Gifting in Girdwood
Keeping It Local for the Holidays
By Emily Maxwell
The season of giving is upon us, and with holiday parties and Secret Santa gift exchanges just around the corner, the gift-buying season is ramping up. This Friday is the notorious Black Friday, with its Big Advertising, hordes of shoppers and, of course, plenty of media on hand to document the ensuing chaos. From 2006 to 2018, 12 people died and 117 were injured as a result of Black Friday shopping, whether from stampedes, fights or falling asleep while driving home due to lack of sleep.
Luckily, between pop-up shops and brick-and-mortar businesses, Girdwood locals have tons of opportunities right here in town to check loved ones off their gift list.
Gift shop Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, the new(ish) kid-on-the-block affectionately known as MoHuCo, will unveil new holiday gifts when they reopen this Friday, November 29th. MoHuCo, located in the log cabin adjacent to Jack Sprat Restaurant, was opened in summer of 2018 by Jen Weits. The cozy, little shop features “objects of wonder and whimsy for the human and canine soul,” including candles, luxurious blankets, cookbooks and cooking utensils, dog toys, handcrafted jewelry and a variety of skin and body care items for both men and women. This holiday season, they’re inviting customers to come in and create their own wish lists of shop items. The lists will be kept on file for friends or family wanting to pick up a gift for their loved one.
On Wednesday, December 4th, MoHuCo will host the local Boy Scout troop, which will be selling their Christmas wreaths among cozy fires in the beer garden, while Jack Sprat features a Boy Scout-themed Burger Night.
On Saturday, December 21st, a holiday unto itself in Alaska, Girdwood Brewing Company (GBC) will host the Girdwood Maker’s Showcase from 2-8 p.m., featuring an entirely local and female roster of artists including Namaste in AK, Elizabeth Ellis, Shred Maiden, Dharmic Spruce, Copper Wolf Co., Rambler Knits and Raeann Krugger. At 3 p.m., GBC will tap a special edition pin cask of their Hippy Speedball coffee stout, combined with Alaska Saltworks’ Prince William Sound sea salt, coconut, maple and vanilla.
Josh Hegna, co-founder of GBC and Beer Ambassador, says locals supporting locals is what inspires brewery events. Each weekend from now through winter solstice, the brewery will host local artists, including Meg Smith, Charlie Renfro, Shred Maiden and the artists of the Showcase.
“We book artists that are close to us geographically, personally and philosophically,” said Hegna. “We like to give up-and-coming artists a platform to sell their goods.” In keeping with the community spirit, the brewery takes no commission from artwork sales. The brewery also has new swag, including hoodies and hats, just in time for holiday gifting.
Paige Hvamstad, owner of Copper Wolf Co., one of the featured Showcase artists, began crafting dreamcatchers while in college as a creative way to spend her free time. Later, a friend in Girdwood suggested she make dreamcatcher earrings and a local trend was born. “I love adventuring, whether it be mountain biking, hiking or snowboarding, and being able to wear my art in any of those environments,” said Hvamstad, who is also a brewery employee. She points out that Girdwood has supported the brewery, and the brewery is happy to repay the favor in kind.
“The showcase creates an opportunity for people to come together in support of our community. All of these businesses create our unique community that we call home.”
Other local favorites for gift-giving include Thriftwood, for one-of-a-kind gemstones, jewelry, singing bowls, vinyl records and more. For the adventure hound in your life, stop by Powder Hound Ski Shop for all the gear and accessories they’ll need to shred the mountain this season. For locally made jewelry, leggings, trucker hats, ceramics, artwork and more, check out Slack Tide Gallery.