It’s that time of year again. The frenzy of the holiday season is upon us, which means businesses are loading up their best deals and Mariah Carey’s Christmas album gets another lease on life. While some turn to online shopping or malls, we suggest keeping it local and visiting these Summit and Stark county shops.
If you are at a dead-end of gift ideas for someone, drop everything and get to Jenks 1929. Owners Michael and Jodie Oates Owen gave the former 92-year-old auto machine shop new life by filling it with a retail shop, art gallery, weekly entertainers, a library, coffee shop, wine cellar and even a bakery. Jenks 1929 offers quality heirloom gifts such as Pendleton blankets, Opinel knives, wooden toys, wine baskets and classic books. “We want to give a gift that somebody will pass down through generations,” says Michael Oates-Owen. 1884 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls, 234-312-9103, jenks1929.com
Looking Glass Gifts and Gallery
Opened in July, Looking Glass is a one-stop shop for fine art, with pieces ranging from $20 to $500. The gallery, located in downtown Cuyahoga Falls, features work from over 30 local artists specializing in glass, ceramic, wood, stone, metal and jewelry. Owner Rachel Forbes credits the gallery’s success to the tight-knit community. “We are not Amazon,” says Forbes. “We are passionate and care about each other.” 2140 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls, 234-718-3640, lookingglassgiftsandgallery.com
Don Drumm Studio and Gallery
In honor of its 50th anniversary, sculptor Don Drumm and his daughter, Leandra, will be re-releasing their popular aluminum designs and pewter ornaments, including Santa, reindeers, wreaths and menorahs. “We’re proud to offer unique, hand-made gifts at affordable prices,” says marketing Jessie Raynor. 437 Crouse St., Akron, 330-253-6268, dondrummstudios.com
The Social Dept. Clothing Co.
If you’re looking for a gift that screams Cleveland, look no further. Since 2006, Andy and Christy Taray have been offering hand-screened T-shirts, home goods and poster prints. And if all that shopping’s making you thirsty, there’s more good news. The Social Dept. collaborates with HiHO Brewing Co. by offering bundles that let customers buy a T-shirt and then head next door for a free beer. “There's technically something for everybody,” says Taray. 1707 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls, 330-573-7911
Gwendolyn Elizabeth Carson and her mother, Lisa Carson, are big on selfcare but also believe in making their bath and body products in small batches to ensure quality. Starting Black Friday, the shop will offer special deals, including gift baskets for $19.95 and four-for-one bath bombs. But the biggest sellers are always the Christmas soap cookies. “I put them in cookie tins,” says Carson. “It looks like you're giving somebody a box of cookies, but it's actually soap.” 126 W Streetsboro, Hudson, 330-342-9137, gwendolynelizabeth.com
Laura of PembrokeCross off your shopping list in style this holiday season. Family owned Laura of Pembroke is a three-generation retail boutique with a diverse array of options for all ages. This year’s holiday offerings will include popular knit winter hats and hand-made picture frames. “We always try to get unique items every year,” says owner Lauren Bosworth. 3119 Whippie Ave. NW, Canton, 330-477-4455, lauraofpembroke.com