Welcome back to another round of holiday fun with us here at Explore Washington State. Annually we are sharing our favorite brands, items, and wish lists with a twist: every small business featured is from Washington State.
It can be stressful during the holiday season. Let us help you find locally made gifts that reflect your relationship with those you cherish.
For each shop, we will let you know where you can shop: whether online or in person. If you would like to shop in person, we recommend checking the brand’s website or Instagram to confirm where you can find their items in person.
Just as it states! Stocking stuffers: little goodies to fill a stocking, or surprise someone.
MatiMade Scrunchies: Mati creates some of the prettiest scrunchies you’ll find (including a scrunchie subscription service for hardcore fans!) Beyond scrunchies, you will discover hair clips, headbands, and fun apparel including crewneck.
You can shop online or in person at select stores.
We aren’t afraid of a little self-promotion here at Explore Washington State. Especially when it comes to our Peaks Water Bottle. Featuring the five highest peaks in the Evergreen State, this bottle was designed in collaboration with Shelby from Heirloom Design Co. and finished by Liberty Bottles in Yakima. It holds 32 oz. and can keep your drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12. With a bright yellow background, this bottle is nearly impossible to lose.
A few years ago we worked with Kula Cloth to create a pee cloth, and we were hooked. Created for those who squat when they pee, Kula Cloths are a game changer for fans of the outdoors or on the go. If you want to go to the next level: create your own Kula for a friend. Beyond pee cloths, they have a wonderful program: The Kula Academy, there is nothing as powerful as the gift of knowledge.
You can shop Kula Cloth online, or in person at REI. You can listen to our podcast episode with owner Anastasia here.
Are your friends or loved ones the creative type? One of my favorite projects that I completed during COVID was a DIY Leather Kit from Orcas Island Leather Goods. With smaller kits such as coin purses, wallets and larger projects (that will not fit in a stocking), giving the gift of creativity is wonderful. These also make fun presents for those in your life that seem to have everything they could want.
Shop online or in person at their shop in Eastbound. You can listen to our podcast episode with one of the owners, Mindy, here.
Do you have loved ones in Cashmere or Wenatchee? We are loving Feathers & Flowers mixed flower arrangements. Not only do they add a wonderful pop of color to a home, but who doesn’t enjoy receiving sustainably grown flowers?! They have a special Spring Subscription which includes four mixed bouquets that are for April-May 2023, and Summer Subscriptions which includes eight seasonal mixed bouquets. If you or your loved ones enjoy flowers, you will appreciate the beauty of Feathers & Flowers.
Book a bouquet online.
Bath bombs, soaps, candles, scrubs, and more — made using freshly grown lavender — can be found at Down By The River Lavender. This small, family-owned lavender farm in Wenatchee has let their imagination run wild with lavender products — and boy do they smell good! We are loving their lavender rollers, which are good for helping with bug bites, scratches & minor burns. With only two ingredients (organically grown lavender essential oil and organic fractionated coconut oil) it does not get closer to nature than this.
You can shop online or pick up directly at the farm.
There is nothing like receiving a new mug for the holidays, is there? Modern Science Project creates beautiful vases, home decor, earrings and drinkware. This year I’m suggesting Amanda’s funky mugs. Mugs created in her workshop basement are one of a kind, made by hand, and not like anything you’ve seen before.
Based in Seattle, you can shop online.
Elisabeth Minor Art is based in Tacoma and creates some of the cutest stickers we have seen in a while! While we think that you should put some Bigfoot Stickers in your loved ones' stockings this year, she has dozens of prints ranging from moths to botanicals to sea creatures. If you are looking to pass on the love of art this year, Elisabeth will have you covered!
Do you know someone who loves representing Washington? Emerald + Evergreen makes their new favorite t-shirts — trust me. With designs specifically created for Washington, Spokane & the PNW, the quality of these shirts goes above and beyond. I personally own several of their shirts and find myself always wanting to buy more.
Based in Spokane, you can shop either online or in person. If shopping online, use code “EWS_2022” when checking out to enjoy a 10% discount for our followers!
If you have lived in Western Washington long enough, you will be familiar with the question, “is the mountain out?” David from Rainier Watch has taken it a step further and created a business around Mt. Rainier. With beanies, baseball caps, and t-shirts, his items have a modern-vintage feel. Personally, I recommend his Eco-Tees for extra comfort and ethical production.
