Another in the Michi-Gifts series of suggestions to make your holiday merry and bright by thinking outside of the big box shops.
As an alternative to mass-produced merchandise and the mall mentality I am reviving the “buy local” email message that I received last year.
Click here to read Birth of a New Tradition, and be inspired to get creative in your gift-giving this season.
My cousin Ellie and her husband Dana’s house near Keweenaw Bay in the Upper Peninsula is filled with beautiful original works by local artists and from their travels, including her trips to Finland.
She knows I’m always on the lookout for Michigan-made goods and artists and shared with me a website that is a perfect fit for our Michi-Gifts series: Hand Made In Michigan: Connecting People to Local Products.
It’s a one-stop online shop for arts, crafts and foods in a wide range of prices, all handmade in the Great Lakes State.
It takes some time to browse the more than three dozen categories of goods, where you’ll find jewelry, ceramics and wall art plus chocolates, felted wool mittens, old-fashioned wooden toys, designer dog collars and a mini jigsaw puzzle made from a real coin.
There are seasonal specialties including wreaths and other decorations, but this is a year ’round store, open 24/7, and even includes a page of sale items.
It’s inspiring to see the talent and initiative by entrepreneurs across both peninsulas, and fun to browse and discover fun companies like Wee Bee Jammin’ of Manistee, maker of Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, Creamed Honey and other tasty jams in adorable packaging.
There’s no scratch-and-sniff feature at the site but I like the Up North Candle Company’s Michigan themed aromas, including Manistee Moonlight, Holland Tulip Festival, Autumn Harvest and Lake Huron Sunrise.
Terry Mickelson founded the Cadillac-based site nearly two years ago, and now carries more than 2,800 products by 175 makers. The artists’ hometowns and brief write-ups are a nice touch to help shoppers gain a glimpse of the people who are a making it Hand Made in Michigan.