Under wraps

2018 buy-local gift guide

Ceramic vase by Pat Roberts.

Ceramic vase by Pat Roberts.


People here make things. Take a drive from Pyramid Lake to South Lake, and you’ll find them in every community along the way—people making things that are beautiful, things that functional, things that are tasty, and, often, things that are intoxicating.

Pass through any town in the region, and you’ll find people plying their skills, making a living by providing goods and services that make life here better. Pass through around the holidays, and you’ll often find these people gathered together for markets and bazaars, which provide an opportunity to see the breadth of stuff that’s proudly made right here at home.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a buy-local holiday shopping guide. It’s broken into two sections. In the first, you’ll find recommendations for locally sourced gifts in categories covering everything from clothing to art, food and drink, home goods, and even some services and memberships. In the second part, we’ve compiled a list of holiday markets happening in towns around the region, including Carson City, Reno and South Lake Tahoe.

Faire play

What: Magic of Santa Arts and Crafts Faire
When: Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Dec 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Reno Livestock Events Center, 1350 N. Wells Ave.
Why go: You want handmade doll clothes and pieces of fine wood work. This craft show is a local classic—now in its 38th year. There will be more than 80 vendors from which to choose. Be aware that folks 12 and older will have to pay $4 for admission, or $3 with a donation of a canned food item.

What: Wyld & Crafty Holiday
When: Dec. 2 from 3 to 7 p.m.
Where: Craft Wine and Beer, 22 Martin St.
Why go: This event is a chance to do some holiday shopping and also get in on making some holiday crafts of your own. Local makers will help people create their own ornaments, paint wrapping paper and make custom stamped cards. There’s not strictly an admission fee, but donations are encouraged with proceeds going to support the drop-in youth day shelter, the Eddy House

What: Zawadisha Holiday Bazaar
When: Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: The Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa, 4104 Lakeshore Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, California
Why go: This fair features nearly two dozen vendors who make things ranging from jewelry to body care products. Zawadisha is an organization that provides small loans to rural women in Kenya. The vendors’ booth fees and the profits from the Zawadisha booth go to support the group’s work in that country.

What: 7th Annual Chili Cash & Carry
When: Dec. 7 from 4 to 7 p.m. and Dec. 8 and 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: The Wedge Ceramic Studio, 2095 Dickerson Road
Why go: For $25 you get to pick a handmade ceramic bowl and get it filled with chili catered by Butter & Salt. Studio members will sell their ceramic work and crafters working in different media will sell their wares as well. Bring a non-perishable, non-expired food item to donate, and you can pick an ornament made by a studio member.

What: Rogue Art+Craft 2018
When: Dec. 8 and 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: The Holland Project, 140 Vesta St.
Why go: More than 50 local vendors will be selling everything from art to body products, and there will be food trucks.

What: Holiday Craft Fair
When: Dec. 7, 8 and 9 from 10 a.m to 6 p.m.
Where: Carson Colony Gym, 2800 S. Curry St., Carson City
Why go: You can get your hands on custom beadwork, jewelry, body products, blankets, art and more.

What: 7th Annual Tommo Craft Fair
When: Dec. 7 and 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Gym, 34 Reservation Road
Why go: This is another opportunity to purchase art, home goods, and jewelry, including intricate beaded pieces from dozens of Native American vendors.

Home for the holidays

Buying furniture as a gift is something you probably only want to do for someone you know really well. But in the event you do, there are plenty of local furniture makers in town from which to choose. You could contact a company like Haus of Reed that specializes in custom jobs or drop into a store like Micano Home and Garden, 1350 S. Virginia St., to check out a selection of furniture and home décor that’s made regionally or in house, including a lot of upcycled pieces and industrial art. Another option is Drevno Design, a new company that’s yet to open a brick-and-mortar location but will be showcasing its simple, clean designs that often blend metal, wood and concrete during the Wyld & Crafty Holiday event.

Perhaps you know someone who would like to have a smaller carbon footprint or a generally less wasteful lifestyle but doesn’t have the time to think about where to find the kinds of things we normally consider disposable. Black Rock Refill owner Samantha Romanick prides herself on hunting down everything from refillable floss containers to bamboo eating utensils and wool dryer balls meant to replace fabric softener. You can find her products at Wolf Shop locations at the University of Nevada, Reno, 1664 N. Virginia St., or online at blackrockrefill.com. She delivers locally for free.

