44 must-have gift ideas from Madison area businesses

Find gifts for kids, coworkers, art lovers, adventurers and more.
Madisonmug Edited
Madison mug with coordinates from Hazel General Store

This year, even more so than previous years, it’s important to shop local over the holidays. Local businesses have been impacted by COVID-19. This year Destination Madison is encouraging people to take a pledge to shop Madison. The goal is to support 10 local businesses by Dec. 31.

To help you find gift ideas, Madison Magazine put together this gift guide for everyone on your list this year.

For Him

CAMPO launches Wisconsin-themed alpaca apparel

Campo Alpaca

For the Wisconsin sports and comfort lover in your life, a Wisconsin Alpaca Crew Neck Sweater from Campo Alpaca would probably be nothing short of a touchdown. The sweater comes in salt and pepper for a vintage, family Christmas card look, but it won’t feel itchy — the sweaters from Campo are both lightweight and soft. $127, campoalpaca.com 

Luckily, cologne is usually a safe bet, and Fulton and Roark’s Solid Cologne in the scent Sterling is an old school twist on this classic Christmas gift. Infused with sweet tobacco, leather, dark amber and vanilla, the limited edition cologne is a fragrant blend of the subtle and assertive. Find Fulton and Roark’s cologne at Context. $60, 113 King St., contextclothing.com

We all know someone who has kept a wallet for long, despite any cracks or tears in the leather. This year, a new wallet from Tanner Goods might be the perfect replacement. This cognac colored bi-fold wallet is made from English Bridle leather, complete with two hidden pockets, four card slots and one long pocket for bills. Find it at Journeyman Co. $100, 7525 Hubbard Ave., journeymanshop.com

If there’s someone on your list who likes to enjoy an ice-cold beer by the fire, Stormy Kromer’s can koozie might just be a lifesaver and makes for a great stocking stuffer. The koozies are 80% wool and made exclusively in the United States with globally sourced materials, meaning they’ll keep anyone’s hands plenty warm. Find it at Fontana Sports. $7.99, 216 N. Henry St., fontanasports.com

For her

Zipdang heart earrings

Courtesy of Zip-Dang

Sometimes it can be hard to pick out the perfect ring or bracelet, but Zip-Dang is bound to have one or two pieces she’ll love underneath the tree. Zip-Dang has a wide selection of handmade jewelry pieces made by artists both near and far. Each piece is made with love by the individual artist, truly making her new ring or pair of earrings one of a kind! Prices vary, 2636 Monroe St., zip-dang.com

Treat the woman on your list to some self-care this year. Find Nash and Jones face masks at Good Day Shop. The company offers three kinds of clay masks for a totally relaxing day at home. And, best of all, the masks are meant for any type of skin. Find other skin care items to accompany the mask at Good Day Shop. $14, 1925 Monroe St., gooddayshop.net

A sweater from Evie & Co. boutique will make for a stylish and cozy work from home session. While they’ve certainly got sweaters made for the holiday season, they also have adorable sweaters that can be worn the other 11 months of the year.  Starting at $38, 5440 Willow Road, Waunakee, shopevieandco.com 

Know someone with the winter blues looking for a little taste of summer during the cold months? A candle from the Barr-Co. Soap Shop is pretty much summer in a glass. Made with hints of spiced cedarwood, fresh berries and vanilla, this candle found at Little Luxuries makes any space smell like June in the middle of January. Find a list of locally made candles here. $29.99, 230 State St., littleluxuriesmadison.com

For the kids

Kids experiments

Little Luxuries

For the little scientist, a collection of interactive experiments available at Little Luxuries is a great way to spend the upcoming winter months. Your little one can grow a crystal growing coral reef or make an instant blizzard. $44, 230 State St., littleluxuriesmadison.com

If you’ve got a little one with sensitive skin on your list this year, a onesie made with all-natural dye is probably your safest bet. Down to Earth Goods has plenty of adorable and safe pieces any baby’s skin will love. These 100% cotton onesies come in a variety of colors and designs and range from zero months to one year. $16, etsy.com/shop/DownToEarthGoodsShop

