Buy Missouri helps you support your neighbors with Missouri-made gifts
Last year local businesses were struggling to recover from the pandemic. We put together a “Shop Local” page to showcase some of the made-in-Missouri items available for holiday gifts. The page went over so well we decided to bring it back for 2021.
This time we did our research on the Buy Missouri website, www.buymissouri.net. Buy Missouri is a project of the lieutenant governor’s office. Its goal is to make Missourians — and others around the country — aware of the wide variety of goods produced within our borders. To qualify, all products must have 51% or greater Missouri-made content.
“Shopping and buying local is critical to sustaining and growing our economy,” says Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe. “It is known that rising tides raise all ships, and this is no less accurate when describing local businesses. When we purchase locally, we keep those dollars within our communities, and additionally, support local jobs.”
The program also includes retail partners, which are businesses that sell at least five Missouri-made products. Examples of these partners include the Country Living General Store in Washington (lausecountryliving.com), Crane’s Country Store in Williamsburg (cranes-country-store.com ) and The Corner Cabinet in Iberia (thecornercabinet.net).
Here’s a few of our favorites from the hundreds featured. All can be found at www.buymissouri.net.
4 Girly Girls (4girlygirls.com), Fulton, offers bath bombs, shower steamers, sugar scrubs and more for the ladies on your list, along with beard oil for the men.
The Ava Craft Center (avacraftcenter.com), Burfordville, offers rugs handwoven on antique looms along with other artisan products made locally.
Culver Props (culverprops.com) in Doolittle typically makes air-worthy propellers for airplanes, but also turns out the occasional wallhanger for a most unusual gift for that hard-to-please person.
Francis Kirk offers rugged and beautiful knives at FK Knives (FKknives.com) in Cabool. His blades are made from old crosscut saws, and he has found a way to leave some of the original patina.
Yes, you can still buy Missouri-made shoes and boots. Check out the selections at Tipton’s Gokey footwear (gokeyusa.com), which once made boots for the likes of President Theodore Roosevelt and writer Ernest Hemingway.
Those boots would look good propped up by the wood stove inside a canvas wall tent made by Elk Horn Tent and Canvas in Grain Valley (elkhorntentandcanvas.com). They can set you up with an expedition-style tent or a range tipi that are perfect for outdoor glamping.
J.R. Johnson Tack & Harness (jrsleather.com) in Cyrene can outfit your draft horse team, or they can fix you up with guitar straps, Bible covers, holsters and anything else leather.
For that coffee snob on your list, consider a bag of Missouri-roasted beans. We recommend Melancholy Roasting (melancholyroasting.com) in Ava. If you live in Nixa, Ozark or Springfield, they will deliver.
Speaking of coffee, that’s one of the items offered at The Worth Shop hosted by Joplin’s Watered Gardens Ministry (wateredgardens.org). The charity helps those in need, but also raises their self-esteem by letting them pay it back making products in The Worth Shop. Items available include jewelry, Redeemed Bean Coffee and leather journals.
If you want to do your shopping in person, head over to the tiny town of Daisy where you will find Village Designs (villagedesigns.com), makers of jewelry from wire. From mid-October through Christmas, you can shop at Grandma’s House, a 1900s-era home, where you will find local products along with handcrafted items from all over the U.S.
Want to be part of Buy Missouri? The program website at www.buymissouri.net has a form where businesses and retail partners can sign up. There is no charge for the listing.