Shop Local: Your Essential Michigan-Made Holiday Gift Guide

Posted in: Lifestyle

The holiday season has descended upon Detroit! Ice skaters are skating, holiday bakeshops are baking and the snow is, well… non-existent at the moment. (It’s a Christmas miracle!)

But all Dr. Suessing aside, there is nothing quite like the holiday season in Michigan. No matter what your family traditions may be this time of year — drinking a mint hot chocolate from Biggby Coffee, skating around the holiday tree at Campus Martius, or even heading to Fox Theatre to catch a holiday show — there’s no question that the Christmas spirit is all around us.

And while we love all of these cheesy, sparkly holiday traditions, if we’re being totally honest, we all know that one of the best parts of the festive season is all of the awesome gifts. (Duh.) Whether you’re giving or getting, sitting under the tree as presents are being unwrapped automatically brings out the six-year-old in everyone.

One of our favorite things to do in order to celebrate our love of local holiday traditions and presents is to give the gift of local goods during Christmas. There are tons of wonderful Michigan-made products that are great for any person on your holiday list, from your in-laws to your best friends. Not only does shopping local help support awesome Michigan businesses, but it will also make you the best gift-giver in the mitten!

To help you get started with making your list and checking it twice, here are some of our favorite Michigan-made gifts for the 2014 holiday season:


Gifts for the Style-Savvy

Shinola Watches and Leather Goods

You can never go wrong with giving a classic watch as a holiday gift. I mean, who doesn’t love the gift of time? If you are looking for a high quality local watch company (that also makes super stylish leather goods) check out Shinola. This awesome Detroit company truly brings American manufacturing to life with their carefully crafted watches for men and women.

Detroit Denim

It’s hard to find the perfect pair of jeans. Some sag too low, some stretch too tight, nearly all of them fall apart within a couple years. If only someone out there would make the perfect fit of denim pants that were built Michigan-tough to get us through both our winter and summer activities. Enter Detroit Denim. This local shop located in the heart of Detroit has been stitching together classic, high-quality jeans for years that were built just for you.

Moosejaw Clothing

Speaking of Michigan outdoor activities, it is no secret that we Michiganders have quite a lot of outdoor elements to protect ourselves from. Snow storms, rain and heat — and that’s usually all just within one week. Luckily, Moosejaw is an awesome Michigan company that focuses on outdoor apparel and comfort for every season you could want. If you have someone in your life that likes to look good, be comfortable and be prepared for any weather all at the same time, check out Moosejaw.


Gifts for the Foodie

Michigan Beer

If you didn’t know already, Michigan is home to some of the best breweries in the country. From Short’s in Bellaire to Founders in Grand Rapids, and all the brewery stops that are in between. Give someone you love a true taste of Michigan buy picking up a custom beer sampler full of one-of-a-kind microbrews hand picked for them. Many local grocery stores will let you build your own sixpack full of mix-and-matched beer, or you can buy right from your favorite brewery!

Traverse City Cherries

One of our favorite Michigan events to attend each summer is the Traverse City Cherry Festival. After all, there’s no other cherry out there that is quite as delicious as the pickings from Traverse City. But, if your loved ones can’t make it all the way up north to participate in this annual event, send them a taste from Cherry Republic instead. Good Morning America called them the “Willy Wonka of Cherries,” from the Michigan Northwest. They feature tons of different cherry products, including cherry toffee, cherry salsa, cherry summer sausage, cherry jam, and more.

Zingerman’s Artisan Eats

Zingerman’s is a culinary staple for anyone that lives near Ann Arbor (or anyone that is within a three hour drive and can’t get enough of their amazing sandwiches). Heck, they even have President Obama’s seal of approval. They offer a few awesome gift options that will have your friends and family drooling, such as their Christmas Goodies Gift Basket filled with homemade chocolate, spiced pecans, cheese, cookies and more. They also offer subscriptions to a number of monthly food clubs, like their Bacon Of The Month Club (yes, please) or Quarterly Cheese Club.

Good People Popcorn

We have a confession to make here at Hello Innovation — we are addicted to Good People Popcorn. This specialty Detroit Popcorn shop is located just around the corner from our office and makes some of the most delicious popcorn you can get your hands on. (We are especially in love with the Cinnamon Crunch — just trust us.) Plus, they use real Michigan butter and sugar to help make their popcorn. Doesn’t get more local than this!


Gifts for the Outdoorsy

Rapid Hammock

There are a ton of awesome trails and hiking spots around Michigan, especially as you go up north into the U.P. (Have you seen how beautiful the Pictured Rocks are?) If you have an enthusiastic camper or outdoorsmen in your life, give them the gift of a great night’s sleep while they are on the trail with a Michigan-made hammock. Rapid Hammock is a truly one-of-a-kind Kickstarter creation that is one of the strongest, most portable and most adjustable hammocks that you can buy — perfect for any situation you find yourself in while hiking.

Coffeeboxx, The World’s Toughest Coffee Maker

Another truly unique Michigan Kickstarter project that we can’t get enough of is Coffeeboxx. Designed to be one of the toughest coffee makers you will find (heck, you can even drive a car up on this thing), while also brewing a delicious cup of coffee while you are out in the woods, on a job site, or any other messy setting you can think of. This coffee maker is dust-proof, crush-proof, rust-proof, water resistant and spill proof. Long story short, this thing can beat the crap out of your Keurig.

Stormy Kromer Winter Wear

Stormy Kromer has been a long-time winter staple of the Upper Peninsula. In, fact, their hats are practically a required uniform for any outdoor enthusiast living in Northern Michigan… and for good reason. Their hats and winter wear accessories will keep you as warm as can be, all while keeping you looking good at the same time. Perfect for the long and brutal Michigan winter that is sure to be coming any day now.


Gifts for the lover of Handmade Goods

Woodward Throwbacks Reclaimed Wood Pieces

Looking for a way to give an awesome gift and help clean up Detroit at the same time? Woodward Throwback’s takes the reclaimed wood that they find at illegal dumping sites throughout Detroit and recycles them into vintage beer holders and amazing pieces of art. Our favorite product has to be the wood beer carrier that is adorned with a classic blue Michigan license plate. Perfect for the car lover in your life!

The D, The Jewelry

Shower the ladies in your life with a gift they will always appreciate: some Detroit bling! That’s right, we’re talking about jewelry. The D The Jewelry makes awesome hometown jewelry that range from necklaces to earrings to rings. Want to make it a one-stop shopping trip? They even sell Detroit cufflinks for all the men out there.

Michigan Made Cookies

If you are truly a lover of handmade goods, why not try and make your own holiday gifts for your friends and family? This unique Michigan shaped cookie cutter creates cookies that are in the shape of our wonderful mitten state, that way your holiday gingerbread cookies will be as Michigan-proud as you are!

What are you most looking forward to getting from Santa this holiday season? Do you have any holiday gifts that you are especially excited about buying for your friends and family? Be sure to let us know how you're celebrating in the comments below!

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