Think beyond the chocolates and wine and you may find bourbon-scented cologne, elegant, affordable jewelry or a pound of locally-roasted coffee. Here’s a list of a few, uniquely Madison Valentine’s Day gifts available from local retailers.
1. I love you, you love bourbon. Scent your Valentine with bourbon, leather or fig scented cologne from Monroe Street boutique Zip-Dang. Owner Natalie Bass said the West Third Brand scents are popular with men and women, made in the USA, priced at $28. Bass also recommends typeset-style wood blocks created by her husband, Mike Bass. The blocks are handprinted with sweet expressions like “You and Me” and “XOXO.” Zip Dang also carries dozens of unique greeting cards, including a popular series by Los Angeles artist Emily McDowell. McDowell’s cards include humorous expressions such as “They said it wouldn’t last. Jerks.” and “There’s nobody else I’d rather lie in bed and look at my phone next to.” Zip-Dang, 2606 Monroe St., Madison. zip-dang.com.
2. Have a good-natured dog lover on your Valentine gift list? Madison’s Reek Havoc candles are designed to mask the odors even the cutest dogs can sometimes create. Business owners Amy Lambright and Jill Schaefer worked together in art and online marketing before embarking on their own creative endeavor. Lambright’s beloved lab, Otis, inspired the candle idea.
“We came up with the idea of doing Reek Havoc one night when Otis was, how shall we say, relaxing his bowels post dinner and causing an olfactory uproar,” Schaefer said. “We decided there must be a better way for owners and their pets to live in harmony.” The soy candles are scented with essential oils or phthalate-free fragrances. One dollar from each purchase is donated to Underdog Pet Rescue of Wisconsin.
“Customers seem to be drawn in by the humor of the candles, but then really appreciate the quality ingredients we use, and not the overpowering, often-toxic scent you get from many other candles,” Schaefer said. Purchase at etsy.com/shop/reekhavocllc or at reekhavoc.com.
3. A cup of coffee can’t get much fresher than the brew from local roasters Rusty Dog Coffee. Owners Tom and Gabi Koren started the small-batch coffee roasting company in 2013. They now provide beans for One Barrel Brewing Company’s Imperial Coffee Stout. Rusty Dog Coffee roasts only to satisfy current orders — not to stock a store shelf, Tom Koren said. Fresh beans are delivered to the customer’s home, office or can be picked up locally. Buy a sample pack of three Rusty Dog coffees or a gift subscription and have it delivered to your loved one via rustydogcoffee.com. Use coupon code “valentine” for 10 percent off through Feb. 15.
For a coffee fanatic, consider pairing locally roasted coffee with a coffee mug created by a local ceramics artist. Find a selection of local ceramics at the Midwest Clay Project, 918 Williamson St., Madison.
4. Flowers are a perennial Valentine’s favorite for good reason, said Momentum Floral and Decor owner Tiffany Esser. While roses are a classic choice, Valentine’s Day shoppers can also consider a mix of florals. “We love to mix traditional flowers like hydrangeas and peonies for a lush display while incorporating exotics like cymbidium orchids, birds of paradise and ginger,” Esser said. “Of course roses are always a winner, but think beyond big box and grocery stores for the best quality. Search for premium roses that are truly long stemmed with large, firm blossoms and nice green foliage.” Like most florists, Momentum Floral and Decor encourages valentine orders in advance of Feb. 14. Pair your order with chocolate or wine-scented soaps available at Momentum. Momentum Floral and Decor, 1821 Parmenter St., Middleton. Phone 608-824-1121.
5. Shop gifts made by Madison-area artists at Juneberry Studio and Marketplace. A recent visit found locally-made textiles, jewelry, pillows, candles, soaps and more. Co-owner Emily Graf recommends earrings or necklaces by jewelry artists Anne Dudzek and Danielle Kalscheuer of Finding Felicity.
“Their hand-crafted jewelry is not only timeless and elegant, but also affordable,” she said.
Juneberry will host a Valentine’s Day party from 5:30 to 8 p.m Friday. Meet the Finding Felicity jewelry artists, shop for gifts and enjoy chocolates and champagne. Juneberry Studio and Marketplace, 702 E. Johnson St., Madison.