Shop at home for the holidays. We’ve all been hearing a lot lately about shopping locally, especially those of us living in small towns like Sedona. As the only locally owned and operated magazine in Sedona that focuses on Sedona, we throw our wholehearted support behind keeping our dollars in Red Rock Country this holiday season. However, we’d like to take things a step further and not only shop with local merchants but also buy gifts made right here in our community (even our cover model this month comes from Sedona). And believe it or not, that’s not as difficult as it might sound. We’re here to help you get started, but what follows is only the tip of the iceberg. When we started researching this article back in spring, even we were surprised at the variety of merchandise made in Sedona. “It’s so easy to forget how many talented people live in the Verde Valley,” says Geoffrey Roth, watchmaker and gallery owner. “But it’s amazing when you really start digging.”
We asked each of the 15-plus people we interviewed for this Made in Sedona gift guide about the importance of purchasing locally made products, and each one had a unique perspective. Shirley Eichten Albrecht, a basket weaver, reminded us that local artists, in turn, spend their money in Sedona so it all “feeds on itself.” Sherry Lambly, co-owner of Design Elements jewelry, addressed the spiritual element to buying gifts made in Red Rock Country. “When you buy ‘made in Sedona,’ you are buying part of Sedona,” she says. Carol Servin, co-owner of Three Dog Bakery in Uptown, says locals support the economy as much as visitors do. “We can’t survive on tourism alone,” she says. Beatrice Welles, who creates her own handbags, says you build a stronger sense of community when you shop locally. Weaver Pam Gunning says she and her husband commit a portion of their income to supporting local artists. But it was Tudy Longmire, who has owned the same Uptown fudge shop for 27 years, who perhaps said it best. “It’s our town. We live here. If you want to keep that small-town atmosphere, you need to support your neighbors and do everything locally.” We couldn’t agree with you more, Tudy.
The Beatrice Welles Collection
Beatrice Welles, an on-and-off Sedona resident since 1977 and the daughter of director, producer, writer and actor Orson Welles, says she’s always had a thing for handbags. While traveling in Australia in 2005, she met a group of Tibetan refugees and became enamored with their jewelry. She purchased several pieces and then had a flash of inspiration after seeing a funky, fringed handbag: She’d incorporate her Tibetan findings into a handbag collection. And why not? For nine years she ran her own cosmetics company in Las Vegas, proof that the entrepreneurial spirit has always been alive and well in the Welles family. Beatrice’s first handbags made their debut in April 2008 and are sold exclusively in Sedona at Goldenstein Gallery. The handbags are all designed by Beatrice and handcrafted in her home studio with the help of two employees. The first collection of bohemian-style bags were made from smooth Holstein, buffalo and elk hides, and adorned with beads, pendants, semiprecious stones and medallions from all over the world. But the autumn/winter 2009 collection of handbags are all crafted from suede and personalized with sparkling Swarovski crystals, bells, feathers, chains and velvet. Each handbag is one-of-a-kind and named in honor of Beatrice’s late friend, Michael Jackson. “I was very, very fortunate to have known him well and shared a deep friendship with him many years ago,” says Beatrice. “I realized that I am mourning him more then I ever expected so I want to commemorate him in some way and my new line of bags is the way. Each bag will be named after one of his songs.”
The Beatrice Welles Collection of handbags by Beatrice Welles
Available at Goldenstein Gallery (390 N. SR. 89A in Uptown; 928-204-1765). See more handbags at www.goldensteinart.com or www.beatricewelles.com
Price Range: $600 – $1,650
The ideal gift for… The handbag-lover jonesing for something more unique than another Chanel knock-off
When Nick James founded Body Bliss in 1999, he wanted to craft lotions and oils that were as healthy for the masseuse as they were for their client. It’s the masseuse, after all, who has the product on their skin eight hours a day. “Massage therapists use oils and lotions everyday on their clients,” says Nick. “We wanted to create products that affect the well-being of the therapists as well.” Ten years later, Body Bliss manufactures aromatherapy lotions, soaps, face creams, shower gels and bath gels for more than 50 spas around the country, including many right here in Sedona. Nick holds a master’s degree in botanical science; he buys already distilled oils from small farms all over the world – 85 percent of which are organic or ethically wild-harvested – to incorporate in his products (no preservatives are added). The oils arrive at Body Bliss’ headquarters in West Sedona where they are mixed into different products. Scents include mint, eucalyptus, lavender (from meadows at an elevation of 3,000 feet in France), vanilla cardamom, lemon grass, ylang ylang, Arnica, sweet marjoram and patchouli. The company also produces 20 different products specific to men’s health and aesthetic needs.
Beauty products by Body Bliss
Available at Body Bliss Factory Direct (320 N. SR 89A at Sinagua Plaza at Sedona Center in Uptown Sedona; 928-282-1599) or www.bodybliss.com
Price Range: $7 – $45
The ideal gift for… Anyone who wants to feel good inside and out