I absolutely love making holiday gifts for others, but I often don’t have the time to create gifts by hand for everyone. This is where the One of a Kind Show comes in! This weekend, Chicago is hosting the 16th annual Holiday edition with more than 600 artists exhibiting from all over North America.
I hopped on WCIU yesterday morning to showcase some of my favorite picks and am sharing them with you!
Owner: Kate Coffey
If you have a sweet tooth, you absolutely must try this local brand of confectionery treats. Owner Kate Coffey whips up amazingly twisted combinations such as Bailey’s Candy Cane Chocolate Bars and Beer Pretzel Caramels. I have personally sampled many of her creations and I am HOOKED. Dare I say best caramel I have ever tasted. She also has a line of caramel sauce, perfect for drizzling over a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream as well as handcrafted marshmallows. Wouldn’t Santa love THAT for his hot chocolate?
the zen of slow cooking
Owners: Meg Barnhart and Jane McKay
I recently fell in love…with my slow cooker. These whole spice infusions and ground spice blends are crafted specifically for use in a slow cooker, and they take the guesswork out of making a delicious dinner for your family. My favorite blends are the Southwest Fiesta (perfect for Chicken Tortilla Soup- 5 minute prep time!) and the Sweet & Spicy (make their Maple Vanilla French Toast for Christmas morning- my new tradition).
Jo Snow Syrups
Owner: Melissa Yen
Melissa started making coffee syrups when she owned a cafe because basic caramel and mocha were getting a little old. Fast forward to today when she has her own line of syrups for use in coffee, soda, cocktails and of course snow cones! The all natural syrups are hand crafted locally right here in Chicago with organic cane sugar, herbs & spices- no preservative or artificial colors. I am dying to try her Flavor Drops which elevate sparkling water from basic to crave-worthy. PS- they have a snow cone catering company and and Ice Trike, which I am SO booking for my next party.
Owners: Helen Tyler and Karen Krolow
The prototype of The Poppet started from a shower curtain, safety pins and a cardigan. These gals designed a line of the ultimate travel fashions- cardigans and even a wrap dress that store in their own attached tear-proof, water repellent pocket. Total genius. The cardigan I tried out on air didn’t wrinkle, so perfect for stashing in your car for over-air-conditioned offices or when you find yourself needing to cover a kid mishap 🙂 The wrap dress is amazing- a classic black wrap dress that is flattering, functional and well…FUN! Stay tuned for a video of me testing this out at home.
Owner: Ann Chikahisa
Ann kindly lent me a few pieces to wear on air yesterday and they were stunning. Simple yet unique, these pieces are unlike any of the commercial jewelry you see in stores. The shapes are organic and moderns, with styles such as lariat necklaces and ear threader earrings. I am always on the lookout for something classic but on trend (almost impossible!), and Ann’s style strikes that perfect balance. I guarantee you will get dozens of “WHERE did you find that?” questions when you wear this art!
Owners: Nancy and Andy Witt
If you are looking for something a little quirky but still usable, Circa Ceramics are it. Their pieces are made of porcelain and is food, dishwasher and microwave safe. This husband and wife team create pottery that is vibrant, retro and eclectic. I have my eye on the large bowls- I might purchase a few for our home to serve personal dinner salads in because salad on a plate doesn’t make sense to me! You can customize your color and design on all pieces, and the selection of humorous/funky art makes it easy to find something for everyone. The WTF cylinder will be right next to my computer soon because I say that phrase about 500 times a day.
Thank you to WCIU for chatting with me on the show yesterday! Melissa and Jeanne- you made my morning, and I am definitely going to take you up on the offer of cocktails soon!