It’s time for the annual VL Gift Guide and, as always, the focus is on the talented independent designers whose work we admire. If you’re looking for gifts this holiday season, here are some unique ideas.
Above is the Ohio clock by Cincinnati’s own Dulcet Design, made out of black or white laser-cut acrylic; other states are available as well. Below, Wallpockets by Ampersand are a modular organizational system that can hold your art supplies, wallet and keys, and other odds and ends [available via Fab.com]:
Based in Columbus, Cynthia Vardhan makes gorgeous and functional porcelain pieces; peep them here or check her in out in the new issue of Elle Decor. Skint Designs is her side project — a line of upcycled ceramics, including this saucy plate:
Andy Detskas of Andy Andy Andy is a classmate from Cranbrook, now living in Chicago. He’s an illustrator, artist and interactive designer, with a variety of fantastic and bizarre offerings at Society 6, including this Sasquatch pillow cover, because why the hell not?
Located in East Palestine, OH, 1820 House has gotten a lot of attention for its candles this year, and it’s easy to understand why — the packaging is almost as lovely as the scents:
Cameron of Indianapolis-based 1337motif is part nerd, part woodworker, which is a great combination that results in these finely-crafted, pixelated butcher block cutting boards made of walnut and hard maple. Ahoy, matey:
I met Rena in Cincinnati, but she now lives in Detroit, where she creates amazing, one-of-a-kind, steampunk-inspired jewelry under the name Divine Iguana. Here’s a sample:
Shopping for a dude who has everything? Well, he probably doesn’t have an industrial felt neck tie. Bethany is another Cranbrook friend, and her Detroit-based Cyberoptix Tie Lab specializes in bow ties, scarves and neck ties, including this brand-new laser-cut bit of woolen hotness:
As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not a fan of froo-froo stuff. Luckily, the Sideshow Soap Co. comes to us straight out of Queens inspired by the dark side — witchcraft, carnival freak shows, and H. P. Lovecraft. The Strongman scrub blends tobacco flower, caramel honey, satsuma and rose and smells divine:
Random Snacks of Kindness is a gift that tastes good and does good by teaming up with community organizations to create limited-edition snacks. This first one, a delicious mix including ginger and coconut, is available throughout Cincinnati, and all proceeds benefit the public art nonprofit ArtWorks:
For even more gift ideas, check out Pinterest, where we’ve assembled a bunch of suggestions, including themed gift guides for gardeners, architects, outdoorsy types, cooks, graphic designers, animal lovers, and more. Happy shopping!