Compiled by Laura Pytlik, Olivia Reeder, and Sarah Arnold
This holiday season, as stories spread about huge backlogs with the Postal Service and delays with “big box” store orders, more and more people have discovered the simple pleasure of shopping local. We’ve always been passionate about supporting artists and small makers as a source of unique gifts, and this year more than ever we repeat the mantra of “shop small, shop local.” Sadly, nearly all the pop-up markets and holiday shows were cancelled, and many of you have missed the opportunity to engage with the creative artisans and see their products in person.
We want to share with you some of the many talented makers that live and work in the Mid-Ohio Valley. You’ll find people who create everything from soap to jewelry to pottery to original art, and you’ll surely get some inspiration to gift someone or just to treat yourself. Although the holiday is quickly approaching and not all the items you see can be shipped in time for Christmas, many makers offer local pickup and stock their items in local shops and boutiques. And gifting isn’t just for Christmas – the opportunity to buy unique, handcrafted items and support local artists happens throughout the year!
Owner Courtney Strahler creates wood signs, ornaments, décor and more that fit any style or occasion, from witty to trendy to sweet. She also makes the wood frames herself, and takes custom requests. While her Etsy Shop is closed for the holidays, you can find her unique, custom creations at Wit & Whimzy in Marietta and see all of her designs on her Facebook page.
Back to Basics Log Cabin in Belpre makes all of their own bath and body products from natural ingredients including honey and beeswax from their hives. They also make their own mineral make up, lotions, body butters, sea salt scrubs, herbal tea blends, essential oil blends, and much more. Owners Randy and Amanda wanted to get “Back to the Basics” of living, providing their family and yours with all natural skin care as well as raw, chemical-free honey. Shop online or visit the cabin to pick out your goods in person!
Just A Jar Design + Press is a family operated letterpress and design studio run by Sara & Bobby Rosenstock that specializes in custom woodcut and letterpress posters. Inside their retail shop and studio on Front Street in Marietta, you’ll find t-shirts, mugs, bandanas, stickers and more featuring Bobby’s handcut designs, as well as one-of-a-kind notebooks, posters, and prints. Many of their items are also available on their Etsy shop, but shopping their brick and mortar allows you to see the printing machines in work and admire decades of artwork lining the studio walls.
River City Leather is a family-owned shop in Gallipolis, Ohio that creates hand-made leather goods with a lifetime guarantee. Aaron found leather work as a hobby while recovering from a motorcycle accident – but it quickly became more than just a hobby. Starting in their shed, Aaron and Erin now work and sell in a storefront on the town’s main drag and employ 10 people. Their products have a beautifully timeless design, rooted in practicality and made to last. In addition to their beautiful purses and bags, you can find a number of items under $30 to help you stuff those stockings!
For those looking to provide the at home spa experience for the holidays, Lindsey Pinkerton of Perfectly Pink is ready to deliver. Her line of bath, body, and home products are handcrafted and hand poured in small batches to ensure freshness and quality. Perfectly Pink carries lines for everyone making it a great place to get stocking stuffers with the lip balms and shower frostings all the way to a gift that keeps on giving with her subscription boxes. Her products are available online and at several retailers across the Mid-Ohio Valley.
West Virginia Buds and Blooms creates all natural bath, beauty, and home products from the finest ingredients. Products range from Immunity Room Sprays with germ fighting essential oils to stress relieving bath infusions created with Pink Himalayan Bath Salts, a blend of calming essential oils, and dried flowers. West Virginia Buds and Blooms products are available at Scots Landscape Nursery and ONE. Skincare Studio. For an up-to-date product list, check them out on Facebook.
Nestled in Sistersville, W.Va., the Metz family of Cedar Run Farm produces pure and natural maple syrup without any additives. This three generation farm has many perfect-for-gifting items with a syrup for everyone. Cedar Run Farm carries a variety of options including decorative bottles, holiday themed bottles, infused syrups, and even gift boxes that include a sample of pure maple sugar. Cedar Run Farm products are available at over 15 locations in the Mid-Ohio Valley as well as online.
Based in Lubeck, W.Va., Sweet Ash Cookies creates delectable decorated sugar cookies for all occasions. Her popular themed cookie boxes always sell out quickly, so be sure to order early to claim those. For those DIY-ers, she also has cookie kits where she provides all the ingredients needed for a fun family night. For those who missed out on the boxes and kits, Sweet Ash Cookies are available every week at The Bodega coffee shop in Vienna, W.Va. The best place to keep track of her most recent offerings is on her Facebook page.
Owners Cindy Meredith & Mandy Kupfner are a mother/daughter duo with a passion for candle making and mission to deliver unique, high quality candles. Each of their scents is a custom-blend that is quality-tested. They take pride in the use of American-grown soy and superior fragrance oils and do not use any chemicals, dyes, or additives. Their pure soy candles have a slow, clean burn and are safe for your home and family. Find their full line of candles available on their website!
Abigail Gideon is another Marietta artist who creates truly unique jewelry and home décor. She uses resin, flowers, bones and other found and natural elements to make necklaces, earrings, bracelets and a wide variety of coasters, trays, wine butlers, keychains, and other beautiful pieces. Find her custom creations on Facebook at WylderMOV!
