If you’ve ever been given a handmade gift, chances are it holds a more special place in your heart than anything mass-produced from an assembly line. From jewelry and soap to clothing and pottery, there are a variety of goods made by skilled artisans to choose from, and they can all be found right here in Minnesota. The time, energy and artistry put into handmade items produce unique, one-of-a-kind results. So the next time you’re on the hunt for an exceptional gift for someone special, head to one of these metro shops for a creation that’s as distinctive as they are.

Photo Credit: Blissful Bath via Facebook

Blissful Bath
9020 Hudson Road, Suite 415
Woodbury, MN 55125
(651) 209-9977

You may be a little confused when you first walk into Blissful Bath in Woodbury, since it looks more like a bakery than a bath and soap store. That’s because all of the body products are made to look like cupcakes, pastries and other sinful desserts. Just try resisting a Bath Bomb ($5) that looks like a refreshing scoop of frozen yogurt or a Happy Birthday Bath Cupcake ($3.50) that really smells like cake. Products are made right in the back of the store and will leave your skin hydrated, smooth and smelling delicious. Visit the store to pick up a gift set and take home a little something for yourself.

Related: Pure, Clean, Locally-Produced Skincare 

Photo Credit: Northern Clay Center via Facebook

Northern Clay Center 
2424 Franklin Avenue East
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 339-8007

If functional art is more your taste, visit Northern Clay Center, where you can view and purchase pottery made by top regional and national artists. The NCC hosts between eight and 10 exhibitions each year and pottery styles are as varied as the creators themselves. You’ll find Asian-inspired clay teapots, bright geometric vases, sculptures of all shapes and sizes and much more to delight and inspire the art lover inside of you. From May 11 through July 1, exhibition Self[Contained] will feature artists’ sculptures and vessels in ceramic forms that promise to “evoke the whimsical, the mournful, the absurd, and the fantastic through depictions of the human face or figure.”

Photo Credit: stpaul.tenthousandvillages.com

Ten Thousand Villages
867 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
(651) 225-1043

Head to Grand Avenue in St. Paul when you want an internationally-inspired gift like no other. As a founding member of the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization), Ten Thousand Villages celebrates the rich diversity of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East by offering goods from over 35 countries. Take home a pair of earrings from Kenya for $18 or a basket from Bangladesh for $29. Whatever you decide, the recipient of your gift is sure to treasure it for years to come.

Related: Minneapolis Jewelry Designer Susan Horowitz: SHExclusive Designs

Photo Credit: tremblaysweetshop.com

Tremblay’s Sweet Shop
308 Main Street North
Stillwater, MN  55082
(651) 430-0087

You won’t have to worry about getting the right size or color when you give the gift of fresh homemade sweets. The scenic drive to Stillwater is definitely worth it when it includes a stop at Tremblay’s on Main. Consider a pound of Chocolate Nut Clusters or Truffles at $14.75, Almond Bark for $8.95, or Hand-Dipped Chocolates for $14.75. Caramel corn, fudge, candied apples, hard candy, cookies and ice cream fudge sundaes are also offered, and all are made fresh from scratch. Gift-giving has never been so delicious.

Photo Credit: Classy Baskets via Facebook

Classy Baskets, Etc.
2855 Anthony Lane South, Suite B15
Minneapolis, MN  55418
(612) 520-8057

Classy Baskets, Etc. has been designing personalized gift baskets for new babies, birthdays and occasions of literally every type for the past 11 years. From candy, balloons and chocolate to wine and spa, Classy Baskets, Etc. can make a custom gift basket for anyone on your list. The best part is that they do the work for you. Give them a call and let them know what your budget is, and you will not be disappointed. For something truly unique, order up the Minnesota Gift Mug ($20), which is filled with goodies like Minnesota-themed gourmet coffee, delicious snack mix, and a Hershey bar with your customized text on the wrapper.

Related: Matchbox Organic: Small Shop With Big Taste

A long-time writer and blogger in the Twin Cities, Deanna Lang has become an active Yogi in recent years as part of a well-rounded mental and physical fitness routine. Also an ISSA-certified personal fitness trainer, Deanna is looking forward to adding even more expertise to her fun and informative yoga writing once she begins her yoga certification. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.