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The Local {Experiential} Gift Guide

Bellingham local gift guide

Some gifts are precious physical objects given by loved ones. They make me feel beautiful, remind me of the giver, and (in the case of giving something from Found Leather Goods) the gift can even draw us closer to a community of local artists. These are precious and good things.

But then there are the gifts that we can’t hold in our hands—the intangibles and experiential gifts…or perhaps soon to be intangible and we should experience this together. (That bottle of wine should be drunk, that exquisite coffee needs to be brewed.) The gifts that don’t fill up drawers or closet space, but fill our need for connection and harbor a warmth of memory. It is another way to give more fully this Holiday Season—to give of ourselves…our time, our attention, our forethought.

 So in honor of being more together, here is The Local {Experiential} Gift Guide:

Old World Deli

Found recommends Old World Deli for Gift GuideEating, drinking and making merry together Found Leather Goods Recommends Old World Deliare the ancient cornerstones of connecting. And Old World, as the name implies, has this ancient practice dialed in with just the right flavors and ambiance. Check out gifting their monthly Food & Wine Club. For $85 per month you get a whole bundle of delicious which includes—3 bottles of wine, specialty cheese, artisanal meat, etc.. And yes, you had me at Artisanal meat (sigh).

 If you are looking for a gift for friends or something fun to do as a group, check out their last Thursday of the month wine tasting. (I feel like this might be one of best kept secrets in Bellingham.) 10 tastings for $10. That is a raucous steal that you can make merry at with book club friends, your favorite aunt, those work friends you are always wanting to see more of or a lovely date.

Dreading hosting a holiday party for old college roommates or the PTA friends you’d love to get to know more, but don’t ever seem to have the time? The second Thursday of the month, Old World hosts a family style paella dinner. Instead of hosting a holiday party, you and your friends might want to all join in the stress-free yumminess for a relaxed night of flavor that you will all remember.

Follow Old World Deli on Instagram for pictures to drool over, specials and upcoming events.

Instagram: @_oldworlddeli_

1228 n. state st.


Found recommends Camber for Gift Guide

Camber is one part quality coffee shop and one part gorgeous eatery. But all of it is 100% exquisite. Their motto, “In pursuit of sweetness and balance” rings true in every bite and sip. (Their coffee is so good it doesn’t need cream.)

For the coffee addict in your life. (And let’s be honest, in the Northwest, you have AT LEAST 1 if not 10 coffee addicts in your life…not including yourself.) Check out their boxed set that shows a variety of flavor profiles from a single farm or sign-up a loved one for a subscription of rotating coffees that will be shipped monthly. To ensure freshness they ship quickly and only roast to order.

Camber is starting to do pop-up dinners with Wander Beer. Follow their Instagram for more events and coffee inspiration.

 Instagram: @cambercoffee

221 w. holly st.

San Juan Cruises

Found recommends Whales in our Gift GuideSometimes it feels like the only time I do some of the best stuff in my own hometown is when we have visitors. That’s when I will finally spend the money and the time to really see this incredible bit of the world that we get to live in. But why wait until someone comes to town. Treat yourself and a loved one! San Juan Cruises gives you a day with sea salt in your hair and the wind blushing your face.

 We live in an amazing place. There’s behemoths of beautiful whales out there right in our waters. Seals and porpoises—not to mention the landscapes of cliffs, madrona trees, and slate grey waves that feed my eyes so much nutrition they have been missing from looking at my screens.  

San Juan Cruises has an array of expeditions to choose from: Deluxe Whale Watching Tours, Cracked Crab Dinner Cruise, Beer/Wine cruises, Bird Watching Cruises…just to name a few.

Gift certiFound Recommends San Juan Cruises in our Gift Guideficates can be purchased at their office, inside the Alaska Ferry Terminal, from 8-5 Monday through Friday, or by phone. They are offering holiday discounts on all of the tours, except the beer and wine tasting cruises, through December 23rd.

Instagram: @sanjuancruises

Bellingham Cruise Terminal

355 harris ave. #104

 Honey Salon

Found recommends Honey for local Gift GuideIt’s not surprising that Honey Salon has won Casacadia Weekly's Best of Bellingham 2017 and won silver in Bellingham Alive's Best of the Northwest 2017. The people at the front door greet you warmly and are full of welcome. They have a smile, take your jacket, and offer you a water, tea or coffee. And I have always left that salon feeling pampered and more beautiful.

