Shop Local, Last-Minute Shoppers: Your Capital Region Holiday Gift Guide

Unless you have like, a million dollars or are just really on top of your shit, chances are you’ve left a little (or a lot) of holiday shopping to the last minute. And to clarify, last minute could mean today –11 days before Christmas –or it could mean like, one or two days prior to the day the big man slides down the chimney.

Whichever way you roll, you’ve probably missed your chance to buy things online that have to ship across the country to make it under your Christmas tree in time.

But don’t worry, all ya gotta do now is narrow your gift-giving scope and decide to shop local and support some super sweet businesses in the 518 this holiday season.R

And obviously as the resident fashionista, probably expert gift giver compared to my lazy (yeah, I said it) guy squad, here’s a list of places to go and products to buy that will certainly give the real Santa a run for his money.

RAD Soap

Death Wish Highly Caffeinated Body Bar, $10

Is RAD on the list because the Soap Queen is my new best friend? Honestly, no. It’s on the list because the array of unique, thoughtful products at the RAD Soap store in Stuyvesant Plaza will have you checking off items for every person on your shopping list.

#MyQueen said she makes the best bar of soap in the world, and after using a few bars over the past few months, I have to agree.  You can even do a double-local gift if you buy the Death Wish Coffee Highly Exfoliated Bar pictured above. It’s a treat, lemme tell ya.

And PS: RAD Soap sells more than soap, ya know. You can get bath bombs, serums, lotions, masks and a whole lot more.

Dope Rope Studio

Dope Rope Large Macrame Wall Hanging, $295
The Dope Rope Macrame Crossbody with chain strap, $85

For your hip friend who already has all the best clothes and decorates their house to rival Chip and Joanna Gaines, Dope Rope Studio is the dopest gift you could give. Whether it’s a macrame wall hanging for him or her or a custom handbag in your gal’s favorite color, Dope Rope’s products are all handmade with love right here in the 518, and it’s truly as unique as the person you’re shopping for.

Albany Distilling ALB Vodka

I don’t think there’s a better gift out there than alcohol around the holidays, especially if you have even a fraction of family drama in your family that makes it hard to get through these times sober. 

Not only is this vodka a locally-made spirit, but the packaging is so damn cool it might be too cool to even open –it just looks good sitting right up there on the shelf in your liquor cabinet. And if vodka isn’t the drink of choice, grab a bottle of the Iron Weed Whiskey.

Owlkill Studio Jewelry

Owlkill Studio Small Bump Brass Necklace, $56

Skip the lines at the mall and buy some handmade jewelry that tells the person you bought it for you actually put some time and effort into the purchase. Owlkill Studio makes beautiful brass and beaded jewelry that’s perfect for everyday wear, with plenty of ready-to-ship products so all ya gotta do is check your mailbox and wrap that shit up to put under the tree ASAP.

Albany Posters from the Fort Orange General Store

Nipper Poster, $12

If someone on your list has some serious hometown pride, this series of capital city posters from the Fort Orange General Store would look super sweet in a brownstone apartment anywhere in the Capital Region.

And since the unmounted posters are a steal, you should expect to go above and beyond and deliver this wrapped with a bow in a frame to go along with it. A little more work for you, but you’ll be delivering a gift that’s ready to go right up on the wall.

GTS Clothing

Toodie, $67
Breeze Bra, $40(wearing this right now as I write this)

This brand of workout and athleisure clothing is cut and sewn right here in Saratoga Springs, and even though you might have to print out a picture of the item and give it to someone as you wait for your made-to-order clothing to arrive, they’ll be happy AF to show off these outfits when they hit the gym after the New Year.

GTS (stands for Greater Than Sports, BTW) makes clothes for men and women, and the fabrics are comfy AF, easy to work out and move around in, and trust me –once you have a piece of clothing from here, you probably won’t want to work out or lounge around in anything else (sorry, Nike).

Flowers from Olive & June Floral Co.

Say your family isn’t big into giving gifts, but you don’t want to show up to your get-together empty handed. An arrangement from Albany-based Olive & June Floral Co. is a gift that everyone can enjoy while you’re being all merry and rocking around the Christmas tree with your loved ones.

You might not know a thing about flowers, and that’s exactly why you leave it up to Cassie, a creative gal who knows how to wow your houseguests or make sure you’ve brought the coolest thing to the party instead of a tin box of cookies that reminds you of your childhood or a weird mix of flowers from Trader Joe’s that don’t go together at all.

Stacks Espresso Gift Card

If you’re going to give a gift card, give one that has a little bit more thought behind it than the ones you can pick up in line at the gas station on the way to your family gathering.

Stacks Espresso is one of the coziest, yummiest coffee shops in the Capital Region –so good in fact, it makes you not wanna go through the drive-thru at all. A Stacks gift card will literally fuel the person you give it too, and besides the great coffee, it gives them a cool new spot to hang out at.

A T-Shirt from the Vischer Ferry General Store

The VFGS is the perfect place for a Sunday morning drive when you’re on the hunt for a special present…especially if you don’t know what it is you’re looking for. They’ve got a wide array of gifts, from soaps and lotions to throw blankets, pillows and historical items from the Vischer Ferry area, and you can do all of your shopping while you’re sipping on a gingerbread latte and chatting with the friendly staff.

The Vischer Ferry General Store merchandise seems to be a huge hit for anyone who’s familiar with this area of Clifton Park (Rexford, technically), and the shirts are as soft as they are affordable –like $12! These shirts are unisex, so good for anyone, and there’s extra bonus points involved if the person wears the shirt when they travel and snaps a pic from a cool place.

I mean, seriously –could I have made this any easier for you guys? Think outside the box this holiday season and walk around your favorite downtown areas, stop in some shops you normally wouldn’t stop into because you’re going to find a great, local gift that will make you the MVP of the holiday party.



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