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Made in Michigan - Holiday Gift Guide!

(WZZM) - Every weekday from now until Christmas, WZZM's Derek Francis will be featuring a Made in Michigan product that could make a great gift. Check back here daily!

Geri Mateus Studios (handmade clay gifts)-Dec. 19

If your looking for a last-minutegift for someone, you might want to consider a handmade ornament from Geri Mateus Studios in Ada. The local artist got her start making s'more sticks. It's now become her signature item. Her best seller right now, is a handmade "Michigan" ornament that includes theU.P. You can find a list of retailers at www.gerimateausstudios.com

Farm Country Cheese House (Amish made cheese)-Dec. 18

If your a cheese-lover, you might want to check out the Farm Country Cheese House in Lakeview.

The Amish-made cheeses, include several flavors like bacon cheddar, horseradish, onion and garlic, and cheese curds.

If you can't get to the store in Lakeview, there are also several grocery stores around West Michigan that carry the products.

To see a list of locations, go to: www.farmcountrycheese.com

Stand Out Designs (beer t-shirts & ornaments)-Dec. 17

There's no debating, West Michigan and beer go hand in hand these days. And one Grand Rapidian is taking advantage of our love of the Craft Beer Industry. Lori O'Brien-Zost's t-shirts claim "Getting Mugged" in Grand Rapidsis a good thing!

These unisex t-shirts come in various colors and sizes and go for $20.

But our love of craft beer doesn't need to just go under the tree, it can also go on the tree,as unique beer mug ornaments. They come in four colors and sell for just $10.

All of the items on Lori's websitecan be shipped to you or you can just do a local pick-up to save time and money. Instead of warm and fuzzy, these gifts are cold and frosty and certain to be popular this year. Besides the website, you can reach Lori at 616-970-5050.

Lifetime Journey-Your Family Story-Dec. 16

If you like diaries, Adele Jones of Sparta thinks you're going to love this gift idea. It's called "Lifetime Journey-Your Family Story". It's a special journal that documents your family history as it happens. But it's not just an ordinary diary, it's for a lifetime, thus the name.
Adele explained the concept of the journal. "I've created a book that is a tree theme, and you put your family genealogy in here.
You go to the day and month it happened, you write the year that it happened. So over a lifetime this becomes a family treasure."

It also features a section to jot down family and seasonal traditions. There's another section for "The cutest things your kids say and do" and the journal features various beauty pictures, all of which are taken in West Michigan.

The idea was inspired by Adele's sister. She used a five year diary for thirty-five years and it's now full of her life story. Sadly she passed away from Breast Cancer.
"Now this is a family treasure and that's whyI created this book. I am trying to give back to Breast Cancer research through the book and alsoThe Down Syndrome Association in honor of my Grand-daughter Gracie."

This Made in Michigan gift was published by Schuler Books and is available in their stores and theirwebsitefor $15.95. It's also available at LBD Exclusive, Bodacious, 15-East Boutique and other various retailers.
If Christmas is about family and memories for the person on your list, this journal is a can't miss gift.


Love My Birds (birdfeeders)-Dec. 13

This gift idea should put you in the mood for Spring. Love My Birds based in Walker makes Hummingbird feeders. The owner of the company, David Dault says he got frustrated with the quality of imported bird feeders, so he decided to make his own.

He offers two different sizes, the 8 ounce is his most popular feeder and it runs $34.99. But if you see him at show in town, it goes for just $30. The bigger feeder is 16 ounces and runs $39.99. Add a pole mounter, and that'll cost $11.99. Who knew "for the birds" could be a good thing? After all, the holidays are about giving, so feeding hummingbirds fits the bill. You can shop forthese birdfeeders on theLove my Birds website.

Memory Stones by Jodi-Dec.12

The passing of a loved one or a pet can leave an emptiness. Memory Stones by Jodi in Montague keeps the loved one's memories close to your heart in a beautiful way. The unique design can use a small portion of the loved one's ashes, hair or fur and it fuses it with fine quality glass or sand from your favorite Michigan Lake.

Together you and Jodi design a one of a kind pendant, pocket stone, keychain, jewelry box or anything else to honor your loved one. Most items start around $50 and go up from there. Check out the wide variety on the website. And if you'd rather the person on your list decide for their self what they want, you can always go the gift certificate route. If the holidays are about family and memories, a Memory Stone by Jodi hits the mark. You can contact Jodi at (231) 893-1227.