Ceramic butterfly dish by Earlene Dalasohya


Handmade ceramics can serve as both art and practical appliance, and there’s an abundance of this type of thing in the region. Pat Roberts makes beautiful, functional ceramic vases, jars and mugs. His work can be found inside the Wedge Ceramic Studio, 2095 Dickerson Road, all the time and will also be for sale during the studio’s Chili Cash & Carry event. Earlene Dalasohya actually lives in Anaheim, California, but she often comes to Reno to sell her hand painted ceramic bowls, plates and night lights during craft fairs at the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony.

A lot of people will tell you they have more than enough stuff for their homes, but fewer will tell you they have more than enough time to care for it all. Consider landscaping or composting services as a gift. Down to Earth Composting offers a service that provides people with buckets for collecting compostable materials at their homes. The buckets are picked up once a week by a member of the company on bicycle. Twice a year, service subscribers can get up to 20 gallons of finished compost to meet their gardening needs.

Member services

The Truckee Meadows is home to many theater companies, including Reno Little Theater, Restless Artists Theatre, Merry War Theatre and others. Season passes make a good gift. Take, for example, passes for Good Luck Macbeth’s 11th season. They’re $110 and include one ticket to each of seven productions and priority seating. Upgraded season passes are $124 and include one ticket to each of the seven mainstage productions, free access to three staged readings from the theater’s New Works Initiative and priority seating with an option for champagne.

Soy holiday candles from Pantry Products.


A membership to the Generator may be a good gift idea for any makers in your life. While the makers’ space doesn’t turn people away based on a lack of funding—and has a day-use area for drop-in visitors—membership dues are important to its operations and confer certain benefits. They’re available at different levels. A “shop” membership for $500 a year or $50 a month will give them access to the common shops and use and training on tools for working with wood, metal, ceramic and more.

Housed in the former Granny’s House Recording Studio, the Reno Collective co-working space is a home to techies, writers and startups of all varieties. Memberships at different levels allow access to the space and its services. A Cafe 24/7 membership comes with all-hours access, a long-term locker space, access to conference rooms and event/meetup hosting privileges.

The Imbib Collaborator Club is for beer lovers. Memberships are $275 a year and come with 16 bottles of special beer releases, a 15 percent discount on taproom purchases and early access to special release beers.

Something for every body

Nevada-themed clothing has been popping up in shops all over the region. Reno eNVy, 135 N. Sierra St., stocks Home Means Nevada Co. brand clothing. And a new company called State 36, founded by Renoites, sells Nevada-themed clothes for men, women, kids and babies online at state36.com. Newer still are designs available from Pyramid Paiute Tribe member Sara Paschall. Paschall aims to design clothing that speaks to her indigenous culture in a way that’s not cliché. She’s designed T-shirts for the anti-DAPL protests and the women’s marches. They feature strong, simply, modernized Native iconography. You can find her at the Dec. 2 Wyld & Crafty event.

Color pencil and oil pastel by Quinton Salas.


• There’s an abundance of homemade jewelry for sale in this region, but some brands are standouts, including one called “Spanish for Pineapple.” Owner Gabi Falcioni learned to make earrings and necklaces while working at Reno Bead Shop. Her work often includes a variety of stones featuring simple, elegant wire wrapping—but she also makes beaded earrings featuring designs and color combinations inspired by her Mexican heritage. Falcioni’s work is mostly available on Etsy, whereas other brands like Lovett Family Beadwork is something you’ll have to visit craft fairs to find. It’s worth the trip to see Ann Lovett and daughter Candace’s intricate beading on everything from trinket boxes to earrings to pens.

Homemade body products are becoming increasingly popular. In the Truckee Meadows, there’s a wealth of places to get them. Pantry Products, 1375 S. Wells Ave., offers skincare, candles, bath and shower products and aromatherapy candles and is rolling out new holiday scents in the coming weeks. The store will have a booth at the Rogue Art+Craft 2018 event on Dec. 8 and 9. Stacey Shaffer is an aromatherapist and maker of natural bath and body products. She’s studying to become a holistic health practitioner but can be contacted in the meantime for products and “make and take” parties by searching Native Roots Apothecary on Facebook.

Odds are you could be in the market for a boat cover and also for a new purse. You can get both from Luca Stevens. For the last 10 years, she’s been doing custom industrial sewing, making boat covers and large handbags out of 100 percent post-consumer sail cloth. You can find her work online at mountainwatercanvas.com.

