The Local Artisans of Tobermory

Recently whilst on holiday in the Scottish Isles, besides admiring the spectacular beauty of Scotland and the Inner Hebrides, The Local Artisan Guide was lucky enough to stumble (okay we took a ferry to the Island of Mull) upon the town of Tobermory. 

The picturesque town of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, Scotland.

The picturesque town of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, Scotland.

Tobermory is a picturesque town on the Island of Mull (part of the Inner Hebrides) with colorful houses, restaurants and shops lined up on a marina with rolling green hills and trees all apart of an incredible vista. Tobermory Bay was originally a fishing port that has since become home to small businesses, restaurants, small hotels and artisanal shops that offer a range in products including; jewelry, chocolates, soap, pottery, cheese, leather goods, a distiller, art, local fashion, stationary, baked goods and more. 

As you get off the ferry you follow the crescent shape road known as Main Street around the marina with multicolor buildings dotting the landscape. While walking down the street and entering the various shops one observes that many of the shops not only carry local products but many of the products are produced in the shop itself. There are also many products made from local artisans near by on the island.

After exploring Main Street here are some of the highlights in Tobermory:

AN CAMUS

An Camus

An Camus

Slightly off Main Street as soon as you depart the ferry you will come upon the studio and shop of An Camus where Stuart and Helen Orr can be seen working on their glass products, knick-knacks and stationary.

The workshop of An Camus is located in the shop itself where you see many items in the process of being made.

The workshop of An Camus is located in the shop itself where you see many items in the process of being made.

An Camus offers many representations of the sea and wildlife.

An Camus offers many representations of the sea and wildlife.

Its typical to see Stuart and Helen hard at work creating their wares.

Its typical to see Stuart and Helen hard at work creating their wares.

A small example of An Camus’s beautiful glassware.

A small example of An Camus’s beautiful glassware.

ISLE OF MULL SOAP CO.

Isle of Mull Soap Co.

Isle of Mull Soap Co.

Isle of Mull Soap Co. is a quaint soap shop founded by husband and wife team Stu and Sophie who create soap inspired by the culture of Scotland and all the many natural and native ingredients you can only find in the Scottish Isles. Soaps, soap bombs, candles, bath and body, gifts and accessories can be found in this shop along with beautiful packaging and always a friendly welcome.

Isle of Mull Soap Co. has a large selection of soap and bath products.

Isle of Mull Soap Co. has a large selection of soap and bath products.

With such scents as Hot Toddy, Cinnamon & Citrus and Rose & Patchouli, shopping here makes for great souvenirs.

With such scents as Hot Toddy, Cinnamon & Citrus and Rose & Patchouli, shopping here makes for great souvenirs.

Isle of Mull Soap Co. also offers bath bombs, bath and body and great gifts to remind you of your stay in Tobermory.

Isle of Mull Soap Co. also offers bath bombs, bath and body and great gifts to remind you of your stay in Tobermory.

TOBERMORY DISTILLERY

The visitor center for Tobermory Distillery.

The visitor center for Tobermory Distillery.

Tobermory Distillery, where the magic happens.

Tobermory Distillery, where the magic happens.

Established in 1798, Tobermory Distillery is the only distillery on the Island of Mull and one of the oldest commercial distilleries in Scotland. The distillery is unique not only because of its picturesque location but because they offer not one but two distinctive single malts.

The shop in the visitor center of the distillery offers their entire selection of scotch and whiskey.

The shop in the visitor center of the distillery offers their entire selection of scotch and whiskey.

There is even a formal tasting room that you can make an appointment to experience.

There is even a formal tasting room that you can make an appointment to experience.

Tobermory Distillery offers more than just whiskey at the visitor center. Here you can purchase, hats, t-shirts and even soap made with whiskey!

Tobermory Distillery offers more than just whiskey at the visitor center. Here you can purchase, hats, t-shirts and even soap made with whiskey!

Is there such a thing as a “wee dram”? We think not, especially after you taste their whiskeys.

Is there such a thing as a “wee dram”? We think not, especially after you taste their whiskeys.

THE LAUNDRY

Is it a Laundry or a store? It’s both and both are well done.

Is it a Laundry or a store? It’s both and both are well done.

The Laundry is a laundry service with a twist. The twist being that The Laundry is also a boutique that offers products made from local artisans from the Isle of Mull which include fashion, handbags, gifts, candles, bedding and more.

The Laundry offers a selection of fashion, accessories and gifts made on the Isle of Mull. Oh and exceptional laundry services too.

The Laundry offers a selection of fashion, accessories and gifts made on the Isle of Mull. Oh and exceptional laundry services too.

The Laundry offers bedding, which comes in handy for all the Airbnb’s on the island.

The Laundry offers bedding, which comes in handy for all the Airbnb’s on the island.

Handbags made from local leathers are one of the key products you will find in The Laundry.

