THE WILDSAM HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
One of our favorite parts of traveling is the mementos and gifts picked up on the road. This year Wildsam collected 10 items across our 10 guide cities. From a “bridge red” espresso cup to an cobalt scarf, a lá Roman Holiday, these gifts, made by locals, remind us why we love these places so much. Safe travels!
FORT LONESOME: The Saguaro Patch
Master chainstitcher Kathie Sever and her talented band of designer-sewers work out of an East Austin studio filled to the brim with sewing machines, rolls of colorful thread and bushels of cool. You’ve likely seen the Fort Lonesome handiwork on the backs of many well-known folk, from Bill Murray to Nikki Lane, or in brand collaborations with Madewell and Levis. We love their handsewn patches, all of which evoke a Western bohemian sensibility. Check out the one-of-a-kind series they did for Stag (our favorite men’s shop in Austin).
BOOKS ARE MAGIC: Black Tote
When novelist Emma Straub’s favorite book shop (and former place of employ) closed in Brooklyn, she turned her sorrows into a dream: Emma opened up her own little literary cloister in its place. With husband Michael Fusco-Straub, on a cozy corner in Cobble Hill, they brought Books Are Magic to life. And ever since, the place has been packed for book launches, author readings and kid’s events. The side wall is perhaps the most Instagrammed spot their side of Dumbo. And their black cloth totes have become something of a Brooklyn sign of the times. New York Magazine went as far as calling it the “nautical flag of the F train.” Well, OK then. Either way, this new book shop is truly special. We’d even say, magical.
42 PRESSED: ROAM Charleston Candle
Jasmine. Magnolia. Tea Olive and salt. Lighting one of Jackie Hall Robinson’s travel-inspired candles is transportive. And picking up her Charleston edition of the ROAM series is where to begin. You see, Jackie lives and breathes the Lowcountry morning, noon and night. Her 42 Pressed studio is based 30 minutes outside of the Holy City, on Wadmalaw Island. And if anyone knows how to bottle the beauty of these lush environs, it’s Jackie. And once you’ve burned 45 hours of that one, pick up her San Francisco, NYC or Paris varieties.
BUY A FIELD GUIDE THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND FOR A CHANCE TO WIN ONE OF THESE 2018 GIFTS!
TOPO DESIGNS: The Klettersack
Before we launched our brand new Denver field guide, we had the pleasure of meeting some of the crew at Topo Designs. Besides creating some of the most versatile, good-looking, well-made clothing and gear on the planet, they just top-notch humans. Take your pick of goods. But don’t miss our current fave: the Klettersack backpack. As we say, it’s like a Swiss Army knife: You could take this into the city, out on the trail, or into your English Lit 101 class. It’s durable, technical and even has a loop for your ice axe.
SIGNAL RETURN: The Bee Hive Print
Can we just say it again: We love Detroit. Perhaps no city in America as tight knit quite like the Motor City. If you’re from there, you champion it. Exhibit A: Signal Return Press. These printmaking experts opened their doors in Eastern Market in 2011. As much as they dedicated to reviving the letterpress traditions, they just as much care about cheering on their Detroit brethren. The below “Bee Hive” print was designed and printed at Signal-Return by Joel Grothaus, using “hand carved linoleum, a Vandercook 325 Letterpress, and good old fashioned elbow grease.” The print also supports Detroit Hives, an inspiring venture bringing honeybee farms to the city.
LOS ANGELES, CA
BLOCK SHOP TEXTILES: The Bernadette Scarf
Sisters Hopie and Lily Stockman are our favorite California discovery of 2018. Not only are their beautifully geometric designs the stuff of Design*Sponge dreams, but their entire Block Shop Textile business is set up to help other women around the world achieve their own high hopes. A percentage of their profits go towards a women’s empowerment program (health, education and skills training) in Jaipur, India, where the Block Shop sisters collaborate with five families of master printers and weavers.
PARNASSUS BOOKS: Nashville Photo Book
Photographer Heidi Ross is a longtime friend of Wildsam, and while we always knew she was a talented photographer, her tribute tome to the city of Nashville is on another level. The images are honest, connected, unvarnished and celebratory. Novelist and city champion Ann Patchett wove in her own written ode to the Music City, too. This gorgeous book will live for a century on coffee tables from Belle Meade Boulevard to Gallatin Pike. Pick one up online or grab a signed copy from Ann and Heidi at Nashville’s literary jewel Parnassus Books.
NEW ORLEANS, LA
KREWE: Olivier Sunglasses
As the saying goes, being from New Orleans is a full-time job – that’s good thing – and for eyewear designer Stirling Barrett, the Big Easy is not only home, but also a constant parade of inspiration. His optics brand Krewe launched in 2011, quickly carving out a niche for custom shades with deep roots in New Orleans culture. Named a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund runner-up in 2016, Stirling and company – now hustling with a team of 50 and shops in NOLA, Austin, and New York City – have won fans from across the style universe, namely Beyonce and Jon Batiste. Even with the chorus of acclaim and fast-paced growth, for Stirling, in life and work and everything between, he sticks close to the Krewe mantra: Do You. Luckily, being from New Orleans, that instinct to be original has become second nature. Try their Olivier shades, an homage to Algiers Point, just a ferry ride across from the Quarter.
SAN ANTONIO, TX
BEXAR GOODS: The Slim Wallet
A rugged leather wallet feels about as Texas as holiday gift get. Throw in a Stetson and tickets on the Sunset Limited: You’re gold. The fellas at Bexar Goods Co. (pronounced Bear) make high-quality, timeless products that your grandfather would carry (for a long time). Follow their adventures and pick up one of their simple, slim wallets.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
HEATH CERAMICS: Classic Red Espresso Cup
If you’ve followed Wildsam for the last few years, you know that Heath Ceramics is a constellation in our American sky of companies worth admiring. What began as a small pottery studio in 1948, with Edith & Brian Heath, has evolved into a pure and simple way of expressing California life and style. Owners Robin Petravic and Cathy Bailey have grown Heath in huge ways, but stay close to the heart of what Edith and Brian began. If you’ve not visited their new flagship in the Mission, make it a priority next trip. We love these small espresso cups and saucers; they remind me of the Golden Gate Bridge on a clear, crisp morning.
And remember: This holiday weekend, pick up a guide for a chance to win one of the above gift guide selections. Happy Holidays!