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  • Writer's pictureJenn Bakos

Holiday Gift Guide & Favorites | NH Food, Product, Small Business, & Editorial Photographe

Hey Friends! It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here but I thought it was a perfect time to highlight some of my favorite places and businesses to support during the upcoming Holiday season! I am of the belief that we have so much power in where we spend our hard earned dollars and that those dollars can make a huge difference in people’s lives, communities, and the environment. Not to mention, you’re giving some high quality good made with heart and passion to your favorite people. As a small business owner myself, I know how much work goes on behind the scenes and how much of our lives are spent creating work that we hope people enjoy. When you spend on small businesses, your purchase directly affects their owners, their families, and builds up local communities.  Most of the places I’m highlighting below are local to New England but some are further away. Most are my clients who I love working with and think its really wonderful that I get to work with people that align with my passions and beliefs. I hope you find something you want and want to give to others!

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

plastic free bath products

First up are a few of my favorite bath products. This year you may have seen that the anti-plastic movement and zero waste lifestyles became a big thing. This is something I’m fully behind and trying to integrate into my daily life. I tried a few different products but my all-time favorites can be seen above.

I absolutely love Ethique’s shampoo and conditioner bars. They are a brand that originated in New Zealand who uses all ethical ingredients and no plastic packaging. even the sticker on the box is biodegradable. Heck yes. Their shampoo has been the best I’ve ever used. The conditioner bar isn’t shown here because after 6 months of use mine is finally almost gone (yes it lasted that long!) The shampoo bars tend to last me about 2 months.

Secondly, I’d been searching for a shave bar for a while, and hadn’t found anything I liked until I went to a farmers market in Belfast, Maine this summer. Ancestral French Soaps shave bar (unisex! Despite the image on the tin) smells amazing, exfoliates well, and lasts sooo much longer than my shaving creams ever did. Comes in the tin above and is made right in Maine by a french couple who are super passionate about living a zero waste lifestyle. Can’t get better than that. They sent a little sample soap along with it and I love that as well!

product photos of different scented candles

Located in Dover, NH, My Country Story and their down town shop have a ton of great handmade holiday gifts! I loved their candles and soaps which had all kinds of fun scents. I highly recommend stopping into the shop to do some gifting. I found so many great things last year!

maine street bee holiday product photos

Maine Street Bee sells products made with beeswax right from their home in Cumberland, Maine. I’ve seen the hives and the bees at work and I’ve used the product and tasted the honey. It is amazing and they even sell little sampler gift boxes so you can try it all. I am loving their chapstick and they also make this cute little paw balm for dogs in the winter.

chamomile tea being scooped out of jar
tea bag product photos

27 Teas is a new client of mine! It’s a women owned local business with delicious blended loose-leaf teas that are extremely comforting. I love that I have another local tea person to go to and enjoy knowing that their business sends a portion of their profits to clean water initiatives! I am also happy to give you 10% off your purchase by using the code jennbakos10. There are some great sampler packs on their website if you want to try a few types!

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TWO tea companies in one post?? Why yes, I know that seems a little weird but these two tea companies are ones I truly care about and are very different! Tamim Teas are healing organic mushroom blended loose leaf teas and are very unique! I worked with Tamim on creating brand images and got to try all the different types. My favorites are the Chaga Chai and Lion-Maitake Clarity. Mushrooms grown in America!

pact organic sweater
fair trade blanket

Last year I worked with Rachel of Raellen Photography putting together a photo shoot featuring her favorite sustainable and fair trade clothing and products which quickly became some of my favorites as well. If you’re looking to add some ethical brands to your wardrobe this is a great place to start!

A favorite of mine which isn’t pictured here is Pact Organic clothing – I’ve bought a few staple items from them and love their clothing!

Hat: Krochet Kids – “Providing life-changing job opportunities to women in need.”

Sweater: Synergy Clothing – “Organic. Ethical. Sustainable.”

Blanket: Open River Imports – “Fair trade goods handmade by survivors of trafficking and abuse.”

Bracelet: Noonday Collection – “Fashion creating meaningful opportunities around the world.”

Mug: Ten Thousand Villages – “The Pioneers of fair trade.”

we are brainstorm new england prints

My seacoast area and studio neighbors are duo known as We Are Brainstorm. They create some really fun graphic prints, posters, puzzles, and more! I’m happy to have a few of their creations on my walls and I loved their National Park Postcard Pack. These are hand printed in Dover, NH and just such a great addition to any space! Plus, Brianna and Jason are two of the coolest people I know (and their dog Maple is the cutest!)

lonesome woods cabin vibes vintage store
lonesome woods honey and maple syrup
lonesome woods bath salts

If you’re looking for something thrifted and unique try Lonesome Woods in Bethlehem NH! Nick the owner has such a great eye for these curated goods. Big rustic New England feel in the heart of the Whites. His wife also makes a line of apothecary items such as bath salts, soaps, and candles. Bethlehem is such a sweet little town to visit too – check out the cafe next door or the Brewery down the road while you’re there!

apotheca flowers autumn table scape
apotheca holiday decor
apotheca holiday shop setup

If you follow me on social media you have probably seen how big a fan of Apotheca Flower and Tea Shoppe I am. It’s such a unique space that is always changing. It’s a plant shop and has lovely little gifts, but it’s also a coffee shop that cultivates a strong community. Maybe that’s why I love it so much. It feels a little bit like coming home and seeing friendly familiar faces and being surrounded by amazing creatives. Always worth a trip!!

hand painted tree ornaments

I picked up these little beauties to give as gifts at Apotheca and wanted to note that they are for sale there but you should also go check out the artist: Michelle Dyson. Her paintings are incredible and evoke a bit of whimsy and nostalgia. I definitely want to purchase some more of her work for myself sometime!

cocktail making
pouring into a jigger

Lastly a few images from a recent shoot with Edible Maine! Holiday herbal healing cocktails. They were delicious and medicinal! You could add a subscription to Edible Maine to your list too if you want :) I also recommend New Hampshire Magazine of course and Maine the Way.

Those are just a few of my favorites, but there are so many great shops, restaurants, cafes, and more out there! What local spots are your go-to’s for gift shopping??


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