Welcome to the 2023 PDD Holiday Gift Guide, an annual tradition that highlights products made in Duluth and the surrounding area. You’ll find 16 gift ideas here, but the comment area is open for suggestions.
“Cardinal” Art Print
Bring a smile to a loved one’s face with a giclée print of this friendly cardinal by Duluth artist Brian Barber. Known for his comical illustrations, videos and posters, he has created a menagerie of humorous animals suitable for framing. A 13×19 print is $40; a 17×22 print is $50, shipped rolled up in a mailing tube. Available at brianbarber.com.
Pride Tote Bags
Solidago Sewing is a Duluth-based small business that shows its stripes by producing high-quality tote bags in a variety of LGBTQ+ pride-inspired designs. Artisan Joe Lindgren dyes some of the fabrics and sells the wares at Positively Third Street Bakery, 1202 E. Third St. The bags also will be for sale at AICHO’s Winter Market, Biboon Bimaadizimin, 212 W. Second St. on Saturday, Nov. 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Get it Local Art and Gift Fair, Peace Church, 1111 N. 11th Ave. E., on Saturday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Prices range from $50-$80, depending on the number of stripes.
“My Father Loved Me”
Longtime Duluth folk favorite Rachael Kilgour pays tribute to her late father in her latest album, a collection of nine songs released Sept. 22. Emotional and honest, she softly sings with a full accompaniment of musicians as she finds reverence in the ordinary and longs for the unbendable love a parent gives. The music can be purchased at Bandcamp as a digital download for $10 or as a CD for $15.
“Sasquatch and Squirrel”
Well known as the creator of a crafty monkey and sneaky sheep, Duluth artist Chris Monroe goes big in her latest children’s tale, a story of unexpected friendship, published May 2. Monroe fills her pages with cartoonish and colorful illustrations that children will run their fingers over as they take in every detail. And she knows just the right amount of text to include to create enjoyable bedtime rituals for all. For ages 4-8. $18.99. Available at local booksellers: Bookstore At Fitger’s, 600 E. Superior St.; and Zenith Bookstore, 318 N. Central Ave. Or purchase for $25, shipping included, from chrismonroestudio.com. For a list of more local books visit the PDD post “Duluth Book Releases in 2023.”
Duluth Pottery & Tile Mug
Duluth Pottery Tile & Gallery is a working studio in Lincoln Park that showcases Karin Kraemer’s Maiolica-style pottery, Luke Krisak’s stoneware, and the work of other artists. Logo mugs, made by Kraemer, come in a variety of colors and are infused with a real “I’ve been to Duluth” vibe. $30-$40. Shop in person at 1924 W. Superior St. or online at duluthpottery.com.
Letterpress Holiday Cards
Sharing space with Duluth Pottery, Janelle Turner-Miller and Stacie Renné have found a home for the substantial weight of Warrior Printress Letterpress & Design. The artists use old-world letterpress printing to create handcrafted and self-described quirky cards and other printed materials. They’ll also work with clients who want to create their own designs. Cards are $6. Shop in person at 1924 W. Superior St. or find them online at warriorprintress.com.
Alakef Coffee Sampler Box
Sample coffees cooked up in Duluth by Alakef Coffee Roasters. The Alakef Sampler Gift Set includes four 4-ounce samples: Alakef Blend, Highlander Grogg, Colombia and North Shore Morning Blend. Choose your grind: Whole bean, course, drip or fine. $24.99. Order at alakef.com.
Lake Superior Resin Ornament
These resin ornaments in the shape of Lake Superior are made by Duluth artist Rebekah Rush, who launched her company, Wonderfully Made, in 2016. Rush also makes wall art with locally sourced driftwood. A six-inch ornament is $20. Available at Duluth Studio Market North, 512 N. 45th Ave. E.; North & Shore, 1832 W. Superior St.; Shore Flagship, 345 S. Lake Ave.; Duluth Visitor Center, 522 S. Lake Ave.; 47 Degrees, 186 Alger Smith Road, Knife River; Vintage Hideaway, 3850 Old Midway Road, Hermantown; Minnesconsin, 102 S. 27th Ave. W.; and online at wonderfullymadegoods.com.
