by Alene Laney
Merchants of Monticello place quality, meaningful gifts in their stores. If you haven’t been out to the local shops lately, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll find.
Stunning artwork. Beautiful jewelry. Nostalgic toys. Tasteful decor. Cute crafts. Tough tools. Interesting books. Cozy alpaca socks.
As I visited each local retailer this week, it became clear that we have some unique gift opportunities right here in Monticello. I’d like to highlight some of what I saw along my holiday shopping tour last week and hopefully inspire some of you to visit the local shops for your holiday gifts for everyone on your list.
Jackalope Trading Company: Like a designer boutique straight out of Park City, Jackalope’s artisan items evoke rustic charm in spades.
The gifts are tastefully curated by the owners, Mindy and Adam Redd, and include thoughtfully selected works from more than 30 talented local and Native American artisans, including potters, painters, blacksmiths, and more.
I love the jewelry handmade by Mindy herself, the exotic wood cutting boards, the stunning Canyonlands landscape painting, and the fun country life ornaments.
Jackalope’s Christmas Giveaway – a promotion where customers are entered into a drawing for a $100 prize package for every $20 spent – runs until Saturday, Dec. 15.
Artisan Jewelers: Tyler Hall, of Artisan Jewelers, has been hard at work developing a customizable leather bracelet line.
Customers can choose the color of leather, the type of metal, a graphic, and inscribe a message on two sides. It is a fantastic way to personalize a gift that has special and individual meaning.
“Since these bracelets are so versatile, our customers have shown us we are not just making bracelets, but delivering expressions of love,” Tyler said.
Customers can make their own bracelets on the website, affinitycustom.com. For the Christmas season, Artisan has more than 80 items with discounts ranging from 30 to 50 percent off, as well as 25 percent off all custom and bridal jewelry through Dec. 31.
The Merc: A stalwart in the community for decades, the Monticello Merc offers the widest array of goods in town. If you can’t find what you want, you can order it on True Value’s website and have it shipped to the Merc for free (that’s even better than Amazon Prime).
With so many options available here, from home repair to home goods, it’s hard to choose a favorite, but I want to mention the Classic Fisher Price toy selection. My kids are drawn to these toys. Remember the toy cash register you grew up with? It’s still magically fun.
Kevin Francom, the owner of the Merc, also recommends remodeling supplies.
“I think one of the best gifts you can give your wife is remodeling. A can of paint can go a long way,” Francom said.
I couldn’t agree more.
For the community, the Merc is hosting Santa on Friday, Dec. 14, from 1-3 p.m. The event is free.
Roam Industry: Have an adventurer in the family? Check out what’s available from Dustin and Natalie Randall at Roam Industry.
They sell high-quality outdoor adventure gear for your camper, mountain biker, climber, and skier. They also have backcountry ski and hut rentals available if you’d rather give the gift of experiences.
Through Dec. 21, for every $20 spent at the store, you’ll be entered to win a one-night stay at the Bothy Wagon of your choice.
Main Street Drug and Boutique: Main Street Drug and Boutique’s gifts are chosen carefully.
“We don’t have the buying power of Walmart, so the gifts we have are more unique. We’re very thoughtful about what we put in here,” Store Manager Liesel Johnson said.
Johnson showed me some of her favorites, including a display of what looked like stuffed animals called Warmies. When heated, they produce a soothing lavender scent and help children fall asleep.
For guys, I love the “Soap on a Rope Tactical Scrubber” in fresh campfire scent.
More favorites include a small mountain necklace, Monticello-branded t-shirts, glass nativity ornaments, bath bombs, essentials oils, and a paper doll magnet set.
Currently, all Christmas merchandise is 30 percent off, and there is a “Main Street Monday” deal announced every Monday on Facebook and Instagram. More deals are planned throughout the month as well.
Paca Pantry: The gift to buy here is the alpaca socks. They’re softer, warmer, and more breathable than wool socks. Plus, it’s just plain cool to say you have alpaca socks.
The Paca Pantry also offers jewelry, quilts, knitted goods, refinished furniture, and paintable ceramics.
The owner, Dorothy Pipkins-Padilla, reports 90 percent of the gifts sold are made by local artisans. Paca Pantry is planning a sale on Dec. 24 for 25 percent off alpaca socks.
Mimi’s Emporium: Hands down, one of the best things to buy here are Christmas decorations. Second-hand Christmas decorations are usually in great shape and cost a fraction of the price. Used books and puzzles also make great gifts. Mention this article and Mimi will take 50 percent off one item of clothing.
Unique Creations & Gifts: This store is perfect for the creative soul. Gifts from Unique Creations range from homemade toffee, sliced wood ornaments, home decor, dresses, a Buckaroo onesie, and crafts galore.
There’s even a sign that could describe my life: “I live in a madhouse ruled by a tiny army that I made.” If there isn’t a sign that describes your life, Sarah can help you make one.
Unique Creations is running a sale every shopping day leading up to Christmas. Check out their Facebook page for updated deals.
San Juan Record: This place is brimming with books. The feel – and even the smell – of a new book will thrill your dear bibliophile. The selection is impressive and includes local authors and interests. Coupons are available.
Peace Tree Juice Café: The Peace Tree’s fun, laid-back vibe carries over to the gifts available for purchase. There are some gorgeous pastel prints, forged metal snakes, jewelry, books, and tie-dyed t-shirts. The quality of gifts here is high, and you can get a yummy smoothie while you’re shopping.
Gift certificates are available to purchase at The Granary, R&F, Peace Tree Juice Café, Doug’s Steakhouse, Thatzza Pizza, Wagon Wheel Pizza, PJ’s, and Line Camp Steakhouse. I called around, and every single one of these places offers gift cards or gift certificates.
Home-based Businesses: Locals with home-based businesses often post on Facebook what they’re selling. I’ve seen home-baked goods, crafts, home décor, makeup, services, and other things being sold. Be sure to include your home-based business in the comments section of this article on Facebook.
Hondaland and Randy’s Auto: Going for the big purchase for Christmas? Check out the wheels at Hondaland or Randys Auto.
Blue Mountain Foods: Need ingredients for home-baked neighbor gifts? Of course, they have it.
What I really want to see is a frozen pizza and tub of ice cream doorbell ditched on someone’s front porch for the 12 Days of Christmas.
The possibilities with food are endless.
Monticello Home and Auto: Looking for a good DeWalt drill? They have it. Flashlights? Can’t go wrong with those.
Here’s an idea you might like: How about you have them order in a new car headlight to replace your foggy one? Your car will look brand new!
Monticello has incredible gifts at competitive prices. In urban areas, people flock to boutique markets looking for handmade, unique items–just like what we already have here locally.
You know our small business owners. They are incredibly kind and hard-working. Let’s support them and their families this season. Your business makes a world of difference.