Handbags made from local leathers are one of the key products you will find in The Laundry.

ISLE OF MULL SILVER & GOLDSMITHS

You can’t miss Isle of Mull Silver & Goldsmith’s cobalt blue storefront on Main Street.

You can’t miss Isle of Mull Silver & Goldsmith’s cobalt blue storefront on Main Street.

Founded in 1975 by Phil Campbell, Isle of Mull Silver & Goldsmiths provides jewelry made by local designers and features Scottish jewelry which includes quaichs, kilt pins, cufflinks, silver spoons and more traditional and contemporary designs.

Jewelry to wear for your kilts to represent your clans is a feature at the Isle of Mull Silversmith & Goldsmiths.

Jewelry to wear for your kilts to represent your clans is a feature at the Isle of Mull Silversmith & Goldsmiths.

The shop also offers a wide selection of traditional silver spoons.

The shop also offers a wide selection of traditional silver spoons.

There is also a wide selection of traditional and contemporary jewelry designs made from local artisans.

There is also a wide selection of traditional and contemporary jewelry designs made from local artisans.

ISLAND BLUE TOBERMORY

Island Blue Tobermory is great place to shop for children’s gifts and art from local residents.

Island Blue Tobermory is great place to shop for children’s gifts and art from local residents.

Photographer Martin Guppy founded Island Blue which includes art from local artists, toys, skincare, candles, scarves, mugs and more.

Colorful mugs and coasters have imagery of the local sea and wildlife.

Colorful mugs and coasters have imagery of the local sea and wildlife.

Many scents made from local ingredients are displayed in the store.

Many scents made from local ingredients are displayed in the store.

Island Blue Tobermory offers a fun, eclectic array of souvenirs from Tobermory.

Island Blue Tobermory offers a fun, eclectic array of souvenirs from Tobermory.

Wood carvings of bird life and mugs of local cattle are a favorite at the store.

Wood carvings of bird life and mugs of local cattle are a favorite at the store.

MULL POTTERY

The welcoming storefront of Mull Pottery.

The welcoming storefront of Mull Pottery.

Mull Pottery was established over 25 years ago using their own recipe for clay ceramics. The shop also offers pottery made by skilled craftspeople including the popular and stunningly beautiful Iona Range. All pieces are handmade, making each piece unique.

The selection of mugs with abstract vistas is a popular sell at Mull Pottery.

The selection of mugs with abstract vistas is a popular sell at Mull Pottery.

Sea and wildlife imagery is a great choice for souvenir gift giving.

Sea and wildlife imagery is a great choice for souvenir gift giving.

The incredibly beautiful (and affordable) Iona Range ceramics make Mull Pottery an amazing stop on your trip to Tobermory.

The incredibly beautiful (and affordable) Iona Range ceramics make Mull Pottery an amazing stop on your trip to Tobermory.

ISLAND CRAFTS

The sea-green shop of Island Crafts.

The sea-green shop of Island Crafts.

Island Crafts Tobermory offers a wide selection of work predominately from artists living and working or with connections with the Isle of Mull.  They sell walking sticks, books, jewelry, stationary, antlers, gifts and more.

Island Crafts offer a unique selection of walking sticks made locally for that favorite of all activities in the Hebrides, walking the hills.

Island Crafts offer a unique selection of walking sticks made locally for that favorite of all activities in the Hebrides, walking the hills.

Beautiful home decor objects made from shells and pairing knives made with natural materials are show stoppers at Island Craft.

Beautiful home decor objects made from shells and pairing knives made with natural materials are show stoppers at Island Craft.

Island Craft also offers accessories, throws and caps made from wool from local sheep that help keep crafts alive and well in Tobermory.

Island Craft also offers accessories, throws and caps made from wool from local sheep that help keep crafts alive and well in Tobermory.

TOBERMORY HANDMADE CHOCOLATE

Just look for the chocolate colored building for Tobermory Handmade Chocolate.

Just look for the chocolate colored building for Tobermory Handmade Chocolate.

Founded in 1991 by husband and wife team Keith and Rhoda, Tobermory Handmade Chocolate offers artisan handmade chocolate with a variety of flavors native to Scotland and the Scottish Isles along with more traditional chocolates. There is also a cozy cafe and well stocked gift shop that offers more than local chocolates to take home.

The shop at Tobermory Handmade Chocolate offers an array of gift giving besides chocolate.

The shop at Tobermory Handmade Chocolate offers an array of gift giving besides chocolate.

Lots of home decor items available at the shop.

Lots of home decor items available at the shop.

Besides being able to buy their chocolates, there is a cozy cafe to settle in and taste and drink all Tobermory Handmade Chocolate has to offer.

Besides being able to buy their chocolates, there is a cozy cafe to settle in and taste and drink all Tobermory Handmade Chocolate has to offer.

