Santa’s not the only one with a holiday gift list! If you’re like us, you’ve been busy all month coordinating large and small gifts for family, friends, coworkers, neighbors—even delivery drivers. But no matter how thorough your list, or whether you’ve checked it twice, you always need to add something at the last minute!
From ceramics to foodstuffs to jewelry and more, artisans across Western North Carolina produce many fine items for sale throughout the year. It can be tempting to shop online for your last-minute gifts, but it feels better supporting local businesses during the holiday season.
If you are still looking for small, locally-produced gifts and stocking stuffers, our agents can help you cross unique gift items off your holiday shopping lists! We asked them: Where can you find the best local stocking stuffers?
The WNC Farmers Market has a wide selection of locally produced items that make for the perfect gift or stocking stuffer! Their retail area features displays of high quality fruits and vegetables, mountain crafts, jams, jellies, preserves, sourwood honey, freshly baked breads, cookies, and dozens of other farm-fresh items. One of my favorite vendors is Suzie Q Gourds. She makes hand-painted Christmas ornaments out of locally grown gourds, like this ladybug and “Betty” the chicken (a replica of our own backyard friend, both above) that hang from our tree every year.
If you need a special gift that speaks to the richness of the history and culture of WNC, then you should head over to the Southern Highland Craft Guild. The SHCG is the second oldest craft organization in the country and features artists and craftspeople from Southern Appalachia. They have four galleries/shops in WNC, including three in the Asheville area and one in Blowing Rock. Need to buy online? Pick up something that you can’t get at Amazon or Target. Check out the special section of gifts under $50. My favorite are the hand-carved ornaments, especially our state bird, the cardinal!
Asheville is a city filled with local artisans and I love to support them! Some of my favorite small gifts to find in the area are handmade jewelry with a photographer’s card or pamper products like locally crafted candles and soap.
I always, always, ALWAYS put something from French Broad Chocolates in stockings! The dark chocolate sea salt bar and caramelized almonds dredged in dark chocolate are the BEST!
Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn is original to Western North Carolina. They offer a variety of unique flavors, like the Asheville Mix (white cheddar and salted caramel) and Reindeer Crunch (salted caramel, dark chocolate, walnuts, cashews, and pecans), as well as different sized bags and canisters. Some bags are even small enough for Christmas stockings. It’s the best popcorn you’ll ever eat!—Karen Bosse