Honey calls its self “an artistic oasis of beauty”. I’d say this is true—with both how I feel after I leave, the general ambiance, and how Honey is active in our community. This week they are participating in the December Art Walk on Friday December 1st from 6-10pm (artist, reception, music, refreshments). Their space is aesthetically pleasing, not only as a salon, but also because they make an effort to showcase art from local artists all year long. They give back to the community by not only holding their space for local artists, but also giving back in other ways. I’ll never forget scrolling through a friend's Facebook page, wondering what her cancer update was. I saw her gorgeous at a fundraiser for herself. I flipped through the pictures recognizing the chic warm interior as the salon I had just started going to. I was touched how much they cared for my friend in her need and actively did something to help her.  

Jennilyn and Austyn are aces for holiday parties or up-do styles. They still have appointments available through December. Gift certificates can be redeemed for both services and products. Their number one selling product is Davines Oi Oil. That stuff is magic. I want it in my stocking.

You can book on-line or by phone. Follow their Instagram for hairspiration (I couldn’t resist), giveaways, and news.

Instagram: @honeysalon

310 w. holly st.

 Mount Baker Theatre

Found Gift Guide Mount Baker TheatreThere is something about walking into the Mount Baker Theatre that helps me let go and relax. Maybe it’s the soaring ceilings or ornate plaster work or the gold glint off of the chandeliers. Maybe it is the way the plush carpet somehow softens sounds, but still allows for a hum of excitement. Whatever it is, I find that I am just not in this venue (listed on the register of National Historic Places) enough. 

The Mount Baker Theatre works relentlessly to bring live performing arts to the heart of downtown Bellingham. Step inside for an evening and you too can be transported for a night into music, dance, or mirth.

There are so many holiday shows coming for the month of December. So get into the holiday spirit and pre-gift some Christmas—local and regional dances, orchestra performances, wonderfully wintery Banff Mountain Film Festival, and even a screening of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

I am going to see Brandi Carlile in March! Perhaps I’ll see you there.

And check out their link to to a Field Guide for Exceptional Outings:

Instagram: @mtbakertheatre

104 n. commercial st.


Perch & Play

Found Leather Goods Gift Guide Perch & Play

It’s no secret that Found loves Skookum Kids. (Proceeds from the Skookum bag go towards supporting Skookum House.) Skookum Kids is a non-profit dedicated to sustainably addressing the complex problems around foster care. They care about foster kids and are doing something about it…actually quite a few things about it. Perch & Play was purchased by Skookum Kids in 2017. It is a welcoming indoor play place for kids, and you can also get coffee, lunch or a snack. They throw great kids events and I love some of the improvements that have been made in the short time that Skookum Kids has taken over. They’ve added a climbing wall that has interactive games on it, a Lego room, and an added video monitor for extra safety measures.Found Leather Goods Recommends Perch & PlayThey’ve also added Monthly or Yearly Memberships and a Drop Off Program. It is interesting to note that Bellingham has a 6 to 8 month rainy season, but no public covered play area. As a mom, Perch & Play has been a great place to have my kids run off some energy, while sipping a coffee and replenishing my stock of rainy day sanity. Give the gift of play, parental sanity, and supporting a vital organization who is helping kids in crisis. Instagram: @skookumkids 1707 n. state st.

Found Leather Goods Earring Workshop

Found leather earring workshop Gift Guide

And if you are looking for something really unique and want both a physical gift and an experience, why not gift a Found Leather Goods Earring Workshop? Do you have some sisters you never see enough, nieces you want to spend more time with, or maybe you just need to take some time and be creative with your friends? Creating art has a way of relaxing us, working out stress and problems in ways that talking just can’t solve in the same way. Gifting this workshop to you and a group of friends, can be a way to slow down and be creative together.

Nicki will bring all of the leathers, tools and hardware needed for crafting handmade jewelry. Nicki will demonstrate the process and techniques and then each participant will have a chance to create their own one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. This event can be tailored to your specific needs, however we find that around 6 participants works well and each participant usually goes home with about 3 pairs of earrings. Contact Nicki for more information.

Do you have a favorite we missed in this gift guide? Leave a comment or send us a message! Want to give a Found Leather Good? Check out that gift guide here.

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