Healing Rowan Creations owner Joshua creates wire-wrapped crystal necklaces right here in Washington. A father of two who discovered his creativity while making pendants for his children, his necklaces are truly small works of art. With a large variety of crystals to choose from, you can also place a custom order if you know the recipient's favorite crystal. Not sure which one to choose? Make sure to check out his Amethyst Pendant wrapped in oxidized copper!
You can shop online.
Cocoa Loves Grey creates laser-cut accessories, and owner Nellys is having fun! Her earrings can add a burst of color to any outfit with a selection that is constantly changing. Nellys found a creative side of herself that she did not know existed before trying her hand at making earrings, and hasn’t stopped since! Help your loved one accessorize their face this holiday season.
You can shop online or in person at select stores.
Weekend Made is a family-owned business creating the softest, most comfortable pajamas you or your gift recipient will ever own. Hayley, after experiencing sensory overload at night from her scratchy seams, decided to take matters into her own hands. And I am so glad she did! Weekend Made creates butter-soft pajamas without seams, using ethical manufacturing practices. If you know someone who prioritizes comfort above anything else, you need not look any further!
You can shop online or in select stores.
Do you have a friend that has been wearing their snapback just a little…too long? We know that feeling — help them out and grab them a new one. We personally are into this corduroy snapback from Alki Supply. If corduroy isn’t what you are looking for, you will find other fun snapbacks, beanies and throwback stickers of days gone such as the Kingdome. Owner Evan is self-taught and wants to celebrate Washington State.
You can shop online, and when you are checking out use code: “EXPLOREWA” for 15% off of any order!
Are you ready to spoil your loved one? PNW Mobile Spas can help you achieve that goal, and then some. They are the region's only on-demand spa & Nordic style wood-fired sauna rental service. Whether in their backyard, at a cabin they are renting, or beyond; they will deliver the spa (and even water if necessary), set it up, and it’s time to relax. With a variety of sizes, this is a gift that will bring joy to all involved. Rental periods go from 2 days to one month, with the option to include add-ons such as lights, seating, a gazebo and more.
It’s the holiday season, and no matter which specific holiday you may celebrate…everyone loves reindeer! Goldendale Reindeer lead tours on their reindeer farm where you will not only learn fun facts about reindeer (there are plenty) but also have the opportunity to feed and interact with their beautiful reindeer. Explore Washington State owner, Scott, went out recently to their farm and had more fun than he has had in months! This is ideal for reindeer lovers, children, and everyone in between.
You can take home a little bit of the North Pole with their Reindeer Fur ornament as well! This is such a fun keepsake, and you can use the code “REINDEERFLY” for free shipping this year.
Are you shopping for a new Washington State transplant or someone who has spent their whole life here? Our Washington State Bucket List Scratch Off Poster features over 60 activities ranging from the well-known to more hidden activities and events across the state. Your recipient can scratch off each item as they go to reveal a high-quality photo taken by a local photographer. Once they are finished, they can hang it in their home or office as a reminder of all they have seen and done! This is one of our best-selling products, and we truly believe this is the best way to Explore Washington State.
Perhaps you are looking for a present for those who are ready to roll up their sleeves and get crafty. Craftlab Seattle is a mobile crafting lab with a focus on upcycling goods and materials. Run by an architect with 25 years of experience, Craftlab Seattle can bring holiday joy for one-on-one or groups. With Craftlab you can book parties and classes, and purchase DIY kits for at-home fun. From ribbon weaving to printmaking, this is an interactive gift that keeps on giving.
Do you know someone who is itching to get behind the wheel of a high-performance rally car? Dirtfish can make all of their dreams come true at their rally school. From classes for absolute beginners to multi-day classes for drivers of every background, your recipient will learn from experienced & pro drivers! With discounts available for military personnel (retired or active), Dirtfish can also accommodate those with paralysis/ other conditions by offering hand controls with automatic transmission vehicles. They also offer women-only classes. Get out, get racing & get ready to give the gift that will not be forgotten anytime soon!
Located in Snoqualmie, you can book a class online today.
