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Holiday Shopping Goes Eclectic

Looking for some inspiration for your holiday shopping? This year, think eclectic. Artisans around the world are creating unique, luxurious handmade items, employing traditional techniques and locally-sourced materials. This is a great opportunity to support eco-friendly projects and help keep indigenous cultures alive, while purchasing a thoughtful gift that your family and friends will treasure. Many products are part of Fair Trade agreements, which pay the artisans living wages for their work. You can also find unusual products created by talented local makers at Grand Central Market Bazaar in DTLA, not far from THEA. Or stop by Rolling Greens Nursery in the Arts District for dazzling handmade holiday decor.

Dented Crackle Glasses from the Maldives

When hoteliers Eva and Sonu Shivdasani built Soneva Fushi on the deserted island of Kunfunadhoo in the Maldives in 1995, they had no idea that their personal vision of a locally crafted villa and environmentally responsible lifestyle would lead to a successful collection of world-class hotels, resorts and spas. Today their Soneva brand is the gold standard for back-to-nature luxury holidays and Soneva Fushi houses the first and only glass studio in the Maldives. This bundle of four drinking glasses is made from 100% recycled bottle glass that is collected from the Baa Atoll. The crinkly texture is a result of the crafts people quickly dunking the molten glass in water during the blowing process.

Asungtaba Oblong Bike Basket from Ghana

Asungtaba means “helping each other succeed” in Frafra, the language of the community of basket weavers. The Asungtaba bicycle basket is handwoven in the Northern region of Ghana from a tropical grass called the elephant grass or veta vera. The dyes used are from mostly natural sources, and without artificial sealants, thus they may fade over time. Whether used for small grocery trips, a catch-all for small accessories or simply for a fashion statement, these baskets are sure to be a conversation piece. Their usefulness is outweighed only by their exquisite construction and passion with which each artisan crafts these baskets.

Tombo Towels from Japan

If you’ve ever soaked in a Japanese sentō or onsen, you know how therapeutic this experience can be. Now, you can enjoy a piece of that age-old cleansing ritual in your own home with cozy face, hand, and bath towels from Tombo. These high quality $100 cotton towels are woven manually on shuttle looms in the Senshu region of southern Osaka, utilizing a post-weave refining method called atozarashi. Available in white, gray, or midnight blue, the towels have two outer layers of eco-friendly baby-soft gauze with an inner layer of highly absorbent pile, making them ultra-absorbent but quick to dry.

EDEN + ELLE Shiro Peranakan Stud Earrings

Shiro means white, for all that’s pure and lovely. Designed and artisan-made in Singapore, these Modern Peranakan Stud Earrings in Shiro feature an enhanced 22k gold plating from base to post for exceptional durability and finish. This delicate flower pattern is inspired by the sarong kebaya, the traditional clothing of Nyonya women in Peranakan culture. EDEN + ELIE  is a jewelry brand focused on using handweaving techniques to create functional, wearable pieces with a modern contemporary aesthetic. They create their own designs, and train and partner with artisans to produce the jewelry. See more of the collection HERE

ZAAF Avalo Weekender from Ethiopia

Made in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Avalo Weekender by Ethiopian brand ZAAF has multiple interior pocket compartments, making it spacious enough to fit all essentials for a weekend escape. Made from durable waxed leather, it features a hand-stitched pocket and a handwoven textile panel. Wear with neutral separates to impart a luxurious bohemian mood. Founded by Ethiopian designer Abai Schulze, ZAAF has garnered wide media attention for its artisanal selection of leather handbags. Each piece is handmade by local craftsmen, and features details with influences that can be traced to Ethiopia’s rich cultural heritage.

Cielo Baskets from Columbia

Is it storage or is it art? ? These handwoven baskets blend the best of both worlds in a way that’s effortless and statement-making. Created by a group of 25 artisans in Guapi, Cauca in Columbia, each basket is made start-to-finish in a fair trade environment. Blending two types of natural fibers native to the region, this basket is durable, sturdy, and doubles as an art piece no matter where you style it. The diamond pattern is eye-catching yet understated, taking a design cue from the weavers’ natural surroundings.

Handwoven Vintage Woolen Blanket Manta from Peru

A real collectors piece, this beautiful Manta or blanket is handwoven in Peru. Woven in two panels and seamed in the middle, this traditional Manta is a fine example of 4 selvedge weaving, meaning there is no fringe. Through her skilled hands, the weaver encompasses all the warp threads in to the structure of the cloth. Available from Cultural Cloth, a social enterprise that works primarily with women artisans around the world who weave, quilt, embroider, stitch, hook, bead, print and dye handmade home décor and personal accessories.

Celtic Serenity Fairy Light Spirit Tree

Illuminate your surroundings with the warm light from this magical lamp that will induce a feeling of comfort, relaxation and serenity. The branches on the tree are flexible and can be shaped in any way you desire, making it ideal for any style decor, room or space. The perfect gift that you might just want to keep for yourself. Your tree can be operated by batteries or Universal USB wall charger.

Poketo ROW DTLA 777 S. Alameda St. B1 Suite 174 Los Angeles, CA 90021

No holiday shopping spree would be complete without a trip to Poketo. Since its foundation in 2003 by husband-and-wife team Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung, Poketo has grown from a small startup into a creative hub and online destination for design-driven goods infused with aesthetic intentionality. Collections include everything from furniture & lighting to apothecary, tabletop, textiles, books & prints, and apparel. If you can’t the perfect gift at Poketo, it probably doesn’t exist. Shop in-store or online.

Photo credits:

Photo #1: Rolling Greens

Photo #2: Soneva Fushi

Photo #3: House of Talents

Photo #4: Tombo Towels

Photo #5: EDEN + ELLE

Photo #6: Industrie Africa/ZAAF

Photo #7: The Citizenry

Photo #8: Cultural Cloth

Photo #9: Celtic Serenity

Photo #10: Poketo