Handcrafted New York State Gifts that are Perfect for Your Holiday Shopping List
December 10, 2020
It’s no secret that the holidays this year will be stranger than ever before. With many people choosing to stay home to keep themselves, their friends, family, and community safe, there will be less traveling. That means fewer people leaving New York to go visit friends, and fewer people coming to Upstate to visit family. So we need to get creative! Luckily our state is full of artistic folks making products to showcase the state we all love. It’s the perfect time to check out these handcrafted New York State gifts.
It’s more important than ever to support artists and small businesses owners. From Syracuse to Albany, Rochester to Buffalo, and the Adirondacks to the Catskills, these gifts show love to hometowns all across New York. So shop local and send a bit of Upstate to your family and friends out-of-state.
If you’re worried about your items arriving in time for the holidays, please consider purchasing a gift card to help support these creators!
New York State Art Prints
C DESIGNS CARDS
Christa Buffalo, NY
Christa’s art showcases many of the things that Buffalo peeps love! Pierogis, sponge candy, butter lambs, and – of course – lots of buffalo. Her shop includes prints, shirts, clothing, ornaments, and lots of pun-filled cards. Check it out for yourself!
Through a mixture of realism and fantasy, Cara creates some beautiful renderings of Albany and surrounding areas. She has worked with several local businesses in the capital district on collaborations featuring her art. But you can get some too! Check out her Etsy shop for some beautiful stickers and prints.
Besides being a very close friend of mine, Claire is also an incredible artist. Her artwork is ethereal, inspired by her travels around the world. Her prints are created from a mix of ink, pencil, and watercolor. She also offer some of her photography for sale. Claire has some beautiful pieces depicting the Adirondack mountains. (Bonus, her Icelandic pieces are inspired from our trip to Iceland!)
Rochester = garbage plates. Everybody knows it. And Lisa has created a garbage plate sticker! Every Roc lover needs one for their laptop or water bottle. Her Etsy shop also sells prints, cards, and planner/journal supplies. In addition to Rochester-themed pieces, she has some cute pieces with corgis, Schitt’s Creek quotes, and religious messages.
Erin’s work has been a longtime favorite of mine at Wildflowers in Syracuse. She has both mythical and realistic works of art, as well as typography pieces focused on Syracuse’s neighborhoods. Erin has a beautiful series featuring a girl in a yellow jacket in different environments. And her recent depiction of the Carrier Dome? Classic!
If you love icon collages from your favorite places, tv shows, or movies, you’ll love Ashley’s work. In addition to her prints featuring iconic landmarks from the city of Buffalo, she also has other prints paying homage to tv shows like Gilmore Girls and How I Met Your Mother. Is there anything better?
I’m OBSESSED with vintage travel posters. So it’s no surprise that I’m I adore Catherine’s artwork. She creates vintage travel posters featuring various regions across New York State. Her Etsy shop is full of poster prints as well as original pastel artwork. But if you’re interested in other objects, check out the LionheArt Graphics Amazon store as well. I have my eye on the Upstate New York t-shirt!
Fans of typography mixed with maps of New York will love Aaron’s work with MW Neighborhoods. His art features maps of New York State and counties filled with the regions, towns, and cities that make them up. You can get prints, clothing, wooden coasters, glasses, and more. Based out of Albany, New York, there is a large choice of Capital District and Troy designs!
Based in Utica, Maria creates beautiful artwork based on landmarks in Central and Upstate New York. You may even recognize her artwork from Saranac Brewery! Maria’s shop contains colorful prints, magnets, cards, pins, and more. She’s even made some beautiful RV Christmas ornaments! Maria has done amazing renditions of signature CNY buildings including National Grid, Utica Club, the Westcott Theater, and Boldt Castle.
If you love pop art style, Marko’s work will blow you away! He offers a Rochester collection of pieces featuring local landmarks: Wegmans, Genesee beer, Kodak, and more. And he has more than just clothing and cards. Treat yourself to a pillow of a coffee mug to show off your Roc pride!
Is there really anything more Buffalo than chicken wings? I don’t think so. And that’s exactly what Lauren has featured on one of her Buffalo-themed Christmas cards! The chicken wings appear on more than just the cards – she’s also created enamel pins and even a “Great Debate” print. Are you a drum or a flat person? (I’m a flat!) Her other artwork features pop culture references and fantastic puns. I’ve already got my eye on a few items!
Anna has to be one of the most self-confident women out there. She is proud of who she is. Her encouragement and positivity is contagious, and so important to be seen in the LGBTQ+ community. I met her at the Lilac Festival in Rochester, where she was showcasing her stickers, drinkware, and cards. Many of her pieces include the signature Rochester flower. Those that don’t? Those designs spread positivity, witty humor, and some Harry Potter love. In fact, my laptop has a few of her stickers proudly on display!
Not all artwork is created by people with art degrees. In fact, James background is the most surprising – and he creates some of the most intriguing and unique work. Believe it or not, James is a geoscientist with a PhD! He’s decided to share his love for maps and topography by turning it into art. With both modern and vintage styles to choose from, it’ll be difficult to choose which map to get! East of Nowhere has maps of the entire state as well as various regions within New York. But you might also be tempted with the maps from around the world to remind you of somewhere you’ve lived or visited before.
