One of the silver linings of living through a 2+ year (and ongoing) global pandemic is that we’ve all doubled down on shopping local. Yes, our neighborhood small businesses have been struggling – and sadly, we’ve lost a few – but so many of them continue to hang in there, and that’s because of you. Seriously! By choosing to spend your money down the street, you’re helping a gutsy entrepreneur stay afloat during the most difficult economical challenge in modern history. Don’t stop now. The biggest shopping events of the year are looming, and I hope that my list of Portland (and, slightly beyond) stores offering unique, thoughtful items for $50 or less will help you score the best gifts for putting under the tree. Give these businesses a follow on social media and keep an eye out for their holiday sales. Let’s boost their signal by sharing widely, making those digital cash registers ch-ching all month long.
Hope you enjoy my carefully curated selection of items by talented, creative makers and shakers, with an emphasis on hardworking entrepreneurs, ethically made goods, Black-owned businesses, mom & mom stores, and something for evvvverrrryyyoonnnee. You might even recognize a couple from last year’s post (which you all seemed to love, btw). And because not everyone has loads of $ to spare – it’s been a rough financial year for many people, too, understandably – there’s an awesome variety of gifts featured for much less than $50, too. Oh! And like last year, I’ll be running a little competition where you (and your bestie) can win something fun and fantastic from the list, and that really levels the playing field. So make sure to follow me on Instagram, and read all the way to the bottom of the post for info on how to enter!
1. Graham and Tooze Farm Store: Everything you’d expect from your old school country store – soaps, candles, linens, goat totes….and a super handy Northwest Local Food Wheel for $17, to help you easily keep track of what’s seasonal throughout Oregon and Washington states.
2. Gingifer’s Kitchen: The best stocking stuffers are edible, and here’s something special for the condiment or pickle lover in your life. A regular at farmer’s markets on the Oregon Coast, Gingifer makes phenomenal small batch jams that sell out like wildfire. Try the Marionberry Pinot Noir or Strawberry and Champagne jams for $8 apiece (you won’t regret it, promise).
3. “Miniature sex toy earrings for full size freaks” is just for starters at @atwoodmade, an upcycled and custom fashion boutique by a PDX-local trans maker. I’m lowkey obsessed with their sex toy earrings – $35 a pair – and I’ve checked in with them and they’re currently stocked. Am guessing that won’t last long, either…
4. For your friend, neighbor, or loved one with a new baby? Go to @wheatonwhimsy for surprisingly affordable babyware, including this sweet pink rainbow silicone teether that will make your ovaries squeal with delight. There’s also a bunch of adorable toys that are easy on your budget.
5. You’re a Portlander, so you know at least one person who’d love the gift of vegan and/or gluten free baked goods, amirite. Mosey on over to @miz_drizzle for treats from a Black + queer local plant-based bakery chef. Those gluten-free strawberry shortbread filled with strawberry compote and strawberry-lemon buttercream look FANTASTIC. Make sure to drop them a DM now to pre-order for the holidays.
6. It looks like we’ll still be wearing masks well into 2022, at least, so you might as well pandemic in style. These gorgeous masks from @mahina.luna are made with striking, vibrant fabrics, and the bikinis are pretty rad, too.
7. Give the gift of Good Coffee! Yeah, I know. You can’t throw a rock without hitting a coffee peddler in Portland, but give these folks a try – order a couple of blends online, and get free shipping for orders over $30. That’s one gift crossed off for the cup o’ Joe lover in your sphere.
8. …or, try the award-winning blends at Happy Rock Coffee. One of my Instagram buddies said they’ve been vibin’ on their El Chupacabra blend lately, and at $14 a bag, there’s no such thing as too much coffee, y’all.
9. What goes best with coffee for breakfast? Toast. Or winter soups? Buttered bread. You can get locally made ~artisan~ breads delivered to your loved one’s door by signing up with @starterbread. Seriously, this is such a cool gift, and one that keeps on giving. Plus, they’ve got a bit of a cult following amongst Portlanders. For just $30ish in December, three gorgeous loaves will be delivered over three weeks, which feels like a wholesome holiday miracle. Check out their range of delicious bakes here.
