There are hundreds of reasons why Washington is so incredible, from our other-worldly forests, to our beaches. And then there’s all of the delicious coffee and exquisite culinary experiences. It’s hard to find just one reason why our state tops the other 49, but perhaps the most important explanation why Washington is amazing is because of the creators living here. The artists, dreamers and the people full of passion making their dreams a reality.
To celebrate the creators throughout our state, we have put together a gift guide for this upcoming holiday season. Every product we mention below, we have tried and loved ourselves, and we want to share it with you. Buying from Washington businesses supports these local creators and makes the gift giving season even more special when you know it’s coming from a local source. You’ll find items on this list for everyone this holiday season, plus a few deals that might make you even snag a product for yourself!
The Ideal Stocking Stuffer
A father and daughter team, with an important mission statement of supporting art programs in public schools with their profits, Slaptastick is a Seattle based sticker company making big moves. Their Upper Left USA product includes nine stickers from PNW based artists. Their stickers are high-quality, printed on vinyl with a protective laminate that will hold up on water bottles in the sun, the back of your car and even on your snowboard.
They sell 43 different packages for $18.00, each including six stickers. Our favorites are the Upper Left USA Pack and the Hip Hop Pack, but there are a number of others perfect for someone special. They also sell The Sticker Essentials Kit, which includes 12 previous limited-edition sticker packs, with over 100 stickers! In each of their packages, there is a custom note from a team member who prepared the package.
Or, if you’re looking for the gift that keeps on giving for the sticker lover in your life, there’s two subscription services to check out as well.
These sticker packs make for a wonderful surprise in a Christmas stocking, while also being affordable. Make sure to use the code, “TRYITONUS” for 50% off your first order!
For Those Who Want to Stay Cozy
Oceans of Love by Willadee is a special Washington state based company. The owner is a creative woman who began her journey two years ago. From the original drawings to the clothing being screen-printed, everything is Washington state based. With her husband, two grown sons and friends, she is able to make this dream of hers happen.
When I first stumbled upon Willadee, the first thing I asked myself was, how did she come up with the name of her company? Willadee comes from her grandmother, which was passed on to her. Her grandmother used to finish her letters with, “oceans of love” instead of “lots of love.” She says the name of her company is a way of remembering “her wonderful and loving ways.”
Willadee’s company is so special to her because a few years ago she had a health scare. She says it taught her to “enjoy every single minute of life,” which put her in pursuit of inspiring “people to get outside, breath the fresh air, explore, have fun, go on adventures, and live life to fullest in comfort.”
My personal favorite of hers is the PNW Mountain Hippie hoodie. It is extremely soft, made of 60% cotton and 40% heathered fleece. It’s perfect for hiking, enjoying the outdoors and just everyday wear. It keeps you warm and snuggly without being boxy or boring. With it being a unisex fit, I would suggest sizing down, or maybe even two depending on how you like your fit. Not only does she sell sweatshirts, Willadee has a variety of hats, t-shirts and stickers.
Use this exclusive code”PNWWISH10” for 10% off your next purchase! Every order over $75.00 is eligible for free shipping within the United States.
For You and Your Significant Other
Stahkeeum has been making shoes since the late 90s, and they make arguably one of the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. Plus, for every pair of shoes bought, they plant a tree through Trees for the Future.
Their slippers are incredibly well priced, running between $40 to $80. My husband and I have both been wearing ours for the last month through the rain and sun and could not be happier with how well they fit. My recommendation is: grab a pair of these for you and your partner this winter, but make sure to size down! They run large, and they have a bit of give to them. If you have wider feet, these will be a comfortable and sensible choice.
Stahkeeum is also running a sale at the moment making their low prices, even lower. Ideal for Christmas shopping! You can also find them on Instagram for styling ideas.
Enter “EXPLOREWASHINGTONSTATE” at checkout and enjoy 15% off of your purchase.
For the Female Hiker
This is hands down the best present you can give the women in your life. The Kula Cloth is an antimicrobial pee cloth. Hear me out: when you’re out hiking, exploring, camping, whatever, you’re going to have to use nature as your bathroom (remember the ‘leave no trace’, ‘make sure to go at least 200 feet away from water sources’, and the ’70 feet from a trail’ rules). You can use their beautifully designed cloths to clean yourself, and let it air dry in between uses and washes.
They have various designs from talented artists, and the “print” side is completely water-proof. The black side is what you will use to wipe, and it has snaps that you can hang on the side of your backpack. It is wonderfully designed, making it discreet from anyone who might admire it from afar.
These are made using non-toxic fabrics, and eco-friendly materials that are manufactured sustainably in the United States. It is easy to clean them when you’re camping, or far from home. Just rinse with a small amount of soap, and water and let it air dry. The UV rays from the sun help “sterilize” it as it dries. You can also put it in the washing machine when you get back home.
