Once you hear the sleigh bells ringing, the snow plows chugging down the street, and clinking mugs of hot chocolate and eggnog, it’s far too late to be thinking about holiday shopping.
It’s never too early to start thinking about gathering presents for your loved ones, and you don’t have to travel far to fulfill everyone’s wish list this year. Three Bettendorf businesses are ready to help make your family’s holiday dreams come true.
Shop local and spread holiday cheer with these gifts from 838 Boutique, Peaceful Style Boutique, and Wallace’s Garden Center.
1. Locally-made Candles and Bath Products
Find me a person that doesn’t love receiving a yummy-smelling gift. Make that gift even more special by choosing locally-made products. At 838 Boutique, you can find products such as soy candles, shower steamers, artisan soap, and lip balms from Caves Candles & Soap Co. Her products come with intriguing scents like pineapple sage, apple-maple bourbon, and brown sugared fig.
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“They’re unique. You’re not going to find them at Walmart. And you can read every ingredient that’s in any of her stuff and know exactly what you’re giving somebody,” said 838 Boutique owner Sherri Beyer.
The St. Ambrose University student in your life will love these cute and trendy bee products. 838 Boutique carries an entire line of bee-related items, from cute mugs to beeswax candles to honey actually collected in Taylor Ridge, Illinois. Even those who haven’t attended St. Ambrose will still appreciate the burst of joy from the adorable oven mits or tea towels.
“Some people give their friends the nickname, “Bee,” said Beyer. “They love the trinket trays or the activity books for kids.”
“They say you’re supposed to always drink, drink, drink! You might as well do it in style,” said Beyer.
No matter if your loved one is a Pumpkin Spice Latte extraordinaire or keeping up on their water intake, a fun cup is exactly what they need if they always have a drink in hand. 838 Boutique carries handmade tumblers from local company All That Glitterz. The designs are chic and fashionable with a high-quality make.
While we’re giving and receiving gifts this holiday season, it’s important to remember to give back to those less fortunate than us. When making your holiday purchases, consider buying from a company that donates the proceeds to a worthy cause. 838 Boutique carries items from Hudson Strong Foundation, which puts together care packages for families experiencing childhood cancer.
“It’s amazing when your gift is more than just a gift. This is a gift that pays it forward,” Beyer said.
Peaceful Style Boutique
1. Drink Bombs with a Glass
If your loved one enjoys an adult drink in the bathtub, these drink bombs will bring the experience to a new level. Choose your flavor, such as sweet tart or prosecco rose, add sparking water and your choice of alcohol, and watch as your fizzy drink bomb becomes a delicious cocktail. For the mocktail drinkers, these recipes can easily be made without the alcohol and taste just as yummy.
“The owner of the business is so fun. She said, ‘my kid had a drink, my other kid was in the bath, and I realized, a drink and a bath bomb…a drink bomb!” said Peaceful Style Boutique co-owner Chris Slavens.
It can be hard to know what to say to comfort a loved one experiencing something difficult. Buy them a gift that says everything for you. The Little Words Project creates beaded bracelets with an inspiring word or phrase, such as “strength” or “keep going.” The bracelet owner registers it on the company’s website, then passes it on to someone new when they no longer need it.
“You can see who’s transferred each bracelet to each person. You get to pass on the kindness,” said Peaceful Style Boutique co-owner Linda Mowbray.
Whether you’re buying for a supportive grandma or a college-sports superfan, you can’t go wrong with clothing that supports someone’s favorite school. Peaceful Style carries cups, hats, and more for Pleasant Valley Schools, Bettendorf Schools, University of Iowa, and Iowa State University. Your loved one will cheer even louder knowing how stylish they look.
“Both the hats and the cups are made locally. People really love them,” said Mowbray.
Homesick candles are the perfect gift for those who have moved away from home. With a simple, subtle design, these candles call to mind the scents of our peaceful, easy-going state. Their inventory also includes holiday scents and scents related to milestone celebrations, like marriage. They even sell candles that incorporate scents from locations like Wrigley Field or Busch Stadium, transporting you to a beautiful, sunny date at the ball field.
“I sent this to my son who moved to Florida,” Slavens said. “They have that on their bookshelf to remind them of home.”
Wallace’s Garden Center
1. Unique Christmas Ornaments
If your loved one really gets into the Christmas spirit, they’ll love receiving a limited edition ornament for their tree. Wallace’s Garden Center commissions these hand-painted Quad-Cities ornaments each year. The past few years, they’ve featured both the new and old I-74 bridge, as well as the skylines from Moline and Davenport.
“You can’t buy these anywhere else,” said Wallace’s Garden Center General Manager Kate Terrell. “A lot of people buy them for others that have moved out of town or empty nesters whose kids live somewhere else.”
2. Crafts and Games for Kids
Keep the kids busy this holiday season. Wallace’s carries a variety of craft projects for all of the cousins to dive into, such as making bird houses or painting yard gnomes. A holiday table runner that the little ones can color keeps the table clean, the kids occupied, and Grandma excited with her adorable new gift. When they need a little mental stimulation, try trivia for kids or a “would you rather” game.
“These little tiny games are great for stocking stuffers or to bring in the car as you road trip to relatives,” Terrell said.
Some of the best moments at family get-togethers occur when everyone’s standing in the kitchen and grazing on snacks before the meal is ready. Spice up the snack options with flavors like raspberry honey mustard and hatch chile ranch dressing. The host will love receiving high-quality charcuterie supplies that they don’t have to provide. Add in a Bettendorf, Iowa board to display the snacks, perfect for those who have moved away from the area.
“My friend’s parents live in Florida, and they took one of these boards and had their name engraved on it so now it hangs on a post in their home,” Terrell said.
The loved one with a green thumb will ask for plant-related things anyway, so you might as well get ahead of the game. A We the Wild plant care box has all the supplies they need to keep their plants strong and healthy at a great value. Even better, buy them a new plant to add to their collection—poinsettias are a perfect holiday plant for the occasion.
“We grow about 12,000 poinsettias,” Terrell said. “People often don’t know that you can tell what color it’s going to be by looking at the stem. Red stem means the leaves will turn red, and green stems will turn white.”