10. Going Stag was featured on last year’s list, and her work was so popular I decided to boost them again – just LOOK at these adorable hand made house ornaments, y’all. And they can be customized to look like a specific home, too (heads up, realtors looking for client gifts). Just promise to reach out to this badass ex-funeral director for custom orders asap, because art takes time.
11. Thanks for the heads up on Hinterland Empire, friends. This company – “created and maintained by queer, feral, opinionated women” – sounds right up so many alleys. I love the Feral As Fuck tanks and tees, and nothing represents quarantining better than Fuck Pants undies (the stickers are fun, too).
12. The macrame trend is still going strong (c’mon, it’s timeless), and @hustlehomedecor has got you for all those reimagined 70’s retro vibes. Plus they’re based in Kenton, which you know is close to my heart.
13. Lookit those lovely lil’ polymer clay trinkets and earrings from local maker, @cositaspdx! Slide into their DMs for pricing and availability, but again, do it soon so you can get your orders in time for the holidays.
14. Got a friend or family member who can’t decide between witchy shit and country twang? Why not both! @midnight.moons.outpost offers ritual kits and desert scents for that New Mexico witch in your coven. The oak moss and amber soy candle sounds lovely, and feels like a bargain at $20.
15. You might have spotted Essance Skincare at New Seasons, but did you know they were a local company, owned and run by a woman of color? Their face wash was recommended on Instagram (around $30), and you can either order it online or pick it up next time you’re out shopping – a pretty perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for family member.
16. This one’s pretty cool – and an unconventional gift for encouraging deeper connections via communication and activities. @thelovely.us is a woman-owned Portland company, the packages she offers are only $25, and they’re designed to inspire you to explore relationships, embark on intentional parenting, or prep for a job interview, etc. I like the sound of Perfect Day…
17. Helen Rose Skincare was another Instagram rec, and the lavender wild orange Cupuaçu whip deep moisture butter caught my attention. For only $20 (plus 25% off if you sign up for their newsletter!), this is a screaming deal…plus you’re supporting Black woman-owned business. All of her products sound delightful, so give her a follow on Insta and get shopping.
18. You might be wondering how we’ve gotten to #18 without any mention of earrings yet, huh? Yeah I know, that’s kinda strange for me. Try @ofclayjewelry for ceramic style, with free shipping for orders $40+. These Gaia cuties are $38.
19. I featured Amelia last year, but they’re still kicking on Alberta St., and curating interesting, unique pieces – such a great place to shop for your goth aunt or angsty teens, and the prices are super reasonable. I love this brass bangle set for $24, their $10-$15 ritual kits, or one of many stunning geometric art deco art prints for $20-$50. And if you can’t stop by in person, domestic shipping is free for purchases of $25+.
20. @studiocatawampus is a popular Portland artist known for their whimsical critters, lifelike pet portraits, and gorgeous watercolor ink jobs at @oakiristattoo. Brighten up someone’s home with quirky, fun artwork – like this classic platypus aubergine fine art print – for just $30.
21. Scratch that pop culture nerd off your holiday gift list at Misty Figs – stickers for your car (love the LetterKenny one), buttons, enamel pins, funko pops, and all things geek chic…like these sweet Pride axolotl earrings for just $12.
22. Elevate the holiday spread with naturally dyed and handmade linens from @madrelinen. You won’t be able to stop at the napkins, which are $44+ for a set of four. This awesome, local, woman-owned-and-run company is committed to purchasing an increasing percentage of supplies from POC sellers, all while challenging fast culture and institutional racism. Plus, y’know, those gorgeous, gorgeous linens.
23. @amareeandreesejewelry was another rec, and I won’t ever say no to earrings. They seem to sell out pretty fast, but most of their earring sets are around $50, and would tickle any earring fanatic (go take a peek at their Insta, trust me). Again, I can’t emphasize enough that you need to reach out to these local makers early so they have time to make and ship your purchase with plenty of time to spare.
24. Time for some total tea porn at @sinensis_tea.pdx. Chicaná owned and operated, and using ethically sourced ingredients, you can please your tea lovers with intriguing-sounding blends like Grey Jazz, Holy Detox, and a Dia De Los Muertos blend for $12-$15.
