Explore Chicago’s Buy Local Guide: Gifts By Local Artisans

Start checking off your holiday shopping list! Explore Chicago encourages you to support local businesses during this 2011 holiday season as part of  a city-wide “Buy Local” campaign. From art and design shops to unique custom t-shirts to countless handmade items, support local creative endeavors by checking out the following Chicago-owned artisan shops.

Make sure to check out the DIY Trunk Show on Saturday, November 19th from 10am – 5pm! Shoppers can find one-of-a-kind, handmade, high-quality yet affordable items for all ages and genders! Find jewelry, clothing, stationery, housewares and lamps, ceramics, glassware, knitwear, photography, and more!

Threadless: With the help of an amazing community of talented artists, Threadless selects and prints hundreds of  awesome new t-shirt designs every year selected by voters on the website.  Committed to giving back to the community, Threadless awarded over one million dollars to artists around the world last year. (3011 N. Broadway St,  Lakeview)

Renegade Handmade: This is truly a one-stop shop for DIY goodies, featuring the work of over 300 artists! Created as an extension of the Renegade Craft Fair, the store serves as a permanent location for people to buy and sell unique handmade items year-round.  Insider tip: Check in here and you’ll be on your way to earning our Windy City Badge on Foursquare(1924 W. Division St, Wicker Park)

Golden Age: An artist-run project space dedicated to the collaboration of ideas through exhibitions, performances and printed matter, Golden Age is the place to discover amazing pieces from printed posters to high-end ‘zines to clothing. (119 N. Peoria St, West Loop)

Sacred Art: Showing a variety of Chicago-themed artwork, handmade accessories and custom art pieces, this intimate gallery sells artwork from over 100 independent Chicago artisans that create anything ranging from one-of-kind paintings and photography prints to unique jewelry pieces and custom clothing. (4619 N. Lincoln Ave, Lincoln Square)

Inkling: Home of the latest creations from artists, illustrators and crafters, Inkling hosts a wide selection of original art, greeting cards, art prints, jewelry and more. Every month, Inkling features an emerging Chicago artist in the gallery space. (2917 1/2 N. Broadway St, Lakeview)

Lillstreet Art Center: Besides its reputation for its wide range of class offerings in ceramics, painting, drawing, printmaking and photography, Lillstreet has an amazing art and design gallery shop featuring original artwork and handcrafted gifts. (4401 N. Ravenswood Ave, Ravenswood)

Project Onward: If you’re looking for a unique gift for the person who has everything, consider having their portrait created by a talented Project Onward artist at the Chicago Cultural Center. For an affordable $20, you’ll get a custom, one-of-a-kind work of art for a loved one while supporting this gallery/studio dedicated to the creative growth of artists with mental and developmental disabilities. (78 E. Washington St, Loop)

The Shop at the Chicago Cultural Center: The shop is committed to promoting local artists and organizations through the sale of their merchandise, such as hand-painted scarves, eco-friendly jewelry, music, literature and photography. Located inside a Chicago landmark, stop in and support local artists. (78 E. Washington St, Loop)

For more information about Local First Chicago‘s UnWrap Chicago: Eat, Drink & Buy Local 2011 campaign, visit www.unwrapchicago.org.

For more information on shopping and dining in Chicago’s neighborhoods, visit www.explorechicago.org/neighborhoods.