Sure, it’s easy to en masse-order holiday gifts on Amazon, or any fill-in-the-blank online operator with a cache of goods. And we get that time is limited. But you dwell in one of the most inspirational, creative spots on the planet, where artisans and clever craftspeople make beautiful, one-of-kind items will last in the minds and hearts of your loved ones (not to mention support the work of a nearby artisan!). We’re not going to tell you not to ever click-and-buy that pack of stocking-stuffer socks on sale, but we think mixing up gift giving between get-her-done and thoughtful choosing isn’t such a bad way to go. Here are a few of our favorite local makers to inspire a little heartfelt gift-giving for you and yours.
Lora Lomuscio Studio Ceramics, Shelter Island
Native Shelter Islander, Lora Lomuscio, takes her lifetime inspiration of the East End’s natural elements and puts it into her stunning pottery. From subtly textured bowls, vases and other housewares with her signature layered glazes, to fired-clay necklaces that are dead ringers for real oyster, clam and scallop shells (hers, glazed in blues and whites, and sometimes rimmed in gold add a extra shiny gilding to Mother Nature’s masterpieces) and other native elements, Lomuscio’s one-of-kind work makes a gift that instantly becomes a treasured heirloom. Find her one-of-kind work on Shelter Island at Ram Design Home, at the 2nd Annual Shelter Island Library Holiday Makers Market Dec. 9 or by contacting her directly at [email protected] or on Instagram.
Montauk resident Olesya Shayda started her shore-inspired jewelry and accessory company, Shells and Roses, this past summer, and we quickly fell for her joyful, South Fork celebratory pieces. Pretty pieces with shells foraged from Montauk’s Mermaid Beach are woven into pretty rings, bracelets, anklets and necklaces, and adorn pretty hats, mosaic cellphone cases for all models and handwoven La Paz handbags. Prices range from $20 to $200 and you check out what she’s got in store here.
Using herbs and botanicals sourced from their own farm, Hamptons Alchemist creates soothing, saturated salves that will make you feel really, really good. From pillow sprays to help you drift off to sweet-smelling sleep to can’t-live-without lip balm to hydrating, get-at-those-tired-muscles massage butter, these East Hampton-born products are little luxuries that will get you through the dry winter ahead. Hit up the Dec. 2 Friends Bazaar at Ashawagh Hall at 780 Springs Fireplace Road from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or check here for available products.
Like many who are the youngest of a brood, the last of five kids in a busy family, Eleanor Piccozzi Labrozzi found herself with lots of time to dream and explore the beautiful island she grew up on. At an early age, she began experimenting with photography, and it stuck. You can see the influence of Shelter Island’s natural, raw beauty in Labrozzi’s stunning landscape work (which often graces the “Love, Southforker” page of our print issues), which you can see every month of the year in this annual calendar she produces featuring both secret and well-known island spots. Calendars are $30 and can be purchased at Ram Design Home or by contacting Labrozzi directly here.
I discovered Hamptons Handpoured at The Church’s annual holiday artisan market (this Saturday, Nov. 25 — you should definitely go!) when I saw that owner and East Quogue resident Brittany Torres had created a candle named after my hometown of Shelter Island. Now, I’d recently come across another SI-named candle not too long before that smelled… well, like someone who hated Shelter Island. But Torres’s candle? Wow. Fresh, botanical, breezy and beautiful. That’s because Torres grew up here, too, and she gets it, curating a just-right aromatic on each of her soy-based beauties. Named after your own hometown, second-home spot or favorite one to visit, Hamptons Handpoured is sold at a multitude of local retail shops. Go getcha one and spread the scent of local love!
When we visited his Westhampton Beach studio for the first time last spring and got to see the intricate, gorgeous, artisanal work done by Jean Michel-Andriot, we became obsessed with getting our hands on his one-of-kind, made-just-for-you backgammon and chess boards. Handcrafted one by one by Andriot, and only Andriot, these unique boards aren’t cheap (they start at around $1,500), but they are worth it for that very special backgammon-obsessed person in your life, or to bring the family back to the fold (without phones!). Plus, seriously — these beauties are heirloom-worthy. There are a few ready for immediate purchase on his website; otherwise, boards take about 10 days to three weeks to make. Orders can be placed here.