The holiday season is a time of cheer, but also a time of hectic shopping.

Local artists and crafters are stepping up, offering a wide range of handmade products as gift options.

Sew cute

Carol Beers is the creator behind Little Sewn Cuteness. She offers wooden décor such as gnomes and Christmas trees made out of 2x4s, stackable blocks painted to look like a tree or snowmen, signs with festive sayings and Christmas tree skirts. Prices range from $7-27.

Beers takes scrap wood from her garage and from neighbors and makes it into a work of art. She comes up with her own ideas and looks online on Pinterest for inspiration. In order to reduce waste, she uses scraps from one item to make another decoration.

Beers, a resident of Chanhassen, is a stay-at-home mom to three children. She said it has been nice to turn her hobby into a business to earn some extra cash. Right now, she is saving up to go on a family spring break trip.

At the recent Chanhassen artisan fair and holiday boutique, Beers was able to showcase her work in the community. She plans to participate in more craft shows and possibly the Chanhassen Farmers’ Market this summer.

Visit Beers’ Facebook page @littlesewncuteness to see more of her work or email her for custom items at Littlesewncuteness@gmail.com.

Cool creations

Nakia Kendrick is the maker behind Keke Creations. She sells custom-made T-shirts, beverage tumblers, keychains, tote bags, bracelets and hats. This holiday season, she has been busy making personalized ornaments, stockings, cups and other gifts. Prices range from $5-45.

Kendrick, who is based in Chanhassen, showed off her creations at the Downtown Chaska Farmers’ Market in the summer. She also sells her creations at craft shows.

According to Kendrick, her products are unique because she takes pride in putting a lot of creativity into her work. She strives to meet her customer’s needs and match what they want the product to look like.

Support for local businesses is good because it helps smaller shops grow bigger, Kendrick said. Many local businesses offer great unique products. It’s also important to support people in your community, she added.

Kendrick’s creations can be found on her Facebook page @Kekecreations1.

Touching gifts

Patti Chesky, based out of Chaska, is the maker behind A Touch From the Heart Creations. She and her husband Dennis take items people would typically throw out, such as old shovels, cow yolks, saws and hay picks, and make them beautiful.

Some unique items include hay picks decorated with a basket for flowers and old glass insulators fashioned into snowmen and gnomes.

The Cheskys are a dynamic duo. Dennis cleans the items, ensuring they don’t lose their rustic essence and Patti handpaints the items. Their motto is reuse, repurpose, recycle, she said. Fees range from $9-65.

This year is a great one to support local, especially with shipping issues businesses have been experiencing, Patti said. Local businesses have a lot of heart, as well as the owner’s blood, sweat and tears, she added.

Patti has repeat customers who come back to her every year. She establishes a relationship with them and they will ask for advice on what to get for their loved ones, she said. Patti is able to help her customers choose just the right gift.

“A big corporation will not do that,” Patti said.

To see more of the Chesky’s creations, visit their Facebook page @atouchfromtheheartcreations. Their website can be found at Atouchfromtheheartmn.com.

Lydia Christianson is a digital reporter for Southwest News Media. She graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota. When not reporting, she enjoys reading in coffee shops, listening to podcasts, and checking out new restaurants.

Events