The mountains, snow, wildlife and that big, blue lake have become an inspiration for hundreds of artists in Lake Tahoe. In fact, many of the shops and boutiques in the Tahoe area feature handcrafted artwork, furniture, beauty and personal items, and clothing that reflect the colors and textures of the area. These make great gift ideas for the holidays.
Handmade Tahoe mugs can be found at Trunk Show and Riverside Studios in Truckee — Photo courtesy of Christina Nellemann / Feline Design
Buying local seems to be the term for this year's holiday season. Keeping money within a community helps to maintain local businesses and the spirit of smaller towns. If just half of the employed U.S. population spent $50 each month on independently owned businesses, their purchases would generate more than $42 billion in revenue!
Where to begin your Tahoe holiday shopping? North Tahoe Arts in Tahoe City will be having their annual gift fair, Holly Arts, starting Wednesday, Nov. 5. It runs until the end of December. Here, they feature artists from around the Sierra Nevada.
The fair has been held every year for over 20 years.
"There are so many mediums presented at the show, including ceramics, wood, glass, two-dimensional pieces and photography," says the Executive Director of North Tahoe Arts, Kellie Culter. "The quality of art in Tahoe is amazing. It's really top-knotch."
Tahoe artists don't have to go too far for inspiration — Photo courtesy of ARTour - North Lake Tahoe
The owner of the popular Trunk Show boutique in Tahoe City, Jaclyn Woznicki, feels that handmade art is popular because you can pick up a unique item that no one else has. Many visitors to the area want a Tahoe-themed item – with a twist.
"Visitors to the Tahoe area are delighted that Trunk Show is full of things you can only get here," Jaclyn says.
She adds that some of the most popular items at Trunk Show are handmade jewelry (made right in the store by Jaclyn herself) and handmade coffee mugs.
"The mugs are really popular and one of a kind," she says. "They are like a painting you can drink out of."
Other popular gifts include small sculptures, holiday ornaments and hand-knitted hats and gloves.