It’s no secret that I’m a fan of locally-made businesses: our series on unique local makers across America helped us discover a ton of new favorite brands last year. Now that you’re all caught up, why not take another trip and see some different small businesses worth checking out? After a whirlwind journey around the South, Northeast and Midwest, check out our grand finale: the best of the West.
Alaska: Gold Heart SupplyModern wooden housewares carefully made in Fairbanks, Alaska. The husband and wife team behind Gold Heart Supply understand that good things take time: no detail is overlooked when it comes to the creation of their beautiful wooden home goods. After designing and sourcing the perfect materials, Chris and Cassia handcraft and finish each piece to a simple, natural finish. From desk organizers to serving platters and planters, every item looks ready to elevate your home with some classic style.
Arizona: LumberLust DesignsLive edge, reclaimed wood furniture handmade in Phoenix, Arizona. You just can’t replicate the beauty of live-edge furniture with it’s mass-produced counterparts! The team at LumberLust Designs demonstrate this perfectly, custom-making beautiful furniture with a Mid-century meets industrial vibe. The wood is sourced from a local sawmill that specializes in reclaimed urban wood, meaning that the process literally works local history into each piece. And in the off chance you don’t see your exact dream piece on the site, LumberLust will work with you to customize and make it a reality.
California: Three Babes BakeshopAn organic San Francisco pie shop utilizing sustainable local ingredients. It was a mistake to look at this before lunch… Three Babes Bakeshop isn’t your average source for tasty treats. Anna and Lenore have been turning locally-grown, organic ingredients into delicious slices of goodness for 15 years. Area orchards, chocolate shops and farms are the solid foundation, and their combined expertise crafts locally-celebrated pies that you’re lucky enough to be able to order online.
Colorado: Lana’s ShopHand-illustrated paper goods made in Denver, Colorado. Nothing gives a gift the personal touch like something handmade, and the illustrations from Lana’s Shop are no exception. The delicate greeting cards and invitations are festive and bright, but Lana’s custom portraits would really knock your next gift-giving experience out of the park. Supporting this talented Denver maker while getting recognized for your exceptional taste? That’s what we call a win-win.
Hawaii: My Aloha PostA subscription box that brings the best of Hawaii to your door. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but it’s not hard to picture the appeal: beautiful beaches, delicious food…and now the essence of the islands can come right to your door! My Aloha Post is a curated monthly subscription box filled with locally-made goods. Past items have included dried fruit, hand-dyed fabrics, soaps and other wares from small businesses that you would probably otherwise not be able to shop from. Who wouldn’t want some bright and sunny gifts each month to get you through the gloom of winter?
Idaho: WilloweeBaby accessories handmade by local seamstresses in Idaho. When Jamie McGinnis-Green was in search of the perfect clothing and accessories for her 4 children, she created them herself. Now even when a fleet of talented local seamstresses are employed to create Willowee‘s beautiful products, Jamie still oversees the work to guarantee a high-quality result. The designs are clean and modern without sacrificing the cozy comfort your kids will love, and everything has a low price tag attached. If you’re looking to outfit some little ones, check out Willowee!
Montana: Montana Angle WorxReclaimed wood furniture made with an industrial twist in Bozeman, Montana. Industrial style is a popular choice for modern homes, and the custom pieces crafted by Montana Angle Worx could go head-to-head with anything in stores. Starting with locally-reclaimed wood, the studio makes a wide range of essential furniture pieces with rustic charm. Not just stopping at home, Montana Angle Worx also offers services to outfit local businesses and offices with the perfect custom item. Here’s to a whole town upgraded in style.
Nevada: Pantry ProductsAll-natural beauty products handcrafted in Reno, Nevada. Like so many other small businesses, Michelle Czarka started Pantry Products in an effort to make the chemical-free beauty products she had been searching for. Starting with organic oils and butters, Michelle whips up small-batch beauty favorites like body scrubs and toner, and she prioritizes local and reusable materials whenever she can. You can feel good about pampering yourself and supporting a small business at the same time!
New Mexico: Enbi StudioA ceramicist trained in the Japanese tradititon, creating in Rinconada, New Mexico. After a chance encounter with a pottery exhibit at The Met, Betsy Williams eventually found herself in Japan to learn how to create beautiful works of her own. Now as the head of Enbi Studio, Betsy is sharing her original art with everyone. I was immediately drawn in when I saw the minimalist designs on her Instagram, but the studio also produces functional vessels in a range of colors and styles. Be sure to follow Enbi Studios’ social media to see what beauties Betsy is creating next.
Oregon: Salt & StrawPortland’s destination for small-batch ice cream made with local ingredients. As if you needed another reason to crave ice cream, Portland’s Salt & Straw pairs delicious flavors with local ingredients and a handcrafted approach. From locally-grown olive oil to lavender, the flavors of their neighbors are the backbone for the frosty treats. One look at the attention to detail on the flavor page shows you just how much they care about supporting (and celebrating) local businesses.
Utah: Bijou Market
A semi-annual marketplace of local handmade and vintage vendors in Provo, Utah. Instead of leaving locals to dig around on their own, the minds behind Bijou Market have curated a hyperlocal shopping experience in one spot. They screen potential participants to ensure that only the best handmade and vintage items are displayed: past vendors have included homemade cotton candy, printed tees and handmade jewelry. And while the event itself is only held a few times a year, their Instagram promotes and celebrates local makers year-round, meaning you can continuously shop through their feed.
Washington: LilyEmme JewelryModern jewelry made from recycled gold in Seattle, Washington. Valery Nethery found a way to work her Environmental Science degree in an unexpected (but still Earth-friendly) way: she recycles gold into stunning, minimalist jewelry. Everything from LilyEmme is made to order, and the range of options from bridal to everyday mean that there’s a look for everyone. Steer clear of the mass-produced pieces, and check out Valery’s eco-friendly, classic designs.
Wyoming: Willow Creek Leather Co.Handcrafted leather goods made in Thayne, Wyoming. Kayla Heiner runs Willow Creek Leather Co., a leather craft company that makes bags, wallets, belts and more. All dyeing, stitching and riveting of the products is done by hand, so no two products are alike. What really stands out in Kayla’s work is that she leaves existing “imperfections” intact in the leather, making for a more rustic, and therefore personal, aesthetic.
Have any other favorite companies making their goods in the West? Let us know in the comments!