8 Shops for Unexpected Guy Gifts
Jan 24, 2017
You know his favorite book, how he takes his coffee, and which breed of dog makes him break out into a goofy grin from a block away. You should have no problem picking out a great Valentine’s Day gift for your favorite guy, right? Well, maybe. But no matter how tight you two are, there’s still something to be said for calling in an expert to help sharpen your gifting game or point you in an unexpected direction.
Enter John Frechette and Christian Burch. As the owners of two charming gift and home goods shops in Jackson Hole, Wyoming — the man-centric Mountain Dandy and the one-stop, something-for-everyone shop MADE — John and Christian are uniquely qualified to dole out some suggestions. “We understand that Valentine’s gift-giving is a daunting task, and one that both men and women struggle with,” Christian says, “but we don’t think you need to.”
Here, they’ve applied the same principles they use to fill their shops with giftwrap-ready finds to curate a list of unique Valentine’s Day ideas that are “good for all types of guys and all budgets.” As Christian explains, “Our strategy starts with well crafted, American-made goods and adds a little coolness, class, and good design.”
Read on to discover John and Christian’s top eight Etsy shops for exceptional V-Day finds.
Etched hip flask by Jane E. Roberti, $64
A children’s clothing designer turned metalsmith, multifaceted Colorado maker Jane E. Roberti now specializes in cutout metal jewelry and etched accessories: belt buckles, cigarette-case wallets, and a range of flasks, all adorned with images inspired by literature and the natural world. “This acid-etched metal flask comes in a variety of sizes and designs and fits inside a suit coat pocket — or the pocket of your ski bibs,” Christian says.
Calf hair cord keeper by Hatton Henry Bag Company, $6
Whether he’s inclined toward smooth, blond, vegetable-tanned leather, rustic calf hair, or an embossed, guacamole-green clip, there’s a cord keeper in this Houston Heights, Texas, bag shop to fit the bill (and to keep tech tangles at bay).
Travel journal by In Blue Handmade, $32
This Asheville, North Carolina, shop’s lineup of leather goods ranges from wallets and totes to passport covers and customized journals. “They’re the perfect portable answer for grocery or expense lists — or, better yet, for dreams, wishes, and travel sketches.”
XL Walnut Serving Platter by Oh Dier Living, $150
“At Mountain Dandy, we believe that once you reach a certain age (12), you can no longer present Bagel Bites on a paper plate as an appetizer du jour,” Christian says. “A large walnut-slab board with inlaid maple bow ties and crosses is far more fitting for service.” Any guy with a knack for entertaining (or a discerning palate for hors d’oeuvres) will surely agree.
Beard oil by Thirteen Thieves, 1 oz for $20
“This grooming oil comes from a maker in our neighboring state of Idaho, where the air is dry and the men have beards,” Christian says. Infused with vitamin E and organic hempseed, sesame, jojoba and argan oils to soften and moisturize his skin, they also leave behind subtle scents (with citrus, woodsy, or warm vanilla-bourbon notes). Mustache wax, shave kits, and anti-static beard combs round out this shop’s guy-gift options.
Custom hand-embroidered pocket square by W.B. Thamm, from $12
“Some think of pocket squares as trendy, but they are classic. W. B. Thamm’s handmade styles are stitched from vintage and new fabrics (both solid and printed), and add a finishing touch and a pop of color in an instant.”
Beer mittens by Camp Kitschy Knits, $28
Here’s one for the Gifts He Never Knew He Needed category: hand-knitted mittens with built-in cup holders. “Although these are called ‘Beer Mittens,’ we have been using them every hour of the day, at all times of the year,” Christian says. “They are just as good for holding coffee on the dog’s morning walk as for toting beverages at hockey games, broomball brawls, or an outdoor après-ski.”
Japanese yuzu candle by Aydry & Co., $36
With fragrances ranging from Japanese yuzu to white tea, Aydry & Co. candles bring some much-needed diversity to the man-candle landscape (no disrespect to the tobacco- and leather-scented votives of the world). “Our favorite is Bohemian Forest, a mix of woody smoke and earthiness that smells like a clean-shaven man who has just climbed a pine tree to save a kitten: charming and thoughtful.”