Made in Maryland Valentines DayDear Men of Maryland:

Please consider this a public service announcement from all of us at MDBIZNews. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we invite you to consider skipping the predictable tokens of affection in favor of something truly unique and – best of all – homegrown! Because nothing says, “Be my Valentine” like a gift made with pride in Maryland and given with your love and devotion.

…for the boater or beach bum:
Even though we’re still thawing out from Snowzilla, it’s never too early to be beach- or boat-ready. In Easton, Skipper Bags designs and makes (waterproof!) bags of all sizes perfect for being out on the water. The motifs range from crabs and seashells to anchors and palm trees. The company has been featured in national publications, including Coastal Living and Vanity Fair, as well as on NBC’s The Today Show!

…for the lady with a sweet tooth:
True to its name, Mouth Party crafts delicious caramels in Baltimore City, with flavors both traditional and unexpected (see: Old Bay and habanero pepper options). It all started with a caramel recipe passed down over four generations, and candies produced in Jane Drake Cummings’ own home kitchen. Now the confections are available in multiple locations around town. And best of all, the company donates a portion of its profits to cancer research and support services.

…for the lover of all things paper:
Maybe it’s because I was raised in the South, but I’m of the belief that a lady cannot have too much stationery. The whimsical designs, colors and fonts offered by Gaithersburg-based Piccolo Paper Co. recently caught my eye on Etsy. Owner Lauren Clauser offers notecards and thank you notes. For the gift-giver with a longer lead time, consider the monogrammed notecards.

…for the craft beer enthusiast:
Craft brewing is all the rage, and it’s an exploding industry in Maryland. In fact, Governor Larry Hogan declared February as FeBREWary in celebration of the industry, which has more than 60 breweries operating in the state today! One of the fastest-growing is Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick. Check out their website for what’s currently in production, including special Valentine’s Day tastings this weekend only. And be sure to enter to win a beer lover’s getaway to Ocean City with the FeBREWary in Maryland Sweepstakes.

…for the art lover:
Maryland has no shortage of talented artists, so selecting a piece of art really comes down to personal taste and style. The Maryland State Arts Council features a searchable artist registry with images and information on where to buy original art. Annapolis-based Katherine Carney’s work, featuring sea life and marsh scenes, includes “Cove Point,” depicting the oldest active lighthouse and keeper’s house on the Chesapeake Bay, and can be purchased online.

What great #MadeInMaryland gift ideas did we miss? Add yours in the comment section below!

Product key:
1. Skipper Bags anchor print wristlet
2. Mouth Party assorted gift boxes
3. Piccolo Paper Co. note cards
4. Flying Dog Brewery mint chocolate stout
5. Katherine Carney – “Cove Point”

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Allison Mayer

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