Oprah Winfrey has fabulous taste, obviously — she’s flipping Oprah.

So when her magazine came out with Oprah’s Favorite Things 2018, we went ooh. Then ahh. Then, wow. Because we’d love to buy a cool-looking electric bike if we had $1,800 and winter wasn’t coming in, like, 20 minutes.

But we also got to thinking about Maine alternatives to some of Oprah’s 107 favorite things. Because we love Maine, we love Oprah and goodness knows we love shopping. Surely there are a few local-ish substitutes.

Turned out, more than a few.  

All of this just in time for the holidays. Which are six flipping weeks away! If only one of Oprah’s favorite things were a way to bend time. 

Oprah-approved: Justine Gregory shearling fingerless gloves, $115.20


Maine alternative awesomeness: SweetStuffCrochet’s dragon scale fingerless wool mittens, $40

Shown crocheted in a combination of purple, raspberry and blues — you know, like dragon scales are found in nature — or choose your own colors. This Etsy shop from an Edmunds Township proprietor also has the sweetest lobster knit hats for babies and adult-sized My Little Pony hats with huge, expressive eyes and fat knit ringlets for manes. Brony on your list? Shopping achieved.

Oprah-approved: Margot Elena bubble bath, $28.80

Maine alternative awesomeness: Miss Moonmaker’s Bait Bag Duo – Bath Bomb Set, $12.99

It’s on Down East Magazine’s 2018 gift-giving guide with good reason: One bath bomb is scented Land of Milk & Honey, one Oatmeal Soother, and both come in a red/orange “authentic Maine lobster bait bag.”

Miss Moonmaker of Falmouth, you had us at “authentic Maine lobster bait bag.” So flipping Maine! And so flipping genius.


Oprah-approved: Goat’s milk bar soap gift box (four bars), $38.40

Maine alternative awesomeness: BreyerRidgeSoap goat milk soap, $14-$16/four-pack

Choose from black cherry and almond-scented, coconut scented, vanilla coffee, rose and, wait for it … dirt-scented. Bag Lady is so bewildered, and yet, as she types, three people have it in their shopping cart. So there’s that.

This Newport, Maine-based Etsy shop also makes donkey milk soap, which we did not know was a thing until a nanosecond ago! So industrious, Mainers.

Oprah-approved: Martin’s Bar-B-Que Sauce Bucket, $42.45

Maine alternative awesomeness: Beast Feast Maine barbecue sauce, $7 per bottle


Choose from 13 flavors, including blueberry, chipotle lime, maple and “beer-b-que,” which features New England craft beer as one of its top ingredients. Granted, Oprah’s favorite comes in a tin bucket and this barbecue sauce from Bridgton does not. But surely you have a bucket somewhere. A box? A leftover gift bag from last season? Really, you could probably just chuck a couple of these at your loved one and they’d be thrilled. It’s beer-b-cue! Chuck responsibly.

Oprah-approved: Pretty Rugged Luxe Pet Blanket, $120-$140

Maine alternative awesomeness: L.L.Bean’s therapeutic dog couch, $269

Why make your beloved Lady Dogiva and R2Dog2 settle for a blanket when you can get them a whole couch? With memory foam? They’ll appreciate it so much that they’ll stop waking you up at 3 a.m. to go out. We’re certain. Pretty certain. Well, it’s worth a try. 

Oprah-approved: Pitcher “No. 971,” $198

Maine alternative awesomeness: The Potter’s House large pitcher, $40


Oprah’s favorite pitcher is large, handmade and plain white. This alternative from The Potter’s House in Litchfield is large, handmade and comes in your choice of lovely nature-inspired patterns: iris, tulip, lupine, dragonfly or trout. There was no photo of the trout design on The Potter’s House site, so we’ve deemed that one lovely by proxy.

Oprah-approved: Chai teas private reserves, $24

Maine alternative awesomeness: Cup of Sea four-pack, $39.99

Flavors in this Portland company’s variety pack include emerald honeybush, great wave, sailor’s cure-all and sea smoke … all of them from Maine seaweed! We’re not even making this up. So if you know someone who’s tired of the same old tea or is a superfood foodie or who really loves eating things that wash up on the beach (and is not your dog), then this is for them.

Oprah-approved: Pudus socks, $12.80

Maine alternative awesomeness: Pamelamas’s Survival Socks, $23


Described as warm with “cushy softness” and featured in the Maine Alpaca Association Store, so we’re hoping they’re Maine-grown or Maine-adjacent.

Frankly, add “survival” to anything and there’s instant cachet. Survival Tuna. Survival Vat. Survival Pigeon. I want to survive. Don’t you want to survive? We want to survive!

At least until the flipping holidays are over.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who want a couch and a blanket, thank you, Santa) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected]

Oprah Winfrey released her annual list of Oprah’s Favorite Things last week, to which Bag Lady and Shopping Siren oohed, aahed and added a few. (AP photo)

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