No matter the age, any kid on your list is pretty much guaranteed to enjoy a pack of fun, colorful stickers from Emily Balsley Illustrations. Simply pick three stickers from the 12 stickers on the sticker “menu” you know that little one will love, and you’re good to go! Even better, these vinyl stickers are durable and weather resistant — meaning they’re perfect for little kids wherever they decide to stick ‘em. $10, emilybalsley.com

When Legos and building blocks just aren’t enough for your curious kid, a DIY Robotic Arm Kit from Hazel General Store. The kit includes pre-cut wood pieces, plastic hydraulics and easy-to-follow instructions. In an hour or so, your young engineer will have turned those simple items into a robotic arm. The kit is recommended for ages 12 and over. $32, 1250 Williamson St., hazelgeneralstore.com

For your mother-in-law

New plant-focused boutique opens on Madison’s east side

Wildewood interior

As the weather gets colder, it’ll probably get a little harder for your green-thumbed Mother-in-Law to continue gardening, but that doesn’t mean she can’t still have a bit of green in her life during the winter months. A hanging planter from Wildewood will add a bit of character to her indoor plant garden. The pot is hand-glazed with added colorful details perfect for an indoor succulent or cactus. $58, 733 Hilldale Way, wildewoodshop.co

Bring a little sunshine into your mother-in-law’s life this winter with the Big Box of Sunshine Gift Box from Madison Soap Co. Complete with sunshine bar soap, sunshine mist, orange blossom lip balm, a grapefruit ginger soy candle and sweet citrus lotion, this complete package is basically sunshine in a box. Madison Soap Co. will also package the box in wrapping and send a handwritten card with a personal note if purchased on the side. $42, madisonsoapcompany.com

A Holiday Homebox from Homeboxed will be a cozy complete set with 100% Turkish cotton blankets and a holiday candle infused with citrus, cloves, pine cones, cassia bark and sandalwood. The blanket doubles as a throw, beach blanket or towel, and the candle can burn up to 40 hours. $55, homeboxedco.com

It can be hard to buy clothes for anyone on your list, but with the Change hip holiday gift set, all you’ll need to know is jacket size. The set includes a denim jacket from ABLE and a handmade organic scarf from Altiplano. The color combinations of the scarves vary, and customers are contacted after purchase to confirm color preference. $150, 1252 Williamson St., changeboutique.com

For your coworker


Photo by Timothy Hughes

Made with repurposed textiles, a Kantha Connection Bracelet from Change will help your coworker channel the courage needed to step into 2021. The bracelets come in a variety of colors and represent a different attribute — including strength, unity, hope and serenity. On top of being repurposed, each bracelet is sustainably made by a woman artisan in India. $12, 1252 Williamson St., changeboutique.com

A coffee cup is always a safe bet for the holidays. If you want something special and unique for that work buddy, the Hazel General Store has a cup perfect for any Madison-lover. Made with eco-friendly material, a coordinates mug will definitely bring a smile to any Madisonian’s face. Hatch, which is connected to Hazel, also has a variety of cups made by Wisconsin artists. $21, 1250 Williamson St., hazelgeneralstore.com

Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore — it’s a great activity for someone of any age, even if they’re only looking for a mid-work stress break. With the Wishes & Wings Coloring Book, available at the Hazel General Store, you get 40 pages full of fantastical creatures — from foxes to bubbly birds to whimsical landscapes. $13, 1250 Williamson St., hazelgeneralstore.com

If you’re in the office, chances are you’re spread out and wearing a mask, so it makes perfect sense to give that coworker one he or she will love to wear. Whether you’re looking for something festive, or something to fit his or her personality, you’re sure to find one from a local shop. Find a full list of locally made face masks here.

