Gift giving is a tradition as old as time itself. With the holiday season bustling in, you’re looking for a unique gift for that person who has everything. Or perhaps you are seeking a more personalized gift, such as a painting, handmade jewelry or even the right photographer.  Some people also prefer to shop the local economy. Whatever your reason, handmade items or the talents of local artists in the Philadelphia area will bring a new twist to the typical gift.
Painted Bride Art Center
230 Vine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 925-9914

The Painted Bride Art Center showcases a variety of art, including beautiful hand-blown glass. Glass blower and metal working artist Kort Walsh is an artist in residence at the center and has been working with glass blowing since 2006. Walsh sculpts in a variety of materials but said he is more drawn to glass and metal. The center has been in Philadelphia for more than 40 years and provides a laboratory for artists and for the public to enjoy and purchase from. Gift certificates are available online. Choose to give a one-of-a-kind piece of art by Walsh as a gift, or to give the experience of checking out a gallery — there’s such a wide variety of artists and styles of art.

Related: Top Spots for Glass Art in Philadelphia

Remember When Photography
(856) 392-5815

Photographer Danielle Alvaro followed her dream and created a business that showcases her art. Remember When Photography has been in business for more than 18 months and has grown exponentially, with many satisfied clients. Photos make ideal gifts for that person who has everything, as a photograph is a moment in time or a photographer’s unique perspective of an object, person or animal. Alvaro travels to you and does many of her photo shoots in natural settings such as parks, beaches or in your own backyard. She photographs nature, pets, babies and individuals alone or in groups. Contact her through her website or by email to buy the right gift, or book her time as a gift for a friend or family member.

Birth Paws
(609) 314-8062

Jewelry artist Heather Thompson constructs beautiful pieces of jewelry in the shape of a dog or cat paw as a lovely gift for anyone who has a furry family member. Birth Paws is fine jewelry for pet owners made by hand, so it takes a few weeks to construct. Thompson uses heart-shaped birth stones as the main gem, making jewelry such as pendant necklaces, earrings or rings. Thompson said she wanted to combine her love of dogs and jewelry when she created Birth Paws. “I wanted a piece of jewelry to wear so I could always keep them with me,” she said. Prices range from $40 to $150.

LMJ Studios
Maureen King Hargrove Painter
45 Mantua Grove Road
West Deptford, NJ 08066
(609) 617-8590

Maureen Hargrove channeled her love of painting and talents into a business. Purchase a portrait painted for someone as a gift, or browse her collections to find a piece of fine art that suits your needs. A truly unique gifting experience would be to have your own portrait done, or that of a loved one. Hargrove works with different styles of paint, watercolors, acrylics and pyrography (burning paper or wood). She can also paint murals to add whimsy to a child’s room. Find her work on her website and also on Commissions are done through her website. Prices vary greatly depending on size and materials utilized, ranging from $30 for a small watercolor painting to more than $300 for an oversized oil painting.

638 Arnold Ave.
Point Pleasant beach, NJ 08742
(732) 746-3492

Idiosyncrazies is described as a cultural gift store and art gallery. It contains mostly handmade, up cycled, recycled and fair-trade items. The owner, Sharon Murphy, creates most of the artistic pieces for sale, including holiday decorations and figurines. This store opened in 2010 and has been growing each year. Local artisans sell their products in the store, including handmade soaps and jewelry made from sea glass from the local New Jersey shore. Homemade gifts for cats and dogs are also for sale by “Whiskerlicious,” a local artisan company.

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Christina Dagnelli is a freelance writer in Philadelphia and the author of Little Squares with Colors: A Different way to look at autism. Her work on examiner can be found here