If your gift giving has fallen into a rut, stop by a craft gallery, co-op or pop-up store for your holiday shopping, says Terri Belford, a business consultant to artists and indie makers (craftbizblog.com). “You’ll see the same imported items online and in big box stores. Unless you go to a craftsman or artisan venue, it’s hard to find something different or unusual.” Most of these spaces recommended by Belford are staffed by artists, and feature locally produced and handmade goods.
The Art Project
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Shoppers will find a huge assortment of high-quality offerings at this popular nonprofit Puget Sound gallery. At any given time, the store features about 6,000 works by more than 200 Pacific Northwest artists. “They’re very highly juried. They’re super selective about the art that’s in there,” Belford says. theartproject.org
North Carolina Folk Art Center
Asheville, North Carolina
This shop, run by the Southern Highland Craft Guild, offers both folk art and contemporary crafts. With a site on the Blue Ridge Parkway, visitors can get a full Appalachian immersion. “It’s a spectacular location, much more than just a shopping experience. There’s a museum. There are hiking trails,” Belford says. The center offers daily craft demonstrations, and holds a special holiday marketplace on Dec. 8. Additional locations in Asheville. southernhighlandguild.org
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