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Made in Connecticut Gift Guide / The Team

Did you know the real-life Mystic Pizza—the inspiration for the namesake cult-favorite film that put Julia Roberts and Mystic, Connecticut on the map—still slings pies to traveling tourists and townies? Then there’s the famed New Haven "apizza," as the adoring locals call it, a crispy descendent of Neopolitan-style pie with dark charred edges. Clearly, Connecticut is a state worth visiting for its pizza alone. But to find out what’s happening in the state beyond everyone’s favorite food group, we turned to quirky-cool creative agency The Bananaland and their friends at Hartford Prints, a bright retail and letterpress shop that embraces all things homegrown and handmade. Below, their picks for the best of made in Connecticut.

1. Candles 2. Work Shirt 3. Apizza Patch 4. Mug 5. Sweatshirt 6. Handmade Necklaces 7. The Seaside Prints 8. Screen Prints 9. Quilts 10. Hand-Dyed Chukka Boots


1. Candles by Rayne Home Decor ($22 each)

"Whether you’re spending a cozy night in or entertaining holiday guests, these candles add the perfect ambiance and festive scents."

2. Heavy Chambray Work Shirt by Harden Co. ($265)

"Hardenco makes your new favorite pair of jeans to rock with that ugly Christmas sweater! They also make beautiful totes and leather dopp-kits."

3. New Haven Apizza Patch by Strange Ways ($5.99)

"Probably the coolest stock stuffers ever. You won’t be able to choose just one."

4. HNew York New Haven Hartford Mug by Hartford Prints ($12)

"Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or spiked 'nog – you’ll love to fill this cup with hot beverages and stay toasty (or toasted) all winter long."

5. Handmade Necklaces by Kate Stephens Jewelry (from $40)

"The perfect piece to dress up for a holiday gathering or dress down with a tee and jeans. You’ll light up the room any which way."

6. Prints by The Seasides (from $40, email split@thebananaland.com to order)

"If snow is your favorite, then you can’t be without one of these prints on your wall. Choose from three winter scenes that were part of a year-long photo project."

7. Screen Prints by Paradox Ink, (Contact paradoxink@yahoo.com for pricing and availability)

"Tees, totes, canvases and more with cool designs for everyone on your list! Or work with the artist to customize. Each is hand-printed with love and no two exactly the same."

8. Quilts by Denyse Schmidt (Call (203) 335-2713 for pricing and availability)

"Forget the Christmas tree—you can build a whole room around one of these exceptional quilts. Truly a piece you’ll hand down for generations."

9. Hand-Dyed chukka Boots by The Brothers Crisp ($348)

“Each pair is made with impeccable craftsmanship and detail—like a big hug for your feet.” [Ed note: for a truly impressive gift, get him a custom pair.”]