As every Rhode Islander worth their Autocrat knows, the holidays are a time to spread Ocean State cheer. Whether you’re shopping #SmallBusinessSaturday, #CyberMonday, or, well, any day in December, we got you, neighbor. From artisan crafts made in Rhode Island, to goodies sold in Rhode Island, there’s something here for everyone on your list.
Local stores to browse
If you’re shopping in Providence this #SmallBusinessSaturday, beeline to Craftland. A veritable brick-and-mortar Etsy, this colorful dreamscape is brimming with locally-made one-of-a-kind artisan jewelry, cards, bags, proud-to-be-from-Rhody clothing (“Rhode Island: 3% Bigger at Low Tide”), Rhode Island-made Sacred Flame candles, and the like. There is more in the physical store than on their site, but you can find plenty online, too — including a section of “RI Gifts” — fridge magnets (”Providence: Weird since 1636″) a Rhode Island Reds American Hockey League tee, Rhody wall art, notebooks — the list goes on longer than a line at Del’s in July. 212 Westminster St., 401-272-4285.
Got a vinyl fan on your list? Two words: Olympic Records. At this understated gem on Wickenden you’re apt to score anything from early Bob Dylan to Black Flag. Find classics like Tom Waits’ “The Heart of Saturday Night” to Patti Smith Group’s “Radio Ethiopia,” or Nina Simone’s “Silk & Soul,” or Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s “Zuma”… for gifts. (Ahem) These are to give away. 580 Wickenden St. Providence RI. 401-301-9266.
For curated boutique home decor, clothing, jewelry and the like: Nava. Think seagrass baskets, Amber & Moss soy candles, Everyday Oil, artisan jewelry, seed-baring lollypops. There’s also a Holiday Section on their site with selected stocking-stuffers. An on-point selection of clothing, from knit rompers and overalls to the coats and denim. 197 Wickenden St., Providence. 401-453-6282
Frog and Toad
There is so much character in this greenhouse by the sea in Little Compton. From the “reference library” of old horticulture books, to the roughly poured concrete floors (you’ll even spot paw-prints left to dry) Peckham’s Greenhouse is a charming spot to stroll and shop for the green-thumb on your list. Plus, now through Dec. 31, they’re hosting a Holiday Market, where you can find locally-made gifts, from soaps and candles, to knitwear, jewelry and tiles. 200 West Main Road. 401-635-4775.
Tiverton Four Corners
Don’t leave the area without stopping in Tiverton. At historic Tiverton Four Corners, you’ll find many shops and galleries. A longtime local favorite for homewares and gifts is the rustic Courtyards. From the creaky floors to the nearby pond and waterfall, it’s got old-world appeal in spades: ceramics, artisan pottery, jewelry, sculptures of glass, metal, stone, wood, tiles. The beauty here is in the eclectic curation, from bird baths to greeting cards. You can browse Four Corners any time, and from farm cheese to antiques, it’s well worth the browse, but for an extra special browse, you might check out Dec. 3 for their annual Holiday Bright Night, 4-7 p.m. 3980 Main Road, Tiverton. 401-624-8682.
The RISD Store is a spot to splurge. Rhode Island School of Design has produced some of the nation’s best artists and makers, from Shepard Fairey to Seth McFarland, and their Alumni Collection is fire. Here you might find a Travel Cloud Bag ($78) from alum Ellen Van Der Laan; colorful nylon Baggu grocery bags; an OBEY Jacket ($90,) Elana Carello apparel, a “Family Guy” tee McFarland created for RISD ($28). For homewares: Chris Taylor handblown glassware, sophisticated minimalist ceramics from Farrah Sit’s Light + Ladder. Unique stocking stuffers, like a Karl Zahn contour key ring ($16), or a Frozen Smiles ice cube tray, a hand-crafted rope dog leash, or a tire swing bird feeder ($14.50.) Jewelry ranges from the elegant to the whimsical — i.e. a Debbie Turch Cheeto necklace.30 N Main St, Providence. 401-454-6464
Rhode Island books, games, gear and more
Doing some scrolling in advance of #CyberMonday? We’ve got some suggestions for sites to shop for gifts to remind those who left R.I. why we’re awesome.
Nothing says Ocean State like a big blue bug drinking Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee. For your brother who moved to Utah, your out-of-state friends who love visiting you every summer and still can’t believe you grew up drinking coffee milk, Etsy is great spot to remind folks of their Rhody Love. Here you can find local makers, and locals-only if-you-know-you-know gifts, from the serious — like a print map of Rhode Island with state flowers or handmade state pottery ornaments — to the fun, i.e. a “What the Fluff?” greeting card, novelty tees (“Del’s & Wieners & ‘Gansett & Hope”), a tote bag ode to Newport Creamery’s Awful Awful, gift set with a plush seagull and coffee milk scented candle, or a Del’s scented candle — ahh, the smells of home.
Brown Bookstore on Thayer isn’t just for textbooks. This is one you need to see in person — the site doesn’t do it justice. Impeccably curated with an on-the-pulse eye for buzzy bestsellers and the best of local interest — not to mention the kind of high-end magazine/ journal section you could spend an hour browsing. Between Brown, Symposium Books, and Books on the Square, you could leave Providence with some very heavy bags. #ArmsDay Brown Bookstore, 244 Thayer St, Providence, 401-863-3168. Symposium Books, 240 Westminster St, Providence, 401-273-7900. Books on the Square, 471 Angell St, Providence, 401-331-9097.
Yes, you know, Hasbro. But there are some unique Rhode Island games out there, too:
Got a beer lover on your list? (You do.) This is a neat one: The Rhode Island Brewers Guild has created a limited-edition run of 500-piece puzzles as a fundraiser. All proceeds benefit the guild; order online and pick up your puzzle (and a six-pack) at a Rhode Island brewery of your choice, from Jamestown’s General’s Crossing Brewery to Warwick’s Apponaug Brewing. #Cheers.
Note: you can also find RI-themed puzzles on Etsy.
Got a cousin who went to Brown? Gift them Brownopoly, created by Brown students, the game is “sure to trigger memories” for alum.
For a kid-friendly board game, there’s Rhode Island-grown Bananagrams. (Take that, Words with Friends.) Their other fruit-named games for kids: a green banana for “My First Bananagrams,” Appleletters, and Countaloupe catered toward “STEM learners.”