7 months ago

The essential Alabama-made gift guide for 2020

‘Tis the season for gift giving. This year, consider shopping local for all your holiday gifts. It’s especially important to support small businesses who may have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our state is home to many talented artists, makers, and clothing designers from whom you can purchase local, Alabama-made gifts. From home decor to gourmet food to trendy accessories, here is your essential Alabama-made gift guide.

Alabama-made Gift Guide

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Server from Civil Stoneware

alabama-made gift platter
Civil Stoneware/ civilstoneware.com

Birmingham-based Civil Stoneware is known for its signature, charcoal-colored pottery. The pieces make a statement on any table, and this server is great for charcuterie, appetizers, or even the holiday ham.

Cheer Candle from Great Bear Wax Company

alabama-made candle
Great Bear Wax Co. / burnbear.com

With notes of balsam fir, cedar, and a burning fireplace, this Cheer candle from Great Bear Wax Company smells like the holidays in a jar. Choose from an 11 ounce or 6 ounce candle.

Plants from Botanica

plants
Botanica / botanicabhm.com

House plants are thriving this year. Local plant shop Botanica has the best collection of plants and pots, and has locations in Birmingham and Huntsville. Purchase a holiday gift set of two plants in pots.

Candy Dish from Orbix Hot Glass

Orbix Hot Glass / alabamagoods.com

Orbix Hot Glass in Fort Payne hand blows the most beautiful glass creations. Give the gift of a colorful glass candy dish that’s perfect for displaying Christmas treats!

Heart of Dixie Alabama Ornament from Prodigal Pottery

alabama-made gift ornaments
Prodigal Pottery / prodigalpottery.org

You can feel especially good about this Alabama-made gift from Prodigal Pottery. These state-shaped pottery ornaments are made in Chelsea by women fleeing homelessness, domestic abuse, and sex-trafficking. One hundred percent of the proceeds go toward supporting those women.

Love My State Hand Towel from Coast & Cotton

alabama-made gift hand towel
Coast & Cotton / coastandcotton.com

For the person who loves to show off their state pride, these cotton flour sack hand towels depict hand-drawn state icons. Made in Auburn, Coast & Cotton offers towels for all 50 states, as well as holiday towels and other signature patterns.

FOOD & DRINK

Gift Box from Wickles Pickles

pickles
Wickles Pickles / wicklespickles.com

Spice up your gift-giving with Dadeville-made Wickles Pickles. These spicy lil’ pickles are one of the most popular food items to come out of Alabama. The gift box includes two jars of Wickles Pickles, one jar of Red Sandwich Spread, and one jar of Relish.

Spirits from John Emerald Distilling Company

John Emerald Distilling Co. / johnemeralddistilling.com

This small-batch, craft distillery in Opelika offers 10 spirits, including whiskey, rum, brandy, gin, and vodka. Each of the spirits is named after one of the owners’ forefathers in order to honor their heritage.

Tea Subscription from Piper & Leaf

tea subscription
Piper & Leaf / piperandleaf.com

Give the gift that keeps on giving to the tea lover in your life. Piper & Leaf is a Huntsville tea company that became known for their signature jars of iced tea sold at farmers markets. The tea is made from their loose leaf blends. They offer a subscription box of one to four bags of tea per month.

Christmas Gift Box from Kettle Bros

Kettle Bros / kettlebros.com

For the one with a sweet tooth, gift them a four-flavor box from Gadsden-based Kettle Bros. This salty-sweet kettle corn comes in flavors like cookies and cream, cinnamon roll, white chocolate peppermint, and more. Select your choice of flavors for the box.

Chocolates from Chocolata

chocolate box
Chocolata / chocolatachocolate.com

These chocolates are almost too pretty to eat — almost. As delicious as they are beautiful, these truffles are made by Birmingham chocolatier Kathy D’Agostino. Order a mixed assortment or choose one of her signature candy bars.

