By Polly Keary, Editor
When you have no idea what to get someone who seems to have everything, one solution is to get him or her something no one else has.
A handcrafted, locally made item is a one-of-a-kind gift that serves several purposes at once. It supports the local economy. It supports a local craftsperson. And as a gift it will be appreciated by anyone with a taste for distinctive, unique things that reflect the region from which they came.
Here are some excellent gift ideas made by local people, as well as where to get them.
Paula’s Pepper Jellies
A gorgeous gift box of sweet and spicy jellies from Paula’s Pepper Jellies, especially if paired with a rich wedge of brie, also available at Paula’s gift shop, makes a great hostess gift or gift for a coworker. Paula’s Pepper Jellies and Paula’s Wine Knot is a great place to shop for gifts; she has a vast collection of hot sauces, a wide selection of excellent wines in the $20 range, and tons of gourmet relishes, mustards, dressings and more, most in the $8 range.
If you’ve got time, visit her vivid and fun shop, taste-test the numerous samples out daily and step into the wine bar for a tasting. If you’re in a hurry, shop for her products online at www.paulaspepperjelly.com. Paula’s Pepper Jellies and Wine Knot is located immediately south of the Lewis Street bridge, look for the sign. Call 1 (425) 501-7563 for more information.
For a great number of excellent locally made products all in one place, visit GROW Washington in Sultan. The shop, which opened in October in Sultan after the first GROW Washington store and a successful year in Snohomish, is a business incubator for local entrepreneurs.
A visit to the store reveals that not only are the products of good quality, they are also quite affordable.
Several jewelers have items for sale that are unique and beautiful and would likely sell for three or four times the asking price if they were in a tony resort boutique. One jeweler, whose company is called Haywire Ridge Jewelry, creates striking necklace pendants and earrings of copper and other items. Another line of jewelry, created by former Sultan School District worker Mel George, includes handsome necklaces and bracelets. Both artists price a good percent of their creations under $20, sometimes considerable lower.
Sweet ideas at GROW include P Farms honey and beeswax chapstick from hives in Gold Bar and truffles from Miss Maggie’s Desserts in seasonal flavors such as eggnog, beautiful packaged in gift boxes.
One very unusual and clever item is a necklace charm made of a Scrabble tile encased in clear “ice resin” with colorful little images on the other side of the tile, made by Mary Platz, who gives classes on crafts at Ben Franklin in Monroe.
Find also striking plaques of painted recycled stone, fragrant soy candles and much more; there are about 20 vendors displaying quality locally made products in the store.
Visit at 403 W. Main Street in Sultan.
Azalea Hills ceramics
It’s usually impossible to please fans of the Huskies and the Cougars at the same time, but with Azalea Hills products, it can be done. The Monroe company makes a line of coffee cups, coasters, trivets and even Christmas ornaments emblazoned with the logos of either team. They can be ordered at www.bleachersgifts.com, but for instant gratification, or while you are shipping packages, see the display at The Mail Station in Monroe at Old Owen and Highway 2. Azalea Hills also has a handsome selection of mugs with Pacific Northwest tribal designs on display at the shop.
Heavenly Soap and Gifts
Heavenly Soaps in Monroe is a lot more than just soaps. The shop on Main Street also contains many other items made by owner Patti Rois Gibbons, including colorful aprons and a complete line of bath and massage products. Also in the store find locally made quilts, painted glass items, wooden furniture and more. Find the store at 115 3/4 W Main St. #101 or visit www.soapbypatti.com.
This quirky locally-owned shop on Main Street has a lot of locally made products, including a good number of Monroe Bearcats wear unavailable anywhere else. Find Eugénie products, a line of soaps, balms and bath products made by a local woman who gets her ingredients from her own beehives and herb garden; beautiful Czech glass bracelets by Dragonfly Bracelets; knit hats by Lollipop Tops and more.
The shop owners also have their own line of products in the store, including T-shirts with their signature rooster graphics and a line of fun, retro kitchen items called Kitch on the Rocks, including beer cozies, cork coasters and even a fun line of scratch-n-sniff stickers, all with a funky ’70s motif.
Visit the store at 206 E. Main St. in Monroe.
When invited to dinner at the home of a family member or friend, an offer to bring a floral centerpiece is often appreciated, and florists such as Monroe Floral do great seasonal arrangements. Other great hostess gifts include a tin of cookies from the Sky River Bakery on Main Street in Monroe or a box of chocolates from Sweet Indulgence in Monroe or Galaxy Chocolates in Sultan.
Everyone needs hair products, but not everyone is likely to treat themselves to the high-quality luxurious products made by Loma in Monroe. The products are only sold in salons, but you can get their signature Pearatin products at Brush Salon and Spa at 14090 Fryelands Blvd #126 in Monroe.
For families with kids, consider a gift card to Jump, Rattle and Roll in Monroe, where kids can burn off post-Christmas sugar highs on bouncy structures to their hearts content. Visit 17631 147th Street Southeast #6 or www.jumprattleroll.com.
Got a pet on your gift list? See Sam’s Cats and Dogs, Naturally at the new location in the old Chinook Lumber building in Monroe for chew toys, healthy snacks and much more.
Gift certificates to local restaurants such as Adam’s Bistro give a busy couple a special date night to look forward to, and to find locally made fashion accessories to suit the taste of any woman, visit Main Street Clothing Company on Main St. in Monroe.