Ah, the holidays. Good food, pretty lights, and the blood-boiling stress of holiday shopping! Are you tired of circling the Barrack’s Road parking lot for twenty minutes, only to end up visiting store after store after store in search of the perfect present? We certainly are, so we’ve rounded up some of our most giftable studio projects of 2015, plus other favorite local picks. Here are some ideas for everyone on your list.
For Your Favorite Foodie: The Virginia Table, $22
Hands-down one of the most mouth-watering Convoy projects of 2015, The Virginia Table is a book we designed for our friends at Our Local Commons and Early Mountain Vineyards. Amid gorgeous photography, the book it features artisan stories, Virginia-made products, chef-authored recipes, and engaging tastemaker profiles. But hey, don’t take our word for it—the Washington Post put this book on their 2015 gift guide, too!
Get your copy here.
For the Trendsetting Connoisseur: Vitae Spirits T-Shirt, $20
Vitae Spirits is an upcoming family-owned-and-operated distillery in Charlottesville, founded by former UVA professor of microbiology Ian Glomski. Convoy has had the pleasure of designing everything from logos to packaging to a website for Vitae Spirits, and we can’t wait for the first of their bottles to hit the shelves. Drinks will start flowing in 2016, but in the meantime, this is your chance to get ahead of that friend who always knows the hip new joints before you do. Grab them a Vitae Spirits t-shirt (bonus: they’re super comfy!) and buy them the right to say they knew about this place even before it opened.
Check out the two designs (modeled by the business owners themselves) here and here, and then email firstname.lastname@example.org with your preferred style and size (men’s or women’s, S-XL) to place an order.
For the Theater-Goer: Live Arts Holiday Half Subscription, $99
Did you miss your chance to snag a subscription for Live Arts’s 25th Anniversary Season? (Even after we told you all about how we designed that cool season look? Shame on you!) Well, you’re in luck. For the holidays, Live Arts is offering a subscription package that covers their 2016 shows (The Other Place, To Kill a Mockingbird, Hunter Gatherers, and Dreamgirls) and a special private-label bottle of wine from DuCard Vineyards. Cheers to that!
For the Loved One with the Sweet Tooth: Paradox Pastry, $5-$50
Courtney’s Cville Gift Pick: I put this on the list because not only is everything scrumptious, but the cheesecake is simply the best I’ve ever had and my fiance requests it for his birthday every year. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t want sweet treats for the holidays.
Call ahead to order something special, or swing by for some last-minute sweet treats on your way to the holiday party.
For Your Favorite Art-Loving Nerd: Art and Comics, $3-30
Telegraph Gallery downtown combines two of our great loves, unique art and an amazingly wide array of comics (everything from local indie books to heavy hitters like Marvel and DC!), and showcases them all in their beautiful, sunny space on 4th Street. Grab your giftee a cool new print for their wall, or stuff their stocking with a few new comics you think they’ll love. Don’t know anything about comics? Ask the staff for a recommendation—they know their stuff, and Telegraph has something for everyone, from board books for babies to Serious Graphic Novels for adults.
Preview prints on their website or drop by the shop in person to explore everything else.
For the Hunter/Gatherer: Give the Gift of Cardboard, $30
Matt S’s Cville Gift Pick: As the latest in a long line of yard sale enthusiasts, I’ve had a life-long appreciation for simple, interesting decoration that’s inexpensive enough to replace as often as when the next interesting thing comes along. Then I discovered Cardboard Safari. They’ve got buffalo heads, submarines, samurai swords, Christmas wreaths… pretty much anything you can think of, all crafted with love from cheap and durable cardboard. Variations in size, color, and pattern make for seemingly endless interesting options. If all that sounds a bit overwhelming, the mounted cardboard animal heads that gave Cardboard Safari its name are a great place to start.
Order online, or drop by Rock Paper Scissors on the Downtown mall and see the stock in person.
For the New Year’s Resolutionist: Give the Gift of Barre, $10-$165
Anna’s Cville Gift Pick: This one comes to you from a perpetual work-out resolutionist. I went jogging half a dozen times in early 2015 before I finally admitted to myself that I would never be a runner, that I don’t dig yoga, and that ACAC isn’t my jam. I’d heard of barre—a ballet/pilates full-body combo workout—and thought it sounded like something I could maybe, possibly enjoy, so when barre.[d] studio opened across the street from Convoy HQ, I decided I had no excuse not to give it a chance. Now, eight months later, I’m at the barre at least three times a week, and I have a stable workout routine for the first time in my life. Classes vary in focus and intensity, and the studio offers many different class pack options, ranging from $10 “Happy Hour” Friday classes to a six-week New Year’s intensive that’s kicking off in January for $165.