For the coffee and tea lover

Anyone who loves a good cup of coffee in the morning — or any time of the day, really — will love the Merry and Bright Gift Box from Up North Clothing & Jewelry. Give that coffee lover in your life a taste of Madison’s local brew with a 12 ounce bag of Ledger coffee, two ceramic mugs and a cute, Wisconsin ornament for their tree. $38, 404 W. Lakeside St., upnorthboutique.com

Warm drink lovers are pretty much split into two camps — the coffee drinkers and the tea drinkers. Still, both sides can usually agree that a delicious and festive warm drink during the holidays is a must. This time, though, with the Tea Sachet Sampler, the tea drinkers prevail. The Letterbox sampler comes with Sugar Plum, Mulling Spice and Cocoa Mint herbal teas, perfect for a cozy night in. $21.95, multiple locations in Madison, shop.colectivocoffee.com

Local tea company, Macha Tea Co. is mixing comfort apparel into its tasty line-up with the “Tea is Hot” crewneck and “Fresh and Loose” long sleeve T-shirt. The long sleeve is great for layering, while the lightweight crewneck can be worn on its own under a jacket all winter. Starting at $26, 823 E. Johnson St., machateacompany.com 

Mint isn’t just for mochas — devour the most iconic holiday candy without rotting your teeth with a candy cane tea blend from Telsaan Tea. A mix of black tea, candy cane pieces and peppermint, a cup of this brew is just begging for a Frank Sinatra Christmas accompaniment. Candy cane, $9.95-18.95, 209 E. Main St., Mount Horeb, telsaan.square.site

Find more coffee and tea gifts here.

For the adventurer

Dreamnecklace Edited

Courtesy of Hive of Madison

Doll up your outdoorsy friend without compromising practicality with a piece of adventure-friendly jewelry from Hive of Madison. The alpine dream necklace is waterproof, has a nylon cord and is backed up with a lifetime warranty that even the most reckless of your pals will appreciate. The glass wrap bracelet is also waterproof and durable, with muted colors and bracelet-to-choker versatility that will go with any outfit, stylish or utilitarian. $20-$100, 1904 Monroe St., hive-of-madison.myshopify.com

Keep your loved one’s toes warm and snug for their next hiking, snowshoeing or other out-of-doors adventure with a pair of alpaca wool socks from Lodi Alpacas at Whistling Valley Farm. Not only are these stockings extra durable, but come in a variety of colors and patterns to meet the whole family’s wintertime needs. $17-35, lodialpacas.com 

Every adventurer needs a good ole’ rucksack to carry all of their trail snacks, extra layers and safety equipment. This rover pack from Journeyman Co. is the “Goldilocks of rucksacks” with its spacious compartments, zipper closures and dual water bottle storage. $139, 7525 Hubbard Ave., journeymanshop.com

We all have that friend, family member or coworker that is obsessed with running, even when our sidewalks are covered in sleet and ice. Help them keep their hobby without breaking a bone with these winter running spikes, sold at Fontana Sports. $39, 216 N. Henry St., fontanasports.com

For the homebodySunshinelotionbar

Winter winds and pandemic restrictions have us all in need of a little bit of sunshine … even if you don’t really like venturing outside the house. This citrusy, solid and sun-inspired lotion bar from Madison Soap Co. smells of turmeric and lemongrass while working hard to hydrate your cracked and dry hands. $16, madisonsoapcompany.com

No witchcraft is needed to summon a gorgeous, glowing rainbow right in your living room with the help of this solar-powered Kikkerland Rainbow Maker. Found at Orange Tree Imports, this device is the perfect gift for the dreamer in your life. Place the contraption in any sunny window, and watch the colorful hues dance across your walls for a bit of a stuck-at-home pick-me-up. $32.95, 1721 Monroe St., orangetreeimports.com

This pandemic has taught us many things about humanity, but among the coziest is the widespread acknowledgement that no person — regardless of age or occupation — is above wearing slippers when working at home all day. Alas, Zip-Dang has delivered with these sherpa-lined loungers that serve as the perfect compromise between a soft slipper and snug sock. The skid-proof pads on the bottom will keep you from slipping and sliding when getting up to refill your coffee. $38, zip-dang.com

