The holidays are fast approaching, but you don’t have to wander the mall just grabbing anything that can be wrapped (though the serendipity of finding a great gift at the Providence Flea’s holiday markets is worth the trip). Here are some ideas for something unique for every good Rhode Islander on your list.
Tell us you’re from Rhode Island without telling us you’re from Rhode Island. Some brands just scream Ocean State.
- Narragansett Beer’s online shop is impressively eclectic and a must-stop for the proud-to-be-local Rhode Islander (or beer lover) on your list. Find an array, from the kitschy — the Narragansett Ugly Christmas Sweater and ’Gansett socks — to outwear like T vests, ‘70s-era work-shirts, and flannels — aka threads that will get you stopped on Thayer Street. Plus: bar gear, and for “Jaws” fans on your list: an entire Quint line, including a skateboard deck. Details here.
- Ditto on Del’s. If you know a Rhode Islander who moved away, you’re kind of obligated to first ask them why they’d do such a thing. Then give them a Del’s hoodie, pull-over, T-shirt, or mesh hat. If they moved really far away (like, outside New England) they may need a Del’s make-at-home mix or Ocean State Icons kit. For a baby Rhode Islander? A Baby’s First Del’s bib and Plush Del’s toy is a must. Stocking-stuffers? Perhaps a pin (Iggy the Doughboy x Del’s) or stickers like “You Can’t Spell Rhode Island Without Del’s” — by golly, they’re right. Details here.
- Pizza Marvin in Providence not only offers pizza pies for your parties, but sweet gear in their online shop, like Marvin sweatshirts, hats, and socks. Details here.
Tell us you’re from Rhode Island by quite literally telling us you’re from Rhode Island. For the proud-to-be-Rhody folks on your list.
- PVD’s Craftland offers R.I. T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, socks, posters and much more — like a “Rhode Island is for Knitters” knitters gauge, PVD notebooks and Rhody-made candles (yes, they have Coffee Milk-scented ones). 212 Westminster St., 401-272-4285.
- Ditto on Frog & Toad: Think “Paris, London, Toyko, Cranston” T-shirts, Benny’s watercolor prints, a bamboo Rhode Island cutting board; Rhody stationery, clothing, toys, mugs, and home decor. 795 Hope St. and 713 Westminster St., Providence. 401-831-3434.
- Westerly Gifts, meanwhile, offers unique locally-made items, from homemade candles that smell like Westerly, to Rhody T-shirts. 53 High St., Westerly. 401-688-6336.
Whether you’re shopping for mom, sis, daughter or your gf, skip the big-box stores in favor of Rhode Island’s boutiques.
- Harper & Tucker in Newport offers a coastal living vibe — from knitted rice cubes pullovers from Mila.Vert to sundresses from Araminta James, to a Celoni dress from Sancia. The fits can take you from South Shore days to Newport nights. 146 Bellevue Ave., Newport. 401-236-2623.
- Salt offers clothing jewelry and gifts, perhaps especially suited for the Ocean State beach-lover on your list. Think seagull earring studs, and beach bags thick enough for bonfire wood. 3845 Main Road, Tiverton. 401-816-0901.
- The Portsmouth Shop offers clothing, jewelry, bags, and more — think Luna Light pajamas, pearl chord bracelets, wraps and hobo bags. 2511 East Main Road, Portsmouth. 401-683-2184.
- In North Kingstown: Green Ink, an eclectic-stylish women’s boutique — think Habitat, Escape, Dansko — for clothing, curated jewelry, and accessories. 89 Brown St., Wickford Village. 401-294-6266. Details here.
- Queen of Hearts & Modern Love for women’s clothing, jewelry, soaps, crystals, and the like. You’ll also find home goods, cookbooks, colored pencils, and unique toys like wooden puzzles. 222 Westminster St, Providence. 401-421-1471.
In addition to the stores above, you can find some unique jewelry options by going straight to the source.
- RISD grad Margaret Hinge creates interesting handmade pieces, inspired by the natural world. Think pyrite necklaces, Dalmatian jasper drop earrings, Chrysoprase statement rings. Info. and order here.
- Providence-based metalsmith Corkie Bolton also offers unique pieces — think engraved gold and diamond bar stud, turquoise and lapis studs, Ouroboros diamond ring, or a Mexican quartz lightning bolt necklace. Info. and order here.
FOR THE HOME
Want to impress your guests? Inspire them with handmade wares like scented soaps, porcelain jars, and even whiskey cups.
