Holiday Gift Shopping at Shenandoah Valley Makers and Makers Markets
December 14, 2021
There are no better gifts than ones that are handcrafted by talented makers. Not only are they unique, but they’re well-designed, long-lasting, and often sustainable or ethically produced. Here’s our guide to shopping the Shenandoah Valley’s best makers and makers markets for both modern and heritage-inspired products that honor the ideals of American craftsmanship.
Do you have a special piece of art that you want to set off in a truly wonderful frame? P.H. Miller Studio creates hand-carved and gilded made-to-order frames inspired by traditional designs from around the globe. These frames are made with quality materials, time honored techniques, and are individualized to compliment each unique piece of artwork.
- Althouse Pottery – pottery that celebrates “Where nature and creativity collide.”
- Brazen Sheep – hand-made clothing, accessories, and home décor as well as classes and supplies for fiber artists.
Winchester – Frederick County
Emily Whitesell creates great-smelling handmade soaps and soy candles using high quality raw and/or organic butters and oils. Her soaps, candles, herbal skincare items, notecards, and more are available on her website and in the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center. Emily is also the lead baker for The Homestead Farm’s Market and turns out tasty and incredible-looking cakes, pies, cookies, and breads from her kitchen. Stop by the market for some made-from-scratch treats and stay for the Holiday Market on December 11, which will feature handmade items from local vendors as well as a food truck, hot drinks, and a visit from Santa.
Also Check Out:
- Lightning Bug Hollow Studios – Winchester Star’s Best Local Artist of 2021, Heather Scott, creates functional pottery and an annual ceramic Christmas ornament available at the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center.
- Eugene B. Smith Gallery – original watercolors, signed prints, notecards, custom framing, and art lessons.
- Tin Top Art and Handmade – showcases the work of independent artists and crafters from around the country. You’ll find jewelry, fine art, clothing, home goods, and more.
View the original work of local artists and artisans in a variety of media at 7 East Gallery on Main Street in Woodstock. Here, the Valley Educational Center for the Creative Arts exhibits paintings, drawings, photography, and handcrafted pottery, jewelry, wooden furniture, scarves, tote bags, notecards, CDs and books.
Check out the fine work of artists like Kary Haun of Kary Haun Studio who creates functional ceramics and has been named one of the top artists in the Shenandoah Valley by Shenandoah Living.
- Nate and Main – sells upscale art, antiques, pottery, ceramics, small-batch candles, unique furniture, home, and garden items. Many are created by Valley artisans.
- South Street Barn Market – Browse high-quality works from Carolyn G. Findler Art Studio, Small Town Clay, and other artists. You can also find everything from AlpacaSpirit alpaca wool to Olive Oil Soap Company shaving soap.
Formerly Front Royal’s Downtown Market, Strokes of Creativity stocks one-of-a-kind artwork and gifts, all made by a local community of artists and makers. The space boasts a retail area that displays a selection of jewelry, women’s fashion, art, and gifts. Don’t see the perfect gift? Commission a painting, vinyl work, or custom wood project. There’s also studio space that invites visitors to get in touch with their own creative side with workshops and classes.
Find More Warren County Makers:
- Find more local craft makers at the Holiday Market and Beer Garden hosted by Vibrissa Beer on Dec 12th from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Enjoy a DJ and craft beer while shopping.
Housed in a large warehouse that is a local center for the arts, Luray’s Warehouse Art Gallery displays over 1,000 works by local and regional artists. Visitors enjoy various mediums including painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, textile art and jewelry. There’s even an outdoor sculpture garden. On Saturdays, the gallery hosts free family-friendly workshops, art demonstrations and live music. Check the website for special exhibits, festivals and activities.
Other Ways to Shop Local in Page County:
- Hawksbill Trading Company – local artisan-made products, crafts, antiques, home goods, fashion, baked goods, and more.
- Massanutten Country Corner – farm market selling local products made from recycled wine barrels, bottles, and corks as well as local dairy, meat, and produce.
Photos by Joyce McLeod
Head to Timberville on December 17-19 for the Timberville Christmas Village at Showalters Orchard, which showcases the talents of its residents and area artisans through handmade products and crafts all produced locally. Browse beautiful works of art, taste delicious food, and relish the community and holiday spirit. Artists, makers, and vendors include:
- Anya’s Art Studio
- Magari Yarn and Dyeworks
- River of Mountains Studio
- Little Beiboos Crafts
- withSimplicity, LLC
- JD’s Chow Line
- Ornamental Welding
- Edinburg Gap Llama Company
- Buttercream Bakery LLC
- Tare LLC
- Posh Fairy Floss, LLC
- Business Info: Bold Buffalo Candle Co
- Fulks Run Grocery, Inc.
- Alexander Brothers
- Timber Goat Soap
- Simply Stated Tees and Gifts
- Ford’s Wintergreens
- Wood Fire Co.
