The 'Burghy Mother's Day Gift Guide 2015
Plan ahead with this list of 10 locally made must-haves for Mom.
Every year, I publish this gift guide, and every year, my mother buys herself about five things on it without realizing that maybe one of her daughters already purchased an item as a Mother’s Day gift. Mom, if you are reading this, put down your weeping credit card. Love, your daughters and husband.
Let’s take a look at 10 locally made items any mom would love to receive over anything made overseas. Items range in price from $5 to $75, and Mom should receive most by Mother’s Day if you order right away.
Right now. Go!
1. Mario Lemieux Foundation/Rachel’s Cure by Design bracelet ($66 at mariolemieux.org)
This marks the second year the Mario Lemieux Foundation has partnered with Rachel’s Cure by Design to offer a special jewelry item, with proceeds benefiting the foundation’s programs. This bangle bracelet trio is adorned with two RCBD charms, a custom Mario Lemieux Foundation charm and a handmade glass black-and-gold bead designed by local glass artist Michael "Fig" Mangiofico and made by Michael and Jessica Rutherford. There’s a limited supply, so order one of these ASAP before they sell out.
If I had a dime for every time I heard my mother say to me or one of my four sisters, “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out,” I would have enough money to buy one of every Mother’s Day card offered by Sapling Press. These locally made letterpress cards are hilarious, so good luck picking just one. I’m definitely going with the Instagram-themed card because seriously, Mom, all your exclamation points are ruining my brand.
3. Smartphone wallet by Accessories by Bethany ($27 on Etsy)
Do not be alarmed if you visit Bethany Campbell’s Etsy shop only to find she’s on a quick break from it this week. I’ve been in contact with her to ensure that she will be able to fulfill Mother’s Day orders upon her return, so bookmark her shop and pay special attention to her fabulous, locally made and super-affordable smartphone wallets. You can choose your fabric (I’m partial to this gorgeous, understated neutral fabric with splashes of turquoise blue) and the size based on your mother’s current cellphone. These wallets can be big enough to fit even her giant iPhone 6 Plus.
4. Steel Stars earrings by Audra Azoury ($28-$38 on AudraAzoury.com)
Loving the Steelers and sporting Steelers-themed gear does not mean your mother has to douse herself in black, gold, red and blue fabrics bedazzled with sparkles and sequins in patterns loud enough to cause seizures. Instead, gift your Steeler- or steel-loving mother these gorgeous, understated hypocycloid earrings by local jewelry-maker Audra Azoury. Be sure to check out Azoury’s entire line of Pittsburgh- and nature-themed jewelry.
Because each piece is handmade and customized with a name, you might not receive your Zotter the Potter covered casserole dish before Mother’s Day, but that’s OK. Simply let your mom know it’s coming once the local potter puts their time and love into her unique piece. She’ll never again have to use a Sharpie to write her name on a Tupperware lid for a potluck or covered-dish party. Everyone always will know which dish is hers. And they will covet it. Also, my mom’s name happens to be Donna, so she’s right now looking at this picture and considering ordering it for herself.
6. Wendell August Forge Sweet Pea Gratitude necklace ($25 at WendellAugust.com)
Wendell August’s beautiful, understated Floriography Collection is inspired by the “Victorian-era philosophy that every flower has a meaning and emotion attached to it.” I chose this particular pewter necklace for the gift guide because the sweet pea is the symbol of gratitude. And let’s be honest, your mom has put up with a lot of your crap over the years, and you should be thankful she had the patience to do it.
7. Nourish Organic signature set ($39.95 at NourishOrganic.com)
Created and produced in Beaver Falls, the Nourish Organic line is USDA-certified organic, the first U.S. company to ever seek and attain that status for beauty products. There are no hazardous chemicals in this line of all natural, cruelty-free, non-GMO, gluten-free beauty products. Treat Mom with the Signature Set that includes body wash, body lotion, hand wash and body butter. Available in four scents and also “pure unscented.” I’m thinking the lavender-mint would smell divine. Pair it with a gift certificate to her favorite spa.
8. Large quilted tote bag from Cassidy Girl Collection ($65 at CassidyGirlCollection.com; Cassidy Girl also will be at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership's April 24 Night Market)
Quilted bags are the rage these days, so why not buy your mom a colorful, quilted tote made right here in Pittsburgh by two sisters? The great thing about locally made Cassidy Girl bags is that in addition to the durable quality, you can choose from a huge variety of main and accent fabrics and colors. Turnaround time is one to two weeks, so get ordering ASAP. Listen to me: Orange elephant fabric with turquoise liner and black contrast. New moms might appreciate a diaper bag instead of the tote.
9. Cheese/bread board by Mariner and Barns ($69 on Etsy)
This beautiful, locally crafted cheese/bread board is lovely, but the galvanized dock cleats that serve as handles truly make it a unique item your mom would love to set out for guests. It measures 18 inches by 8 inches, but it can be customized to any size you’d like; just let Mariner and Barns know at the time of purchase. Pair the board with a stash of her favorite cheeses from Penn Mac and a bottle of her favorite wine.
10. Pittsburgh Glass Center Make-It-Now workshop ($40-$75 per class; register online)
Not sure what to buy Mom? Is she the mom who already has everything? Then why not purchase two spots in a Make-It-Now workshop at the Pittsburgh Glass Center? You and Mom could spend a few hours learning the art of glass-making while creating your own one-of-a-kind item. Sign Mom up for a class to make glass swizzle sticks, wine stoppers, paperweights, coasters, candle bridges and more. Or sign her and yourself up for the special Girl’s Night Out events, where you will enjoy cocktails and desserts and make your very own glass flower. Check out the online calendar to see which Make-It-Now workshops are coming up.