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Holiday Gift Guide 2022: Memorable gifts from rural Alabama

Rural Alabama is home to many skilled and creative artisans, whose work shines brightly during the holiday season.

From intricate woodwork to inventive fragrance blends, their products are popular gifts for Christmas and other occasions throughout the year.

“There’s an intriguing mix of natural outdoor beauty and modern innovation of entrepreneurial-minded residents in our rural counties, which leads to great inspiration for all types of art and gifts,” said Brenda Tuck, Rural Development Manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce.

Here’s a look at popular gifts crafted in Rural Alabama and where to find them:

The Peaceful Porch Candle Co., Randolph County: This Wedowee-based business sells organic, vegan soy jar candles and dough bowl candles. Signature scents tell stories about the South, with notes of pecan, magnolia, peach and kudzu among the many options.

Owner Wendy Moore started The Peaceful Porch following her husband’s battle with cancer and now donates a quarter of her profits to families facing their own cancer diagnosis or other tragedy.

Wood Studio, Winston County: A family-owned and operated business for more than 30 years, Wood Studio continues to build on the success of signature pieces such as its Lookout Mountain Rocker, Crane Chair and Beersheba Swing.

The Cochran family crafts their high-end furniture for function and style, using sustainably harvested materials for the pieces that double as works of art. Other products made at the shop in Arley, on the edge of Bankhead National Forest, include cutting boards and recipe boxes.

Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center, Wilcox County: With a mission of promoting arts throughout the region, this nonprofit serves as a gateway for artists working in a wide range of mediums.

Black Belt Treasures represents more than 450 painters, sculptors, quilters, basket makers, wood workers and more across about 20 Alabama counties, spotlighting their work online and in a gallery in Camden.

Southern Soapworks, Chilton County: Based in Clanton, Southern Soapworks specializes in small-batch handcrafted soap, but also sells bath bombs, sugar scrubs, lotions and even pet shampoo.

Dana Phillips, the owner, is passionate about plant-based oils and other natural ingredients for gentle, wholesome skincare.

Cashel Beams and Flooring, Escambia County: This reclaimed flooring mill in Brewton salvages beams and timber from textile mills and factories from a bygone era to create beauty for modern homes.

Along with floors, Cashel fashions doors, dining tables and custom cabinetry from reclaimed heart pine and oak, for pieces that bring a rustic feel and marks of character from the wood’s previous life into new living spaces.

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)

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