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Give a Kentucky Gift

Part of the excitement during the days leading up to the holidays is shopping for family and friends. Holiday giving is especially enjoyable when you are able to find the perfect gift, and there is no better choice than an item made by a Kentucky artisan.

One of the best places to discover these gifts is the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. There shoppers find an amazing array of distinctive Kentucky handmade treasures created by over 650 artisans. Whether you are shopping for gifts or preparing for the holidays yourself, the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea has amazing selections.

Decorating a home is easy when choosing from the wide selection of paintings, photographs and prints on display at the center, as well as other items including whimsical sculptures, hand-crafted furniture and quilts. Unique holiday decorations include carved wood and sculpted Santas, and dried botanical arrangements.

Holiday ornaments of every kind can be found made from bees wax, gourds, fabrics, corn shucks, scroll sawn wood, pewter, carved wood, and one-of-a-kind glass ornaments with miniature animals and birds enclosed.

Winter weather can be held at bay with beautifully designed silk, woven, crochet and knitted scarves as well as felted, sewn and stitched hats. A wide array of Kentucky artisan-made beauty products including soaps and lotions are just right for holiday gift giving.

Shopping for the cook on your holiday list is easy at the center with its wide selection of cookbooks and Kentucky-made specialty foods such as Rattlesnake Hill Farm’s Bourbon Garlic Sauce; Spring Valley Farms Sweet Potato Butter and Honey; Pappy’s Hot Sauce for Sissies; Bourbon Barrel Vanilla and Smoked Pepper; Broadbent’s Country Bacon and Ham Steaks; Old Kentucky Chocolates; Woodford Reserve Bourbon Balls; Simply Kentucky Fudge; Ruth Hunt Blue Mondays and Bauer’s Modjeskas to name a few.

Food preparation and presentation is enhanced with the center’s choice of wooden utensils, cutting boards, and turned wooden bowls. Pottery for serving and preparing food abounds, with mixing bowls, mugs, teapots, and serving dishes in a multitude of shapes and designs.

A selection of books by Kentucky authors will satisfy the avid readers on your holiday shopping list, and the center has a great collection of children’s books and toys. Music lovers will enjoy selections by nearly 200 Kentucky musicians.

The list goes on, with beautiful jewelry for women, turned wooden and colorful acrylic writing pens and glass cufflinks for men, Gethsemane fudge and fruit cakes and much more. The center’s café offers refreshment and relaxation that makes shopping at the Kentucky Artisan Center a breeze.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at exit 77 (Berea). The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the café is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from 100 counties across the Commonwealth. For more information call 859-985-5448 or visit the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov.

You can also shop for gifts made by Kentucky artisans by logging onto a website created by the Kentucky Arts Council that contains listings for hundreds of artisans throughout the state. There you’ll find examples of works created by these members of the Kentucky Crafted program along with contact information for each of them. The Kentucky Crafted website is a convenient way to locate the state’s top artisans and survey the types of crafts they produce.

Explore this Holiday Gift Guide

Visit an artist’s open studio

Shopping in Kentucky

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME FOR THE HOLIDAY ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU SHOP LOCAL, SHOP DOWNTOWN

Shop Your Local Downtown Kentucky Main StreetThere’s no greater way to show some local love this holiday season than shopping downtown businesses on your Main Street. The Kentucky Main Street Program represents 71 downtowns, over 40,000 downtown jobs and nearly 6,000 Kentucky small businesses.

Did you know that for every $100 you spend this holiday season at a locally owned downtown small business $68 stays in the local community. However, when you spend that $100 at a big box chain retailer only $43 stays in the local community.  

During the 2011 holiday shopping season, here are a few things you can do to show some local love
  1. Support the national 3/50 movement and spend at least $50 in 3 of your favorite downtown stores.
  2. Support your local Main Street program and consider giving memberships as a great holiday gift or in memory of a loved one.
  3. Support the national Small Business Saturday movement where folks are encouraged to shop local on Saturday, November 26th, 2011.
  4. Many Kentucky Main Street retailers host holiday Open Houses starting in early November. Be sure to use that opportunity to do some holiday shopping or create your own wish list.
  5. Don’t forget to support your local Main Street Program 501 ©3 organization as a year end charitable donation option. What a great way to start the new year. 
  6. Downtown businesses have unique one-of-a-kind merchandise such as custom Kentucky artisan made products like jewelry, holiday ornaments and gift baskets. 
  7. Make your holidays historic and start a new multi-generational shopping trip which passes along the stories and traditions that make downtown shopping memorable.
 SHOP YOUR LOCAL DOWNTOWN KENTUCKY MAIN STREET THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!