Behold! The 5th Annual Ultimate Maine Holiday Gift Guide!
Using the items and shops represented here, you can find a gift for every single person / style type / price restriction represented by your friends, families and colleagues.
Shop using this list:
- to support local craftspeople and businesses.
- because Maine is awesome and we make awesome things.
- instead of supporting billionaire owners of soulless conglomerates.
If you’re new to this list in particular, basically it works like this:
- There is a photo of a gift we like.
- There is the price (when there is a price available).
- There is a link to the shop / vendor from where you can order it.
- You should definitely explore the shops further. The gifts here represent just a small percentage of all of the awesomeness out there.
PLEASE consider taking at least 10% of what you were intending to spend on holiday shopping and make a donation to one or more of the glorious organizations linked at the bottom of this list.
Additional notes of import:
- Honestly, while this list is of my design, my wife Jaime architected this one from start to finish for the second year in a row. She spent over 20 hours putting it together. And many, many thanks to everybody who offered valuable suggestions and recommendations.
- If you like exchanging money for gifts face to face, there are a ton of craft shows throughout the state. If I missed anything, please feel free to email me at alex [AT] knack-factory [dot] com.
- On Friday the 18th of November I will be on Maine Public's Maine Calling discussing this and other Maine-made awesomeness, so please consider tuning in then.
- A quick shout out to PICNIC Holiday Sale, which was the inspiration for my first gift guide a few years back. It’s an amazing event.
- All photos come by way of merchant websites, and so the quality of images was contingent on what they had available. A very quick, hopefully helpful note to vendors: There are about 75 – 100 vendors we had hoped to include that we could not because high resolution photos were either not readily available online or easy to embed. I wrote about considerations regarding commercial photography here.
- Should you ever want to talk about what commercial photography or video production might look like for your business, let us know!
Throughout the list, you'll find great recommendations and testimonials from these folks. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to make a suggestion.
- Abbie McGilvery [From The Nest]
- James Morin [Flowfold]
- Nathan O'Leary [Mainely SEO + CrateFull of Maine]
- Erin Day [Anatomy Trains]
- David Alan Hamilton [Business Analyst]
- Bayliss Harriss [Cafe Stroudwater]
- Salli Wason [Rosanna's Ice Cream]
- Joe Ricchio [Dispatch + Down East]
- Ben Goodman [Mission: Readiness]
- Kyle Jackson [Entrepreneur]
- Kristina O'Brien [Kristina O'Brien Photography]
- Liz Woodbury [Overheard in Portland + Milo in Maine]
Alex + the Knack Factory Team
BABIES + KIDS
EATING + DRINKING
BOOKS, MUSIC + HOBBIES
GIFT BOXES, BAGS + CERTIFICATES
Some great organizations doing important work to make Maine a better place. Please consider supporting their efforts by making a donation.
- Maine Youth Leadership "Working with Maine youth to seek out, recognize and develop their leadership skills."
- MaineShare "Providing funding to over 40 statewide organizations working every day to make Maine a better place to live."
- Hardy Girls, Healthy Women "Dedicated to the health and well being of girls and women."
- Cultivating Community "Creating and sustaining greater access to healthy, local foods; empowers people to play many roles in restoring the local, sustainable food system; and models, teaches, and advocates for ecological food production."
- Maine Humanities Council "Using literature, history, philosophy, and culture, the MHC brings people together in conversation that crosses social, economic, and cultural barriers."
- Speak About It "Partnering with high schools and colleges to educate, entertain, and empower students to create positive change within their communities, advocate for and practice healthy relationship habits, and prevent sexual violence."
- WMPG "Empowering University of Southern Maine students and community members to create diverse, innovative, high quality media, foster the exchange of ideas, and celebrate the many cultures of USM and surrounding communities for broadcast to the world."
- Maine Youth Rock Orchestra "Reinventing and revolutionizing music education through programming, concerts and opportunities for all of our students, building them musically and emotionally, while contributing to better our communities around us."
- SPACE Gallery "Supporting contemporary arts projects, championing artists, and encouraging an open exchange of ideas."