Check out barre.[d]’s website for their schedule and rates, or follow them on Facebook to keep tabs on their holiday promotions.
For the Sports Buff, or the Friday Night Lights Binge-Watcher: All the Way to #1: The Story of the Greatest High School Football National Championship Teams of the 20th Century, $35
Another beautiful Convoy-designed book, All the Way to #1 is the first book to thoroughly document top American high school football teams of the 20th century. Featuring 330 photographs, statistics, and the most comprehensive listing of the 20th century’s high school football champions found anywhere, this is a sure bet for your family’s sports history nerd! Plus, you can impress them with some extra cool facts about the book’s cover design once they unwrap it.
Now available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
For the Pastry Fan Who Just Can’t Get Enough: Pie of the Month Club, $75-250
Sure, you could gift one pie. But what about a gift that keeps on giving? Starting in 2016, the Pie Chest will be launching their Pie of the Month Club. $75 buys three months worth of pies, $140 covers six months, and $250 gets you pie all year long. Sign up and get and monthly email reminder to pick up your pie. Just look at this menu and tell us you wouldn’t want a year’s worth of sweet treats waiting under the tree this Christmas.
Contact the Pie Chest for more info.
For the Discerning Coffee Drinker: Shenandoah Joe’s Guatemala Acatenango Finca El Zapote Estate Geisha, $45
For the fanciest coffee lover in your life, local coffee roaster Shenandoah Joe provides: Geisha is a specially prepared bean that holds Rainforest Alliance’s highest grade for cupping quality, making it the best scoring RFA coffee in the world. (We at Convoy may not be quite classy enough to drink Geisha in the office, but Anna’s barista boyfriend, Kevin, assures us it makes for an amazing cuppa.) Of course, if your giftee’s palate isn’t quite so refined, the Joe also has something for the more low-maintenance coffee drinker. Try their annual We Three Beans holiday blend—chocolatey, nougaty goodness to keep you cozy and caffeinated all season long.
Buy online, or drop by Shenandoah Joe’s roastery on Preston Avenue and treat yourself to a coffee to go while you’re there.
For the Philanthropist: Give a Gift in Their Name
At Convoy, we partner with clients we believe in, and this year, we had the great pleasure of designing new websites for two great local organizations—Local Food Hub, and Monticello, who are currently running a capital campaign. For the Virginian who has everything, consider giving something back to the community in their name. Not only will your gift make a difference, you don’t even have to wrap it.
Donate to Local Food Hub, or make a gift to Monticello.
For Your Favorite Runner: Local Swag to Keep Them Warm
Matt T’s Cville Gift Pick: Growing up, workout gear was commonly gifted in our family to motivate each other during the blistery cold Pennsylvania winters. My all-time favorite running shop in Charlottesville is undoubtedly the Ragged Mountain Running Shop. Not only is this place filled to the rooftops with shoes, clothing, accessories, and athletic gear, but it’s like stepping into a running time capsule from the Charlottesville community. I love it there! Everyone is friendly and eager to help you find whatever you are looking for. Give someone you know a gift card to the shop or a custom printed Ragged Mountain Running hat or hoodie.
Print their special online coupon and then drop by Ragged Mountain Running Shop on the Corner at UVA (they have free parking!) to find that special, sporty something.
For the Lover of All Things Local: Give the Gift of Cville, $26
Tim’s Cville Gift Pick: One of the best things about Charlottesville is the hugely talented community of local artisans and artists who enrich our city with their work, and it’s no surprise that many of those artists also choose to highlight Cville with their craft. Cary Olivia is one such artist, whose handmade goods celebrate our city and its neighbors. I’m a big fan of her Charlottesville-themed marble trivets. She also has a wide selection of UVA-specific merchandise, for the Cavalier on your list.
Visit ByCary on Etsy.
Stocking Stuffers and Other Quick Picks:
Cville’s chocolates: Gearharts Chocolates
Forget the KitKats; chew on some Red Rocker Candy instead
Season your holiday season with Peg’s Salt
Celebrate Cville with poster art by Barbara Shenefield
Make it a memory: jewelry and personalized designs by Martha Keith of Bespoke Jewelry
Still looking for the perfect present? O’Suzannah has the cutest gifts around.
Photo Credits: Matt Thomas, Vitae Spirits, Anna Kovatcheva, Andrea Hubbell (Paradox Pastry and Shenandoah Joe), Telegraph Gallery, Cardboard Safari, Barre.[d] Studio, Elena Lotkak, Local Food Hub, Shutterstock.