Candied Pecans from Superior Pecans

Superior Pecans / superiorpecans.com

It wouldn’t be Alabama without pecans, and Superior Pecans in Eufala is known for their candied pecans — especially at Christmas time. Order bags of bourbon praline pecans, butterscotch pecans, or chocolate pecans and gift them to your nutty friends.

Christmas Blend Coffee from OHenry’s

OHenry’s / ohenryscoffees.com

OHenry’s has been roasting coffee in Alabama for more than 25 years. They sell ground coffee in a number of signature blends, as well as K-cups. A bag of their Christmas Blend, a six-bean blend with Swiss chocolate and holiday spices, makes the perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life.

Peanut Caddy from Alabama Goods

Alabama Goods / alabamagoods.com

If your spouse or kids are always leaving their peanut shells around, give them this cute and clever caddy made from an Alabama license plate to contain the empty shells. Pair it with a bag of roasted or boiled peanuts from Alabama Peanut Company.

BATH & BODY

Soap from Left Hand Soap Company

Left Hand Soap Company / lefthandsoapcompany.com

Put a bar of soap from Left Hand Soap Company in everyone’s stocking this year. This Tuscaloosa company makes handmade soap from a base of olive, coconut, and castor oils. Different scent blends make an ordinary shower like an aromatherapy experience.

Spa Experience from 1818 Farms

bath and body goods
1818 Farms / 1818farms.com

Give this gift basket to someone who needs to treat themselves. 1818 Farms is a flower farm in Mooresville that also makes spa products and has the cutest babydoll sheep. The Spa Experience gift basket includes a lavender goat’s milk bath tea packet, bath truffle, and lip balm or cuticle balm.

Perfume from Stone Hollow Farmstead

Stone Hollow Farmstead / stonehollowfarmstead.com

Stone Hollow Farmstead literally does it all, from skincare and beauty products to goat cheese and gourmet food products. They have their own line of perfumes that come in a tube that’s easy to throw in your purse. All are made from organic essential oils, absolutes, rare finds and concretes, and SCO2 extractions in organic jojoba oil.

CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES

For Him

Tensaw Jacket from Tom Beckbe

jacket
Tom Beckbe / tombeckbe.com

This Birmingham clothier makes goods built for the outdoors. They use classic design and rugged materials that withstand time and elements. The Tensaw Jacket is one of their signature pieces featuring waxed shelter cloth and a cotton lining inspired by Alabama red clay.

Big Dixie Bifold Wallet from Holtz Leather Company

leather wallet
Holtz Leather / holtzleather.com

This wallet is handcrafted in Huntsville from full-grain American leather. Holtz Leather Company handpicks their leather hides from a local tannery for a rustic look and feel. Personalization also is available.

Holiday Socks from Zkano Socks

holiday socks
Zkano / zkano.com

Guys love to show a little flair under their suits with fun socks. Add to his collection with holiday socks from Alabama sock maker, Zkano. The company continues a century-long sock making tradition in Fort Payne.

For Her

Vesper Pea Coat from Billy Reid

billy reid coat
Billy Reid / billyreid.com

Buy her a staple piece from Florence designer Billy Reid that she can use for years to come. This modern pea coat is made from a wool blend and features a feminine double-breasted silhouette.

Polymer Statement Earrings from Bonnybee Designs

earrings
Bonnybee Designs / etsy.com

Polymer clay earrings are all the rage this year, and Bonnybee Designs was the first to popularize them in Birmingham. These lightweight earrings make a statement with fun shapes and the addition of gold accents.

Goldie Lock Necklace from Kate Morris Jewelry

gold lock necklace
Kate Morris Jewelry / katemorrisjewelry.com

Lockets are old fashioned. Instead, give her this 14-karat gold lock necklace from Kate Morris Jewelry. Handcrafted in her Homewood studio, Kate Morris Jewelry features both trendy and timeless pieces.

KIDS

Color the Ham coloring book from Down in the Ham

coloring book
Down in the Ham / downintheham.com

Featuring 40 illustrations of famous Birmingham landmarks, this coloring book allows children to add their flair to some famous city scenes.

