Rejoice — the first-ever Making It in Asheville gift guide is here.
In this post, we’re sharing with you a few of our favorite local gifts made with love by Asheville’s finest makers.
Truth be told, it was quite hard to narrow down this list to just a few items because there are so many incredible businesses and creatives in this town that are making really great stuff.
But alas, when selecting items to include this Asheville gift guide, we thought about the things that are on our own wish list — the items we personally have purchased and love or want to buy.
We are certain that there are many makers that we’ve missed in this list. If there is something that you think would make a great gift that we haven’t included here, please do tell us!
Without further ado, let’s dive in. Whether you’re trying to shop local this year or are simply looking for a unique gift, we welcome you to use this Making It in Asheville gift guide as inspiration for your shopping.
Use these links if you’d like to jump ahead!
Asheville Bee Charmer: Beeswax Candles
Chop Shop Butchery: Class
East Fork: Coffee & Mug Set
Everyday Oil: All-in-One Oil
Garnet Fisher: Giclee Prints
Oowee Products: Leather Pint Sleeves
Poppy Popcorn: Asheville Mix
Sauna House: Gift Card
Spoon & Hook: Minimalist Cutting Board
Ware: Sustainable Tea Things
Asheville Bee Charmer Beeswax Candles
Made of 100% pure beeswax and hand-poured right here in Asheville, these candles by Asheville Bee Charmer are not only stylish and sustainable but also hold magical properties. Beeswax candles actually emit negative ions, which help purify and improve the air quality of your surroundings. They also give off a sweet, cozy and all-natural scent and burn two to five times longer because of their higher melting point.
But that’s not the only reason why we love these candles: we’re also head-over-heels in love with the story behind Asheville Bee Charmer. The company was founded in 2014 by two women, Jillian and Kim, who have a deep passion for honey and a strong curiosity for bees. They typically sell more than 20 types of honey depending on the season!
Our favorite candle style is their hexagon pillar, but they also have classic tapers, tealight candles, and other cute shapes including little bears and an Easter Island Moai statue.
Price Range: Under $20
Where to Buy: Shop online or visit their shops on Battery Park Ave and Broadway.
Chop Shop Butchery Class
Meat lovers and food enthusiasts, this one’s for you.
Every month, this local butcher shop offers a variety of butchery and cooking classes taught by their trained experts. You can learn everything from how to breakdown a chicken (a very practical and money-saving skill!) to how to smoke a brisket to perfection. The classes are typically two-hours long and also include complimentary charcuterie tastings, beer, and wine. It’s a great way to spend an evening with a friend or family member!
Our favorite is their DIY Sausage & Beer class, both for the hands-on factor — you get to mix, grind, and stuff your own sausage — and for the beer, which is usually sourced from a local brewery.
We interviewed one of their co-owners, PJ Jackson, in season 1 of the podcast where we talked about how he got into butchering and why he believes that the best way to make better decisions with food is to simply ask your butcher.
*Disclaimer: The Chop Shop Butchery is our marketing client. We help them promote their classes and products. While we are certainly biased, we have a feeling that we’d still be recommending them even if they weren’t our customer!
Price: Classes start at $75 and up
Where to Buy: You can purchase tickets to a class online or at the shop which is located on the corner of Chestnut and Charlotte St.
East Fork Pottery Limited Edition Mug
Okay, okay, we know. East Fork isn’t new to anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock. But it simply wouldn’t be an Asheville Makers Gift Guide if we didn’t mention East Fork Pottery.
We’ve fallen madly, deeply in love with their stylish, functional, and durable pottery. But even more than that, we have a total crush on the brand and everything they stand for. When we interviewed their co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Connie Matisse, she proudly exclaimed that East Fork is on a mission to become America’s largest, most sustainable producer of ceramics. We’re into it.
Their website features an entire page dedicated to “Gifts Under $50” which is dangerous because we want to buy it all. Still, our favorite item that we’re eyeing this holiday season is their limited edition Counter Culture Coffee and dreamy Nightswim mug for $65.*
Price: Mugs start at $34
Where to Buy: Shop online or visit their retail front in downtown Asheville on North Lexington.
*Note: All links with East Fork are affiliate links. That means if you click on the link and purchase an item, we will receive a small commission for recommending them. We only recommend products that we truly love and support!
Everyday Oil: All-in-one Oil
Made in Black Mountain, this incredible body oil is going to be your new favorite all-natural beauty product. The founder, Emma, started making this body oil years ago simply because she couldn’t find anything else like it on the market. (Side note: this is often how some of the best business ideas come about!)
Everyday Oil is 100% plant-based and is comprised of a whole bunch of natural oils that each work their own magic to do wonders for your skin.
But here’s the real mind-blowing stuff: Everyday Oil is a one-bottle-fits-all kind of product. You can use it as a moisturizer and face wash AND a cleanser. You can use it on your face but also your body. And well, Everyday Oil does not care what gender or race you are. This sh*t is all-inclusive y’all.
