The best gifts are ones that are unique or handmade and give back to your community. And Minnesota has a huge variety of wonderful makers, artisans, and small brands creating everything from custom decor to caramels.
So if you’re ready to shop small this season and find some incredible local gifts, we’ve got the guide for you! At Fourpost in Mall of America, we’ve partnered with over ten local brands for the holidays—and they all make unique gifts that anyone would love to receive.
So whether you’re searching for handmade Minnesota gifts, Minnesota-made clothing, or just want to support local brands, here are our top gift ideas this year:
1. Fun, Functional, Minnesota-Made Clothing
Know someone who proudly reps the north? So do we! Minneapolis-based clothing company, The Northern Thread, combines the themes of nature with today's fashion in a collection of clothing and accessories for everyone. Their fun stickers make wonderful stocking stuffers while their hiking hoodies are a great way to give the gift of warmth for your loved ones’ outdoor adventures.
You can also meet the founder of The Northern Thread, Jaclyn O'Konek, at one of our Meet the Maker events in December. Not only is this a treat for yourself, but you can also get Jaclyn’s tips for selecting a memorable, locally-designed gift for someone special. RSVP here.
Or get whimsical with Minnesota-made clothing from local artist, Adam Turman. His collection of colorful prints and illustrations can be found on a variety of items from tees to towels. We love his MN Months print, which represents a few of the iconic things that Minnesota is known for with each month of the year. Give this artistic, colorful gift in a fun t-shirt and socks combo to the Minnesota-lovers in your life.
2. Stylish Jewelry From Female Founders
Picking the right gift for your jewelry-obsessed friends couldn’t get any easier. This year, you can shop local and support female founders when you pick up a few pieces from MEND Jewelry or Fair Anita.
For the ones who like a simple and classic look, we recommend the Rose Quartz Stack from MEND. This dainty necklace is a lovely layering piece for any wardrobe. Plus, MEND says the rose quartz gemstone induces love, compassion, and kindness, which is the perfect vibe for the holiday season.
Jordyn DiOrio, the founder of MEND Jewelry, stresses the importance of women making jewelry for other women. In an interview with Walker, she said, “The women in my life have shaped me into the person I am today….To this day, I wear my grandmother’s rings and watches as a reminder of where I came from and cherish the memories with her.”
If you’d like to meet Jordyn and chat personal styling, gemstones, and trends, then RSVP to our Meet the Maker event with her and Jaclyn from The Northern Thread.
For friends that prefer jewelry in a solid color or a slightly more intricate style, you can’t go wrong with this selection from Fair Anita. Their jewelry is fair trade, recycled, affordable, and super cute. While the pieces are made by artisan women in developing countries around the world, the business is based in Minneapolis.
For the silver lovers, we recommend the Knotted Cuff and Double Halo Ring. Light and easy to pair with any other pieces of jewelry, these two are the perfect combo for adding a little class to everyday outfits.
Or give the bolder jewelry lovers in your life a pair of funky brass hoop earrings matched with a more delicate necklace. These pieces are made from recycled, brass-plated metal by women in India.
Fair Anita’s founder, Joy McBrien, is trying to build a community where women invest in other women through her fair trade business. “This is accomplished by investing in women’s economic opportunity and purchasing fair trade products, but it’s also accomplished by celebrating the successes of women everywhere and sharing those stories on social media,” she told Impact Hub. If you love this idea and want to chat about social entrepreneurship and fair trade, come meet her at our Meet the Maker event in December! Learn more and RSVP here.
3. Decor & Drink Sets for the Home
We mentioned Adam Turman earlier, but did you know you can get his colorful illustrations on drink items as well? If there’s someone on your shopping list who loves local artists, we recommend getting them a set of coasters and pints with Adam Turman’s classic Abbey Road art.
Visit our store on Small Business Saturday, and you could even get an exclusive, free holiday mug from Adam Turman with a purchase of $50 or more.
Or if your loved ones prefer to express their state pride through gorgeous, unique home decor, get them a handmade Minnesota gift from Hagen and Oats. We recommend their wooden Northern Lights frame, which depicts Minnesota state with a starry, colorful night.
Pair this gift with a couple of raffle tickets and enter your loved ones to win our Northern Brights Cabin built by Hagen and Oats. This cozy playhouse is in our store for the holiday season, and we’re raffling it off in support of RECLAIM, a Twin Cities nonprofit working to improve access to mental health care for queer and trans youth.
You can also meet the founders of Hagen and Oats while creating a truly unique gift for a loved one. Sign up for their wood staining workshop and learn how to stain your very own Northern Lights piece like the one above.
4. Say It With a Local Card
No holiday gift is complete without a heartfelt card. And a mom and pop letterpress and design studio based in Minneapolis is the perfect place to get one from. You can pick up fun, pun-filled cards from Bench Pressed at Fourpost MOA with phrases like “Happy Hollandays,” “mistletoe and chill,” and “holidays are best spent with friends.”
On the hunt for a good sale? You can get Bench Pressed cards for 50% off this Black Friday at our store. See all the deals we’ve got going on that day and RSVP here.
5. Give the Gift of Snacking
Last week, we created a gift guide all around our favorite Minnesota foodie brands. If there’s a foodie on your list this year, then check out our selection of gifts, featuring locally-made caramels, specialty gift boxes with artisanal treats, Minnesota-made candy, gourmet popcorn, and more. Get all our top foodie gift ideas here.
You can pick up all of these gifts and more at Fourpost in Mall of America.