Next up in the New England Gift Guide is Rhode Island, state of my boarding school tenure.
For the coffee maniac in your family, you can’t go wrong with Dave’s Coffee. A Certified Organic Roaster and a member of Farm Fresh RI, this family owned business is the real deal. They roast their coffee by hand and keep close to their community and roots. Swing by their headquarters in Charlestown and grab an espresso and baked good from their bakery.
There’s nothing more precious than a handmade wooden toy. Family run business Seven Acre Toys in Providence had been making toys for years, but were inspired to offer them to others after their son was born. The toys are well designed using only FSC certified hardwoods, organic unbleached and undyed yarns, and natural beeswax.
After indulging in all the holiday feasting, you won’t feel guilty about popping some Glee Gum. The world’s first fair trade gum, Glee is also free of artificial flavors and ingredients. Made in Providence by Verve Inc. which is an independent women-owned business.
Go old school with a pair of American Flag cufflinks made by JJ Weston. They’ve been a leader in American made men’s accessories for 20 years, making all their products at their Pawtucket headquarters.
A made in Rhode Island list wouldn’t be complete without Del’s Frozen Lemonade. And lucky for those not located in the state, you can order the kit to make it at home. The recipe was first made in Milan in the late 1800s and was brought over to American at the turn of the century. To this day the company is family-run and owned.
My friend Rob’s store Wharf is like a beacon of hope for style in the state. His own shirting, made in New England, is reason enough to stop by his shop in downtown Providence. Personally partial to his The One popover shirt.
Rob Babigian of WHARF has released their in-house summer shirting collection, and it’s a winner. Full button-ups and popovers in bold prints and lightweight fabrics are perfect for a summer full of festivities and relaxing.
If you’re smart, you’ll be staying away from the mainstream hustle and bustle that is Black Friday. But there’s no reason you can’t still treat yourself to a good buy. Head over to a couple of my favorite independent designers who are offering equally enticing discounts on their well made products for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
Forestbound: Alice creates a custom tote bag every year at a seriously reasonable price of $50. This year’s tote features her new branding which I love.
Structure Design & Build: Peter and Katrine hand-make all of their beautiful home goods. We have become a collector of their glass works. Head over to their online shop to enjoy an extra 20% off this saturday with the code SMALLBIZSALE.
WHARF: Rob has some sweet doorbusters at 40% off planned for friday. Only available during in store and online business hours so hop to it! If you miss it, don’t fret, they’ll also be hosting equally enticing deals on saturday.
Hickoree’s: Sandy and Emil are offering an extra 20% off all wares in their shop this friday through sunday. Use code BLACKFRIDAY online or, “Hey, gimme 20% off” in the shop.
Joinery: Not only has this shop just opened the “doors” to its online shop, they are also offering 15% off clothing friday through monday (online and in store).
My good friend Rob Babigian threw a party at his store Wharf in Providence Saturday night which was a blast. I hadn’t seen the store since it was an empty space back in the Spring. I had the great honor of making some artwork for the space but hadn’t had the opportunity to see them in the store till this past weekend. Rob has done and amazing job with his store, from the customized shelving to the perfect selection of brands and products. If you haven’t been yet, I highly recommend making the trek.
WHARF is one of my all time favorite shops. Of course it helps that owner/founder Rob Babigian is one of the coolest and kindest dudes out there. But they are one of those diamond in the rough shops that carry only the very best quality goods that works perfectly for us New Englanders (and others, naturally). After a very successful year in the suburbs of RI, Rob relocated his shop to a fantastic new space in downtown Providence. Being the awesome guy that he is, Rob commissioned several local artisans to create fixtures, furnishings, and art for the new shop . . . including yours truly! Rob reached out to me this spring to do a small collection of charcoal drawings concentrating on the great products and brands that he carries in his store. The results can be seen over on the WHARF site and of course in the actual store which I highly recommend taking a trip down or up to shop at in person. If you can’t make the journey, “walk” around their online shop here.