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Artisans Offers Artistic Gift Ideas

Jewelry, housewares, local art among items featured at The Artisans.

Shelves of handmade pottery and other items available at The Artisans in McLean.

Shelves of handmade pottery and other items available at The Artisans in McLean. Photo by Alex McVeigh.

— When it comes to buying local, The Artisans in McLean practices what they preach. The eclectic gift shop is filled with handmade jewelry, pottery, clothing, accessories and much more.

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From left, Rachael Waugh and Haida McGovern, staff at The Artisans, show off a few items for sale, mostly made by local artists.

From necklaces by local artist Donna Barnako to the first two novels by McLean author Suzi Weinert, there are gifts for people of all ages and interests.

“We like to say if you can’t find something here for just about everyone on your list, then you’re just not looking hard enough,” said Haida McGovern, who works at the store. “One of my favorite items we have, that we just got in, is the Pouchee, a small pouch that goes in our purse. You can use it to store money, keys, phone or credit cards, and then when you switch purses, you just grab the little bag and move it to the new purse.”

Upon entering the store, to the right is a wall filled with jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets and earrings made of a variety of materials. Amy Kozak, who is also the office manager at The Artisans, is also a jewelry designer, and has several kinds of necklaces and earrings in stock.

Monique Mayer, a native of Switzerland and local resident, calls her work Second Chance Glass. She makes earrings, as well as platters, glasses and other items out of re-purposed wine and soda bottles.

Keeping with that theme, another area of the store boasts “flip flop animals,” toys made out of recycled foam sandals, and tin animals and ornaments made from old soda cans.

“I can honestly say that coming to The Artisans is one of my favorite ways to holiday shop, because I have so much fun looking over everything,” said Debbie Manley of McLean. “It beats the mall or any other retailer hands down, because I feel I can find something that my family and friends will never find anywhere else.”

Rachael Waugh, who works at the store, says one of her favorite items are the food slabs. Made by New England-based American Stonecraft, the slabs are made of polished field stones, and can be used as cutting boards or serving trays, and every single one is unique.

Other items include a wide variety of artisan soaps, lotions and candles, as well as scarves, clothing and more. For the younger members on the list, there is also a selection of children’s items, including toys, games, puzzles and books.

The Artisans is located at 1368 Chain Bridge Road in downtown McLean, and can be found on Facebook or at www.theartisansblog.biz.//