Hello friends! It is so hard to believe it, but we are nearing the end of the year – and the holiday season. Everywhere you go it seems holiday music is playing and advertisements are blaring for you to buy, buy buy!
If you are like me, some of the commercialism of the holiday season can turn you off. I do like to give gifts to my loved ones, I anymore, I find that I prefer to give experiences over things. And when I do give someone a physical gift, I want it to be handmade, unique, and/or from a small business. Every year, I develop a gift guide help you find sources for meaningful, unique gifts. This year, I am focusing my gift guide on Gorge-owned businesses whose products or services are an amazing reflection of the small business owners behind them.
You see, when you buy products from Found and Rewound, you are supporting me. Your support keeps me in scissors, paper, glue, and breathing room so that I get to keep making things that provide joy and inspiration in this world. And when you buy from the Gorge-owned businesses featured in this gift guide, you are supporting a person, couple, or family that I know and making it possible for them to continue sharing their gifts with the world. And really, that’s the only way we’re going to make a difference… TOGETHER. Supporting one another.
**Full disclosure – none of the links provided below are affiliate links. I just honestly love these people and their work and think you will too. **
Amazing Acupuncturist and Voice Teacher
Rachel Moore-Beitler is a beautiful, genuine, wholehearted healer. And if you are lucky enough to see her for her unique style of acupuncture, you are in for a profound experience. Rachel uses a series of gentle protocols to help a person feel more at ease. Her “Five Element” acupuncture technique uses ancient theories to look at how Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water interact in our bodies. Personalized treatments invite your system back to balance over time. Give the gift of a session with Rachel to anyone in need of a little support.
And what’s this about voice lessons? Yes! Rachel is also a very talented thespian. And she is now teaching virtual voice lessons. So if your gift recipient is not local, but you know he or she loves to sing, why not give them the gift of voice lessons from this multi-talented woman? I have seen performances by Rachel, and let me tell you that she’s got chops! Contact her today to inquire about the gift of song.
Life and Health Coach Extraordinaire
Melanie McCloskey is a healer through and through. This amazing woman is a professional “whole person” life coach, a cancer journey coach, reiki master, and essential oil guru. As she explains “I believe connection heals all. My absolute passion is empowering people to more deeply connect with themselves, others and nature. Through this, my mission is to facilitate personal transformation in changemakers so they may feel internally resourced to be more courageous in their own vision and actions, having a powerful ripple effect on our world.” I’ve had the honor of calling Melanie a friend for many years and my own life coach too. I can tell you from first-hand experience, that connection with this woman will help you grow on so many levels. Give the gift of a session or retreat with Melanie for anyone who is ready for a change.
James Diem is an exceptionally talented potter living and working here in Parkdale, Oregon. He has a signature style and glaze pattern that is instantly recognizable. He hand throws everything from sinks to teapots, mirrors to flasks, and everything in between. If you are looking for a truly unique gift that just about anyone will appreciate, check out his work. Contact info can be found on his website and a current array of his pottery can be found on his Instagram feed.
Blue Lava Coffee Roasters is owned by long-time friends Dan Pierce and Mike Dunn. Both with obsessive personalities, they developed a passion for quality coffee several years back. Dan has years of experience in brewing and roasting. And Mike has some corporate experience. So, it was serendipity when Dan landed a roaster and began roasting his own coffee which, they noticed, tasted better than any of the coffee they were buying. With the idea of sharing Dan’s great tasting coffee with others, they started Blue Lava. And I am here to tell you, once you taste this coffee, you’ll be hard-pressed to go back to anything else. Gift a bag of the freshest coffee you’ve ever had, or go ahead and give your coffee love a subscription to one of their coffee clubs.
Carol Lynn is the creative seamstress behind Cotton Living LIV Ware. She creates lovely, handmade, one-of-a-kind “small-batch sewing for the lovers of all things beautiful.” And I’m here to tell you her products are top notch! She makes handbags, clutches, ornaments, lunch/snack bags, and so much more. Each one is unique. And this woman wants you to LOVE the bag you choose. She’s got a genuine heart and it really shows. Check out this beautiful mama’s work!
Does your gift recipient live in the Gorge? If so, why not give them the experience of some fine dining in one of the most beautiful settings around? Moby’s Coffee is the cutest little coffee shop you’ve ever seen. It’s truly a locals place complete with a board where you can gift your neighbor a cuppa joe. With a with great coffee and easy welcoming atmosphere your gift recipient will be glad you shared this hidden gem with them!
If you’re looking for more than a cuppa joe and nibbles, the Blue Canoe Cafe is another great option for anyone stopping through the Upper Hood River Valley. Delicious brunches, lunches and a wide variety of pastries and ice creams will give your gift recipient lots to choose from. Not to mention, she does a “grab ‘n go” dinner option now as well. Snag a gift card from Blue Canoe!
If you’re looking to give a premium dining experience, look to Grateful Vineyard. It’s not far off the beaten path of Parkdale and well worth the extra couple miles. The view, atmosphere, wines, beers, and pizzas are all top notch and nestled within the owner’s family farm. A gift card to this upper valley stop will not go unappreciated!
Basko Creative Designs
Another local Hood River maker, Anna Laxague, has got some serious talent. Her work is beautiful, bold, and organic. Anna does strong black line paintings – usually of mountains, water, and trees – on reclaimed wood. The result is fantastic. She’s also got gorgeous mugs, glasses, hats and more too. Check out her products right over here. Her stuff has a distinctive, hip, Pacific Northwest style for even those who are tough to shop for on your holiday list.
Lady Fern Parkdale
Want to catch a lot of amazing local makers all in one fantastically curated space? Look no further than Parkdale’s newest shop – Lady Fern. Many of the makers listed in this gift guide have their products for sale at Lady Fern. Plus, Brooke Yokers and her daughter Mable will likely greet you, and that’s worth stopping in all in itself.
Creativity and Connection
And finally, I’m putting in one shameless plug for my products and services. Found & Rewound encompasses all of my offerings including my 2020 wall calendars, classes and retreats, and greeting cards. My calendars are full of all new art focused on honoring our connection to each other and the natural world. This one is a gift that keeps giving in the way of inspiration and gentle loving reminders throughout the year. I have several upcoming classes – Art Nights Out and Art & Wine Nights at the Columbia Center for the Arts. Both make great experiential gifts!
There you have it, friends. I feel so blessed to call so many of these business owners friends. Thank you in advance for supporting us. Together we make the world a beautiful and inspiring place!