Folks who hate leaving their couches deserve a little self-care, too! An at-home foot massage kit from Little Luxuries includes a foot massage tool, socks and a reflexology booklet to teach your favorite homebody how to best take care of their little piggies. $34, 230 State St., littleluxuriesmadison.com 

For the home cook

Unamisalt Edited

Chef Andy Jack is always up to something new and exciting, but his recent establishment of the Umami Salt brand might just take the cake. A mix of flaky sea salt and shiitake mushrooms, it won’t be long until you’re sprinkling this umami dust on everything you eat. $8.99, umamisalt.shop

Who doesn’t love pizza? Help your favorite at-home slinger of dough achieve the perfect crust with a ceramic pizza stone. This ceramic stone from Brothers Main retains and distributes heat evenly across your entire pie to get the ideal crunch and chew factor, regardless of your topping choices. $59, 2050 S. Stoughton Road, 7960 Tree Lane, brothersmain.com

Being a home cook is a messy ordeal. Do your laundry machine a favor and fill your kitchen cabinets or oven doors with adorable tea towels like this cheese-curd inspired one from Anthology. This gift is both practical and decorative, it is 100% cotton and printed right on Willy Street. $16, 230 State St., anthologymadison.com

There is no shame in needing to spice it up every once in a while — and yes, we are talking about cooking. Local chef Huma Siddiqui is selling her signature spice blend line and cookbook this holiday season, so you can experiment with new worldly flavors without boarding a plane. $53.99, whitejasmine.com

For the crafterGoldpineapplekit Edited

This gold pineapple kit combines two of the cutest things — pineapples and airplants. The perfect do-it-yourself desktop addition, this pineapple planter is the perfect gift for teens, home decor amateurs and full-blown decor fiends alike. $30, 2528 Monroe St., themadmakery.com 

All you need for an etch-it-yourself cocktail glasses kit is running water and paper towels. The craft kits from Revel are always a crowd pleaser — from jewelry to string art and more — and this holiday rendition even includes a confetti popper to celebrate finishing the holly-inspired project. $32, 107 N. Hamilton St., revelmadison.square.site

Get ready to make some happy little accidents, because Lynn’s carries complete Bob Ross painting sets with everything you need to create the landscape of your dreams. Oil paints, brushes, knives and blenders come with the hour-long DVD and instructions, taking the stress out of painting prep. Prices vary, 5928 Odana Road, lynnsofmadison.com

You can never have too much glitter, so go nuts and order yourself and your friends gift cards to The Glitter Workshop. While we can’t pop over to Hilldale for the studio’s in-person workshops right now, having a little patience will totally be worth it once you’re sitting in a candle pouring, crocheting, wood burning or other crafty course after the pandemic. 542 N. Midvale Blvd., glitterworkshop.myshopify.com

For the art lover

Arthistorycoasters Edited

Everybody loves dogs, and everybody pretends to know things about art history … so why not combine our plushy and pretentious loves? These cork coasters are printed with the dog-ified versions of our favorite iconic artist portraits for an extra cute and extra protective present. Lab-rador Dali and Henri Cat-isse await. $34, 1834 Parmenter St.,  theregalfind.com

The Chazen Museum of Art sells all sorts of art-inspired clothing, jewelry and homewares, including funky earrings celebrating the work of Gustav Klimt. Influenced by the 1908 painting “The Kiss,” whoever is lucky enough to receive them as a gift just might plant one on Santa. $27, 750 University Ave., shop.chazen.wisc.edu

Watercolor Wisconsin notecard prints made by Art by Critter from the Mt. Horeb artist shop KELLA are straight-up art. Frame them, put them on your fridge; wherever you’ll be able to appreciate our state’s starry nights and gorgeous landscapes. $15, 118 E. Main St., Mount Horeb, madebykella.square.site

Nothing says, “You go girl!” like a set of minimalist magnets portraying the leading ladies in the world of feminist art. Across countries, mediums, and countless other differences, seeing these badasses up on your fridge are sure to cheer up any day. $14, 227 State St., mmoca.org/museum-shop

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