Something Special from Wisconsin™: More Holiday Gift Ideas

Discover Wisconsin

December 8, 2016

We know how it goes…the holidays sneak up on ya and getting your shopping done – especially when trying to find a meaningful gift for each person – seems like a daunting task. Something Special from Wisconsin™ has partnered with wonderful businesses across the state and we’ve selected a handful of ‘em that would make great gift ideas.

  1. Nana’s Knits (Mauston) 
    [Photo courtesy of Nana's Knits]

    [Photo courtesy of Nana’s Knits]

Nana’s Knits is a one-person shop run by, you guessed it, a real life “Nana” who knits for customers with the same care she does for family. Check out her Etsy page for gorgeous hand-knit mittens (for both children and adults), Christmas stockings, hats, headbands, golf club covers, vintage knitting patterns and surplus wool. The wool used is Wisconsin raised and processed, so we get 100% Wisconsin hand-knit products. I can get on board with that!

  1. Bob’s Wooden Bowls (Sheboygan)
    [Photo courtesy of Bob's Wooden Bowls]

    [Photo courtesy of Bob’s Wooden Bowls]

You’re going to want one (or five) of these one-of-a-kind bowls. Robert Newton’s passion for woodworking and his background in teaching middle school and high school students led to him creating a technique to make the most unique, intricate bowls. Different wood types, grains and patterns allow no two bowls to be the same. The hard work and craftsmanship is apparent, and you’ll even find a penny embedded on the bottom of each one, indicating the year it was made.

  1. Kim’s BS Sauce (Wausau)
    [Photo courtesy of @kimsbssauce, Instagram]

    [Photo courtesy of @kimsbssauce, Instagram]

Kim’s BS Sauce started as a homemade concoction so good that Kim’s friends were willing to trade him anything for a bottle of his sauce. The increasing demand for more led to the perfecting of the recipe in 2011 and eventually adding Horseradish, Spicy and Roasted Garlic to his sauce lineup. It can be used for anything from pork, beef, chicken and seafood to meatloaf and Bloody Mary cocktails. It’s sold at various retailers across the state, and is also available on their website. Gift it to your favorite grill master or Bloody Mary connoisseur.

  1. Front Porch Pets Inc. (Wild Rose)
    [Photo by Front Porch Pets]

    [Photo by Front Porch Pets]

    Don’t leave out your furry friend this holiday season – Front Porch Pets has you covered! Healthy dog treats were created by a research chef whose goal was to create delicious and healthful meals for us two-legged folks, but during a trip to the vet for his American Eskimo, he found that many commercial rawhide brands aren’t up to par in the health category. After careful research, Chef David found that dogs should have 35 percent of their calories be from vegetables and fruit, and that sweet potatoes are excellent for dogs. Thus, Sam’s Yams Dental Chews were born. Dogs love ‘em, and if they had thumbs, they’d surely put Sam’s Yams Bichon “Fries”, Veggie Rawhide and Big Boyz on their Christmas list. All products are available on their website.
  2. Silver Creek Alpaca (Watertown)
    [Photo courtesy of Silver Creek Alpaca]

    [Photo courtesy of Silver Creek Alpaca]

Silver Creek Farm focuses on promoting alpacas as an environmentally sustainable and economically viable livestock, and their website offers a variety of alpaca products perfect for gift giving. Check out their socks, headbands, coats, vests, scarves, shawls, gloves, mittens, purses, blankets, hats and more.

  1. Great Lakes Distillery (Milwaukee)
    [Photo courtesy of Great Lakes Distillery]

    [Photo courtesy of Great Lakes Distillery]

A small-batch distillery in Milwaukee, Great Lakes is dedicated to creating products using old-fashioned methods, resulting in great taste and personality. Not to mention, they use local ingredients whenever possible, putting a Wisconsin twist on everything they do. Choose from apple, peach and pear brandy, Rehorst Citrus & Honey vodka, Rehorst Gin (which uses Wisconsin ginseng), a pumpkin seasonal spirit, Kinnickinnic Whiskey, and Roaring Dan’s Rum. Visit their tasting room and choose unique spirits to gift; if you can’t decide, a gift certificate to tour the distillery will do!

  1. Chosen Stones (Richland Center)
    [Photo courtesy of Chosen Stones]

    [Photo courtesy of Chosen Stones]

Chosen Stones is a family-owned and -operated business that sells quality wood products for the home. All of their handcrafted wood products, including coasters, cutting boards (available in the shape of Wisconsin), serving bowls, trays and rolling pins, make excellent gifts and can be purchased on their website.

  1. HANmade Milwaukee (South Milwaukee)
    [Photo courtesy of HANmade Milwaukee]

    [Photo courtesy of HANmade Milwaukee]

Inspired by 1950s souvenir tablecloths and the revival of state maps from the 50s, along with the ongoing need for tourist souvenirs, HANmade Milwaukee created a detailed cloth map of Milwaukee’s beautiful lakefront. It has since added to its inventory Wisconsin map coasters, a notebook, a kids’ MAPtivity kit, jigsaw puzzle and apron, all featuring a map of the Milwaukee lakefront.

Mittens, woodwork, dog treats and sauce…these gift ideas cover everyone on your list, from Grandma and Dad to puppies and kiddos.

What are some of your go-to local gift ideas? Share with us on social media using #DiscoverWisconsin!ssfwlogooval
Something Special from Wisconsin™ is a trademarked program administered by the Division of Agricultural Development at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection since 1983. Every dollar spent on Something Special from Wisconsin™ products and services supports local farmers, food processors, entrepreneurs, our communities and livelihood, as well as the Wisconsin way of life. Something Special from Wisconsin™ products are unique and of the highest quality, making them perfect for gift-giving, special occasions and every day!

Kristen Finstad is a member of the Discover Wisconsin crew. Having grown up in River Falls, attending UW-Stevens Point and now living in Madison, she’s a Wisconsin girl through and through. Watch Discover Wisconsin TV Saturday mornings at 10 on Fox Sports Wisconsin. (Twitter: @DiscoverWI)

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