Shop local markets: Valley artisans have gift giving covered this holiday season |

Shop local markets: Valley artisans have gift giving covered this holiday season

Katie Coakley
Special to the Daily
Cole & Dainer baby toddler throw.
Special to the Daily |

Find it at the market

There are several opportunities to stock up on locally made and artisan gifts this holiday season.

• Artists’ Holiday Market, Alpine Arts Center in Edwards

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4

Local artists display their pottery, jewelry, ornaments, stocking stuffers and other handmade items.

• Minturn Winter Market, downtown Minturn

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, and Saturday, Dec. 10

Featuring a variety of products such as handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, home goods, gourmet food and more.

• Kris Kringle Market, Vail

11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11

This market in Vail will play host to several vendors with an array of wares including homemade goods such as blankets, purses and items for kids; artisan foods and other gift options.

The holiday season is in full swing, with various color-coded days of the week and a Saturday devoted to small businesses. In the search for the perfect gift for family, friends and others, defaulting to online ordering is something that just about everyone living in our mountain towns understands. However, it’s not the only choice.

There are a plethora of opportunities to shop small scale this season, patronizing local artisans who create handcrafted goods in a variety of mediums. From perusing the booths at winter markets to browsing online boutiques, those in search of the perfect gift are sure to find just the right item, made right here in the Vail Valley.

Cole & Dainer

A favorite among moms in the valley, Eagle-based Cole & Dainer products are known for their modern design and unique fabrics. The throw blankets are particularly popular due to their soft texture and coziness.

“It has been common for people to come back to buy more throw blankets after having to share theirs more than they wanted to,” said Nicole Hustad, owner of Cole & Dainer.

Along with throws, Hustad also makes burp cloths, napkins, cowls and more.

Price range: $11 to $82, depending on items.

Find them at: Kris Kringle Market in Vail.

Kabbage and Hugs

It takes a special eye to create something useful and beautiful from the aftereffects of a beetle. Kabbage and Hugs, based in Minturn, does just that.

The company, established by two friends three years ago, started with creating s’mores sticks from beetle-kill pine sticks from local logging projects. Now, the pair fashions ice cream scoops, bottle openers, pizza cutters and more from the wood, creating a functional and eye-catching piece that is not only a conversation starter, but a reminder that there’s always a silver (or blue-streaked) lining.

Price range: $10 to $60.

Find them at: Minturn Winter Market.

KS Designs

It’s amazing how tack can transform. Krista Schoenberg utilizes “up cycling” in her work, creating hand-crafted totes and bags from Pendleton wool fabric with straps from used and recycled horse tack. The smaller clutches feature locally sourced antler buttons, and her line of belt buckles is made from recycled license plates.

“Pendleton’s reputation speaks for itself, and the straps have been a hit amongst the horse community,” Schoenberg said. “The combination of the materials used are very complimentary and create an attractive combination. I think the look screams ‘Colorado,’ as well.”

Price range: Totes are $120, clutches $65 and belt buckles $45.

Find them at: Kris Kringle Market in Vail.

Lady Nouveau Designs

Natalee Ozbirn, the force behind Lady Nouveau Designs in Gypsum, not only produces art, but teaches others how to create, as well. From clay to multimedia crafting, painting to sewing, Ozbirn teaches all ages and all mediums. Holiday painting parties are a festive way to celebrate, as well as have a finished, personal piece, she said.

For those who are more interested in the finished product, she creates unique holiday wreaths from burlap and muslin and cinnamon pinecone ornaments that are perfect for a hostess gift — or to keep.

Price range: $7 to $15 pinecone owl ornaments; $45 to $55 handmade burlap and muslin wreaths.

Find them at: Lady Nouveau studio in Gypsum or on Facebook.

Re-Dew Body Products

Looking at the ingredient label on personal and grooming products can read like a lesson on the periodic table. Karen Rysavy established Re-Dew Body Products in Gypsum to make everyday personal products in the most healthful manner possible. Her impetus? Her granddaughters.

“They are my biggest motivation for crafting healthy products that do not contain endocrine-disruptors, suspect preservatives or other questionable ingredients,” Rysavy said.

Now she has a full line of body, face and hair products for both men and women, as well as other products such as artisan soaps and aromatic wax melts.

Price range: $4 for lotions, body butters and lip balms, with a full 30-day, three-product face line available for $35.

Find them: Online at or schedule a home party for product testing.

Soul Fire Alchemy

Looking for a gift that reflects the unique-ness of the person to whom it is given? Soul Fire Alchemy, established by local Amber Moe and U.S. Air Force veteran Joshuah Westmoreland, features crafts from wood and stones. From one-of-a-kind jewelry from silver and gold woven wire, fine silver, semi-precious stones and opalite stones to hand-crafted items such as cutting boards, candleholders and other home decor items, Soul Fire Alchemy has an exclusive item for the person in your life that has everything. Soul Fire Alchemy also accepts custom design projects.

Price range: $25 to $300, depending on materials and intricacy.

Find them at: Minturn Winter Market

These are just some of the local artisans that will be displaying their products at markets in the next few weeks. Of course, there are plenty of other local companies that are making great gift ideas like Vela apparel, which prints original designs on sustainably made clothing with a local printer; Something Good, which donates to a child in need with every article purchased; and Bonnie’s Beanies, which crochets toys, hats and scarfs.

When making your holiday gift list this year, consider local artisans first. Though most of these products can be found at the various markets around the valley, most are also available online. From gifts for little ones to treats for the whole family, there is sure to be something for just about everyone on your list — no return shipping required.

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