Salon services are go-to gift for a lot of people. A facial or a haircut can be a great pick-me-up for anyone—but there’s another service that can have a much bigger impact for some. Microblading for eyebrows is a semi-permanent tattooing process. It’s expensive, often around $500, but it’s a popular gift for people who’ve gone through chemotherapy and found their eyebrows didn’t fully grow back afterward. Learn more about it by contacting local providers like Pretty Parlor, 680 Tahoe St.

All you can eat

If you’re going to give people desserts for the holidays, skip the gross fruitcakes and go for some locally made chocolates. There are myriad confectioners from which to choose, from Dorinda’s Chocolates to the Chocolate Nugget Candy Factory. A standout among them is Sugar Love Chocolates, 50 S. Virginia St. Owner Krysta Bea Jackson turns out a huge variety of truffles and chocolate bars available in gift boxes, small or large.

It’s been a good decade for local beer lovers as new breweries have sprung up all over the region. A gift card to visit any number of them—from Brewer’s Cabinet, 475 S. Arlington Ave.; to 10 Torr Distilling and Brewing, 490 Mill St.—is always a good go-to gift. For something more personal, a mix-and-match six pack of locally crafted beers from Piñon Bottle, 777 S. Virginia St., is another option.

For something truly out of the box, make a visit to Casale’s Halfway Club, 2501 E. Fourth St., and order some homemade raviolis to give as a gift. They come in different sized containers and are meant to be cooked at home. Raviolis-to-go is a holiday tradition the restaurant—opened more than 70 years ago—has offered for decades.

Farm boxes, or community supported agriculture subscriptions offer people weekly or monthly deliveries of locally grown food. They’re a neat gift idea for anyone who’s interest in farm-to-fork dining. Locally, there a many from which to choose. Just go online and Google any of these to learn more: Bee Here Now Farm, City Green Gardens, Pleasant Valley Farm, Prema Organics or The Farmers Table at Girlfarm.

Who are you kidding?

Museum memberships often make good gifts for kids. Annual memberships to the Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum are available in different levels and for individuals as well as families. But if you’re not in the market for an annual membership, admission tickets to any number of local museums—from the Nevada Museum of Art to the National Automobile Museum—make good gifts for kids. And if you want a related toy to accompany the tickets, all of the museums have them in their respective gift shops.

If you’d like to bond with a kid over some retro toys, there are quite a few places to buy them, but a standout is Flashback Toys & Collectibles, 201 E. Plumb Lane. It’s especially cool for toy car fans, with a selection of Hotwheels, Matchbox cars, M2 Machines and Tiger Wheels toys and collectibles.

Trampoline parks are a fairly recent trend in kids’ entertainment options. And buying children you know gift cards to one of the valley’s several trampoline parks is, in a sense, also providing a gift to their caregivers, who will be grateful for the opportunity to tucker them out. Choose from Fly High Trampoline Park (10 Greg St., Sparks), EZ Air Indoor Trampoline Park and Laser Tag Arena (895 E. Patriot Blvd.) or Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park (2210 Harvard Way).

State of the art

The region is full of visual artists. Some of them do gallery shows and sales, but many of them only sell their art during pop-up craft fairs. It’s places like that where you’ll find hidden gems like the work of Quinton Salas, who beautifully renders interpretations of female deities and mythological figures in a blend of colored pencil and oil pastel. (Salas’ work is also sometimes available at the Melting Pot World Emporium, 1049 S. Virginia St.) In addition to upcoming holiday markets, there are exhibitions and sales at galleries across the region, including at the Artists Co-Op Gallery of Reno, 627 Mill St., through Dec. 28 and at the Wilbur D. May Museum, 1595 N. Sierra St., through Dec. 16.

Maybe you’re not comfortable choosing art as a gift. Consider giving art lessons of some type instead. One-time visits to studios that specialize in glass art, painting or other crafts are a good option, with a variety of places to choose from, like Mantra Glass Art, 651 E. Fourth St.; the Copper Cat Studio, 300 Kresge Lane; or Picasso & Wine, 148 Vassar St. For something more in depth, consider classes from the E. L. Cord Museum School at the Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St.

Music lessons can make a meaningful gift, and there are myriad places in the region to get them—places like Blue Note B’s Horn Shop, 1155 W. Fourth St.; Mountain Music Parlor, 735 S. Center St.; and It’s All About Music, 770 Smithridge Drive.

If you know a photographer, you know a photographer who could use a sensor cleaning for his or her camera. If said photographer doesn’t currently need a sensor cleaning, it won’t be long before one becomes necessary. Action Camera, 5890 S. Virginia St., does a great job with this service. The store also organizes a regular series of photography lessons and classes.