Who needs cheeks like roses or a nose like a cherry? Fill your sleigh with made-in-Ohio gifts that will not only delight your friends and family but also support local artisans, craftspeople, and entrepreneurs.
Specializing in “handmade gifts with history,” Dave Brooker makes mantle and shelf clocks using beams and other wood he reclaimed from Ohio barns that date to the 1830s. His finely crafted clocks are available in old-growth black cherry or rare American chestnut and have quartz mechanisms and authentic characteristics such as wormholes and saw marks.
Erick’s Wood-n-Barrel, Hamilton
Veteran woodworker Erick Combs transforms bourbon barrels from Kentucky into handsome home furnishings with distinctive textures, colors, and patinas. While his bestsellers include barrel ring wine bottle holders and bistro sets featuring a barrel lid table and barrel stave folding chairs, he also constructs barrel stave Christmas trees and card holders for the holidays.
Kozy Mittens by Vicki, Sullivan
Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative member Vicki Rickett upcycles old wool sweaters into cute-as-a-button mittens that come in every conceivable color and fit everyone from infants to oldsters. Her wide-ranging repertoire includes fleece-lined mittens, fingerless mittens, driving mittens with leather palms, hunting mittens with trigger fingers, specialty mittens for hard-to-fit hands, and smittens, an ingenious mitten made for two that lets sweethearts hold hands while keeping warm.
Branch Line Leather Co., Worthington
Nothing is more personal than designing a gift for someone, and Branch Line Leather studio excels at customization. Owner Elaine Coifman handcrafts gorgeous leather totes and bags but lets you select the color, style, strap, hardware, and pocket configuration. Also available are leather journals and wallets, Ohio-themed coasters and keychains, clever Mason jar mugs, and unique beer holsters.
Get Hosed Apparel, Helena
Using retired turnout gear obtained from fire departments, former firefighter Jay Ernsberger and his wife, Staci, design and make everything from toiletry bags to backpacks. Although the couple operates Get Hosed out of their garage, boutiques as far away as Australia and Chile carry customer favorites such as their rugged Chief’s Tote and Jet Setter carry-on bag.
C McDonough Designs, Rutland
Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative member Carol McDonough is an award-winning ceramist who creates nature-inspired pottery and sculpture at her farm-based studio. Although her leafy Greenman and Greenwoman are her signature garden items, she also does darling wood sprites, colorful owls and turtles, a fanciful frog that doubles as a key hider, and innovative EZ Clean bird feeders that resemble Victorian houses.
Hemisphere Coffee Roasters, Mechanicsburg
For Paul and Grace Kurtz, Hemisphere Coffee Roasters is both a business and a way to help coffee-growing communities throughout the world. They import beans directly from farmers, and Paul, a certified Coffee Quality Institute grader, oversees roasting at their Mechanicsburg facility. In addition to Hemisphere’s flagship Nicaragua and Thailand coffees, the company makes flavorful Jamaican Me Crazy and Pumpkin Pie Spice.
Doscher’s Candy Co., Newtown
Started in 1871 by a fellow with the fitting first name Claus, Doscher’s is the nation’s oldest candy cane manufacturer, rolling, kneading, and striping candy canes that still are handmade and cooked in copper kettles according to Claus’ original recipe. Doscher’s peppermint candy canes are a Christmas classic, but the company also makes merry-and-bright-looking canes in assorted fruit flavors.
Hunky Dory Studio, Cincinnati
Add a warm glow to a long winter’s night with a fused glass night light from the hands of artist Amy Flesher. Pretty as well as practical, the night lights are adorned with images ranging from Alice in Wonderland to zoo animals, and Amy also makes custom night lights based on photos of family members, pets, and even entertainers.
Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm, Martinsville
In addition to organic and natural ingredients, the bath and body items made by reflexologist Kym Prell contain lavender that’s grown on her family’s farm. Her product line includes Pain Relief Salve, Calming Headache Relief Ointment, Soothing Lavender Natural Body Lotion, and a wonderfully aromatic Lavender Eye Pillow to encourage long winter’s naps.
Lake Erie Candle Company, Port Clinton
Tamara Buczkowski and her family proudly make 100%-soy-wax candles that are sourced from grown-in-the-USA soybeans and sold in recyclable tins and glass jars. Fragrances include year-round favorites such as musky Lake Erie Sunset and fruity Catawba Breeze, but for something that smells a lot like Christmas, get pine-like Christmas at the Lake or snickerdoodle-scented ‘Tis the Season.
Cliff Original, Columbus
Inspired by his Grandpa Cliff, Jared Friesner founded a company that uses local beeswax, goat’s milk, and other natural ingredients to make beard care, hair care, and skincare products. Its popular Wax Pomade gives hair a healthy shine; vitamin-rich Shave Oil conditions skin; and the Utility Wash Brick is a hand-poured and cured soap splendidly scented with mint, cedar musk, or bay rum.
Joe Schmo’s Kitchen, Austintown
Amanda and Barry Franks rely on locally sourced ingredients and a shared-use commercial kitchen in Youngstown to produce flavorful sausage mixes, rubs, seasonings, and hot pepper jellies. Their specialty is Donofrio’s Hot Peppers in Oil, an Italian dish that maintains the traditional taste and crisp peppers of the version that Barry’s grandfather — Joseph Donofrio — has always made.
Who knew that Nigerian Dwarf goats have the highest butterfat milk of any breed? Regina and Steve Bauscher knew because they raise Nigerian Dwarfs and turn the milk into premium soaps and lotions in a dedicated facility on their farm. The creamy lotions make great stocking stuffers, and the skin-friendly soaps come in luscious scents like cherry almond and hot buttered rum.
The Jam and Jelly Lady, Lebanon
Looking for a culinary gift par excellence? You can’t go wrong with the jams and preserves that Sonya Staffan makes in the country cannery where she has taught canning classes for years. Her berry-filled Christmas Jam is bliss in a jar, but spread even more joy with a Christmas trio consisting of Christmas Jam, spicy St. Nick’s Kick, and cranberry-cinnamon Winterberry Jam.
Brownwood Farms, Athens
Brownwood Farms prides itself on premium products made with ingredients sourced primarily from Ohio and other Great Lakes states. Tried-and-true favorites include Cherry BBQ Sauce (a flavorful fusion of heat and sweet); mouthwatering blueberry preserves; and a trio of tantalizing mustards — Famous Kream, Kickin’ Kream, and Golden Ale — that also make great dips and glazes.