25. @shopidlehandspdx – or the Idle Hands Collective – sell an eclectic mix of handmade jewelry and vintage goodness. While some of their earrings and necklaces *just* top the $50 range, they’re still worth a share for being local PDX creatives…and for these adorable vintage brass ducks or Virgin Mary candlestick (one-off purchases only, here, so don’t snooze and lose).
26. If Beyonce carries hot sauce in her bag, so should we all. @marshallshautesauce is local, woman-owned and run, and sources local ingredients to make delicious concoctions…and we all have that one person who just lives for the spice life. Surprise them with habañero carrot curry, serrano ginger lemongrass…or this perfectly packaged sampler gift set for $35!
27. It’s candle season, and @wildwoodcandle_co produces candles “inspired by and dedicated to the trails in Forest Park” – how’s that for super specialized and hyper local?! I’m into the idea of the Aspen Pine, Fresh Cut Grass, and Soil scent, and candles run for $28. Get it? Run? Forest Park trails? Okay, moving on…
28. Thank you to the person who recommended @drinkmamey juices, because personally? I wouldn’t knock a gift card for a fresh juice or two during the holidays. Another Black and woman-owned local business to support, and the juices look and sound fantastic (ie: Bocha Grape: red grapes, basil leaves, and blue pea powder). Get a gift card here.
29. You can love chocolate, and support local, while keeping it ethical. @cloudforest‘s chocolate comes highly recommended, and sell for around $8 a bar. Their Olo bar – “a 70% dark chocolate bar that envelops the warmth of cardamom with a breeze of bergamot as it moves through a path of wild Bolivian cacao” – sounds especially yum.
30. I feel like you can find something for everyone at @tenderlovingempire – their gift boxes for kids and adults are pretty freaking amazing – plus you can custom build your own care package, too. They even have a BIPOC section of their shop. Their Snail Mail Subscription is such a cute idea, and you can sign your favorite Luddite up for 3 cards a month for $12.99, or 6 cards a month for $23.99. Your giftee will have zero excuse to not send you a card in the mail. 😉
32. Hello, delicious nut butters. Okay, that sounded a bit weird, but hear me out – Ground Up. Thoughtful, ethical ingredients (ie: no palm oil). A “not-just-for-profit business that provides job training to womxn overcoming adversity in the Portland area.” And unique, surprising flavors like Marzipan with Sprinkles Nut Butter. Salted Eggnog Coconut + Cashew Butter. Or a Holiday Sampler box! Priced around $16 a jar/$50 for the 4-pack BUT! You’re putting those extra $$$s towards a great cause, so what are you even still doing here, just go buy some.
33. @madinadesignspdx is a Black woman-owned and run business, and a regular on the Portland street fair circuits. The pandemic has likely tried to cramp her style, so show her and her incredible wearable art some love. Check out her Etsy, for badass statement earrings such as these for just $32 with free shipping!
34. You know I love me some @kentonantiques, and you should follow them on Instagram to keep current on what they’re peddling on the regular. Run by a rad woman who has a real eye for unique and interesting antiques, you can stop by the store for crystals, vintage jewelry, comics, and more – or just go to the Etsy store. I know that YOU know someone who’d JUST DIE for this vintage af Star Wars read-along-adventure, Planet of the Hoojibs.
35. Okay, so don’t hate me, but I had to feature just one “gifts for under $50” that’s actually a bit higher than $50. But I think in this case it’s worth it. @sweetheartstjohns is a super popular woman-owned bakery located in – you guessed it – St. Johns, and her holiday cookie packages are dreamy to look at, and even better to eat. Holy shit. Treat yourself or a loved one to fresh, festive cookie perfection, delivered to your door.
36. I love @mantelpdx, and the lovely woman who makes Mantel so great is always on top of what’s in fashion for the home and body. Plus, KENTON. Just look at these beautiful ceramic bowls ($34 each), or these glamorous, dazzling Czech wine glasses ($42 each). Plus omg, $10 flat rate shipping, $5 local delivery!
37. Michele Maule paints recognizable, delightful watercolors of Portland cityscapes, flora, and fauna, and this sweet sticker set illustrating “the four seasons of Portland bridges” is an easy gift. Or, check out their affordable prints, calendars, and cards of iconic Portland locations, like the OHSU aerial tram, or the Witch’s Castle in Forest Park.
