PDD Gift Guide 2019

Happy ho ho holidays. It’s time once again for the Perfect Duluth Day Gift Guide, a list of nifty gifty things made locally or with a connection to the area. We’ve highlighted 15 items; if you know of others, let us know by dropping us a note or add suggestions in the comments.

Lake Superior Blue River Epoxy Coffee Table
Alex Afanasiev, owner of the Altwood Company in Atlanta, Ga., designs home decor furniture, including Lake Superior coffee tables. Afanasiev attended the College of Saint Scholastica and fell in love with the majestic lake. “I had to move after college but Duluth and the lake changed me a lot inside,” said Afanasiev. “That’s why I created the collection, for people who love art and love the lake. Afanasiev’s work, including the featured $1,199 coffee table, is available via Altwood Company’s Etsy store.

Bailey Aro Boudior Photo Session
Part of Duluth photographer Bailey Aro‘s focus is helping women find confidence and joy in their own skin through boudior sessions. From lingerie to a big comfy sweater, Bailey will work with the subject to create something that makes them feel great about themselves. Various prices. Info and signups at baileyaro.com.

Blackbird Revolt Peace and Justice Tee
Blackbird Revolt provides design and consulting to organizations and causes that represent diverse voices. As they put it, “Social change through conscious creativity.” Available for $25 at blackbirdrevolt.com.

AICHO Calendar
The American Indian Community Housing Organization is selling a 2020 13-month art calendar. The calendar features work from the 2018/2019 Bring Her Home exhibitions. The artwork represents a variety of mediums and shows the creativity of Indigenous people across our communities. Available for $17 at aicho.org or at the Indigenous First Gift Shop at 202 W. Second St.

Alex Messenger: The Twenty Ninth Day
Written by Alex Messenger, this is a true-life wilderness survival story about a bear attack he survived at age 17 while on a trip in Canada. Available for $25.99 at local bookstores; more info at alexmessenger.com. Also, check out PDD’s list of Duluth-related books published in 2019.


Missy Luukkonen creates holiday decorations for nearly every season, some from recycled materials. Most famous for the gnomes like the one pictured here, she also sells kits for making your own wreaths, maps, banners and more. The gnomes sell out fast, but she’s always got another variation on the way. Available for $58 at thelittlegreenbean.com.

Gitch Gear “Live a Superior Life” Hoodie
Designed and hand printed in Duluth, made out of super soft 52% cotton 48% poly fleece. Available for $45.99-$48.99 online at gitchgear.com and at select local retailers.

L’Apothicaire Chocolate
Tonya Meinerding is a chocolatier who hand crafts all of her chocolate creations, and does seasonal sales at Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Easter and Mother’s Day with pop-up shops in between. Available at her online store and at pop-ups. Follow her Facebook page for notifications. The next pop-up is Dec. 14 at the Craft District Holiday Market.

Amethyst and Sapphire Dragonfly Ring

From Duluth artist Yarrow Mead, who uses strong lines, asymmetry and visible tool marks to make an unapologetically hand-crafted piece. Available for $250 at yarrowmead.com.

Charlie Parr’s New Self-titled Album
The latest from one of Duluth’s true originals. A collection of new songs and new studio versions of classics and audience favorites from throughout Parr’s career. Available for $16.99 on compact disc and $23.99 on vinyl at Electric Fetus, or through online music sources. Also check out the PDD list of 2019 local album releases.

Hundredth Day Disaster
The first book from Duluth writer Bridget Reistad (and illustrated by me), and a great gift for teachers as well as kids. Students in one classroom have miscalculated their 100th day of school, and they have to review the activities of the school year to find where things went wrong. Available for $16.95 at local bookstores and at bridgetreistad.com

From the Top Down the Hill Art Print
Jan Swart offers art prints of some of the familiar views of Duluth — lighthouses, the bridge, the lake — but also has a keen eye for less common views of town. Prints are available in a variety or media and sizes. Available on her website.

Snow Sleeves

Adventure Us makes these snowsleeves in Ashland. They keep the snow out of that vulnerable space between your coat sleeve and mittens or gloves. They use a variety of stretchy fun fabrics. For kids and adults. Available for $24.99 at getadventureus.com.

Enger Tower Poster/Print

Designer and artist Jamey Penney-Ritter creates WPA/Art Deco-inspired images of regional landmarks and towns, and sells them as posters, cards and magnets. 12×18 prints are available for $50 at bemusedposters.com.

Hockey State Key Hanger

Help those living the hockey lifestyle organize the keys to the garage, truck or Zamboni. Available for $75 at Great Lakes Hockey online store.


Amy Trimbo

about 4 years ago

What a great list of local gifts! We're honored to have Snow Sleeves make the cut- thank you!

Brian Barber

about 4 years ago

Almanac Coffee
Roasted in Lincoln Park, Almanac Coffee is available at Dovetail Cafe & Marketplace, both Whole Foods Co-Ops, Adeline Inc, Blue Heron Trading, The Back Alley, Market Gourmet/Duluth Kitchen Co, White Spruce Market, Makers Mercantile (during Winter Village) and on their website with free shipping.  The Dovetail also has a great selection of coffee brewing equipment and supplies that would make a perfect gift bundle.

Brian Barber

about 4 years ago

Tim Kaiser Holiday Sale of Weirdness
Tim Kaiser will be hosting an online "Holiday Sale of weirdness" on Black Friday. Wake up early and get your gonkulators!

Bridget Reistad

about 4 years ago

Thanks for the great local gift ideas PDD! Honored to make this list with Hundredth Day Disaster.

Brian Barber

about 4 years ago

Detrius by The Dames

The Dames released "Detrius" this year, an album of rarities. Available at Electric Fetus, or directly from Learning Curve records. Available on vinyl and includes digital download.

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

Renegade Improv winter hats, created by Duluth Screen Printing Co., are on sale at the Zeitgeist Teatro Box Office. The black-and-white ones are $25; the blue beanies are $18.

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