From Visit Fairfax
Author Ali Morris
Fairfax County is home to an incredible and diverse group of artisan makers – so much so that the Made in Fairfax initiative was born.
The Made in Fairfax network aims to be a one-stop shop for maker businesses and those who want to support them. The Made in Fairfax directory features dozens of artisans who create a variety of products in the county like custom furniture, baked goods, jewelry, and more.
This holiday season (or any time of year, really!) take “shop local” to new heights by directly supporting the makers of these gift-worthy products – created right here in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Here’s your Fairfax County 2021 Holiday Gift Guide:
Art & Designs
Spruce up your holiday decorations with custom ornaments from Fairfax-based EmKay Designs Shop. Using bright and glittery colors, like this scheming Grinch face, EmKay’s ornaments are sure to catch people’s attention. Put in a custom request for ornaments with your family name, pet names, favorite sayings, or more. Browse the Etsy shop for inspiration, and don’t miss the additional gift ideas available, from Stickers to Drinkware to T-shirts!
Artisans United is a network of local artists and craftspeople that operates a cooperative gallery in Annandale to display and sell its handcrafted items. The network also presents outreach programs to the community. Stop by the Craft Gallery (within Annandale Community Park and adjacent to Hidden Oaks Nature Center) to browse items like wooden toys, quilts, photography, ceramics, silk blouses, crocheted items, jewelry, glass, and so much more. Learn more at www.augallery.org.
More ideas: Make a point to swing by the Workhouse Arts Center for unique prints and other artistic endeavors from the 65+ studio artists-in-residence at the center. We promise you’ll find more than one truly unique gift for those on your list. This year, they’ve given you a perfect reason to stop by during their Small Business Saturday event, happening Nov. 27, Dec. 4, and Dec. 11 only – get a 20% discount on all items and support your local artists!
Stock up on Thulisa Naturals products for a nightly escape from the daily grind. From foaming fizzy bars and shower steamers to body scrubs and butters, shop owner Anusha Moodley prides herself on creating products that help women prioritize self-care in an all-natural way. Visit her site for a quiz to find out which products are right for you, browse her blog for inspiration, and order your holiday haul.
More ideas: Pamper yourself with the deliciously hydrating hair, body, and lip products from SheaTHATagain!, a shop run by Herndon resident Tana McNeil-Taylor. She wanted to create products with natural ingredients that would work for her own hair, and before she knew it, others were clamoring to get them. Choose from fan-favorite Whipped Hair Butter or Whipped Body Butter or select a gift set featuring shea & cocoa lip balm and Almond Mint Body Butter bars. Order here.
Indulge in a divine cup of chocolately goodness by taking home some hot chocolate bombs from Good Golly Desserts, a Fairfax-based home bakery. Simply place the hot chocolate bomb in a mug, pour warm milk over it, and watch the magic happen. (Need a pick-me-up? Order one of the coffee creamer and cappuccino bombs!) Starting at $5. Order online here. Browse other dessert ideas at @goodgollydesserts.
In-the-know residents may already be clued into the amazing bean-to-bar chocolate crafted at Chantilly’s River-Sea Chocolate Factory, the only one of its kind in Northern Virginia. But for the uninitiated, a perfect gift for the chocolate lovers in your life is the new Chocolate Painting Kit, where you use paint made from plant-based, fruit-tinted white chocolate to design your own milk, dark or white chocolate bars. Other gift ideas include Self-Guided Chocolate Tasting Kits, Hot Chocolate Bombs, and Mini Chocolate Sets.
More ideas: Stop by or pre-order gifts from any of these amazing chocolatiers in Fairfax County, like Cocoa Vienna or Chesapeake Chocolates. Your taste buds will thank you!
Offer a gift that truly kickstarts your loved one’s day every day – with the gift of locally roasted coffee beans. Falls Church-based Inner Loop Coffee Roasters is a family-owned roastery that is offering customizable holiday gift boxes filled with goodies including coffee beans, homemade biscotti, locally poured candles, and logo’d mugs. Each box also has the option to include a special gift tag made by a local artist. Shop gift boxes, beans, and subscriptions here.
More ideas: Support woman-owned Cervantes Coffee Roasters, which offers single-origin beans and operates almost exclusively on a roast-to-order basis. Bonus: you can tour their roastery in Springfield or sign up for classes to further your coffee education. Wish you ordered more than one bag? Check out their subscription for monthly or bi-weekly delivery! You can also pick up freshly roasted beans from Town of Vienna favorite Caffe Amouri, or Herndon shop Weird Brothers Coffee. And of course, who wouldn’t love a gift card to one of the locally-owned coffee shops across the county – here are several coffeehouses to consider.
Virginia is known for its incredible peanuts, so Reston resident Radhika Murari decided to do something about it! OmMade Peanut Butter uses those peanuts to make about a dozen spectacular flavors of vegan, gluten-free peanut butter ranging from Coconut Bliss to Vibrant Turmeric to Espresso Ecstasy. This year, they have holiday-ready gift boxes with four different designs that will make the perfect gift! Choose from Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or a general Holidays design. Gift boxes start at $39.99 for a selection of four 4 oz. jars of customer favorite peanut butters and can be ordered online.
Packed with superfoods like almonds, chia, and hemp seeds, and sweetened up (in some cases) with chocolate chips, Dano’s Granola offers snack-size portions and 12 oz. bags of handmade granola and other baked goods. Add these tasty items to your stocking stuffer list this year: the Granola Sampler Pack includes three mini granola portions and one Breakfast Cookie, plus a cute ornament; or the Chocolate Mousse Pie, a vegan and gluten-free pie with a granola crust and creamy chocolate filling; or a selection of five different flavors of granola, ranging from Turmeric to Vanilla. Order online.