Alabama Onesie from Yellowhammer Print Shop

Yellowhammer Print Shop / yellowhammer.org

Yellowhammer Print Shop features handprinted goods for Alabama icons, sports teams, and sayings. This onesie will remind the recipient that somebody in Alabama loves them!

ART

Art print from Andrew Lee Design

Andrew Lee Design / andrewleedesigns.com

This Auburn artist creates beautiful paintings and sketches that embody Alabama, from wildlife to flora to scenery. In addition to his art pieces, he also has t-shirts, stationery, and home goods.

City Print by Kaitlin West

Kaitlin West / alabamagoods.com

These art prints by Kaitlin West feature a city’s iconic images within its name. The 8×10 prints are ready to frame.

Skyline Print by Eric Poland 

Eric Poland / alabamagoods.com

These colorful reimaginings of city skylines are done by artist Eric Poland. The art is printed on archival quality paper and is varnished, signed, and numbered by the artist.

2020 GIFTS

Sanitizing Elixir from Distill Brand

hand sanitizer
Distill Brand / distillbrand.com

2020 is probably the only year you can give hand sanitizer as a gift and get away with it. An Alabama distillery is making their sanitizing elixir, an 80% ethyl alcohol blend, in two scents: Rosemary Mint and Lavender Cream.

Face Mask from Original Bham

Original Bham / alabamagoods.com

Upgrade someone’s mask game with this Birmingham mask from Original Bham. It features the company’s signature logo featuring an illustration of a ham to represent “Bham.”

Julia Sayers Gokhale is a writer and editor who has been working in the lifestyle journalism industry since 2012. She was Editor in Chief of Birmingham Magazine for five years and is now leading Yellowhammer News’ lifestyle content. Find her on Instagram at @juliasayers or email her at julia@yellowhammernews.com.

28 mins ago

Huntsville City Schools will go on with its vaccination clinic for minors without parental consent

Americans have been bombarded with requests, pleas, shaming and excoriations about how you must get vaccinated.

I bought in, and I think I may have even jumped the line accidentally. I also have a three-year-old, and I don’t envision a scenario where I rush him out to get a vaccine. If he were 14, 18 or 24, I wouldn’t pressure him to get vaccinated. If he were over 18, what could I do?

But if he were 14? That’s a no from me.

Schools in Alabama disagree, and at least one school system doesn’t care what you think.

Madison, Birmingham and Huntsville schools have all taken up the task of vaccinating your kids even though doctors, pharmacies and Wal-Mart have vaccines readily available.

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In the coverage of the Huntsville vaccinations, the Alabama Media Group article specifically states that Huntsville City Schools will not require parental consent for those over 14.

Students under 14 must have a parent or guardian accompany them for the vaccine, according to the announcement on the Huntsville schools website. Everyone receiving the vaccine must present a legal form of identification including a driver’s license, passport, non-drivers ID, or a birth certificate. Participants must sign a consent form prior to receiving the vaccine and must register online in advance to receive the vaccine.

To put it simply — your 14-year-old can decide to take an experimental vaccine without your knowledge.

This is a betrayal of parents by Alabama schools.

They don’t care.

Keep in mind that this is happening as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still looking at the impact of the vaccine on young people.

Even the World Health Organization thinks this is a bad idea.

Some Alabama lawmakers are taking note.

State Senator Sam Givhan appeared on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” and suggested the school systems should hit pause.

Explaining that just vaccinating everyone who shows up without parental consent is just a bad practice, Givhan said, “They don’t have everyone’s full medical history, and they don’t know the unique situations from certain kids. … And I just don’t think the high school should be giving these shots when, you know, you could actually cause someone to have medical problems from this, and then they’ll hide behind their state immunity shield and say you can’t sue them.”

Obviously, it is entirely possible that no children have been vaccinated without parental consent, but how would we know?

Huntsville City Schools seems hell-bent on continuing this. Attempts to speak to the school board we unsuccessful.