Blueberry Haven-Dec. 11

This gift ideawill guarantee the person you're shopping for has a "blue" Christmas. Don't worry, that's a good thing if you're shopping in Grand Haven, at "Blueberry Haven".
From Jams, to sauces, snacks, sweets, baking mixes or even beverages. If it contains blueberries, Blueberry Haven has it.
You can buy individual items, or Gift Baskets with pricesthat start at just $11.95 so there's something for anyone's price range.

The store claims it captures Beaches, Berries and Bliss, which is the title of owner Tiffany Balk's new cookbook. When you consider Southwest Michigan is responsible for more than 40% of the Blueberries on the U.S. market, it's a gift that screams Made in Michigan.You can shop online or visit their storein downtown Grand Haven sevendays a week, right on Washington Avenue.

Stormy Kromer (hats)-Dec. 10

Now that Winter is here, you can keep warm, look stylish and support Michigan at the same time, with a Stormy Kromer hat.
The Stormy Kromer hat started with a modification of an old baseball cap to help keep it on in windy weather and 110 years later this company is going strong in Ironwood, Michigan.


The all-cloth cap has varied over the past century, and now comes in new colors, fabrics and styles but they're all still hand stitched.
They come in Men's, Women's and Kid's styles with a line of 42 currently available and they start at $32 and go up from there.
Stormy Kromer hats are available at more than 100 retailers across the state, but you can also shop on thewebsite. After all, what goes better with our Mitten than a warm hat?

HDD Woodcraft-Dec. 9


Whether preparing a meal or enjoying a beverage, HDD Woodcraft has a wood item to show your pride in your state. HDD, short for Hickory Dickory Dock offerseleven different types of Michigan cutting boards for the U-Per or troll on your list. Each board is one inch think and you can go with all Maple, or a Maple-Walnut combination.
The prices range from $16 to $38.50 depending on the size.

You can also set your drink down on a Wooden Michigan Coaster.
A set of four comes in a Lower Michigan Holder. The coasters include a cork circle to absorb moisture and cork pads on the bottom to protect the table. The whole set costs $20.

HDD, based in Fruitport offers other nice woodcraft options like a candy dish, a dog feeder and a jewelry stand. Chances are, if they live in Michigan you can find a gift for them here at hddwoodcraft.

Flying Otter (vineyard & winery)-Dec. 6

Plan to go to holiday parties this season? Well you can't show up empty handed. Why not bring a bottle of wine from Michigan?

Established in 2005, Flying Otter Vineyard and Winery in Adrian, Michigan has made shopping easy online. If you can't travel to Adrian for a weekend wine tasting, you can easily buy a bottle of wine off of their website. Currently they offer seven different bottles that range in price from $14 to $26. The more you buy the more you save. Six bottles gets you a 5% discount, 12 bottles gets you a 10% discount. If you're not sure what type to purchase, you can always go the route of a gift certificate. This way the people on your list get exactly what they prefer.

PrettyMitten Designs-Dec. 5

Pretty Mitten Designs believes Michigan is the "cutest shaped" state in the nation, and when you look at their line of jewelry, it's hard to argue.

Pretty Mitten Designsis created by Just So, an award winning jewelry studio based in Brighton, Michigan. This jewelry captures the charm of the Mitten state, with each piece hand-made. It uses gemstones, Petoskey stones and other materials all found in Michigan.

Necklaces, bracelets, and earrings with prices ranging from $16 to $75, you're guaranteed to find something in your price range.

If you prefer to do even more shopping, you can order a free catalog from the company's website, where you can find additional gift options.

Urban Ashes (frames)-Dec. 4

The expression is, a picture is worth a thousand words, but the people of Urban Ashes say their picture frames are worth, decades. As in, they'll last that long.

This Brighton, Michiganbased company makes real wood frames, but how they get the wood is what's so impressive. They take wood from dying or dead trees and instead of ending up in a mulch pile, that wood ends up in a home as a frame. Sold in more thanseven states now, these frames vary in price, starting at $35, but when you factor in the durability and life expectancy of each frame, the price is justifiable. The owner of the company, Paul Hickmansays he wants your grandkids to be arguing over these frames someday.

"Michigan was considered the furniture capitol of the world for a long time, and it's kind of fallen onto the back burner. "It's really nice to try to bring some of that manufacturing base back here."

The frames are sold at local stores and on the company's website.

Uncle Goose Toys-Dec. 3

Considered to be made 98% in Michigan, Uncle Goose Toys is providing building blocks for fun and education. These hand manufactured blocks are built in Grand Rapids and built to last for generations. It's not just not A-B-C's and 1-2-3's. Uncle Goose offers foreign language blocks, special need blocks, blocks with different Presidents and even Periodic Table blocks.

