15 Unique Gift Ideas, Handmade by LA Designers
Rachel Craven, cofounder of the popular Echo Park Craft Fair, shares her favorite gift ideas from local designers.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:54 AM
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Los Angeles-based textile artist, designer, and creative consultant Rachel Craven holds a deep appreciation for simple, high- quality handmade goods. As cofounder of the popular biannual Echo Park Craft Fair, Craven has quite the eye for designers and creators of all kinds.
Twice a year, the two-day art and design event showcases the talent of tons of creative minds in an array of mediums—from ceramics and jewelry to perfumery and clothing design to woodworking and fabric art. Here, Craven, whose own home features many of these designers, has rounded up a few of her favorite picks from Craft Fair vendors to curate a seriously a unique gift guide of handmade and one-of-a-kind pieces. This season’s Craft Fair may be over, but you can still order some of these truly special gifts online.
Fell Knives, $180-$400
Nicholas Berkofsky works out of his garage to create high-quality, one-of-a-kind knives. Perfect for the aspiring Top Chef in the family, each blade is hand forged from carbon steel for sharpness and durability that’s worth the price.
Wooden spoons, Four Leaf Wood Shop, $35 to $130
These stunning, hand carved spoons by are almost begging to be put on display. Made from materials like walnut, cherry, and maple hardwood, each item is hand sanded and polished, then finished with natural beeswax and mineral oil. Gerard and Genevieve Barrere of Four Leaf Wood Shop are incredibly passionate about their craft, and create each individual piece with its own unique character using traditional carving tools.
Nancy Pearce turns even the most mundane items into works of art. Working with cast bronze, Pearce elevates ordinary objects, like these shiny serving bowls, into beautiful displays for the home.
Sac 1 Natural Cow, Agnes Baddoo,
Agnes Baddoo designs luxurious leather goods that are handcrafted in Lose Angeles out of natural hide materials. Gift your mom one of her timeless, elegant designs in a range of colors to be her favorite kid this holiday season.
Jumper Woman No19 Oversized Natural, Babaà Knitwear, $200
This oversized pure wool sweater is the definition of cozy. Babaa’s creations are all dyed and spun by their artisan partners, and all designs are created cruelty-free. Your sister will want immediately pull this on after opening her gift.
Temple Rug, Block Shop Textiles, $450+
Woven and dyed in small batches, no two textiles that come from Block Shop are exactly alike. If you’re looking to give a remarkable gift to someone who appreciates interior design, this is it. Plus, this company is committed to keeping a low environmental impact, so you can feel good about purchasing one of their manually processed pieces. (Check out their LA studio.)
Pinch Hat in Kabocha Angora, Clyde, $326
For the fashionista in your life, these hand-pinched hats come in a bunch of super stylish colors and designs.
Earrings, Hannah Keefe,
Hannah Keefe’s fine jewelry is completely one-of-a-kind. Inspired by enthnographc textiles, beadwork patterns, and modernist weavings, everything from the smallest earrings to the most luxe necklaces is truly a work of art.
Le Feu Violet, Le Feu De L’Eau, $65
A quality candle is a great gift for the person who seems to have everything. These are molded underwater for a unique tie-dyed exterior look, and each scent is a combination of fragrance and natural oils.
Small Loop Vase, Lucy Michel Ceramics, $100
Each of Michel’s handmade pieces is worth admiring. Her looped vase designs are the perfect plant mom gift.
Gaziantep Blankets, Mr. Merz, $80-$220
Mr. Merz is a creative studio focused on responsibly making beautiful objects with a cultural heritage. From towels to blankets, each piece is handwoven from soft, durable materials. Craven loves their extra plush throw blankets that are big enough for two.
Tan Grey Dark Brown Sheep Hide, Shepherdess: Holistic Hides, $300
Shepherdess: Holistic Hides make dense, fluffy furs that vary in texture and color. Each hide is authentic and sourced from an ethically sound California farm. A cozy gift for anyone looking to spruce up their decor.
Chochajau, Guatemala Medium Roast, Canyon Coffee, $17
For the coffee lover in your life, give a gift you know they’ll love: coffee. Specifically, organic coffee made from Guatemalan beans.
Hooks, Ramsey Conder
Ramsey Conder’s wares are some that Craven can personally vouch for: She uses his hooks and lights in her own home. The brass hooks are made with a lost wax process, and they make a great stocking stuffer.
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