- Newport’s Shore Soap Co. a “handcrafted bath and body brand,” gathers “inspiration from the sea.” Think body lotions, candles, oils, lip balms and soaps with Ocean State-inspired names like Atlantic, Boardwalk, Changing Tide, Warm Sand, and Salty Mariner. Plus aesthetic gear like the pink sand sweatshirt, and wave totes. Made with natural ingredients, they aim to use biodegradable cardboard and recycled glass. 302 Thames St. 401-846-0305. Info. here.
- Arch Contemporary in Tiverton Four Corners is a stellar pottery shop offering homemade wares from various artists. You might find a jade-colored soda-fired wheel-thrown porcelain plate; wheel-thrown soup and salad bowls, light blue porcelain tumblers, unique whiskey cups, wood-fired porcelain jars. 18 East Road. Info. here.
- Also in Four Corners, Groundswell Garden + Home boasts a wonderland of greenery and all things garden for the green-thumb on your list: glass terrariums filled with mossy greens, handmade ceramics, stone garden animals, potted plants, pewter picnic-ware, water cans, birdhouses, trowels and garden shears. Nearby, Groundswell Table + Provisions offers a curated selection of boutique and unique home decor for the new homeowner, from glassware to barware, to aromatic salts to kitchen utensils, unique cookbooks and bold table settings. 3879 Main Road. 401-816-4177.
- Raku pottery is an art all its own, and Lindsey Epstein Pottery in Tiverton does it beautifully. Find all kinds of pottery here, from crystalline vases to marble horses. 508-317-9292. Info. or order here.
- For the vinyl lovers in your life: Olympic Records. You might find anything from early REM to early Leonard Cohen, Etta James or Patsy Cline. 580 Wickenden St. Providence, R.I. 401-301-9266.
- No kitchen is complete without candy and Little Rhody Foods is a one-stop shop for all foods iconically Rhode Island, from Autocrat syrup to Wright’s Farm peanut butter fudge to — game-changer for home hotdog-cookers — the hot wiener sauce spice mix for Olneyville N.Y. System dogs. #Lifehack. Info. and order here.
BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS
Give the gift of words. Books can be instrumental gifts for young kids — you’re introducing them to the act of reading, and words of imagination.
- Give audiobooks via Rhody bookstores with libro.fm. Through it, for example, you can gift an audiobook bundle to an earbud-loving pal redeemable to say, Inkfish Books in Warren.
- As for adult paper books and kids books, if you’re unsure what they’ve already read, go for a gift card. Savoy Bookshop & Cafe is the kind of cozy and curated shop booklovers could spend hours in. 10 Canal St., Westerly. 401-213-3901. Details here.
- In Providence, Symposium Books’s new release table is on-point. 240 Westminster St. 401-273-7900. Details here.
- Books on the Square boasts a wonderfully curated kids’ section. 471 Angell St. 401-331-9097. Details here.
- Barrington Books is another booklovers must-stop — curated adult, middle-reader and kids books, games, puzzles, toys, vinyl, turntables, and stocking-stuffers. 184 County Road, Barrington. 401-245-7925.
- And for any ‘Seinfeld” fans on your list — we all know at least three — East Providence’s Brendan Kirby and Julie Tremaine, who splits her time between Providence and L.A., recently released “Seinfeld: The Official Cookbook.” Your Jerry fan can learn how to make both a marble rye and muffin tops.
FOR THE ADVENTURER
Don’t let the nature lover in life you be left out in the cold. Check them off your list with these sure-to-please outdoor essentials.
- REI in Cranston offers everything and anything you could need for mountain climbing, cross-country skiing, biking through the woods, camping, running and more. But what makes it a good mention here is their local spin. They offer a selection of where to hike or paddle in Rhode Island-guide books, etc. So you can give them hiking boots or a tent, along with a suggestion of where to go. 22 Chapel View Blvd., 401-275-5250. Info. here.
- Living in the Ocean State, you likely know a surfer or skater. Shop Island Sports in Middletown for everything from wetsuits and boards to sunnies and board shorts. 86 Aquidneck Ave., Middletown. 401-846-4421. Hit up Elemental Surf & Skate nearby for decks, shoes and more. 89 Aquidneck Ave. 401-846-2280.
- For the biker, dash to Dash Bicycle in Providence (228 Broadway, Providence. 401-453-3274) or NBX Bikes, for that bike from Santa — whether they’re into trails, road, e-bikes, or anything in between. 922 Boston Neck Road, Narragansett. 401-782-4444. Details here.
And with that: happy shopping, neighbors.
Lauren Daley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @laurendaley1.