One of the best experiences you can give, or enjoy yourself, is a simple getaway. Washington State is filled with beautiful cabins, but have you heard of Digs Co.? Owner and self-proclaimed expert pillow-fluffer, Chelsea is elevating short-term rentals alongside her realtor and developer husband, Luke. With over a dozen stays to choose from, you can browse their cabins and homes online to find the perfect fit. We are huge fans of her cabin, Roslyn Digs, but know that no matter where you choose to stay, you will enjoy it! If you are looking to enjoy the holidays with family but everyone is sprawled out, why not book a cabin for up to 12?
Are you shopping for an absolute foodie? The Emerald Palate is where you need to be looking this year! Experience Seattle’s food scene like a local with a self-guided Seattle food tour that Adria has poured her heart into. You and your lucky recipient will be guided through various neighborhoods that most tourists never visit. We are big fans of her Ballard food tour, but we know she has researched and visited every single eatery, and trust her judgment! Want to take it a step further? Have a custom trip planned just for your recipient.
You can book a self-guided tour online, but don’t forget to tune into our podcast episode with Adria to learn about everything that goes into planning these tours.
Let your taste buds travel this year, all the way to Greece. Mastrogiannis Distillery is owned by Ilias Mastrogiannis and is a family-owned distillery and winery. They are truly committed to crafting a world-class brandy, inspired by Ilia’s late father, Constantine. We suggest trying the Baton Brandy, their flagship barrel-aged brandy including green apple, candied lemon zest, poached bartlett pear with cinnamon & nutmeg, and over-charred lemon creme brûlée aromas. Are you salivating yet? If you are looking for a less complex taste, try their Rakomelo Brandy: honey-infused with local Washington wildflower honey, Ceylon cinnamon & a touch of cloves.
You can shop online and enjoy a 10% discount when you use the code, “EXPLOREWA”. Tune into our episode with Ilias to hear his passion and wonderful story, and then head over to “The Distillery Nation Podcast” to hear Ilias speak with other industry professionals.
How do you feel about Amaricano? Fast Penny Spirits is a local Seattle business that not only is giving back a portion of bottle revenue to support women in business, community and industry, but they are passionate about what they do. Using local, sustainably-sourced and farmed ingredients, you will find items such as black truffles, saffron, and cocoa nibs in their delicious drinks. This holiday season, we are suggesting you bring their Amaricano Spritz Kit to create a simple but tasty cocktail for your guests. However, gift-wise, we would personally love to receive their “Getaway with Amaricano” which includes a bottle of their Amaricano Bianca and a hardcover of “Getaway” written by Seattle chef Renee Erickson. The book will guide your recipient through food pairings with amaro cocktails.
You can shop online, or pick up certain items at their distillery. Tune into our episode with Jamie Hunt and Holly Robinson to learn more about their woman-owned business that is focused on philosophy.
Perhaps you are shopping for a cider lover. Have you heard of Liberty Ciderworks yet? Based in Spokane, Liberty Ciderworks gathers nearly all of its fruit from three local, family-run orchards that are focused on growing fruit, especially for ciders. We think their Heirloom Series would make for a fun gift this year! Using varietals that have been grown since before Prohibition, these ciders pack a flavourful punch that includes hints of jackfruit, cream, pineapple, and even white pepper — depending on the cider you choose.
You can shop online, or across the state in various local markets. We sat down with owner Rick Hastings on our podcast to learn more about his journey of creating cider originally for family members who were having challenges with gluten.
The gift of beer. Anyone living in the PNW knows that we love our beer, and there are so many creative breweries popping up all the time. Beer Fridge can help make gift-giving this year even easier. With a variety of gift boxes from “Bellingham Born & Brewed” to “Dark Side” or even “Greatest Hits”, their curated craft beer boxes are a fun way to give the gift of delicious, Washington-made beer, cider, or hard seltzer. Not sure which box to choose from? Grab a Beer Fridge gift card for your recipient so they can choose their own subscription to keep the fun going all year round.
Let’s not forget our best friends this holiday season! Pupups is a small, woman-owned business that makes the best dog collars in the state. Each dog collar and matching leash are made with Biothane-coated webbing and glossy-coated webbing. This means they are truly water AND dirt-proof. Can you believe it? Each collar and leash design is hand drawn and printed with eco-friendly inks, and comes in a variety of sizes (even custom sizes). If you are using Fi Units with your pup, you will be happy to know that Pupups is an official Fi Tracker maker. Each design you love can also come with a spot to add your Fi GPS unit. Not only will your dog's collar and leash no longer stink after your long adventures, but owner Raina is more than dedicated to helping other animals. For each collar purchased, Raina donates a collar to a rescue organization.
