Artisan Gifts, Made with Love in Middle Tennessee

By Lee Rennick

Artisan made products make special gifts for friends and family, because each item is crafted by hand with love and attention to detail. With the increase in the use of technology, there has been a revitalization of interest in artisan made products. Artisan made products can be anything from small-batch food items and clothing to hand poured candles and much more. Middle Tennessee has some wonderful local craftsmen. Their products can be found in a variety of local businesses. Check out what and where you can find right here at home!

Homegrown Marketplace in the Fountains at Gateway

If you have not been to the Fountains at Gateway, it is a must see. Their Winterfest is underway and the ice skating rink is now open. Just across from the rink is a new store called Homegrown Marketplace. They carry lots of farmhouse style items for the home, food, gifts and Christmas décor that would put a smile on even the Grinch’s face. Many of the items they carry are locally made.

This cute store will make gift giving a snap. Have a friend who loves fun wall art, they have delightful hand lettered wall hangings and painted wood freestanding pieces that capture the sentiment of the season.

Small batch food items are plentiful here. Get Christmas morning breakfast started right with coffee from Southern Sunday. And make sure to pick up pancake mix and stone ground grits from The Mill. It’s like bringing the yum-factor of Goodness Gracious at Readyville Mill to your
home table.

When company comes, pull out some EVOriginals salsa, sauces and marinade. Their Chipotle Peach Sauce is sweet and sassy. As they say on their Facebook page, one bite will leave you begging for more and it’s true.

Any cook worth their salt will enjoy a handmade cutting board. Food just tastes better when the preparation takes place on a smooth piece of hardwood crafted into a thing of beauty.

Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce

Probably not the first place you’d expect to shop for artisan products, but there is a small kiosk in the Visitor’s Information Center at the Chamber of Commerce that carries a few hand picked local food items. These items include Pure Raw Wildflower Honey from Manchester, Marcy Jams from Lascassas, Captain Rodney’s sauces from Belle Buckle and High Sierra barbecue and wing sauces from Murfreesboro.

e. Allen Boutique

No longer at The Avenue, e. Allen is now also located in The Fountains. Inside you will find hand painted, fully lined pouches and clutches from Carrie Pitman. Pitman’s abstracts are all unique, painted on canvas in everything from black and white to vibrant color. No two are the same.
Hound and Company soy candles are made in Nashville, these soy candles come in scents like Amber & Oak and for fall, Pumpkin Soufflé. A special scent is being created just for e. Allen this winter, too.

Quinn's Mercantile

Walker’s Southern Drink Mixes were created by Kristin and Cody Walker of Lebanon, Tennessee from pure and natural local ingredients. The best known is their Bloody Mary Mix. Quinn’s also carries their Honeysuckle Sour Mix and Blackberry Margarita.

Quinn’s also carries Tennessee themed beer, wine and highball glasses. Just mix a jigger of Tennessee whisky from down the road at Jack Daniels with a Walker’s mix into one of these glasses to make a smooth cocktail for holiday entertaining.

For the men out there that are totally GQ, local businessman Travis Swann has created 21st century pocket squares in contemporary fabrics. You’ll find them in the men’s area.

SJ’s Pet Yummies are handmade treats whipped up for man’s best friend. They are gluten free and grain free, made from chickpea flour, banana, peanut butter and coconut oil. Your dog will
love them!

And for those looking for a Christmas card that says Murfreesboro, pick up a pack of Murfreesboro Christmas cards made especially for Quinn’s by Tiramisu Papirie. Lisa Sarmento started the company after great personal loss because the cards she received didn’t really touch the way she felt, so with sass and humor she tackles both happy and not so happy occasions. She is helped by her autistic spectrum son, as it is her goal to give him a future through this business.

Simple Pleasures

Yes, the store that used to carry the luscious sleepwear, sinfully scented lotions and fine housewares is back. While she doesn’t have a tea room, Tina Woodruff has brought her cotton gowns, pajamas and robes back to town in a small shop in The Gateway Villiage.

Woodruff’s sleepwear is locally designed, American sourced and sewn in Tennessee. If you used to shop with her downtown in her first shop where Quinn’s is now located, or her large shop and tearoom on Broad Street, come on back. She has added vibrant colors, like a perfect cherry red, to her line. Perfect for Christmas morning.

She has also started to make jewelry from lace and crystals, each piece is hand dyed using natural organic dyes.

Country Gourmet

Chris and Karen Gerbman at Country Gourmet would love to help you fill a gift basket with treats made right here in Middle Tennessee.

For the cat lover, pick up a mug designed by local artists Sheryl and Bobby Thurman, Jr. from Hippie Haven Studios. This doodle-ish cat mug carried at Country Gourmet is exclusive to
their shop.

Every year Chris Gerbman designs a special collector’s Murfreesboro Christmas tree ornament. This year’s ornament commemorates the old Goldstein’s Department Store, which used to be on the downtown square.

What is Christmas without chocolate? Pick up some Olive and Sinclair small batch chocolate bars. Shave a little over whipped cream on the top of a glass of hot coco, or chop up one of the 67% pure chocolate bars into a batch of chocolate chunk cookies.

Put Local Artisan Gifts on Your Holiday Shopping List

Locally made artisan gifts are perfect for out of town relatives to give them a taste of Tennessee, but they are just as good for those with discriminating tastes. These goods are unique, creative and high in quality.

Make sure to put some of these delightful items on your Christmas list, not only will you and yours enjoy them all, you’ll also be supporting local small businesses.