Designed-in-Chicago Gifts for This Holiday Season

Courtesy of


December 1, 2021

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday came and went, and you’re still looking for holiday gift ideas? Fear not—we’ve rounded up 11 of our favorite designed-in-Chicago gifts that you can still receive in time for The Big Day.

1. Welcome Industries Visual Measuring Spoons

Designed to bring joy, help the visually impaired, and bring little hands to help in the kitchen, Visual Measuring tools by Welcome Industries are designed with a kind of magical logic. Designed by Chicago’s Pam Daniels and Brandon Williams, Visual Measuring Spoons are the most recent measuring tool from Welcome Industries where a half looks like a half, a quarter looks like a quarter, and so on. No more fumbling in the drawer for your lucky gift recipients!

Order by 12/20: Visual measuring spoons are $22/set. Visual measuring cups are $24/set.

2. Mashallah Monogram Bracelet

Designed in Chicago by Mashallah Ghouleh, this monogram bracelet is elegant, sparkly, and just enough to feel special. Mashallah offers lots of pretty jewelry, but this bracelet is one of our favorites. Gift it early, and show it off at Mashallah’s favorite Chicago Christmas activity: “Enjoying the Christkindlmarket with friends.”

Order by 12/20: Monogram bracelet, $32

3. Dear Thistle Amaryllis Earrings

Courtesy of

If your gift recipient’s style is poppy and colorful with a love for a good chunky piece, check out resin jewelry from Dear Thistle. Made by Aviva Oberst, earrings like these color-shifting, iridescent Amaryllis earrings are a perfect statement piece for someone who likes a little pizzazz.

Of course, Mashallah is far from the only one whose favorite holiday tradition is the Christkindlmarket. Aviva says of the annual event: “There are so many delicious treats, small businesses to support, and most importantly all the German chocolate I can stock up on!”

Order by 12/14: Amaryllis earrings, $30

4. Gucha Gucha Orange Tote

Got a shopping list full of fruits and vegetables? Get the reusable tote to match from Gucha Gucha. Designers Maksim Barkhatov and Kasumi Chow sell their totes, coasters, wall art, and more at their East Pilsen shop.

Gucha Gucha’s favorite Chicago holiday tradition? “The CTA holiday train and bus! It’s always a joy to see them when we’re out and about in the city,” Maksim says.

Order by 12/15 or shop in-person: Orange tote, $25

5. Bee Harris “Poise” Print

Courtesy of

Brittany Harris is a local Chicago artist whose work depicts Black joy and beauty in vibrant wall hangings and more. The Poise portrait is one of our favorites, but shop her whole selection for one that matches the right mood for your recipient.

Order it: “Poise,” $23

6. Specimen Guitar

Beautiful music deserves to be played on a beautiful instrument, and these guitars are particularly special. The Specimen Chicago School of Guitar Making designs and builds custom instruments as well as several that are available for purchase from the website—like the Chumcaster 2021 pictured above.

Order it: Chumcaster 2021, $14,800

7. Lost Lake At-Home Cocktail Subscription


Who doesn’t know someone who loves winding down with a tropical treat? Lost Lake has a totally gift-able at-home cocktail subscription as well as a rum club for your friends and family who like to get tipsy and imagine they’re on an island vacation.

The subscription cutoffs are the first of each month, so no rush on this one.

Buy it: Lost Lake Cocktail Club, $60/month

8. Jessi Woska Custom Chainstitched Patches


Jessi Woska’s custom chainstitched patches evoke the sort of mysterious cool we can’t resist. If you want to gift something custom but can’t make up your mind, an e-gift card toward a custom item can be picked up in the online shop all the way up to the holidays.

“My favorite holiday tradition is grabbing a drink at Estereo while it’s all decked out in holiday lights and their classic pink Christmas tree, pretending to be somewhere warmer,” Jessi says.

Order by first week of December: Custom patches, starting at $100

Bonus gift: “I’m planning on gifting everyone I know Swamp Mama Bawdy Oil; it’s this super moisturizing organic essential oil and gold dust–infused after-bath oil that also smells divine from Holy Mother Botanicals. They’re a women-owned Chicago company that makes small batch botanical self-care products and honestly they can do no wrong,” Jessi told us.

9. Sir and Madame Basketball Club Pullover


Give your friends and family the gift of coziness with this basketball club pullover from Sir and Madame, a Chicago-based clothing and accessories shop.

Order it: Basketball Club Pullover, $100

10. Laila Textiles Natural Dye Kit


Got an arts and crafts kinda person on your list? This bundle dye kit from Laila textiles is a fun gift rooted in the activity of making. The kit is crafted by Liz Mortensen and uses natural dyes from plants.

“My favorite Chicago holiday tradition is definitely sipping baileys hot chocolates while watching the Christmas parade downtown with some old college friends,” Liz says.

Order by 12/10: Natural Dye Kit, $50

Bonus gift: “I would really love to receive a pair of beaded earrings from Ghost Eyes this year. I love all the fruit earrings they have,” Liz says.

11. Gentner Pin Candlestick

We love the home goods and objects from Gentner (you might even spot some of them in shoots produced by Studio Sixtysix). This holiday season, bring elegant style to the dinner table or hearth with their pin candlesticks.

Order it: Pin Candlestick, $225
SS10 cover