The board said in a statement, “We appreciate the invitation. Please see the information below surrounding the vaccine clinic. We have nothing more to add at this time.”

The gist is this: “Sorry, not sorry. We will vaccinate your kids without your permission. What are you going to do about it?”

The answer is people with means are going to either change these schools or flee American schools more than they already have.

Listen:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

3 hours ago

Guest opinion: ‘For the People Act’ was always a bad idea

For months, we have been inundated with stories of a federal proposal named by the Democrat Party as the “For the People Act.” Upon closer examination of this mammoth piece of legislation, it should be renamed the “From the People Act” because this legislation clearly seeks to take the election process out of the hands of the American people. As a former probate judge, I see this for what it is – a federal attempt to take over our elections in violation of the United States Constitution.

The number of things wrong with this “Act” could fill a novel, but the most troubling aspects of this historical attempt to alter our elections and change the fabric of our nation include:

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Automatic voter registration — The bill mandates that individuals who have interaction with certain government offices would be automatically registered to vote, but there is no mandate in the bill to only limit that registration to American citizens with the right to vote. Therefore, an individual who goes to the DMV for a driver’s license is automatically registered to vote, even if a felony has eliminated their right to vote or if they are not a citizen of the United States. The same holds true for those interacting with other government offices for assistance with a variety of services. Democrats argue that is not the intent of the provision but still refuse to establish any voter eligibility verification requirements in their proposal.

Funding of political campaigns — This act would divert money collected from fines of corporations from the nation’s general budget to a fund that would be specifically earmarked for the funding of political campaigns. This newly created “Freedom From Influence Fund” will serve as the exclusive source of funds for all federal public financing programs of political candidates. The idea that this bill increases funding for political campaigns from our government’s coffers is sickening. Our government has a gargantuan debt but this bill seeks to collect fines and, rather, than devote them to paying down that debt, diverts them to the accounts of political candidates. Absolutely mindboggling.

The list of problems with this proposal goes on and on and, although the proposal appears to be at a dead end now, it will rear its ugly head again. “We the People” must remain aware of attempts, such as these, to undermine our Democracy and we must oppose such measures at every turn.

Wes Allen currently represents Pike and Dale Counties in the State House of Representatives.

6 hours ago

Joia M. Johnson appointed to Regions board of directors

Regions has added Joia M. Johnson to its board of directors, according to a release from the company.

Johnson will serve on the boards of Regions Financial Corp. and its subsidiary, Regions Bank, beginning on July 20.

She arrives at her new responsibilities having recently retired as chief administrative officer, general counsel and corporate secretary for Hanesbrands Inc., a leading apparel manufacturer and marketer.

Charles McCrary, chairman of the Regions Financial Corp. and Regions Bank Boards, believes Johnson’s experience will be a valuable addition to the board.

“Joia’s leadership experience, both at the corporate level and in various board roles, will add greater depth and insights to the Regions Board of Directors as we advance policies and strategies to benefit our customers, associates, communities, and shareholders,” McCrary explained.

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Johnson added that she sees that experience as an asset in assisting the company achieve its vision for growth.

“I believe the breadth of my corporate experience and civic engagement will complement the additional experience and skills reflected throughout Regions’ current directors,” she stated. “As the company focuses not just on continuous improvement but also on long-term, sustainable growth, I am thrilled to become a part of building on Regions’ history of success – while also defining a very bright future for the organization and the people and communities we serve.”

McCrary also noted the alignment between Johnson’s unique skill set and the company’s mission.

“The Regions mission is to make life better for the people we serve, and we accomplish that mission by creating shared value for all of our stakeholders,” he remarked. “With her passion for strong governance and strategic community engagement, Joia will help us build on our progress and reach new heights in the years to come.”

After receiving an undergraduate degree from Duke University, Johnson earned a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.

Johnson’s financial services experience includes on the board of Global Payments Inc., a Fortune 500 payments technology company and eight years as a board member for Crawford & Company, which specializes in insurance claims administration.