We know that we already mentioned Down By The River Lavender. However, we want to point you in the direction of their dog spray! Not only is lavender touted to aid in calming Fido, but this spray offers a level of insect deterrence. You can use the spray directly on their coat to help neutralize any odors, increase their shine, and decrease shedding and dandruff. An all-around great product for dog parents out there!
Again, you can shop online or pick up directly in Wenatchee at their farm.
There’s nothing like receiving a bag of specialty coffee, no matter the season. If you have been looking for a coffee shop that not only roasts its own coffee but does so on a zero-emission roaster, look no further than Nomad PNW. Located in the small town of Wilkeson, Washington, this roaster is nestled along the Carbon Glacier entrance to Mt. Rainier (and they also make some delicious empanadas, as well as traditional Argentine pastries). From Decaf from Mexico to whole beans from Ethiopia, giving the gift of coffee is a must this year!
You can shop online, or directly in their cozy cafe.
Pickles. That’s right, we think you should be gifting pickles this year. But not just any pickles, pickles from Seattle Pickle Co. Using flavors of the PNW, Seattle Pickle Co. is dedicated to combining & brining fresh ingredients to create unique flavors that can only be found in our region. They don’t only make pickles, though: pickled spicy green beans, pickled beets, and Smitty’s (bloody) Mary Mix all make fun presents. For beginners, we suggest going old school with their Fresh Dill Pickles, but if you’re shopping for someone who enjoys a kick of heat…try the Habanero Dill Pickles.
You can shop online today!
If you are shopping for a bookworm this year, here are some Washington State authors we think you should be checking out.
Brandon Fralic and Rachel Wood (aka Beers at the Bottom) are back with their “Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest” second edition! Now with 52 hikes leading the reader through the PNW, each ending at a brewery where local craft beer awaits. Each trail includes detailed descriptions with information on accessibility, duration, points of interest, and more.
Tune into our episode with Brandon and Rachel to learn more about their (fun) research and favorite hikes.
Mónica Guzmán will teach you how to navigate difficult conversations about the dividing issues in our country, in her book “I Never Thought Of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times”.
We had the chance to sit down with Mónica on our podcast to learn more about her and her inspiration for her award-winning book.
Ronit Plank is open and vulnerable in her book, “When She Comes Back”. She tells the story of how at the age of six, her mother left her and her sister for India to follow Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a cult guru. Ronit opens up about losing her mother, her turbulent relationship with her father, and how her family tries to find themselves. This is a story of resilience, reconciliation, and rejection. More importantly, it is Ronit’s story of how she came out on the other side.
Caitlin Moss has come out with her 5th novel this year, “To the Grave”. This book will have you wondering what will happen next, right up to the very end. Focused on a group of three friends, this is a tale of betrayal, divorce, and life-altering revelations that will change their friendship forever. “Secrets can’t stay hidden forever, no matter who is keeping them.”
Jamie McGillen is a self-proclaimed history nerd, and her novels reflect her passion for diving into the past. In her first novel, “In Sight of the Mountain”, Jamie takes you on a journey of the devastating aftermath of the 1889 Seattle Fire. Focused on 19-year-old Anna Gallagher who is pressured to marry and settle down, she has other plans. She wants to be the first woman to summit Mount Rainier.
We sat down with Jamie to talk about all things books, her writing process, and getting published.
Pam Mandel may be a waffle connoisseur, but more importantly, she is an author. In her memoir, “The Same River Twice”, she takes on her journey of dirtbag backpackers, bomb shelters, and bad travel. In her youth, she traveled to find meaning in the world but was often overlooked in her teenage years. When she was 17, her father shipped her off on a youth group tour of Israel which led to a journey across three continents and thousands of miles. How does travel truly change us? What does travel truly teach us? Read to find out!
Roddy Scheer is a journalist and photographer, specializing in environmental issues as well as travel and the great outdoors. His book, “Oregon & Washington’s Roadside Ecology” guides you on 33 easy walks through our region's amazing natural areas. On these walks, Roddy will take you through the hidden stories of the PNW’s unique ecosystems and teach you how to read a landscape.
Interested in learning more?
Tune into our episode with Roddy to hear just how he was inspired to create this guidebook for those looking to Explore a bit more of Washington State.