Lauren's Blog

50 Local Portland Gifts Under $50: 2023

Holiday season is here, and for many of us, it’s also the season of gifting. This can mean different things for each of us – some of us gift throughout the year when we see something we know a friend will love, and some of us revel in unabashed seasonal gifting with a big ol’ holiday tree. Consumerism feeds capitalism – and we all know how that’s working out for us – but zero shame if you really just love gifting gifts during the holidays. The best way to spend money in a wholesome and sustainable fashion is to SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES. Which is why I’m back again this year, seeking out the best of what Portland (and surrounds) have on offer to stuff a stocking with.

The good news is you can still find amazing gifts for under $50, and I’m doing you a solid by sharing a bunch of my favorites (and some friends helped, as well). As always, there’s a focus on bespoke, Black-owned, artist-made, women-to-the-front, LGBTQ+ folk…everything that doesn’t pad a rich old white CEO’s billfold. They’ve got plenty of money, already.

We’ve lost so many small businesses since the beginning of the pandemic, and our local artisans and entrepreneurs continue to heroically hang in there to stay afloat (hands up if at least one of your favorite small businesses has shuttered in the past 6 months). Let’s give them the boost they need while scoring super fucking cool gifts that our friends and family will actually love. There’ll be a variety of price points, some familiar faces and a bunch of new ones, and everything from stocking stuffers to that one perfect gift. Many you can even pick up while running errands, to save on shipping. 

And of course, there’s gonna be another giveaway this year! You could win something on this list that really tickles your fancy. All you gotta do is give these makers a follow – and make sure you’re following me, too, so that you’ll be right there when I announce the giveaway details. Got it? Let’s go.