For the Coffee or Tea Drinker
Brooke Martinez, a Spokane based potter began her 2232Ceramics journey in 2017. Recently in March 2019, ceramics became her full-time job, fulfilling a life-long dream that her grandmother introduced her to as a child and setting up her wheel, kilns and drying and glazing stations in her garage. After taking classes throughout high school and then taking classes at a local studio, her passion was reignited, allowing her to move forward with her creativity.
Brooke draws inspiration from her background in product development and fashion as well as graphic design. When browsing her products, you’ll notice soft lines with neutral colors, as well as pieces inspired from nature and the Pacific Northwest. All beautifully designed. From mugs, to bowls, to vases, each creation is a labor of love, and time. With so many steps, from throwing to waxing to glazing, it takes over 48 hours to complete a single mug.
She pulls the name 2232Ceramics from the 2232 degrees her kiln is set at. With over 200 reviews on Etsy, all five stars, you can be sure that her products, all dishwasher and microwave safe, and are worth their price tag.
For the PNW Clothing Lover
Devan, the Arlington based owner and creator behind Contour Creative, has a fire burning inside of her. Another woman inspired by her creative grandmother, Devan focuses on creating clothing that is comfortable and socially responsible, and she works tirelessly to source the highest quality products from sweatshop-free factories that value fair labor. “These days, fashion is cheap and accessible,” Devan says. “My hope is you feel free when Contour is on your shoulders and it all begins with where the pieces come from.”
What I love about her clothing is that she stamps the designs herself. After creating the image, she carves it into a stamp herself. Then, she steps onto the large stamp in her studio, making her vision a reality. Once stamped, it takes a whopping seven days for the design to dry, and since each product is handmade, no two shirts are alike.
My favorite product is the Home Sweet Home hoodie. It is a unisex sweatshirt and should be sized down when purchasing. Her clothing is also pre-shrunk, and really do stay the same size after washing – I’ve tested it! Her tops go from XXS to 4XL, and if you’re looking for one of these sizes and can’t find it on her website, shoot her an email and she can create your product! Devan has clothing items for women, men and even children. From headbands to t-shirts and leggings that feel just like Lululemon, the quality of her clothing cannot be beat.
Enter “EWS15” at checkout and enjoy 15% off of your purchase. Every order over $55.00 is also eligible for free shipping within the United States.
For the Person Who Needs New Shades
Ombraz Sunglasses create carbon-negative, armless sunglasses – with style. These aren’t your grandpa’s sunglasses! Their cords are custom-woven and extremely lightweight.
An added bonus: they have partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects, and for every pair of Ombraz purchased, 20 Mangrove trees are planted. Ombraz is run by two long-time friends, Jensen and Nikolai. Their glasses can be found in REI, and various specialty outdoor shops, and earlier this year, they also won the Backpacker Magazines 2019 Gear Editors’ Choice Award.
What I love about these glasses is how high-quality they are, and that you can customize the frame and lens to fit your style. Their lenses are coated to be resistant against scratches and smudges, making them ideal for your next outdoor adventure. Ombraz has a 30-day warranty, and the cords and beads are guaranteed for life. If you or your giftee are in need of prescription sunglasses, they’ve also got you covered.
Use the code, “EXPLOREWA” to enjoy 20% off of your purchase! Valid through the 1st of January, 2020.
For the Beer and Hiking Enthusiast
If you ask me, nothing goes better together than some Pacific Northwest brews and hiking. And authors Brandon Fralic and Rachel Wood have got you covered with their Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest book. Back in 2013 they launched their website, Beers at the Bottom, and after years of trekking through Washington and taste testing the best of the best, they have published their guide.
Every page is beautifully designed filled with a specific hike, along with quick facts about it. They describe the route and lead you to a nearby local brewery to reward yourself afterwards.
The book is user-friendly, making it possible for anyone at any hiking level able to grab the book and head outdoors. Fralic and Wood also provide a scale for beer tastings — sweet to bitter — which helps those of us with palates that aren’t as defined find our way with the beers they suggest.
Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest is a perfect gift for any beer aficionado in your life this holiday season.
For the Avid Mt. Rainier Visitor
Since 2013, Rainier Watch has been the place to go to find out if the mountain is out. It all started with a simple Tweet from founder David: “A sunny day morphed to drizzle.. Alas these clouds are keeping Rainier cautiously hidden.”
He began posting on Twitter while on his commute up and down Aurora/99 if the Mountain was out, or not. In 2016, he decided to step things up and take it further.
Since late 2017 Rainier lovers have been able to purchase various Mt. Rainier gear on his website. From cozy T-shirts to hats, stickers and sweatshirts, David’s products make fun gifts for lovers of the Mountain. When purchasing from David, you are also donating money to help protect Mount Rainier and other organizations like Washington’s National Parks Fund.
So, there you have it! Our ‘Washington State Christmas Wish List’ for 2019. Let us know what you think in the comments below, or reach out to us on Instagram at: @explorewashstate. Happy shopping!