“I want Everyday Oil to be a great, true friend you can rely on, no matter who you are.” – Emma Allen
We do too, Emma. We do too.
Garnet Fisher Giclee Prints
There are so many fantastic painters around town, but Garnet Fisher’s black squiggle giclee prints are among our favorite. We stumbled upon her airy, minimalist prints one day while shopping at Old North and have been a fan ever since.
Where to Buy: Check out her latest collections online of visit Old North in downtown Asheville on North Lexington.
Oowee Products Pint Glass Sleeves
Hold the foam koozies please — this year all we want for Christmas is a quality, hand-sewn leather pint sleeve. Made by hand in Candler, NC, Oowee’s leather goods are durable, rustic, and just plain cool. They have all sorts of stamped designs, including the option to customize your own! Keep your eyes peeled for some custom Making It in Asheville products in 2020.
The best part? Oowee employs adults on the autism spectrum to hand sew the finishing touches on their goods. So when you buy from them, you can rest assured you’re supporting a good cause.
Price: Pint sleeves start at $22.49
Where to buy: Shop all their leather goods online.
Poppy Popcorn Asheville Mix
Best. Stocking. Stuffer. Ever.
Shoot —this popcorn is so damn good, you could wrap it up all on its own and put it under the tree. Or even better, just slap a bow on it. The packaging is gorgeous.
Poppy Popcorn was founded by Ginger, a mom who wanted to make money while also getting to spend more time with her kids. She started making popcorn in Asheville as a way to have more work flexibility in her life. She loved popcorn and noticed that Asheville didn’t have any popcorn shops, but that the town did support local businesses. (P.S. Ginger was named entrepreneur of the year in 2019 by Venture Asheville!)
But back to the popcorn — which is as addictive as crack (but not nearly as bad for you as crack). They use non-GMO corn and high-quality ingredients to make each batch. Plus, they have a variety of flavors, from dark chocolate caramel goodness to white cheddar and white chocolate.
We personally love their Asheville Mix, a magical combination of Salted Caramel and White Cheddar.
Price: Snack bags start at $4.25
Where to Buy: Shop online or head to their factory and storefront on Merrimon Ave.
Sauna House Gift Card
If there’s one thing we want more of in the new year, it’d be more time spent at Sauna House (formerly known as Bada Bastu).
In podcast episode 14, we interview the founder, Andrew Nehlig, and have since then become completely enamored by this hot-cold therapy bathhouse. Admittedly, we were skeptical when we first heard about this sauna-cold-plunge experience. It sounded pretty brutal putting your body in a boiling hot room for 15 minutes, only to dunk it in freezing cold water. But after one visit, we were hooked! We felt incredibly refreshed and clear-headed after going through the circuit a few times. Plus, no cell phones are allowed in the bathhouse so you get nice digital detox, too.
It is a fantastic date night (or date day) alternative to going out to dinner and the best way we know how to fight the winter blues. Try their massages, Epsom salt foot soaks, or infrared Sauna if you want to take your self-care experience to the next level!
Price: $26 per visit for locals, $32 for a single visit pass
Where to Buy: Shop gift cards online or visit Sauna House, located on Short Coxe Ave.
Spoon & Hook Minimalist Curved Board
There’s so much to love about Spoon & Hook’s hand-carved wooden wares. Each item is 100% unique and made from start-to-finish by Anneliesse Gormley, who sustainably sources all of the wood she uses for her projects from Asheville Hardware. From beautiful flower-filled cutting boards to minimalist U-shaped vases, each brings its own unique heirloom-vintage style to any space.
Our top pick for our Asheville gift guide is definitely this minimalist curved cutting board which would serve well as the centerpiece to your next wine and cheese party.
Ware: Sustainable Tea Things
We’re all in on the sustainable lifestyle, but are the first to admit that sometimes it can be really really hard to find the right objects.
That’s where Ware, a sustainable lifestyle shop located on College Street, excels. They make it dangerously easy to find the perfect solution for anything you might need — or not even know you needed.
Everything in their shop is beautiful, sustainably-sourced, and will help you replace your non-eco-friendly things with eco-friendly ones. The best part is that you don’t have to think twice about what you’re buying because the owner, Gillie, has already done the hard work of carefully researching each and every product to make sure it fits her standards of sustainability.
For this holiday, the Ware item we have the biggest heartthrobs for is their chic black Stagg tea kettle. It pairs perfectly with our recently purchased steel tea strainer, which has come in handy after making the switch from traditional teabags (which have bits of plastic in them) to loose-leaf tea.
We interviewed the founder Gillie Roberts in episode 4. In that episode, she told us about her adventures of opening Ware (at the age of 26!) and gave us advice for living a more sustainable lifestyle.
We’d love to know what items are on your Asheville gift list? Send us a message on Instagram to let us know your favorites!