Walking down Main Street in Tobermory will have you experiencing more than artisanal shops. There is a multitude of restaurants, bars, churches and more to explore. Then when you are done exploring Tobermory, feel free to travel throughout the Isle of Mull and find even more local artisans honing crafts passed down to them from generations of living in the Scottish Isles.

Can’t miss The Tobermory Hotel in all its pink glory!

Can’t miss The Tobermory Hotel in all its pink glory!

Arnos Hall is community owned facility that hosts events and markets all year round.

Arnos Hall is community owned facility that hosts events and markets all year round.

This former Gothic church is now home to a gallery for local souvenirs and a popular cafe for both locals and visitors alike.

This former Gothic church is now home to a gallery for local souvenirs and a popular cafe for both locals and visitors alike.

It is easy to understand how these vistas inspired so many beautiful depictions in the souvenir shops in Tobermory.

It is easy to understand how these vistas inspired so many beautiful depictions in the souvenir shops in Tobermory.

By Natalie Rivera






Unique and Romantic Valentines Day Gift Ideas

When you walk around cities and towns constantly on the lookout for artisans and small independent brands you eventually start to acquire a rolodex of gift ideas in your head for all occasions. Valentines Day is no different so we here at The Local Artisan Guide are quite happy to recommend some of the gems we have discovered over the years for special, unique and romantic gift giving for Valentines Day.

Why be like everyone else and settle for red roses, mass produced chocolate and run of the mill gifts with no time or thought given to them. Here are some suggestions in all price ranges for all genders and relationships that can be bought in New York City or online.

Atelier d’Emotion calls itself a “jewel box” of a boutique and they are right. It’s the perfect place to shop for a Valentine’s Day gift. It’s a small, intimate, beautifully decorated romantic boutique that is highly curated with jewelry, home decor, candles and even artisanal chocolate. You can’t loose if you pick any item from the shop as a Valentines Day gift, however may we recommend the Vitae Ascendere Melting Heart Charm Necklace in 18k Yellow Gold with 17 inches Yellow Gold Chain with Karabiner Clasp. 3D printed, designed and manufactured in NYC.

Artisanal chocolatier MarieBelle is one of the first chocolatiers to add modern eclectic graphic designs to her chocolates along with unusual and delicious flavors. You can buy online but please visit her shops if you can as they transform you to a cafe in a romantic European town. The chocolates are sold in various sizes with her signature MarieBelle New York ganaches in special romantic designs. Each ganache combines the finest single-origin chocolate with eclectic ingredients and artisanal techniques. Offered in a signature red box and wrapped in grosgrain ribbon for an extra special gift.

When you care enough to send the very best in New York City you go to Emily Thompson Flowers. Each arrangement is unique and designer's choice. All arrangements are designed with the finest seasonal materials with a preference for local and specialty flowers and foliage. Emily Thompson welcomes design requests, but *cannot guarantee specific materials*. Design notes and gift messages can be entered at checkout. For guaranteed delivery for Valentines please order by Tuesday February 12th. In honor of love for all, 10% of all proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

Olfactory NYC is a perfume boutique that lets you customized your very own fragrance for yourself or for that special someone. Create your fragrance by choosing one of their recommended specific accords that emphasize certain emotions inherent to each scent to create a final design that is all your own. Choose a bottle, color and name your fragrance. All for an affordable $75 (they also offer a travel size for $25).

Escaping to a romantic destination is a great way to celebrate Valentines Day. If you are really going for it, grab your passport and escape to a destination across the borders and while you are at it dress his passport in an Anson Calder small leather good. The Passport Wallet conveniently stores all your necessary travel cards and documents in one place. The minimalist construction fits all passport sizes and offers space for boarding passes, customs forms, visas, or any other travel documents. The minimalist design and patent-pending push slots reduce bulk by removing the need for multiple pockets. These cutouts make it easier than ever to access various cards on the fly. By fanning the cards out, you can identify and remove the one you need while leaving the others in place. For an additional $15 you can have it monogrammed too.

Hearts are everywhere and a special gift to give to anyone in your life that you care about are Jan Burtz Porcelain Heart Dishes. Exclusively at ABC, these heart dishes are made by hand from creamy porcelain and a homemade glaze. Their irregular, organic forms bring us back to the basics, accentuating the fluidity and grace of hand-formed wares. Made in Jan Burtz's Connecticut studio, no two pieces are alike, though all are food, dishwasher, and microwave safe. Available in Gold, White and Blush.

Want to give the gift that keeps on giving and giving? The gift that shows your love of the earth and its environment? Why not gift a 4ocean bracelet? By purchasing this bracelet, you will remove one pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines.  Its unisex design is adjustable from 2-5” in diameter, its made with 90% recyclable content post consumer and hand assembled on the island of Bali.