    1. If you’ve been to a farmer’s market along the Oregon coast in the past decade, you may have been lucky enough to come across Gingifer’s Kitchen. I’m not lying, these are the best jams you’ve ever had. Strawberry champagne, tayberry, or the limited edition Eclipse (black cap raspberry and marionberry)…every single flavor is a winner. And their pickles are fantastic, too. For $9 a jar you should stock up, because these are about to become your new condiment obsession.
    2. Darah Lundberg Ceramics creates seriously beautiful and functional porcelain ceramics using oldschool techniques for unique wares. Love these gas-fired cups, just $35.
    3. Sacred Sea Tuna will never not be on the list, and if you’re wanting to introduce a loved one to the very best canned tuna on the planet, my Pops has got you covered with this $50 gift box that gets shipped straight to their door. Freshly caught and canned in Oregon, and exactly what the tinned fishionado in your life craves.
    4. Sometimes the presentation is just as important as the gift itself. Grab yourself some bold, vibrant, utterly unique wrapping paper from the always fabulous Kate Blair Stone, for only $10 a roll.
    5. Happy Rock Coffee have just been voted Milwaukie’s favorite coffee shop, and you can gift your coffee-lovin’ buddies a bag of brew for under $20, or nab a variety pack for $50.
    6. Common Ground is a queer-centric Portland favorite for soaking away stress. Be a holiday season MVP and send a gift card to your friend or family member most in need of some deep relaxation.
    7. Everyone wants and needs a shiny new candle, and native Hawaiian women-owned Borough Home has a lovely lil’ festive selection for the holidays. I’m liking the sound of Hearth, a scent mix of fir boughs, spiced citrus garland, and smokey embers, for just $28!
    8. If you know me, you know there’s gonna be at least one set of bold statement earrings on this list, and Modern Mandini has some stylin’ offerings, like these brass geo dangle studs for $37.
    9. Someone suggested including shellfish licenses, and I think this is such a brilliant gift idea! An annual crabbing + clamming license for an Oregon resident is $10, which means you could cover a whole family of 5 for $50. It’s also such a cool option for those hard-to-gift kiddos – and y’all know that gifting experiences is where it’s at.
    10. Magic Hour Candles have earned quite a following in recent years, and you’ve probably seen their distinctive branding all over Portland and beyond. I love their ritual horoscope candles, and of course, I’m featuring the Virgo (Golden Yarrow blossoms, garlic flower, lemon verbena, and thyme, with a Virgo-charged Malachite gemstone embedded inside – $44).
    11. We’re all a little stressed out these days, and someone on your list needs something from Roots and CrownsYou’re Okay collection. Gift a therapeutic stress-and-anxiety-soothing aromatherapy bath soak ($27) to a bud who needs a break (and one for yourself, as well).
    12. Inspired by Forest Park and infused with chanterelle mushrooms, Douglas fir tips, salal berries, and nettles, Freeland Spirits’ Forest Gin ($39.95) will be a unique addition to anyone’s festive bar cart.
    13. It’s tricky to choose just one scent from Olo Fragrance, because they all sound so delicious – but let’s start with Wyeth, “an elevating mist blowing off the ocean combined with wet moss and wood from the trees along the Northwest coast” ($45). Swoon.
    14. Treat a loved one to some serious heat from Hab Sauce, and the best part? You get to choose four flavors to make a holiday set of hot sauce that you know will be appreciated ($39.99).
    15. Maybe you have the perfect recipient for this gorgeous fancy fountain pen from Little Otsu, just $30 – and they have loads of lovely stationary gifts for anyone on your list who’s a little bit niche.
    16. Books are always the best gift, ever, so surprise your fave book nerd while also supporting Portland’s only Black-owned indie bookstore, Third Eye Books. Daisy (@housewitchpdx) recommends award-winning The Broken Earth Trilogy for $49.99.
    17. While we’re talking books, have you been to Portland’s independent culinary bookstore yet? Women-owned Vivienne has an excellent collection of cookbooks (and kitchen gifts), like acclaimed Kahn chef Gregory Gourdet’s Everyone’s Table for $37.50.
    18. Canoe has been a Portland design trailblazer for roughly 20 years, and I know you know someone who would just love their canvas log/firewood tote for $46.
    19. I’ve featured Asiyah Rose Candles in the past, but their Oud Bae scent is so good it warrants another mention. Driftwood, juniper, lavender, tobacco, incense, vanilla, and oud – “sexy, what bae should smell like!” $40, bang.
    20. Chakralot makes botanical chocolates that’ll surprise and delight the chocoholic on your gift list. Get a selection of 7 chocolates in an adorable box for $25.
    21. Another repeat feature for good reason, Seagrape Apothecary offers abundant gifting ideas for the crunchy, earthy witch in your circles, and Daisy is currently loving on the Aches and Pains bath soak, $26.
    22. Got a friend who is a little hirsute? National Beard League concocts premium beard hygiene products that revitalize and refresh pores, skin, and hair. Their hydro beard pomade is $35, and a great stocking stuffer for your bearded buddies (and Burt Reynolds).
    23. Gift a little color with Olio-E-Osso‘s super cute shimmer balms that nourish lips and cheeks, just $28 a pop.
    24. And give some love to the consignment shopper on your list, and support two great local businesses – Daisy recommends Vein of Gold and Pacific Holiday which are perfect for rummaging in curated vintage closets.
    25. Have you heard about Straightaway Cocktails? Quality, crafted cocktails in a can – and currently being served on Alaska Airlines! Score a 4 pack of the Oregon Old Fashioned for $23.95 (bonus: there’s free shipping when you sign up for emails).
    26. Mantel features on my list every year, and that’s because they’re so clever at curating the cutest collection of jewelry, ceramics, and home goods. There’s so much to choose from, but let’s start with these adorable glass straws, $15.50 each – and still a flat rate of $10 for shipping!
    27. I love Bloke PDX, and they recently experienced a devastating theft of their entire holiday decor collection. So I’m adding them to the list – $50 books a slot on their holiday shopping schedule, with that $50 going towards your holiday tree purchase.
