With Valentine’s Day around the corner, the pressure to find the perfect gift is on. It is so easy to wait until the last minute and do a quick click on Amazon or another website to get the job done. But wouldn’t your valentine appreciate a more thoughtful gift that comes from the heart? The good news is that in Oregon, many talented entrepreneurs and craftspeople have a passion for their trades, resulting in a bounty of products made with care and attention.
Here are Oregon entrepreneurs offering thoughtful gifts for your valentine.
A box of macarons from Farina Bakery in Southeast Portland is sure to delight any recipient. These delicate treats are handcrafted and filled with either Italian buttercream or ganache. They come in a variety of flavors and are gluten-free. Pick them up if you are in the Hawthorne neighborhood or get them shipped nationwide. The shop also bakes some delicious pastries. Owner Laura Farina opened the bakery in 2014, offering a taste of France in Oregon.
Details: 1852 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. and farinabakery.com
I am a sucker for a beautiful and thoughtful card, so this year, get your Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) Day card from CardCraft. A participant in PitchBlack, a Feb. 7 event in Beaverton that promotes Black entrepreneurs, the company designs and sells greeting cards and postcards for all occasions. Printed on high quality paper and handmade in their Portland studio, shoppers can customize their message and have the cards shipped directly to the recipient.
Gift your valentine with the Quinn hat from Sunday Afternoons. Made from wool felt and water repellent for those cold and rainy Pacific Northwest days, this hat has a wicking sweatband and is adjustable for a customized fit. Sunday Afternoons was originally started in Ashland by Robbin and Angeline Lacy as a picnic and adventure blanket company in 1992 before becoming the hat and accessories company it is today. The family-owned company offers an assortment of hats for every family member, for all seasons. The hats are stylish yet functional, providing UPF 50+ sun protection as well as some that are water repellent.
Details: 167 E Main St, Ashland and sundayafternoons.com/
Send something sweet to your sweetheart from Mamalou Bakeshop, a small batch Corvallis bakery that also does custom orders. Owner Lauren Sharpton’s signature chocolate chip cookies are soft and chewy deliciousness, baked the morning they are either shipped or sent out for local delivery in Corvallis. She uses organic flour and organic sugar to bake the goodies before they are packaged in eco-friendly gift boxes.
If your valentine loves candles, choose from one of more than 20 scents sold by Earthy Little Scents. Select from candles that smell like cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies, vanilla peppermint, spiced pear and more. Or consider Oregon pine and Pacific Coast for a sensory adventure. Owner Maegan Reynolds, a 2021 Oregon State graduate, has been making candles for over three years now. All candles are hand-poured in Corvallis and contain no phthalates or carcinogens and have an estimated burn time of 40 hours. The candles’ wicks are made from sappy fruit trees, so they crackle and sound like a campfire when lit. Now, your only dilemma might be which scented candles to put into that gift bag.
Your significant other will fall in love with Nathaniel Stein’s woodwork at Oak & Iron. The Corvallis artist specializes in designing and crafting projects using wood and metal. Whether you are looking for something small like a wooden bowl to display in your home, customized furniture, or carbon steel knives, Stein has it. Though he’d always been fascinated with building and creating as a young child and got into carpentry work as a teenager, Stein’s adult career led him to computer animation. In 2012, he transitioned to his passion of hand-crafting items full-time.
Details: Sales via select galleries and oakandironarts.com
In lieu of a gift for one, why not opt for an adventure you can both share? Make memories by renting a camper van from GoCamp, a Portland-based company. Choose from a Volkswagen Vanagon, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Storyteller Overland as well as many others. Founded in 2017 by Deborah Kane, the company is run like an Airbnb, except here the platform offers short-term camper van rentals. Rates range from $120 to $450 a night, depending on the van, season and location. Most vans feature a sleeping area, kitchen, and cooking utensils. All guests need to bring are groceries and a sense of adventure. So why not plot out a route and take a romantic getaway together?
Details: There are seven pickup locations in Oregon: Bend, Portland, Eugene, Coos Bay, Hood River, Medford and Salem. Reserve online at gocampcampervans.com
Plant Posse sells vibrant colored earrings in the shapes of fruits and vegetables. Their dangling earrings are lightweight and use FSC-Certified sustainable wood. Hypoallergenic and ethically sourced and made, the earrings are shipped using eco-friendly and recycled materials. Now the hard part is the many earring options to choose from: mushrooms, avocado, peaches, and watermelons, to name a few. Founded by Brittney West to promote conscious consumerism and to celebrate the beautiful properties of plants, the Corvallis-based company also partners with various organizations to benefit animals and the environment.
Details: 340 S.W. Second St. Ste #3 Corvallis (studio is open by appointment only) and plantposseart.com/shop
Fall head over heels for Worthy Salts, which sells all natural aromatic bath salts and scrubs. Great for all skin types as the salts are moisturizing and the scrubs help to smooth off dead skin, these are a treat for busy valentines who don’t take time to pamper themselves. Owner Maxine Martin sells salts and scrubs at Burlap & Lace and Market of Choice in Corvallis as well as online at her Etsy shop with more retail locations to come. Martin’s inspiration for the company name came to her through her own professional background in the natural wellness industry. She wants her clients to know they are “worth it.” The ingredients for the bath products are formulated with therapeutic properties that will help users enjoy their bathing experience. Other products include foot soaks, shower steamers, and sachets.
Details: 2355 State St., STE 101, Salem and etsy.com/shop/worthysalts/?etsrc=sd
Gift your valentine a gift basket of Royal Hojari Frankincense Oil, Plumeria Pearl Potion, and Xamana Azul Mist from Curandera Collective. Located in Sisters, the company’s origin was in Sonora, Mexico, where owner Mariana Beltran Navarro X’chilip Mo’Tao is from. Referring to herself as a “Mystic, Mother and Herbalist,” she learned healing remedies using herbs from her grandmother as a young child. Using a combination of Mexican healing, Ayurveda, along with Chinese medicine, they work with local and sustainable farmers in addition to formulate their products on their own 5-acre farm.
Details: 16237 Riata Ct., Sisters, and curanderacollective.com
If you are still looking for ideas, head to Portland’s MadeHere PDX, for gifts ranging from clothing to ceramics and jewelry to food products, all made in Portland and the greater Pacific Northwest. Started in 2014 by a local group of business-minded people, MadeHere brings together local artists and celebrates their work.
Details: 40 N.W. 10th Ave and madehereonline.com
— Jean Chen Smith, for The Oregonian/OregonLive
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