Be the belle of the holiday party ball this year with a handcrafted and custom pretzel charcuterie platter, pretzel party box, or pretzel variety packs from Nordic Knot. Pair these with a selection of tasty dips (bonus Made in Fairfax find – OmMade Peanut Butter is available as an option!) and you’ll have the tastiest holiday ever! Order online. Fun Fact: Nordic Knot pretzels also pair deliciously with locally crafted beer from its sister business, Lake Anne Brew House!
Even more ideas: You can’t go wrong with treating your friends and family to a nice meal out (whether in-person or takeout). Our restaurants still need all the help they can get coming through the pandemic. Why not stuff their stockings with a gift card to a wonderful Fairfax County restaurant?
McLean resident Nabila Salame wanted a way to provide a fun approach to mathematics for children as they get ready to enter elementary school. She created ARZI Children Education Programs as the answer and now offers premium activity books for kids that are filled with colorful illustrations and offer a variety of fun concepts and worksheets to instill a love of math in children. Contact Nabila or visit www.arziservices.com for information on how to pick one up for your kids this holiday season. Activity books range from $15 – $25.
More ideas: Check out some of the local country stores and gift shops for even more fun-filled gifts for kids. Or, check in with the Children’s Science Center Lab to see what fun they have on deck for the new year.
Your furry friends deserve some love this holiday season, too! Luckily for you, Pawfectly Delicious Dog Treats offers up all-natural ginger doggie treats – made with love by differently-abled young adults. The non-profit has been providing job training and meaningful work to young adults with disabilities since 2017 in an effort to celebrate their unique talents and abilities within the community. Just in time for the holidays, you can treat your pup to a holiday assortment of treats that have been handcrafted, baked, and stenciled. Order online.
More ideas: Chantilly residents Matthew and Carla Mangone brought Pet Wants to Fairfax County after trying to find nutritional, freshly made food for their dog, Alli. Now, Pet Wants Chantilly offers a selection of dry and wet food for dogs and cats, freeze-dried and bakery-made treats, and even “Spaw” Products like Calming Balm and Anti-Itch Skin Spray. Check out their selection online.
Evermay Bees produces handcrafted soaps, candles, and jewelry using beeswax and honey sourced from the beehives they tend in McLean. (Check out the honey extraction process and meet the hives here.) For a delicious smelling stocking stuffer, choose from their line of shower fizzies, bath bombs, or traditional, liquid, and kids’ soaps. Or treat that special someone to a gift of Evermay Pearls or another stunning piece of jewelry. Browse the site and place your order online here.
Searching for a unique and warm eco-friendly gift? Check out the natural fiber knits from Hoagland Handmade, which uses fibers farmed in the greater DMV region to create sustainable gifts that will warm the hands (or head or ears) and the heart. Some winter must-haves include the Oversized Tassel Shawl, made with Virginia-raised Columbia & Targhee wools, the Mittens and Fingerless Mitts (using hand-dyed merino and merino/cashmere blends), and the Sustainable Starter Set, which includes a recycled cotton tote bag, a cotton/bamboo soap saver, and a set of 3 reusable facial rounds knit from Virginia-grown cotton. Browse the website here or order online at Hoagland Handmade’s Etsy shop.
More ideas: Browse curated wardrobe options from Knieriem Designs, a company focused on creating simple, elegant clothing for the modern shopper. Each piece is handmade in its Virginia studio and custom orders can be personalized with unique details that make each item intrinsically your own. Check out their website and don’t miss the holiday sale, happening now!
Wine, Beer & Spirits
Did you know there’s a winery on Richmond Highway? Woodlawn Press Winery is a veteran and family-owned micro-winery that makes and bottles its own varietals and fruit wines right here in Fairfax County. Stop by this urban micro-winery for wine-based gift ideas, like the 12 Days of Holiday Wine Set. This package is similar to a wine advent calendar and features 12 stunning wines: a handful of classics, fruity wine, limited release best-sellers, and the winery’s very first meads. Purchase it online for $115 and select local delivery or pickup.
Of course, you can also pick up wine and other gifts from the two vineyards in Fairfax County – Paradise Springs Winery and The Winery at Bull Run, the latter of which is offering some pretty nifty Black Friday shopping deals (Nov 24-26, only!)
More ideas: If you prefer beer or spirits over wine, Fairfax County has you covered as well! Support local brewers with gift cards to any of the 12 taprooms in the county, or tell your loved ones to sign up for the free Fairfax County Locally Poured Field Guide, a digital pass that gets you discounts and deals at participating breweries and wineries. If you’re a fan of whiskey, stop by George Washington’s Mount Vernon for a gift set that includes a bottle of George Washington’s Signature Rye Whiskey, the official state spirit of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Or, take home some of Falls Chuch Distillers‘ selections of handcrafted vodkas, whiskeys, gins, and more.
For the growing list of vendors that are part of the Made in Fairfax initiative, check out their directory here. (If you are an artisan who would like to join, you can apply right here.)
What is your favorite product to find locally? Who will you be picking these gift ideas up for? Let us know in the comments below or tag us on social media using #FXVA and @VisitFairfax. Happy shopping!
Other than her native Philadelphia, there may be no other place in America that Ali loves talking about more than Fairfax County, Virginia. Go ahead, ask her about things to do in the area! At Visit Fairfax, she manages web/app and social media content as well as media/press outreach. When not advocating for tourism or traveling the world, you can usually find her at a local brewery or coffee shop, taking her sweet pup for a hike in the woods, spending time with her husband and young daughter, or chatting about the latest pop culture craze.