Holiday enthusiasts rejoice! Timberville Christmas Village at Showalters Orchard brings you three weekends (starting November 26) of holiday shopping with a big selection of handmade products and crafts all made locally.
More Markets to Shop:
- The Dayton Market – 18 unique and local shops offering handmade gifts, baked goods, chocolates, crafts, and much more.
- Elkton Downtown Marketplace – December 10. The Marketplace will feature over a dozen vendors and handmade products.
Paul Hansbarger, founder of Lineage Goods, creates heirloom-quality waxed canvas and vegetable-tanned leather bags designed to be durable for everyday use. The weekender bags, totes, backpacks, and more, are made from materials sourced in the U.S. Each is named after a Virginia river. Lineage Goods also sells candles, clothing, and home and kitchen goods including art prints and ceramics. The retail space and workshop is located in Agora Downtown Market, home of several independently owned shops.
Additional Makers in the Harrisonburg Area
- Elk Run Mining Company – Virginia-mined cabochons artistically set in sterling silver or 18k gold jewelry.
- OASIS Fine Art and Craft – exhibits the high-quality work of over 35 local artists specializing in a variety of media.
Markets in the Harrisonburg Area
- Holiday Market at Sage Bird Ciderworks (12/11, 12/12)
- Holiday Market at the Perch at Magpie (12/11)
- Harrisonburg Farmers Market at Taylor Pavilion (12/11, 12/18)
Family-owned and operated Cestari Sheep & Wool Company raises flocks of sheep in Augusta County for the wool they use in their knitting and crocheting yarn as well as products made from the yarn like hats, gloves, jackets, blankets, moccasins, and more. Due to the company’s gentle scouring process, the wool retains much of its natural lanolin and authentic texture. The farm store sells both Cestari products as well as other products made in Virginia including food, car accessories, and stuffed animals.
Other Places to Shop in Augusta County:
- Black Forest Sawmill – charcuterie boards made with domestic logs and epoxy.
- White Hill Pottery – traditional hand-thrown pottery with a modern look.
- Pleasant View Soaps – small-batch soaps made with traditional ingredients.
Stop in at family-owned Sunspots Studios, a gallery where glass art is made onsite. Visitors of all ages can actually enter the studio and watch the fascinating process of extracting globs of molten glass from the furnaces and blowing and sculpting them into one-of-a-kind pieces, holiday ornaments, glassware, vases, jewelry, garden decor and more. The gallery sells pieces created at the studio as well as work by other local artisans.
Also Check Out:
- The Foundry – pop-up shop collective featuring products from local artisans and craftspeople.
- Essentially Zen – soaps, bath bombs, budy butters, and more.
- Staunton Winter Market – Saturdays in December 4th, 11th, and 18th 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Dozens of vendors offering food and crafts that make the perfect gifts for Christmas.
- Made; By the People, For the People – A modern day general store, offering an eclectic selection of quirky gifts & books, American made vintage clothing, and the hand-crafted creative works of dozens of local, regional, and domestic artists.
- Redwood + Co.: Base Camp – makers of quality fine fragrances for your home and body.
- The Sparrow’s Nest – Virginia grown & masterfully handcrafted items from local artists and farms.
- Well-Balanced Paw – a pet wellness boutique and “bark”ery.
- Bonfire Begonia – one-of-a kind jewelry using repurposed beads and antique gemstones.
- Blair Made – custom-made signs for the home.
Visit the Winter Market at Shenandoah Valley Art Center to view and purchase the work of many local artists and artisans. Make sure to check out the work of ceramic artist Jake Johnson, who runs Make Waynesboro Clay Studio, where artists can find classes and studio space. Johnson is a ceramic artist inspired by life and nature, whose work has been featured in galleries and juried shows across the country. Other artists from the studio are also selling work at the market.
Other Waynesboro Makers:
- Blanc Creatives – handcrafted culinary tools and carbon steel cookware, new to Waynesboro.
- Pyramid – stocks the work of many local artists and makers, including candles, pottery, jewelry, soap, etc.
You’ll definitely find a unique and high-quality gift at Lexington’s Artists in Cahoots, a cooperative of talented local artists and craftspeople who create jewelry, pottery, ironwork, sculpture, fabric art, paintings, photography, and more. You might even learn something about the artist’s technique, as artists are often working onsite.
Check out the The Lexington Brick Collection of jewelry and pottery designed by Maureen and Rebecca Worth. Their work embodies the character of Lexington in an unusual and decidedly cool way. The Worths make sculptures inspired by the antique bricks along Lexington’s sidewalks and then cast pieces in sterling silver, 14K over sterling, and bronze.
- Earth, Fire & Spirit Gallery – curated collection of pottery, jewelry, and wall art that will help you bring beauty to your home.