Here is another version of the French tickler. Let’s not forget the romantic, sexy part of Valentines Day with some love paraphernalia. French lingerie brand Maison Close offer besides sexy, beautiful lingerie, an array of tasteful love accessories to make your night of love an unforgettable, sensuous experience.

When giving that romantic gift, don’t forget the romantic greeting card. You can forgo the Hallmark card and go artisanal with Greenwich Letterpress’s selection of Valentines Day cards. They are unique, artistic, romantic, flat printed in the USA using 100% recycled paper, paired with a matching envelop and blank inside so your lover hears your words not some cheesy quote. Even better is that they are quite affordable at $5.

So hopefully you are inspired by our selection of Valentines Day gifts. Just click on the captions for product info.

If you are an original and your loved one appreciates that you think they are unique and deserve the beauty of artisanal craft and design, then these are gifts they are bound to love and cherish.

Happy Valentines Day!

By

Natalie Rivera


Local Artisan Valentines Day Gift Recommendations

Its here! That time of the year when you are highly encouraged to show your bae that you really care about them with greeting cards, chocolates, dinner at an overcrowded, trendy restaurant and a little trinket to seal the deal whilst donning racy lingerie. 

We here at The Local Artisan Guide have come up with some gift recommendations for those who want to celebrate this day of love with style and panache. The selection below is available online (click the link) and at their brick & mortar store. We did the legwork and sought out the greeting cards, chocolates, trinkets and sexy lingerie in a range of price points (Goop we are not!). We did leave the restaurant choice to you.

The recommendations are divided into three groups: for her, for him and unisex gifts. All recommendations are highly curated, sure to please, unique and thoughtful because in the end that is what we all seek from a gift from a loved one. 

 

GIFTS FOR HER:

 

Kempton & Co., Small Leather Pouch, Black, $52

Kempton & Co.'s pouches are great for multiple uses whether its for storing your cosmetics or using the pouch as a clutch for the evening out.

                           

                           

Pierre Hardy Shoes, Memphis Sandal, Mutli Nude, $795

Pierre Hardy Shoes are sexy, au courant and at the same time very lady like. 

Maison Close Black Feather Fan, $90

Let me entertain you! Imagine the surprise on your lover's face when you enter into the boudoir with this burlesques feather fan and...well not much else!

              

              

 

Gurhan Jewelry, Amulet Pendant in 24k gold with cabochon ruby. $2,400

If you are going to go all out and give jewelry to your Valentine, think out of the box with this ruby amulet that will make her think of the middle ages, poetry and being serenaded on a balcony.

                                      

                                      

 Le Labo Fragrances, Rose 31, eau du parfum, $175

Le Labo is a special fragrance brand as you can work on creating your own scents, however their Rose 31 scent is the perfect Valentines Day scent as it is reminiscing of walking in a rose garden.

              

              

Soapology, Fresh Cut Soap, Chamomile, $8

What a special way to show someone you think they deserve the best without emptying your wallet. The natural ingredients and fresh cut soap is not only good for your skin but makes for a beautiful item to add to a bathroom.

 

 

FOR HIM:

                               

                               

Ernest Alexander, Andy Leather Laptop Brief, Brown, $295

This sleek and handsome leather briefcase not only carries your computer in style, the side pocket can carry an iPad and the inside pockets easily hold a man's iPhone, wallets and pens.

                                         

                                         

Noah Waxman, Hyde Park, Tobacco, $595

Here is an innovative way to do color block on a man's shoe that looks like it can go from day to evening in style.

goorin bros., Rooster BBL, $30

You don't have to go into credit card debt to give your man a gift that is unique, fun and you know they will use often.

                                       

                                       

Larsson Jennings, Lugano Collection, $275

A timepiece is always a hit as a Valentine's Day gift and to have it at this price point is a win/win for all.

      

      

Fellow Barber Signature Candle, $60

Your man will appreciate this multi functioning gift as it will make his place smell like a cypress forest and when its done he can use it as a cup. 

Santa Maria Novella, Latte Corpo Uomo, Men's Body Milk, $96

If your man is a history buff he will appreciate this body lotion made from the finest ingredients with a formula used for past centuries for men all over Europe.

 

UNISEX GIFTS:

Taschen, "The Little Book of Pin Up, Vargas", by Dian Hanson, $9.99

What a sexy gift to flip through before you end your Valentine's Day evening.

                               

                               

 Marie Belle Chocolates, 16 piece Caramel Box, $40

These chocolates are so beautiful you may not want to eat them but their innovative flavors will change your mind.

Greenwich Letterpress Valentines Day Card, "Brain on Love" $5

Forget Hallmark, come to Greenwich Letterpress to find Valentines Day cards with wit and romance that you know are also unique at the same time.

So hopefully our recommendations have given you some ideas that will lead to an evening of unconditional love, lust and items you and your bae will cherish forever. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

By Natalie Rivera