There are artisan home brands, and then there are Artisan Home Brands. Without an expert in your ear or a hefty dose of research, it can be difficult to distinguish the former from the latter. Enter the team at Greenwood Village’s HOMEFEST, a boutique known for finding memorable makers, and their list of five favorite hand-crafting companies—which, yes, do all pair well with the holiday season.
Award-winning throws (plus some winter-friendly apparel) are the name of the game at In2green. Each blanket is made in the U.S. using upcycled materials: The recycled cotton line features yarn formed from T-shirt fabrics and a new indoor/outdoor, fade-resistant, quick-drying collection is created from recycled polyester.
Tableware that comes with a substantial supply of fascinating dinner conversation is only part of the draw of Juliska’s dinnerware. “We’ve carried the brand in the store for years, and it really gives customers the best of both worlds: It has enduring quality and beauty for formal entertaining, but can also stand-up to the wear-and-tear of everyday life,” says Laura Stroud, marketing director for Homefest. Berry and Thread is the most iconic pattern, according to Stroud; the Berry and Thread North Pole motif is new this year. “We love that the charming winter scenes are set atop a popular Berry and Thread base,” Stroud adds. People who already own the line, she continues, could easily mix and match it with their existing collection.
“We love the understated elegance of Jan Barboglio’s hand-forged pieces,” says Stroud. Influenced by the spiritual and romantic elements of her childhood in north-central Mexico, Barboglio often decorates her lighting, stemware, vases, frames and more with crosses, crowns, guardian angels and the like. This year’s limited-edition Nacimiento Luz Nativity is particularly special: Only 250 of the iron mangers were made. Homefest has two of them.
Founders Stanford Stevenson and Maurice Gibson launched Agraria in the 1970s with the belief that fragrance is an essential design element. Its diffusers are the home accessory of the moment at Homefest, says Stroud: Each one is topped with Sola flowers—made from thin, dried peels of aquatic plants sourced from the rice fields of Southeast Asia—that “grow” to bloom as they absorb oil. For this time of year, Stroud suggests Agraria’s signature Bitter Orange scent, a blend including clove, bitter orange zest and a touch of cypress and olibanum (or frankincense) essential oils. The attention to detail doesn’t stop there: The diffuser’s handpacked box is topped with orange slices and cinnamon sticks. “It’s an unforgettably elegant gift,” Stroud adds.
The idea for Vietri’s tabletop, home and garden and home fragrance collections started in 1983 when two daughters and their mother first visited Italy. Today, Italian artisans are still handcrafting the company’s earthenware and stoneware. For pieces more in line with the current season, turn your attention to the Uccello Rosso (translation: Red Bird) line.
3 SHIPPING TIPS
What Homefest keeps in mind as the company sends items out.
KEEP EXTRA ROOM TO A MINIMUM.
First, check that you have an appropriately sized box. Then, wrap breakable items in bubble wrap and really stuff that box with peanuts, Stroud says: Items shouldn’t be bouncing around in a package that’s too roomy.
LIVE AND DIE BY SHIPPING DEADLINES.
Stroud has the UPS schedule: Send packages by Dec. 13 for UPS Ground; Dec. 19 for 3-Day Select; Dec. 20 for 2-Day Air; and Dec. 23 for Next Day Air. “Also, double check that your delivery address is accurate,” Stroud says. “You wouldn’t believe how many packages are delayed due to one little digit being out of place in the ZIP code.”
DO MAKE THE BOX LOOK NICE.
“In this fast-paced, e-commerce- dominated world, it’s a rare thing that a gorgeous, gift-wrapped box shows up on your doorstep,” Stroud says.
LET’S GO SHOPPING