Rachel is the creative mind behind Handmade Darling, and the owner of Almost Local, an artisan shop in Clinton, New York. Rachel’s creations includes a lot of woodwork featuring calligraphy, many pieces of which are themed around adventure and Upstate New York. During normal years, you can find a lot of the Handmade Darling art at weddings, and as personalized gifts. This year, Rachel has created a special snowflake ornament that expresses exactly how we all feel about 2020 – f*ck! My personal favorite will always be my “I’d rather be Upstate” long sleeve t-shirt.
Are you a wannabe Adirondack 46er? Or are you taking the fire tower challenge? You’re in good company! And you’ve got a great way to track your progress. Alice is an avid Adirondack hiker, finding joy at the mountaintops. She’s created these beautiful minimalist sticker maps to track the popular ADK challenges. So next time you check off a high peak or fire tower, place the appropriate sticker on the map! Alice also creates stickers, notebooks, and even customized peak ornaments if there’s a particular mountain that you love more than any others.
Joshua creates one-of-a-kind pieces of art through mixed media. Through his collection of maps, postcards, photographs, sheet music and other media, he creates artwork for your home. Through JF Vintage, there are lots of beautiful travel-themed and city-based gifts available.
Samantha showcases her Rochester pride in her creations. Her art features the Finger Lakes, city coordinates, and notable landmarks from the area laser engraved into wood. Her work is so beautiful; it’s not surprise that she has a background in graphic and textile design! You can spend ages browsing through her ornaments, earrings, stickers, keychains, magnets, and more. Though I have to say, her laser-engraved city maps are my favorite!
Are you an ‘Upstate Babe’? Or do you have a love for Nipper, the mascot of RCA? (He’s became a symbol of Albany since the largest statue of Nipper is there!) Krissy has lots of upstate goodies in her shop Breakout Press Co. Hats, mugs, tote bags, pins, cards, clothing, and more are waiting for you to browse. An Albany local, Krissy has lots of Albany and Troy designs.
Rob created BMCO in 2011 as a passion project. Nearly a decade later, his rugged Nickel City line of apparel and goods is better than ever. Buffalo Made features a wide variety of apparel, but other accessories and homegoods as well. Looking for something more original? Rob has you covered! Can coozies, flasks, key fobs, and more are waiting for you to explore.
I first fell in love with Dan’s work at an event at the zoo. He had a collection of magnets for sale of different animals, all created out of patchwork designs. I immediately bought a few for myself and more for friends and family. Over the years, Dan’s work has continued to be a regular purchase I make. My favorite? The sweatshirt that says “Tell your dog I said hi” – could there be a better shirt for me? Dan has continued his patchwork designs, but has done several realism works on commission. One of his latest pieces is this Adirondack-filled map of New York.
Creative Adirondack designs are what you will find in Katelyn’s Dapper and Darling Boutique. The best part is Katelyn’s story – she created her Etsy shop as a way to help fund her IVF treatments for her second baby. THAT is the difference shopping small makes. You are truly making a difference in someone’s life. So check out her shirts (and onesies!) highlighting the Adirondacks. Might just have to get the “Future 46er” onesie for my next friend’s baby shower!
Reading through Dunja’s Etsy page, you’ll learn that she developed a love for art by watching her mother in her upstate studio. Specializing in sweatshirts and kid’s clothing, Dunja describes her art as whimsical, edgy, backwoods, and snazzy. A lot of the clothing features drawings of native wildlife from New York. Check out her work for yourself!
Looking for some jewelry to show off your Roc pride? Fon creates some beautiful necklaces, earrings, and other pieces featuring the Rochester flower. Fashye also features scarves, handbags, ornaments and more.
Focused on sustainable business and products, Julie’s art is a mixture of horror, cartoon, and Buffalo-pride. Her shop features a mix of prints, stickers, and clothing, all with her unique graphic style. One of the ones that stands out the most? The skeletal buffalo!
Love cute typography designs? Check out Alicia’s creations! Her simple sweatshirts are just the thing to gift that fellow Upstate-lover in your life. And here’s a fun fact: her designs are also available to use as GIFs in Instagram stories! Just search for “northern and noted”.
More North Country love! Through his brand, Northgoods Co, Ryan creates a variety of apparel highlighting the various regions of New York. Dacks, 315, Pdam, 518 and other regional love can be found in his products. Need a new phonecase? Check out the Upstate-themed biodegradable cases!
The Hudson Valley and Adirondack region are the main focus of Carl’s designs. Whether it’s the “Adore-rondacks” mugs or the “Upstate Born & Bred” sweatshirts, River Valley Ink has lots of goodies to check out!
Looking for a bigger way to show her love for her hometown of Utica, Morgan created Uticrews in 2019. The apparel line includes the names and coordinates of different towns and villages in the Utica area. Shirts, onesies, towels, tote bags, and even dog bandanas are available to show your Oneida County pride!
All the Rochester love can be found at Wolf & Honey! Owned by a married couple, their shop has clothing, totes, stickers and more. And they feature some of Rochester’s most notable icons: lilacs, Genesee beer, garbage plates, and the Roc flower! Their other designs are mostly plant-based, designed by the self-proclaimed ‘aging hipsters’.
Know of a local artist that creates items worth of making this list of New York State gifts? Be it clothing, accessories, home decor, or whatever, feel free to send me an email. I’d love to hear your suggestions! If nothing else, I hope this list has encouraged you to shop small and support local this holiday season.