    28. Run by a “grumpy, feral, queer woman”, Hinterland Empire have established themselves as community leaders, peddling small batch clothing and coffee with an emphasis on sustainability and community. They also offer undoubtedly the coolest punk rock LGBTQ+ merch around, like this Women Don’t Owe You Shit coffee cup for $27.
    29. Bone China Designs makes sweet-and-slightly-goth handmade ceramics at affordable prices – love this little breadseed poppy trinket dish for $35.
    30. Cultivate Your Habitat is an indigenous-woman-owned store in Kenton, offering seasonal native and tropical plants – and portions of sales go back to the community. Stop for a gift card for your insatiable plant collector.
    31. The first non-alcoholic distillery in the nation is located in Hood River, Oregon – Wilderton‘s complex botanical spirits are creating a stir, and a bottle of their award-winning Bittersweet Aperitivo ($29.59) is an excellent, considerate gift for the person in your circle who doesn’t drink booze, but still wants a fancy holiday cocktail.
    32. I own a pair of iridescent Slime Hoop earrings from Otti, and someone you love should, too – but honestly, they have so many cool pieces to choose from. “Playfully elegant and lightweight, a bold, drippy statement during an absolutely absurd time”. $46, and a perfect wow piece for a vibrant buddy.
    33. Kids will love these tactile, laser-engraved puzzles made by Jett Woodworking, but they’re honestly great for all ages. For $25, these geometric puzzles make a great stocking stuffer.
    34. Sugarpine Drive-in is still a small business, even though it’s now pretty well known. We all have a friend who has “always wanted to go”, so why don’t you send them an e-gift certificate to make it happen? Their delicious seasonal soft serves, sandwiches, soups, and salads make the trip to Troutdale so, so worth it.
    35. Copper Union is a powerhouse of body-positive fashion, hosting Knockout PDX and selling a range of “beautiful clothing for radical fat bodies” – including fun accessories! Take a look around their website, you might find the perfect home for these beaded rainbow earrings (just $15).
    36. While inventory is constantly moving out the door, it’s 100% worth your time to pop over to Kenton Antiques and Collectibles to pick up treasures from across the spectrum. Vintage jewelry, crystals, knick knacks, all well priced, and all supporting a strong local community.
    37. Renazerbean is a staple at Portland Saturday Market, and makes vibrant, affordable art that brighten up any space. Your design-savvy loved one will adore one of her striking pieces, like this El Vino print for $35.
    38. Woo PDX is returning to the list this year, as your one-stop Kenton shop for crystals, ritual tools, tarot decks, and tarot readings. You could easily fill several stockings from Woo, starting with these super fun snake bite earrings for $35.
    39. More canned fish, you ask? Yeah, sure! Hama Hama is a “six generations deep” family-run oyster farm on the Oregon Coast, and they get a mention due to being stewards for sustainability. You can send a loved one fresh oysters, mussels, and clams, or opt for their first shelf-stable offering, a large can of locally harvested smoked oysters for $30.
    40. I’m such a sucker for Pigeonheart Designs, and own several of her pieces already (they always get compliments). If you have a discerning jewelry fiend of a friend, I highly recommend letting them choose their own special piece with a $50 (or more) gift card.
    41. For $40, you can get an awesome Gold Dust body care gift set from Polk Apothecary, creator of “small batch plant-based skincare”. Contains amber-scented marigold mango butter with bronze sparkle, an oatmeal and honey soap bar, and an amber woods blended oil perfume, perfect for luxury on the go. Yum.
    42. Felton & Mary’s Artisan Foods are a wife/husband team bringing flavor to PDX. I love the idea of the BBQ Prayer Box for $43.99, which contains a selection of their spices, sauces, and rubs. They also encourage you to fill the box with dirt and make a planter out it when you’re done, as it’s fully compostable!
    43. “Vibe curators” Mister Okay Essentials offer a super cool collection of candles and soaps that really stand out. I love the Terzetto 3 pack mini soap travel kit, which is an excellent stocking stuffer for your jetsetter friend, and a great way to sample several scents in one hit. For $10 each you could easily get at least three of them.
    44. Okay, so this is a pretty perfect gift for your plant-lovin’ people. Sage Planta create organic natural repellent sprays for pests that allow your indoor plants to flourish. Pet and kid safe, and deals with nasty mealy bugs, spider mites, aphids, gnats, and more. For $20, it’s a valuable addition to any indoor nursery.
    45. I featured Essance Skincare last year, and they’re absolutely worth being featured again. Winter weather = dryer skin, and their revitalizing facial moisturizer will be a welcome gift ($32).
    46. Everyone knows someone with a new baby in their life, so I gotta add these adddoorrrabbbbllle organic baby shorts ($19.99) from Sofia Fabrics and Crafts. Take a look around her store for rompers, shorts, and wipes, her materials and patterns are so stinking cute.
    47. Sunrise Bookstore is woman-owned and all about promoting diversity and representation in kids literature. Get gifting with Twelve Dinging Doorbells is a “cumulative all-holiday carol packed to the brim with family, food, love, and Black joy”. $17.99.
    48. The Bhakti Yoga Movement Center is one of the only Indian-owned woman-run yoga studios in Portland, and you can get a new student special of 21 days of unlimited yoga (online and in-person) for $30! – which is honestly such a great deal. Plus, they happen to be a friend/client of mine, and you know I only do stellar referrals. Sign up a friend or family member to get all loose and bendy, or get two so you can go with!
    49. Check out these adorable, festive acorns from Good Enough Felting! For only $16 for the set, you can cute up a holiday tree in a flash.
    50. And finally, wine! Like books, a bottle of wine is most-always welcome (but be cognizant of folk who choose not to drink, as well). Ora Et Labora is a latina-owned bottle shop/wine bar, and has beautiful bottles starting at around $22.

    Phew, that’s it! I’d love to hear what inspired you from this list. Keep an eye on my Instagram for your chance to win something special from this list, one for you, and one for a bestie or family member. Happy shopping, and always support local.

    And remember that these all depend on availability and price changes, of course. Many of these gifts are one-offs or dependent on what’s in stock, and some may have sold since the time of posting this list.