This year Small Planet moved into the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a bustling industrial space full of makers. What do they make? Everything. Furniture, art, beer, motorcycles, TV shows … all the fun stuff.
Our new home got us in a DIY frame of mind for this year’s list, including things that will help us move up, go out, cook more, learn stuff, and drive fast.
Forklift certification, block printing, landscape design, audio mixing, sushi roll construction … this holiday season give your loved ones the gift of knowledge. You choose any amount, they choose any interest, starting at any time. Win-win-win.
Our neighbors here in the Brooklyn Navy Yard make all kinds of great handmade items (read our interview with Haptic Lab’s founder here), but they also offer quilting patterns like this one, a 36” x 36″ map of the Solar System. Also check out their baby quilts, quilt coats, artist cases, and astrologically-inclined Star-stuffies.
D.O.A. stands for “Defenders Of Awesome” for good reason. The Austrian company takes manufacturing VERY seriously, using 100% clean energy at a manufacturing facility they’ve dubbed The Mothership. It is “the most technologically advanced and environmentally responsible manufacturing facility in the snowboard industry.” Should we all go work there?
In fairness, you might not live within striking distance of Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA (just 45 minutes from downtown Seattle). However, if you’ve got a not-so-secret, F1-fueled need for speed, we highly recommend seeking a driving class out in your area. Motorsports are surging in popularity, and plenty of tracks are offering classes and track days.
Several Small Planeteers have dogs, and let’s face it, those dogs live like royals. Their food is more expensive, they have way more friends, their healthcare providers see them far more often, and their gear is tight. Take this backpack dog carrier, a must for the outbound dog family. Plus you can customize with patches. See? Royalty.
These are perfect stocking stuffers and matches to light the travel planning fire. When the imprint started 10 years ago, the guides mainly centered on cities (Detroit and Austin were standouts). They’ve now expanded, big-time, to national parks, full regions, and, of course, the moon.
Think of it, New Yorkers … early morning, salt air, the high seas (off the Rockaways), the thrill of adventure … that’s adventure calling! One More Cast fishing charters headed up by Capt. John McMurray is the perfect gift for folks who want to get out on the water and target bass, tuna, and other local sportfish here in NYC. All catch and release, all you’ll need are your sea legs. And if you’re not in the area, support your local charter boats!
These types of bikes are seemingly everywhere, provoking a wide range of opinions. Here’s the case for Jetson’s Bolt – it is an excellent option if you want a relatively cheap transportation option that’s more than a stand-up scooter and less than a $3,000 gas-powered vehicle. It’s pretty light, easy to store, and a kick to drive. Pedals: no. Range: an ambitious estimate of 15 miles.
As you sift through the Rough Linen website, you get that sinking feeling you want everything they sell. For the chef or artist, we highly recommend these linen aprons. Once you get one you’ll want a million more — they are beautiful, comfortable, and really well-made.
The MoMAs and LACMAs of the world are wonderful, but there are so many (slightly) smaller cultural institutions that could use your money, love, and membership. A lot of them are members of the North American Reciprocal Museum Association, so you can join something like The Neon Museum Las Vegas and get access to The Dalí Museum, the The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, The Rubin Museum of Art, and many more.
Laila Gohar is a chef, conceptual artist, and all-around impossibly cool person who uses food to create wild art installations. She also designed this 4-set of Sobramesa napkins, which are utterly delightful.
Details matter, and Kinto’s precise craftsmanship is evident in every product, particularly these retro-tinted mugs, jugs, and tumblers. Also check out their line of nicely-priced nonslip wood trays.
Alan Rickman is missed, always, and this cheeky Advent Calendar makes morbid sport of this famous scene from the greatest Christmas movie of all time (that’s right, we said it). Rickman’s expression, rendered exquisitely in birch, is famous for its authentic surprise since the stunt crew unexpectedly dropped him 40 feet to the airbag below.
Traction: the bane of cats and design professionals navigating wood floors and slick tile. To get traction, you need assistance from something both practical and fashion-forward. These gripper slippers are wonderful inventions: easy to clean, easy to take on and off, and easy to speculate on all the places they could be acceptably worn (everywhere).
Say you love the Gripper Slippers and are now living the slipper lifestyle. Maybe you want to branch out to a clog/slipper hybrid during the winter months. Problem solved: try the insulated Teflon®-coated nylon twill SUBUs. The superlative Japanese design is also available in camo and polka dot.
Tagline: “In bloom, on fire.” Flamingo Estate is a great brand you should definitely read more about. Their best-selling set of Rosemary, Sage, and Roma Tomato candles is plant-based, cruelty-free, pesticide-free, and FSC-certified. Plus, the company plants a tree for every product sold.
Need a kickstarter in woodworking and an excuse to get off the screen? This is it. Back for a return appearance in our annual gift guide, Bay Area woodworking guru Melanie Abrantes made this little kit, including traditional Japanese tools and wood of your choosing. Anybody can do it, and it doesn’t take long at all.
Cooking is joy, and that joy now extends to these BPQ-free, temperature-resistant silicone mitts. These happy faces enter and exit the oven with a consistent, validating smile that says, “Hey, you’re doing alright, and this dish is gonna be great.”
Anavrin makes all kinds of miniature crafts including these charming Book Nooks. They send you the raw materials, and you assemble a custom little hideaway on your shelf. The perfect craft project for a Sunday afternoon, and check out the startlingly detailed Diagon Alley and the Zen Tea option.