Today marks the first snow fall of the winter Season which comes with mixed emotions for many. Some of us rejoice at the sight of the first snowfall while others curse at the reminder the winter is (finally) upon us. The 60 degree days have made it difficult to get into the holiday spirit but I must say as I carefully recall how to drive on ice and snow, the excitement for the holidays has quickly set in.
One task I have learned to enjoy over the holidays is gift giving. I have found joy in discovering the perfect handmade gift or art piece by a local maker or artist; something so uniquely Fargo, that it can’t be found anywhere else.
Here is a list of 5 of my favorite Fargo finds to check out during your holiday shopping this season. Enjoy!
1) The ultimate Fargo Sweatshirt. Did you know the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center has some of the best Fargo gear in town? I may be biased but since our recent North of Normal rebrand, we have been stocking the shelves with great t-shirts, sweatshirts and trinkets. Check out the online store for North of Normal, Fargo and Woodchipper gear.
Tip: We encourage you to stop in and purchase if possible to avoid shipping fees.
2) It’s no secret that the Fargo-Moorhead community has a rich Scandinavian heritage. Rosemaling is a decorative folk painting that originated in Norway and can often be found on pottery. STABO, located in the West Acres Mall, is full of great Scandinavian gifts. These rosemaling mugs ($16.95) are sold individually but can be purchased in multiples for a set.
Tip: Purchase two mugs and pair with a bag of local coffee beans from Twenty Below Coffee for a great gift under $50.
3) Staying with the Norwegian theme, that brings me to my next gift… lefse. Now how is lefse a great gift, you may ask? Well lefse is a tradition for many northerners during the holidays but unless you or someone you know can make it, it must be purchased. No big deal for those who live in the area, but lefse is not a grocery store staple for others across the nation. Freddy’s Lefse in West Fargo can ship anywhere is the United States. It’s a great gift for those who miss the tortilla-like flatbread. They ship twice a month so check their website for details.
Tip: If you are shipping homemade lefse, I suggest freezing packages before shipping. With the colder conditions for ground transportation, your lefse should arrive to its final destination nice and fresh.
4) I’m not sure I can pick a favorite gift to give from Unglued, located in downtown Fargo. They offer a wide variety of kid’s accessories, jewelry, soaps, wall art and more. The best part about shopping at Unglued is no matter what you purchase, your gift is handmade by a Midwestern artist. Win, win. One of my personal favorite go-to gifts are Bison Booties. They are soft-sole slippers for babies, toddlers and children and come is a lot of fun colors and patterns. Each pair of Bison Booties is handcrafted with love by an entrepreneurial mom out of Mandan, ND.
Tip: These booties are great for crawlers transitioning into walking so I typically stick with buying sizes 6-12 months or 12-18 months. These make for terrific baby shower gifts too!
5) Neck ties, and bow ties and all things repurposed… oh my! Ashley Dedin is the owner, seamstress and brains behind the hand crafted neckties and bowties made from upcycled shirts. Her brick and mortar store, AENDEE is located in the SOMA (South of Main Ave) neighborhood of downtown Fargo. Outside of neckties and bowties, Ashley also makes fabric cufflinks, infinity scarves and headbands.
Tip: Make your gift giving extra thoughtful and have a handcrafted item made from a well-loved shirt that belongs to someone special in your life. Many items can be made from one shirt but plan in advance, custom orders do take longer then popping in the store or ordering online.
To quote the always lovely Julie Andrews, “these are a few of my favorite things.” So whatever your reason for shopping in Fargo this holiday season, remember to keep it simple, well-crafted and meaningful.
Get a head start on your holiday shopping during Small Business Saturday on November 28th. The Fargo-Moorhead area also has quite a few holiday pop-up markets and shopping events happening this year – click here to see a list of those markets an events.