The Farmer’s Daughter
Lauren Work-Phillips started her store on East Ohio Street with memories of her parents working their farm in the Laurel Highlands and her grandmother tending to her flowers. The full-service flower shop with its whimsical designs has two sections, providing space for workshops. There’s much more here than floral arrangements and plants. The Farmer’s Daughter sells items made by local artisans such as Jenna Wetmore’s Tyramin jewelry made of hand-dipped succulents and resin molds; macrame plant hangers by Jessica Mauer of Westward Notions; wooden six-pack carriers by Gio Attisano of Puzzle Pax; and balms and essential oils made by herbalist Alison Garber of Native Apothecary. Perhaps best of all, you can hire The Farmer’s Daughter staff to decorate your home or office for the holidays with swags, wreaths, trees, flower boxes, and fine ornamentals.
This shop on Butler Street, opened in 2009 by Lawrenceville resident Rebecca Morris, gets a recommendation from Adam Kenney, director of the Craft Business Accelerator at Bridgeway Capital. Though it specializes in cards, gift wrap and stationery, Wildcard also carries original artwork, apparel, baby and kids’ gifts, craft supplies, books, bags, magnets and Pittsburgh-themed products. “We pride ourselves on getting to know our artists and crafters as well as our customers,” Morris says on the store’s website, where you can shop online. Wildcard’s “Good Mail Day Club” is a fun gift idea—it ships staff-picked, made-in-the-USA products. The themed boxes contain items you won’t find even in the store.
Pittsburgh has many other places to find locally-made gifts, such as the distinctive artwork, scarves and pillows by Ashley Cecil, or handmade glass items by artists with Pittsburgh Glass Center and other galleries. Cecil will be at Handmade Arcade, and on-site at the new gift shop at Carnegie Museum of Natural History December 10 selling products inspired by her artist residency at the museum and BirdSafe Pittsburgh. “I’m most excited about my infinity scarf and oversized coloring poster, both inspired by local bird conservation research,” she says.
Located in the South Hills, The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh (you can’t miss the big green barn on McFarland Road) showcases a vast selection of local artwork, including ceramics, fiber, glass, illustration, jewelry, paintings, sculpture and more. The 10,000-square-foot arts and cultural center also offers classes, lectures and workshops, and includes a café with space for performances and events.
Visit other Pittsburgh museums and shop at the Warhol Museum Store, the Children’s Museum’s Little Orange Store or the Carnegie Science Center’s XPLOR Store. For more fantastic handmade and eccentric wares, check out The Shop at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, The Store at Society for Contemporary Craft and the Mattress Factory Museum Shop. At The Frick Museum Store, shoppers can peruse a distinctive selection of holiday and exhibition-related gifts, such as books, accessories, jewelry, stationery, home décor, and the newly-released guide to the collections. And The National Aviary has a fun gift shop with everything from bird books to bird art and more. Now they’re selling more items from local makers.
Someone on your list might appreciate tickets to local theaters such as Pittsburgh Public Theater, City Theatre, the New Hazlett Theater, PICT Classic Theatre, Bricolage or Barebones Productions, or tickets to the Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Opera, or Pittsburgh CLO.
Looking for food items? Try Wigle Whiskey, Pennsylvania Macaroni Company or Mon Aimee Chocolat in the Strip District, any of Pittsburgh’s craft beer makers, The Pittsburgh Popcorn Company, or the charming shop Batch on West Main Street in Saxonburg with its homemade foods and potted plants, candles, pillows, soap, lotion, jewelry, and clothing. Batch is the brainchild of Meghan Pohl, whose background is in education, visual merchandising and horticulture, and Jessica Brewster, a chef with a passion for cooking from scratch. “If the lights are on, just come on in,” they say.