Triple Monolith Earrings
These earrings are inspired by the shape of Lake Superior stones, fashioned in sterling silver by Duluth metalsmith Britta Lynn Kauppila. Handmade from recycled metals, each pair measures 2.75 inches long and will show slight variations. $178, available at brittalynndesign.com.
The Northland Etched in Wood
Castle Danger Woodworks is based in Two Harbors, where Troy Hansen puts laser-etched designs on a variety of wood products, including magnets, cribbage boards, key chains, earrings and coasters. He’s the man behind works found at Lou’s Fish House, Castle Danger Brewery, Glensheen Mansion, Gooseberry Falls, the University of Minnesota Duluth shop and more. Pictured: Magnets and key chains in the shape of Minnesota, moose antlers, lighthouses and more cost $6.99 at the Super One in Duluth’s Kenwood neighborhood, 1316 W. Arrowhead Road.
Minnesota Nice Dog Co. T-shirt
From wholesome to slightly not safe for work, Minnesota Nice Dog Co. prints pet-positive sentiments onto human-size T-shirts. A portion of profits benefit animal charities in the Duluth area. $25. Sold at A Place for Fido at Fitger’s Complex, 600 E. Superior St. Or order online at mnnicedogco.com.
Wrazidlo’s Old World Meats Snack Sticks
Handcrafted and smoked with maple and oak wood, these small-batch meat sticks come in 12 flavors, including Bloody Mary, dill pickle, honey barbeque and teriyaki. Three generations of the Wrazidlo family have worked the butcher counter. The 1-ounce sticks are $1.50 each, four for $5, or boxes of 20 for $20. Visit the store at 226 N. Basswood Ave. or order online (boxes only) at owmduluth.com.
From fruit to bottle, Cindy Hale and Jeff Hall of Clover Valley Farms spend a year on their artisanal vinegars. Fruit is grown on the North Shore and turned into wine. A mother culture of acetobacteria is added to produce fruity, flavorful vinegars. One of several flavors available, the Juneberry-Currant Vinegar is infused with basil and offers a rich, complex flavor. The company suggests that it pairs well with Asian cuisine like pad thai or curries, or as a dipping sauce for egg rolls. Sold for $9.99 at the Market at Fitger’s, 600 E. Superior St. Find their products and events schedule at clovervalleyfarms.com.
A Sweet Gift Set from Miel
Duluth beekeeping company Miel suffered a fire in August that destroyed inventory and closed the company’s online shop. But that hasn’t stopped this family business, and a fundraiser raised more than $13,000 to help. As of late October, Miel was planning to have its entire product line available online again by Nov. 24. To buy products in-person, find the Miel booth at craft shows around the region, including Julebyen outdoor market in Knife River on Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Jute Bag gift set includes a 4-ounce glass jar of honey, a 2-ounce lotion, lip balm and soap for $25. Contents can be customized by the customer, said owner Vanessa Roers. Find them online at mielduluth.com.
Vikre Sugarbush Whiskey
In October, Vikre Distillery celebrated the release of Lot 11 of its Duluth-made Sugarbush Whiskey, the city’s first whiskey, the company boasts, at least legally, that is. Vikre describes the spirit as a port-barrel-aged, maple-cask-finished whiskey punctuated by notes of roasted cherry, leather and yellow cake. Grains are locally sourced, with Lake Superior water being another key ingredient. About $60 for a 750 ml bottle. They tend to sell out, so don’t think about this one for too long if you’re interested. Enter your ZIP code on the website to generate a map of locations where the whiskey is sold, vikredistillery.com.
Bentleyville 20th Anniversary Merch
Nathan Bentley’s walk-through holiday light display started at his home in 2003 and moved to Bayfront Festival Park five years later. Up to 300,000 visitors each year enjoy custom lights, music, free hot chocolate, cookies, popcorn, fire pits and visits with Santa. This year, Bentleyville celebrates 20 years of lighting up the season with several products sporting an anniversary logo. A hooded sweatshirt comes in sizes XS to 4XL for $52. The anniversary merch line also includes: patch, $3; knit hat, $12; hockey puck, $7; flask, $14.99; tree ornament, $9. The Bayfront attraction will be open Nov. 18 through Dec. 26. Hours are Sunday-Thursday 5-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 5-10 p.m. Find the online store at bentleyvilleusa.org, where you also can find parking information, weather cancellations and more.
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