The owner of the newly opened Lady Envy Tattoo, Meg Rataiczak, is an accomplished artist in both tattoos and drawing. Earlier in the year, her tattoo styled family portraits were a viral sensation in the area along with the Mid-Ohio Valley Book of Drawings for Coloring which she co-curated. Now, patrons can purchase her work through her Etsy shop which contains tarot cards, stickers, shirts, stained glass, final prints of the coloring book, and more. For those ready to gift something more permanent and customizable, Meg always has gift certificates available for purchase.
You may recognize The Minted Vintage as hosts of the The Minted Vintage Market or perhaps you followed along with their gorgeous new home build last year. John and Megan create quality, handmade goods that will provide a unique and lasting impression in your home. They reuse/up-cycle/salvage and strive to waste as little new material as possible while creating and hinge on the idea that their handmade products could be used in your home for generations. Shop their line of home décor and accessories online!
Originally a fundraiser for his eighth grade trip that was cancelled due to COVID, the Little Kanawha Candle Company went on to become a full-fledged business for Jack Simmons. Jack’s candles are 100% soy wax with braided cotton wicks and concentrated fragrance oils that are free of toxins. His alluring scents range from year round options to holiday specific fragrances. Each candle is 8 oz making it perfect for a stocking stuffer or office gift. Little Kanawha Candle Company candles are available online or at the Cardinal Market inside the Grand Central Mall.
Nobody makes fudge like Granny. Granny’s fudge is a traditional fudge recipe handed down through four generations that transforms into a gourmet dessert with the finest, and most fun, toppings around. However, for the traditionalist, it’s been said that her peanut butter fudge simply can’t be beat. Always handcrafted in small batches, each half pound slab of fudge is perfect for gifting. This holiday season, shoppers with a sweet tooth can find all of Granny’s confections like fudge, cupcakes, peppermint bark, and cake pops at The Cardinal Market in the Grand Central Mall. Orders and porch delivery are also available through Facebook.
Steve Weber is the mayor of the small town of Lowell, Ohio and a retired Ohio State trooper. He has been working with stained glass for years, and often incorporates vintage glass into his beautiful pieces. From cardinals and poinsettias to cacti and mountaintops, Steve is always creating something new. You can find all of his stained glass ornaments and décor at Wit & Whimzy in Marietta.
Stephanie Orr is a Zanesville-based artist who works with clay to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Her mugs, bowls and miniature whimsical animals always bring a smile and people love to collect the little critters. From itty bitty kitties to polar bear ornaments and emoji mugs, each gift is handmade with love and care. Stephanie sells on Etsy as well as at Wit & Whimzy in Marietta.
Artist Leah hand sculpts clay earrings, creating styles that are bold, modern and lightweight. What began as a new hobby during quarantine quickly blossomed into a thriving small business. You can now find her stunning jewelry at Scots Landscape Nursery in Vienna and Wit & Whimzy in Marietta, and follow her account on Instagram @Colt.andcompany for new products.
If you’ve discovered Patterson’s Farms products, you are probably already in love! Kathy Patterson uses the milk from her own goats to create soaps, lotions, scrubs and lip balms with amazing scents. She’s recently added wax melts and shampoo bars to her product line, and you’ll have a hard time deciding which is your favorite. While her Etsy shop is closed for the holidays, you can find her products in several local brick and mortar shops.
Based in Smithville, W.Va., Cassey Haught makes her own line of body products, including face masks and cream, hand gel, shower soothers and bath dust. Her wax melts have delicious scents and she’s developed a loyal fan base with her products. You can shop her Etsy shop, or find her products in Wit & Whimzy in Marietta.
Christine Carmicle fell in love with pottery when she took a pottery class while earning her degree in Chemical Engineering. Since then, Chris has been making pottery on and off for about twenty years from her home in West Virginia. You can find her beautiful and unique items, from bowls and mugs to strainers and pitchers, at the Parkersburg Art Center in Parkersburg!
Cornerstone Homestead is a small, suburban, backyard farm located in Marietta, Ohio that raises duel-registered Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats and an ever-growing flock of chickens. Megan and her husband make all-natural, goat milk soaps using herbs they grow or harvest in the wild. The couple aim to shrink their footprint on the world by transitioning to a more self-reliant and self-sustaining lifestyle. Shop their soaps, balms, and salves in their Etsy Shop!
The Cutler Candle Company sells hand-poured candles, wax melts, hand sanitizers, and room sprays sure to make every room in your house smell divine! You can shop online or find their products in one of their retail locations, including their new storefront in Belpre where you can sniff each scent to your heart’s delight.
When Cheyenne Woods isn’t whipping up delicious creations in the kitchen or leaving pieces of free arts throughout the community as gifts to strangers, she is whipping up jewelry, art and home décor using various creative techniques. Her paint swirl coasters and earrings can be found at Wit & Whimzy and you can follow her creative projects on Instagram!
Hand thrown in Parkersburg, Z Pottery is created through the craftsmanship of Zack Orcutt. Originally, Zack trained as a sculptor with expertise in metal casting and fabrication. He began throwing pottery once he started teaching ceramics. Now, his pottery is a perfect gift for anyone looking for something unique yet useful. His line of art includes everything from soup bowls to oversized mugs and hand warmers. Zack’s work is available through Etsy.
Riverside Artist Gallery showcases the work of local and regional artists in a wide range of mediums. The bright space is filled with beautifully curated collections of original art, textiles, pottery, glass, iron work, and more—the inventory changes with the seasons and the artists. Have a friend or family member that wants to create their own masterpiece? The Gallery schedules a variety of classes during non COVID times for all skill levels. Stop in the Gallery on Second Street in downtown Marietta!