N. Block Ave., Fayetteville, 442-3689
Info: Handmade glass beads, mosaics, and jewelry by local artists.
Heartwood Gallery – 428 S. Government St., Fayetteville, 444-0888
Info: An amazing array of art and crafts by local artists including pottery, jewelry, fine art, hand woven tartans, and purses. Something for everyone.
Ozark Folkways – 22733 Hwy 71 (just south of Winslow), 634-3791
Info: Representing over 50 local artisans making a variety of items including baskets, jams & jellies, jewelry, fine art, knives & whetstones, pottery and quilts. It’s a great Saturday drive south on Hwy 71. Take a picnic and enjoy the view.
Poor Richard’s Art – 116 South First St., Rogers, 636-0417
Info: Original works of art & craft including pottery, paintings, photography, baskets, blown glass and more.
Terra Studios – 12103 Hazel Valley Rd., Fayetteville, 643-3185
Info: Unique pottery and glass items, including their signature “Bluebird of Happiness”. Take a stroll through the woods to their Labyrinth too!
557 S. School, Fayetteville, 587-8687
Info: Locally designed and created children’s clothing, vintage fabric bags, and handmade toys. GREAT service too.
Ultra Studios – 118 W. South St., Fayetteville, 935-4040
Info: Locally designed and created clothing, art and home décor.
V.S. Mobley’s General Store
339 N. West Ave. #101, Fayetteville, 587-1444
Info: Though primarily a décor shop selling items from national companies, they do have a small collection of paintings and illustrations by local artists.
Wishing Springs Gallery – 8862 W Mcnelly Rd., Bentonville, 273-1798
Info: A wide selection of local artists are represented in this art and craft gallery.
You’d like to make your own gifts, you say? Try these shops
Dark Star Visuals – 106 N Block Ave, Fayetteville, 443-2323
Info: Design-your-own jewelry
Different Strokes Pottery – 745 E Joyce Blvd. # 108, Fayetteville, 443-6440
Info: Paint-your-own pottery
Bead It! – 3021 N. College Ave., Fayetteville (Fiesta Square), 251-1411
Info: Make-your-own jewelry supplies
Crafty Cottage – 225 S. Main St., Bentonville, 273-1065
Info: Yarn, clay, sewing machine rental, and other craft-making supplies
Here’s a list of places to check out on Cyber Monday
Arkansas Etsy Street Team
The ARetsy Team is a group of Arkansans who sell their handmade and vintage items on the hugely popular global online marketplace, Etsy. Check out these local members making handmade items – you can buy directly from their online shop just by signing up for free on Etsy. No standing in line or fistfights, and a reduced carbon imprint…what a deal!
Info: Jewelry and crafts
Forever And A Day
Info: Twilight-inspired crafts, jewelry
Info: Vintage-inspired modern jewelry
Info: Wire-wrapped bead and button rings
Info: Leggings, tutus, slings, and other baby items
Meagan Lee Designs
Info: Painted décor, children’s items
Night Sky Products
Info: Precious metal & gemstone jewelry
Pish Posh Creations
Info: Car seat covers, baby bedding & bags
Info: Repurposed fabric tote bags & home décor
Spirit Bear Beads
Info: Wine bottle stoppers
Info: Knitted and crocheted items
Tutu Cute and Moore
Info: Tutus and décor for little girlie girls
The Wishing Well
Info: Fine art and photography
Info: Handspun yarns, knitted scarves & neckwarmers
And even more local artists online
Hands On Fiber Arts
Info: Woven rugs and hats
Ladybugs & Gentlemen
Info: Christmas card sets, wrapping paper, desk and wall calendars, note card sets
Lather Me Up Soaps
Info: Handmade soaps and bath products
Ozark Soap Company
Info: Handmade soaps and bath products
Sweet Beach Things
Info: Chaise lounge covers & pillows
Info: Custom-made swarovski crystal cell phone cases
Finally, we wouldn’t feel we were doing our civic duty if we didn’t provide you with an explanation for our mad passion for shopping locally. Besides, after you give your office gift swap partner that fine piece of handmade art, your co-workers will assume you’re the expert… read these and you will be.
Disclaimer: This list is only a jumping off point to inspire you to look beyond the big-box stores and mail order catalogs. If you know of any local retailers or artists we missed – please feel free to share them in the comments.
Laurie Marshall is a guest contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. She shops at thrift stores, longs for the beaches of Nova Scotia, and says “okie dokie!” a lot. She has a BA in English/Creative Writing, is co-founder of Paranormal Ozarks Investigations, and wishes her sewing and writing would pay all the bills. Her three kids and husband are incredibly patient and inspiring. For more of Laurie’s contributions, visit her author page.