- GrowSmart Maine "Building lasting prosperity without sacrificing the quality of life that defines Maine."
- Travis Mills Foundation "Benefitting and assisting wounded and injured veterans and their families."
- Good Shepherd Food Bank "Relying on its relationships with Maine’s food industry in order to gather millions of pounds of food each year."
- Preble Street "Providing accessible barrier-free services to empower people experiencing problems with homelessness, housing, hunger, and poverty and to advocate for solutions to those problems."
- Woodfords Family Services "Committed to the support and inclusion of people with special needs and their families in Maine communities."
- Maine Public "Connecting the people of Maine to each other and to the world through the open exchange of information, ideas and cultural content."
- Maine Children's Alliance "Committed to improving the lives of Maine’s children, youth and families."
- Girls on the Run Maine "Transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade."
- Bangor Area Homeless Shelter "A facility open 365 days a year, providing both overnight shelter as well as a Day Program."
- National Alliance on Mental Illness Maine "Grassroots, membership-based organization established to enhance the lives of everyone impacted by mental health concerns by offering support, education and advocacy statewide."
- Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine "Providing free and confidential services to victims of sexual assault since 1973."
- Planned Parenthood NNE "The largest reproductive health care and sexuality education provider and advocate in northern New England."
- Frannie Peabody Center "Committed to compassionate care for those affected by HIV/AIDS in Maine."
- Pine Tree Legal Assistance "Providing high quality, free, civil legal assistance to low-income people in Maine."
- Catholic Charities "Empowering and strengthening individuals and families of all faiths, by providing innovative, community-based social services throughout Maine."
- Friends of Casco Bay "The leading environmental organization working to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay."
- Maine Audubon "Working to conserve Maine’s wildlife and wildlife habitat by engaging people of all ages in education, conservation and action."
- ACLU Maine "The state's guardian of liberty... active in the courts, the legislature and the public sphere to defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for all Mainers.
- The Telling Room "Nonprofit writing center dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers... The power of creative expression can change our communities and prepare our youth for future success."
- EqualityMaine "Maine's oldest and largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) political advocacy organization."
- STRIVE "Serving tweens, teens and young adults with intellectual & emotional disabilities."
- Maine Legal Services for the Elderly "Providing free, high quality legal services to Maine’s socially and economically needy elderly age 60 and over."
- Disability Rights Maine "Enhancing and promoting the equality, self-determination, independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion of people with disabilities through education, strategic advocacy, and legal intervention."
The following organizations make up Maine Initiative's 2016 Grants for Change Racial Justice Grantee Cohort. Each of these 10 organizations embody a unique approach to racial justice and racial equity issues in Maine.
- In Her Presence "Through connecting with immigrant women and girls, we grow our collective empowerment so that our voices may lead in our communities."
- Maine Immigrants' Rights Coalition "Helping low-income immigrants improve their legal status and works for more just and humane laws and policies affecting immigrants."
- Maine Inside Out "Initiating dialogue, develops leadership, and builds community across boundaries with collaborative original theater, inside and outside correctional facilities."
- Maine-Wabanaki REACH "A cross-cultural collaboration that successfully supported the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission."
- Mano en Mano "Building a stronger community in Downeast Maine by working with diverse populations to provide educational and affordable housing opportunities, remove barriers to health and social services, and advocate for social justice."
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellows "A student-centered group with the mission to advance racial equity and social justice in the Greater Portland area."
- New Mainers Tenants' Association "Bringing landlords and New Mainers together.."
- Raise-Op Housing Cooperative "A Lewiston-Auburn-based organization offering democratically controlled housing to its members and organizing residents to build equity for themselves and the greater community."
- Somali Bantu Community of Lewiston/Auburn "Assisting the Somali Bantu refugee community with the transition to our new lives and to our new home here in Maine."
- Tree Street Youth "Supporting the youth of Lewiston-Auburn through programs rooted in academics, the arts, and athletics in a safe space that encourages healthy physical, social, emotional, and academic development while building unity across lines of difference."