Handcrafted Souvenirs by Baltimore Makers
In Baltimore, there are endless options for one-of-a-kind, locally made gifts.
For the Homebody
Hand-poured in Baltimore, 228 Grant St. Candle Co. soy candles come in soothing scents like sea salt and orchid, cedar and vanilla and Meyer lemon and lavender. You can find them at the Maryland Historical Society shop, Flourish in Charles Village, The Baltimore Museum of Art and Trohv in Hampden, among others.
Decorative home goods
A new and vintage home furnishings company, Cedar & Cotton has an expertly curated selection of refurbished and handcrafted furniture, lighting and accessories. Owned by Baltimore natives Nasira and Raina, Cedar & Cotton’s signature style “mixes traditional with the unexpected.” Look for brightly colored patterned pillows that incorporate themes of nature, African prints and metallic accents.
The custom and ready-made cutting and serving boards by Words With Boards might have been featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things, but they’re most at home in their Hampden studio. Look for whimsical wooden pieces with sayings like “pig out” or “happy hour.” Plan in advance and you’ve got the perfect wedding or housewarming gift, complete with your loved one’s name(s).
Show someone how they light up your life by gifting a one-of-a-kind light fixture from La Loupe Design. Inspired by the ideas of observation and discovery (“la loupe” is French for “magnifying glass”), Jorgelina Lopex and Marco Duenas create pieces that combine traditional craft and contemporary design. From origami-style and knit pendant lamps to intimate wall embroideries, these fixtures are like nothing you’ve seen before.
Aromatherapy and Skincare
SoBotanical is the only custom aromatherapy bar in the Baltimore region with 100% pure and genuine essential oils that are grown free of chemicals. Founded by certified aromatherapist Theresa Cangialosi, the shop also offers hand-crafted skin, hair and pet care products. Stop in the shop in Federal Hill to purchase ready-made blends or create your own custom mix of personalized essential oils.
Know someone who wants a garden but isn’t too excited about all the physical strain? Urban Roots Company seed bombs are the way to go. Flower seeds and compacted compost form colorful “bombs.” Toss, water and watch them grow. Available at the art supply store at MICA (the Maryland Institute College of Art), which features plenty of onsite galleries.
For the Scribe
The writer in your life is always in need of a new journal. Buy them one that’s truly special from Drama MaMa Bookshop. Find hardcover or wooden journals with tribal designs, nods to local rowhouse architecture or inspirational quotes by powerful Black women like Audre Lord. Head to the shop in Station North to make your own custom desirn, or find Drama MaMa at Red Emma’s in Fell’s Point, Dovecote Café in Reservoir Hill or the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.
Get colorful letterpress cards, in city-inspired or floral motif designs, by Tiny Dog Press, a woman-owned studio. Buy a pack for that friend who loves writing letters, or send with your own notes inside. Find them at Love That on Belvedere Avenue, The Baltimore Museum of Industry gift shop and Chase Street Accessories & Engraving in Mount Vernon.
For the Fashionista
“Create and Conquer” is the message of Creative King, a brand specializing in handmade headwear and limited apparel including t-shirts and bags. Most of the pieces are upcycled and reworked, created from vintage denim, silk, workout gear, swim trunks or bags. The bold, bright colors are sure to make a statement.
Holding Pattern Studio offers hand-cut and stitched accessories and home goods made from “thoughtfully sourced” leather seconds from U.S. tanneries. Look for printed wallets, bags and more, marked with hand-carved stamps—nothing is done by machine and no two pieces will be alike. Owner and crafter Kaylin is a scientist by day, leather crafter by night and badass Baltimore babe ‘round the clock.
Artist Alison Fomich, owner of Tigerlillyshop jewelry, is “finding the place where nature meets the city,” creating jewelry and accessories from recycled textiles and items collected in parks and gardens around Baltimore. Look for one-of-kind pieces like a pressed cicada wing necklace, necklaces made from acorns dipped in sterling silver, and hair ties created from buttons covered in vintage Japanese kimono fabric. Look for Tigerlillyshop at Mount Vernon Marketplace.
For the Foodies
Hex Ferments uses the traditional method of fermentation to preserve and transform local, organic produce into nourishing foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha. Hex is committed to reducing waste and allows you to refill your empties for a discounted price. Find Hex at Belvedere Square Market and other locations around the city.
Charm City Chocolates is a retro modern candy shop in Hampden. Take home handcrafted chocolates like peanut chews, spicy almond bark with cayenne pepper, chocolate crabs, or Old Bay-tinged Chesapeake Crunch, just to name a few.
Based on a family recipe, Mouth Party Caramel features only simple ingredients like butter, sugar, sea salt and heavy cream—nothing you can’t pronounce. Buy bags of individually wrapped candies with special Baltimore flavors like the Old Bay-infused Chesapeake flavor.
Natasha Wainwright is a Baltimore native with a passion for creating sweet treats in her hometown. Natasha’s Just Brittle features sweet, (sometimes) nutty, crunchy treats, like turtle pretzels, caramel brittle crunch and Muddy Buddy Bites. She even holds weekend brittle-making classes at her storefront in northeast Baltimore.
MFG Toffee owner Kathy Nelson keeps it simple with small-batch English walnut toffee. MFG stands for “Maryland’s Finest and Greatest” Toffee. So good that even a priest once said, “I’m not sharing this.” Find it at: Trohv, Atwater’s, Eddie’s of Roland Park, Charm City Books and more.
Spend a Saturday afternoon touring the veteran-owned Old Line Spirits distillery in Highlandtown, and bring home a bottle of their signature single malt whiskey. Mark McLaughlin and Arch Watkins met in the Navy flying EA-6B Prowlers. More than a decade later they decided to launch their own craft distillery. Take a tour with a complimentary tasting, and enjoy a cocktail at the Ready Room, the distillery’s bar.
Coffee and Tea
In Baltimore, Zeke’s Coffee is a morning staple. You can enjoy a cup at area restaurants and delis, or share the flavor with friends by buying a bag to take home. Just look for the sign in the window to see if they are “Powered by Zeke’s.”
Priding themselves on sustainable sourcing, Thread Coffee Roasters was recently named the best coffee in Maryland by Food and Wine magazine. You can visit their cafe at in Station North to try a cup or to pick up a bag of their “community supported” coffee to savor the flavor at home.
Founded and run by a brother-sister team, Wight Tea Company features handcrafted tea blends, such as Fireside Fig, Smoked Chai, or Maryland Mint. Find it at B. Willow in Remington, Su Casa in Fell’s Point, or Greedy Reads in Remington or Fell’s Point.