38. Support your local farmers, too, and that includes those on the Washington and Oregon coasts. @hamahamaoysters is where Portland and Seattle chefs go for their shellfish, and for good reason – they’re delicious. And family owned and run. You can get 5lb bags of purple savory or manila clams and mussels for under $50, but for $54, you can treat someone very special to a 3 dozen bag of Hama Hama’s signature oysters, and make them very happy, indeed.
39. No way am I not gonna plug my Papa’s Oregon coast business, and many of you already know just how good @sacredseatuna is. Everyone’s been begging for a gift pack for years, and now your briny dreams have come true! Give your tuna-lovin’ friends and family the gift of quality canned fish for the holidays with this cute 4 can gift pack for just $40 with free shipping in the lower 48 states.
40. I lovvveeee @woopdx (again, WOC-owned, again, Kenton), and Woo is a one-stop-shop for everything witchy and ritualistic. Tarot, crystals, incense, so much cool stuff. These pretty gemstone pipes for $25 are bound to make someone happy.
42. Show off your Oregon pride with some banana slug earrings by @poppyandpuddincrafts, a lovely seller from West Linn. Fifteen bucks is a great gift price, and their other stuff is super fun and funky, too.
43. For that very particular, very specific giftee in your life, @otterwax might just be the ticket. Know an avid horse rider? Try the saddle soap for $10. Fabric care, boot wax, leather oil or salve…all here, all super affordable, all small batch by a Portland maker.
44. @LuckyDayCoOp is a Vancouver, Washington thrifter, and while all of their items are one-offs, I just had to share some of what they’ve currently got in stock – like this vintage Oregon Trail book for $21, for one.
46. The holidays can be kinda tough for those avoiding alcohol, and that’s where @forbitterforworse comes in. Their motto? “We offer people who aren’t drinking a place at the party”. Right on. They’re also an award-winning non-alcoholic cocktail company, and someone you know and love is sure to appreciate you thinking of them during the boozy season. So go get them this beautifully presented (and apparently super delicious) trio pack for $29.95.
47. Who doesn’t like being gifted chocolate? Especially when it’s vegan, gluten-free, nut free, and, surprise! Delicious! Also? Hello, 3 piece box of extra strength CBD truffles for $22.50. This naturopath mom’s award winning, certified fair trade, allergy friendly truffles are pretty popular, so get your orders in, pronto. They’re called @missionarychocolates, btw.
48. @thebarreledbee is a Black woman-owned PDX business taking honey to new heights. Read this description of her barrel aged buckwheat honey: “Batch 109 was aged in a Magdalena rum barrel from Westward Whiskey in Portland, OR. The rich, pungent buckwheat honey smells of barnyard and fresh turned soil.” YUM. Just $25 for a bottle of this sweet, boozy bee juice.
49. @justjoeyrose makes really interesting “artistic wearables” a hybrid mix of wool, horse hair, crystal, and bone, amongst other natural materials. These extended leather earrings are $38, and a real statement for your bolder buddies.
Aaaaannnddd 50: Last but not least, @bumblebathsoap has all your bath bomb and lather loving friends soaped and sudded. Warm vanilla oat and lavender bergamot bath bombs for $8 apiece, and loads more lovely scented soaps and scrubs for everyone’s tastes.
Phew. Thanks to those of you who made helpful suggestions for this list, I’ve discovered so many new-to-me businesses to follow and I hope you have, too.
Wanna win something from one of the featured entrepreneurs and artists on this list of up to $50 value? Here’s what to do:
1. Follow me on Instagram.
2. Like my Insta post for 50 Gifts for Under $50.
3. Save that same post.
4. Comment on which item on the list you’d love to receive.
5. Tag a bestie so they can comment on what they wanna win, too.
I’ll randomly draw the winning duo soon, tagging you both. And I’ll do my very best to fulfill your chosen item, but it also depends on availability.
Hope you enjoy the tips and recs for shopping local on coming holiday sales, and all year ’round, basically. It’s a good habit to get into. Lemme know if you bought anything off this list, and don’t forget to share this post far and wide to boost support for our local businesses!