The prices vary, but a simple set of Classic Alphabet blocks costs $22. And Uncle Goose offers accessories to go with your purchase, like Pull wagons and bags.

You can buy themfrom Uncle Goose's Websiteor a several local businesses like the Gerald Ford Museum and Grand Rapids Art Museum.

EZ Vane-Dec. 2

Whatever your passion, chances are you can show it off every time the wind blows. Debra Kelch has been making customized weather vanes since the 1990's and now EZ Vane is a full-time business, based right out of Kentwood.

EZ Vane uses a three step coating process to enhance the durability. The tops are inner-changeable and there are more than 150 designs, Including officially licensed collegiate SPORTS logos. You can check out the variety on the company's website.

The average price is $59.95 and chances are you will find the design that fits perfectly for the person on your list. You can check out the variety on the company's website.

The Compact Workshop-Nov. 29

No matter how handy your are, if you don't have the work space, it can be difficult. A Byron Center man has created a workshop that can fit in the tightest of spaces.

It's called The Compact Workshop. It goes right on your wall and only sticks outnine inches. When you open it, it offers a full-sized work bench and you can even pop up an extended work surface if you need it. On the inside, it offers two 30 by 32 inch tool storage areas that allow you to organize and hang dozens of your favorite tools. The company owner, who recently put one in his condominium, says it's also popular among people who sew, quilt and scrapbook. It sells for $399 plus delivery. You can also arrange for a local pick-up free. For more on the compact workshop, check out the website.

Homebrew Soaps-Nov. 28

We've heard all about Michigan's craft beer and microbrew industry, so one local business is capitalizing on that popularity. Bruce Payne runs Homebrew Soaps."I am a serious home brewer and a craft beer connoisseur."

Around for five years now, Homebrew Soaps uses all original beer recipes for its soaps and shampoos and recycled bottles and cans for candles and clocks. "They are functioning clocks and from the best I can tell, from Googling, I am the only one in the world making them," said Payne.

Based in Grand Rapids, this company is hitting its busy season with several on the road shows, so their product is widely available at an event near you. On this day we caught up with them at Spectrum Health's gift shop. But you can also shop right from the company's website.Asix-pack of Beer Soaps will cost you $13.95. Beer bottle candles run $11.95 and Beer Bottle clocks go for $24.95. Whether the beer lover on your list prefers it for decoration or practical use, Homebrew Soaps has something for anyone excited about the Michigan Beer industry.

Just In Tyme Sports- Nov. 27

The outdoor basketball season is done, and one local company has a way to keep the fun going year round, indoors. Justin Tymes took what he played with as a kid, and turned it into a full-time business. "I was a young kid playing on Nerf hoops all the time, and me and my friends were constantly breaking them. SoI just came to my dad one day, 'hey can we put this Nerf rim on this acrylic backboard?" That nerf rim was quickly replaced with a steel one, and just like that, "Just In Tyme Sports" was born.

Built with a shatter-proof Polycarbonate backboard and break-away rim, these hoops look like the real ones you'd find in a gymnasium. They come in different sizes and styles, and mount right on the wall instead of over the door.Put a couple screws through your wall into a stud and you're done.

If you're an MSU Fan, bonus. You can show off your Spartan pride right on the backboard.He also carries Indiana Universitybackboards and is hopeful of adding Michigan's logo soon. The basic hoops start at just 45.99, and go up from there. You can have it delivered for a charge, or pick it up yourself in the Wyoming, Michigan area. To shop,click on this link to Just In Tyme Sports.

The Michirondack Chair - Nov. 26

If you've ever driven by the intersection of Lake and Elmwood in East Grand Rapids, you might have noticed the lawn furniture on Jason Nagher's yard. The wooden chair with the unique back is the Michirondack. The chair's back is in the shape of Michigan's lower peninsula.

The idea came toJason as a side note. He originally wanted to shape the chair backs after college sports teams, but he didn't want to get caught up in the expense of sports licensing.

Made from 100% high quality Michigan Cedar, this Adirondack chair is made with the Michigan Mitt design. You can finish it with your favorite color of paint or stain, or leave it as is. Either way, these chairs are durable and will give you several years of life. Jason is hopeful of adding more states eventually, which means you may soon have a gift idea for your out of town family.

With the holidays fast approaching, Jason is setting an order date of December 1st for all orders guaranteed to be ready for Christmas. The price is $295 per chair and can be picked up in East Grand Rapids or shipped for an extra charge. It's sold at various retailers or online. His website iswww.michiganflycompany.com.

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