December 18, 2021

Where to shop local in South Alabama this holiday season

3.9 min read

With Christmas right around the corner, everyone’s got holiday gift shopping on their minds. Whether you’re hunting for the perfect something for your picky mother-in-law, school-age nieces and nephews, or that one friend who seems to have it all, there’s something to be said for picking a gift out in person rather than simply hitting “add to cart” on a website.

If you’re looking to shop local this holiday season, there are plenty of makers and artisans in Birmingham selling everything from handmade soap and earrings to pottery, clothing, and more. Here are 8 places to shop local in South Alabama.

1. Urban Emporium

This Dauphin Street stalwart is a favorite among Mobilians on the lookout for something new. The “retail incubator” houses an everchanging cast of local retail entrepreneurs and makers who sell their wares on a rotating basis as they build their businesses. Current retailers specialize in clothing and apparel, custom jewelry design, gourmet oils and balsamics, botanicals, spices, and ceramics.

(Urban Emporium/Facebook)

2. Dr. Music Records

When music lovers want to do a little shopping in Fairhope, there’s only one spot. Dr. Music Records has been serving the community since 1996 with a huge selection of new and vintage vinyl records. The shop also sells CDs, turntables, and the famous Sonic Suitcase. Created by store owner Wade Wellborn (aka Dr. Music), Sonic Suitcases are vintage suitcases repurposed as high-end portable speaker systems.

(Dr. Music Records/Facebook)

3. Melt & More Alabama Artisans Shoppe

This Fairhope store celebrates talented Alabama makers and artisans by putting a spotlight on their work. Inside the store, you’ll find colorful stained-glass hangers, seasonal candles, reclaimed wood art, handmade soap, leather bags and wallets, ceramic dishes, and more—all made by artists from across the state.

(Melt & More Alabama Artisans Shoppe/Facebook)

4. Fairhope Soap Company

Soap shopping was never meant to happen online. Head to the Fairhope or Foley locations of this local bath product company to see and smell a satisfyingly expansive array of handcrafted soaps, bath products, and lotions. Know someone who could use a little relaxation this holiday season? Create your own self-care kit, complete with soap, sudsy scrub, a shower soother bomb, lotion, and body butter—all handmade in Alabama.

(Fairhope Soap Company/Facebook)

5. McCoy Outdoor Company

Locally owned and operated since 1975, McCoy Outdoor Company started as a gun and fishing store but has since expanded into a multispecialty sports and outdoor store with running gear, clothing, travel gear, and more. The Mobile store stocks local brands like Tom Beckbe, an Alabama company that creates outerwear and apparel inspired by the Southern tradition of hunting.

(McCoy Outdoor Company/Facebook)

6. Three Georges Fine Southern Chocolates

No one doesn’t love an edible gift—especially if it involves chocolate. A Mobile tradition since 1917, Three Georges is an iconic soda fountain and candy shop that’s a true delight for the senses. Pick up a tin of glazed nuts, chocolate turtles, pecan pralines, or cordial cherries for a classic holiday treat. For something truly decadent, George’s Heavnly Hash is the way to go. Handmade marshmallows are combined with pecans and smothered in Three Georges rich milk chocolate for this unique confectionary.

(Three George’s Candy Shop Inc./Facebook)

7. The Clay Studio

Located in the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach, The Clay Studio is home to resident ceramicist Maya Blume-Cantrell. The studio acts as a learning center for those looking to get into ceramics. You can learn to hand build pieces, throw on the pottery wheel, and glaze your own pieces. If a homemade gift isn’t exactly what relatives were expecting, pick up a mug or vase in the adjoining gift shop, where you can take home a piece of artistry from one of the areas many talented potters.

(The Clay Studio/Facebook)

8. Southern Art & Makers Collective

Find the work of more than 60 Southern artists and makers in this Montgomery creative collective that started as a series of pop-up shops beginning in 2013. After five years of pop-ups, the organizers got a permanent space, and the rest is history. Today, you can find everything from handmade cards and jewelry to small-batch candles and books by local authors in the store.

Check out where to shop local in Birmingham and North Alabama.

(Southern Art & Makers Collective/Facebook)

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