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30 awesome gift ideas from Orlando makers

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Forget Black Friday. Cyber Monday sucks. In Orlando, there's no reason to give your cash to corporations if you don't want to; there are so many talented makers, holiday markets and new shops that you can keep all that money in the community – and if you take advantage of the suggestions on the next few pages, you can put those dollars right in the hand of the creator. What could be better?

  • photo courtesy Lou Jewels


Jewelry is the classic holiday gift for the femmes in your life, and Orlando is absolutely packed full of talented jewelry makers. One of our very favorites is Shannon McRae, the artist behind the angular, minimal Lou Jewels line (; a sampling of her work is shown above).

McRae's company is named after a rambunctious kitten named Louie, whose "curiosity caused me to take notice of things I'd normally overlook, like shadows and beams of sunlight." Any jewelry line named after a kitten is aces in our book, but it's McRae's minimalist aesthetic and unexpected geometric shapes that set her work apart from the rest.

For giftees with a different aesthetic, Gypset ( or Rockhaus Metals ( have a mineral-heavy, rich-hippie feel. Dear Prudence ( offers sweet, girly, youthful pieces – as well as all the beads and findings you need to make your own. And if you've got real cash to drop, Orlando Vintage stocks the serious stuff, like vintage Bakelite bangles and chunky Navajo sterling-and-turquoise pieces ( Got a giftee with a mind of her own? Book her a class in jewelry design and fabrication at Crealdé School of Art (