Upon her installment, Johnson will serve on Regions’ 13-member board which will consist of 12 independent outside directors.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

7 hours ago

State Rep. Oliver: Combatting Critical Race Theory in Alabama is ‘the way we stand up to woke-ism’

Republicans have made taking on so-called Critical Race Theory a priority in recent weeks claiming such philosophies are an effort to undermine cultural norms and indoctrinate in a way that benefits the Democratic Party.

Florida, Arkansas, Idaho and Oklahoma have banned the theory from their public school classrooms. Many would like to see Alabama follow suit, and there have been bills filed for the legislature’s 2022 regular session to do as much. One of those bills is being brought by State Rep. Ed Oliver (R-Dadeville), who takes it beyond the classroom and applies restrictions throughout state government.

Oliver discussed the bill during Tuesday’s broadcast of “The Jeff Poor Show” on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5.

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“[I]’ve got a bill that’s fairly unique, and we expect it to go through the state government committee,” he said. “My bill actually covers any state agency, its contractors and subcontractors, to include schools. We felt like it was important to address this issue with a holistic approach.”

“The first thing is deciding what you don’t want taught,” Oliver continued. “That’s the most important piece. And I would like to say, this bill, it absolutely describes what we don’t want taught — it doesn’t mean that you can’t teach inclusion or diversity. It means you can’t teach some things as fact and then we’re not going to teach our kids that one sex or race is better than another. And in a nutshell, that is the crux of it.”

The Tallapoosa County lawmaker said his effort could serve as a bulwark against a creeping effort to indoctrinate.

“[I]t’s the way we stand up to woke-ism,” Oliver declared. “If we’re ever going to draw a line in the sand, Critical Race Theory is it. I say that not because I’m the smartest guy in the world or this is something I’ve thought all my life, but I’ve got a child that goes to a major university in the state. And I am absolutely appalled by what I’ve witnessed there the last three years with my child. If you don’t think universities are indoctrinating your kids, everybody needs to wake up.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

8 hours ago

Manufacture Alabama backs Ainsworth for reelection

As Alabama maintains its status among the top states in the nation for manufacturing, the industry’s dedicated trade association has made its choice for lieutenant governor.

Manufacture Alabama has given its full support to Will Ainsworth in his bid for reelection to the office, according to a release from the group.

George Clark, president of Manufacture Alabama, cited Ainsworth’s background in manufacturing and knowledge of its key issues in announcing the endorsement.

“Manufacture Alabama is endorsing Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth for reelection due to his commitment to maintaining a business-friendly environment in Alabama,” Clark said. “Lieutenant Governor Ainsworth grew up in the manufacturing industry and understands firsthand that our members are the backbone of the state and nation’s economy. He is a friend to our association and a tireless advocate for manufacturers across Alabama. In his leadership role, it is clear that he is dedicated to serving his home state with enthusiasm and integrity. We are proud to give him our full endorsement for the reelection of Lieutenant Governor.”

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Ainsworth, who has now picked up a string of endorsements from trade associations, believes the state’s successes in manufacturing are something that can continue.

“I am proud to have the endorsement of Manufacture Alabama,” he stated. “Our tremendous manufacturers are sources of good-paying 21st century jobs for hardworking Alabamians, and the goods and materials they produce are integral across a broad range of sectors. Alabama is open for business, and I’m firmly committed to making our state the workforce engine of the Southeast so we can continue to grow jobs through expansion and recruitment. Working together, I am confident we will build an even stronger Alabama for our children and our children’s children.”

The manufacturing industry employs more than 250,000 people in Alabama, a figure which makes up a double-digit percentage of the state’s workforce.

Ainsworth announced his reelection campaign earlier this month.

Since that time, he has received the endorsement of the Alabama Forestry Association, the Petroleum and Convenience Marketers Association and U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).

RELATED: Lt. Gov. Ainsworth: Huntsville preferred location for Space Command ‘based on merit and based on policies’

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia