The World-Famous Yinzer Gift Guide: 2015
Almost every one of these 16 gifts is made in Pittsburgh by Pittsburghers, and every single one is just the kind of unique and thoughtful gift any loved one would be lucky to receive.
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It’s here! It’s here it’s here it’s here!
After three months of scouring and shopping and sleuthing my way through the Internet and the storefronts of Pittsburgh, I’ve selected 16 perfect Burghy gifts for those people on your list who are hard to shop for. Because aren’t those people just the WORST? You can do without the stress they cause you every year. You don’t need to worry, because this year I’ve done all the work for you. Almost every one of these gifts is made in Pittsburgh by Pittsburghers, and all of them benefit local companies, organizations and hardworking, creative Burghers who have dedicated countless hours to their passion for their craft.
And every single one is just the kind of unique and thoughtful gift any loved one would be lucky to receive. Shop small. Shop Pittsburgh. Shop the 2015 Yinzer Gift Guide.
1. Sugar Creek Candles
Put down that Yankee Candle. I’m not a “candle person” much the same as I’m not a “cat person.” (Aside: cats are creepy.) It was Curt Wootton AKA Pittsburgh Dad, who gave me the heads up on the Sugar Creek Candle Company in North Huntingdon, where every candle is poured. It was the Waffles N’at candle that intrigued me, the hilarious artwork and silly names that made me laugh and the delicious scents that hooked me. Now I keep my Waffles N’at burning all evening long most days. You can find all the Sugar Creek scents, which are clean- and slow-burning soy, at many local retailers such as Busy Beaver, Bed Bath & Beyond, Market District and more. Or you can order online. Butt Naked (hee), Monkey Farts (hah), and Waffles N’at (all pictured), are my three favorites and will bring a smile to the candle-loving Burgher in your life, regardless of gender. (Aside: banana bums are ADORABLE.)
(Starting at $10) [sugarcreekcandlecompany.com/]
2. Dave DiCello 4-print set
You know Dave DiCello. You’ve admired his amazing Pittsburgh photography and probably slammed a virtual heart on some of his pictures on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. He is the king of the Pittsburgh skyline. He recently partnered with Divine Mayhem Studios to open a pop-up storefront in Fifth Avenue Place, Steel Studios, and that’s where we chatted and came up with this four-print pack of his most popular selective-color prints. Together we came up with the idea to pull the yellow out of the bridges in addition to the red of the incline. That’s my absolute fave of the four. You can snag all four 8x10 prints for $50 and give them as a set to one lucky recipient, or split them up into four separate gifts. Buy online or stop in the store. They will come with white mats perfect for framing.
3. Upcycled Personalized Round Toggle Necklace from Wendell August Forge
I’m not really a jewelry-wearer outside of my wedding rings, but I LOVE this. I love everything about it. I love that the toggle clasp ring is stamped with the Wendell August name and year of establishment. I love the substantialness of the chain. Is substantialness a word that jewelers use? I love that it was made around these here parts. I love that it was upcycled from scraps of aluminum left over from other items the forge made. I love that it’s only $50. I LOVE IT ALL. Buy it for me. Or your mom or wife. Or sisters. Or me. Yeah, ME!
4. Pittsburgh socks gift set
It seems I have socks on this list each year, and for good reason! Regular socks are third only to underwear and coal for the worst gifts you can give or receive. But soft, Pittsburgh-themed socks? BEST SOCKS GIFT EVER. Grab this three-pack from Steel City Cotton Works and give all three to a loved one, or divide them up and put them in three different stockings. I promise you won’t be “that person who gave me socks. Ugh.” You’ll be “that person who gave me TOTALLY ROCKING SOCKS!” Are the kids still saying “totally rocking” these days? “On fleek” maybe? These socks are totally rocking on fleek. Did I do that right?
($24.99 for the set of three) [steelcitycottonworks.com]
5. Commonwealth Press Holiday Cards
If it’s a gift card you’re giving this year, from a local business of course, don’t just stick it in an envelope with a generic Hallmark card, you lazy jagoff. Instead, use any one of these screen-printed holiday cards from the quirky Commonwealth Press. Made right here in Pittsburgh, there are a bunch from which to choose. From “Wishin’ yinz a merry Christmas” to the “Have a nice winter” card featuring the quintessential parking chair, your friends and family will get a kick aht-a these. Pick and choose your favorites, or buy the set pictured for only $15.
($4.50 each or five for $15) [compressmerch.com]
6. Audra Azoury Pittsburgh-inspired ornaments
I’m kind of freaking out over these ornaments by local jewelry designer Audra Azoury, and you’re probably going to as well. They are stunning. I don’t even know what else to say. I have held them in my hands. They are perfect. Perfect representations of all your favorite iconic Pittsburgh places. Coming out of the Fort Pitt Tunnel, the view of the incline from Mount Washington, ice skating at PPG, PNC Park, Heinz Field, a throw-back to the Igloo, SANTA OVER DOWNTOWN. Good luck choosing. I promise these are the kind of ornaments that will become family heirlooms, so buy enough to give one to each of your children. Each ornament comes in an adorable little fabric Audra Azoury-branded cinch bag, perfect for gifting.
(from $24 each) [audraazoury.com]
7. Blush Pearl Double Wrap Leather Bracelet by The Pretty 1
The woman in your life will tell you … rose-colored jewelry is IN, and this beautiful bracelet from The Pretty 1 is pretty much perfection. Made right here in Pittsburgh with Swarovski pearls and crystals, it’s a stunner and just the kind of gift a woman likes to find when she opens that long narrow box. Because they are handcrafted, no two are exactly alike, which means you’re giving her a locally-made one-of-a-kind piece to cherish as much as you cherish her. Did I just write a Hallmark card? I think I did. Check out the entire The Pretty 1 jewelry line. So many gorgeous pieces to choose from. My second favorite is this amazing In Bloom Crochet Necklace/Bracelet combo. Stunning.
8. Gantry Natural Horsehide Card wallet by Homestead Supply
Carrying a bulky wallet or purse can be a real pain, literally. From men lugging their George Costanza-esque wallets around in their back pockets to women carrying everything but the Keurig in their giant purses. For the person in your life who likes to simplify, or has embraced carrying only the absolute essentials, you’ll want to snag Homestead Supply’s Gantry Natural Horsehide Card Wallet. Perfect for slipping in a few bills and important cards and ID, this wallet will be customized with the color and thread of your choice. And best of all, made in Pittsburgh by Pittsburghers. This is one piece sure to be held onto for a long time as the leather ages beautifully.