Another holiday, another mall, another vanilla candle ... save yourself this holiday season with perfect and personal gifts for your friends and fam from these LA boutiques.
Shopping loses some of its luster when it’s for someone else, amirite? Shelling out your hard-earned dough on gifts you can’t actually enjoy is what the holidays are about, but when you add bumper-to-bumper traffic, hoards of yuletide shoppers and screaming children waiting for Santa and you’re suddenly singing Silent Nightmare.
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, deceptively festive malls have morphed into shopping black holes disguised in red, green, wreaths and garlands.. Parking is a nightmare and all your freetime is suckled battling crowds to buy painfully generic trinkets. Sure, we all think we’re great gift givers, but six hours and four department stores later, you’ll buy just about anything. The thought really does count when it comes to the art of gift giving, but many of us either don’t know or don’t spend time thinking about what to get for whom.
Before you succumb to long, draining hours and an arm full of ho-ho-horrible purchases think outside the big-box store and do your shopping in smaller boutiques. Whatever you celebrate, this list of shops will cover your boss, your bae and your bestie without making you say bah humbug.
Koreatown, Culver City, DTLA
When you need to get something sort of generic but sort of high end Poketo has you covered. Pick up artistic kitchen wares, leather goods and desk accessories that are a noticeably more creative and better in quality than your average tchotchke. Beautiful scarves, copper mugs and cocktail kits are great for hard-to-buy-for family members.
San Vicente Farmers Market
So, it’s not technically a boutique but farmers markets are perfect places for presents. The once-a-week pop up farmers market in Brentwood offers a great selection of gifts from handcrafted jewelry to original artwork to artisan olive oil. Plus you can do your grocery shopping while you’re there. Who doesn’t need to save a little time during the holidays?
This spice mecca in Silver lake is the perfect little spot to scoop up something unique for the foodie in your life. They have everything a Food Network Star wannabe could dream up from herbs to salts to chiles. Perishable holiday gifts are always a risk and if you’re over the same-old-same-old bottle of wine, literally spice up your gift giving and stuff some stockings with a custom spice blend—it’s personalized without being too personal.
Venice, Malibu, Westlake Village
Lining the shelves at Burro are novelty items, coffee table books and household wares that all somehow feel a notch above big box stores. This boutique is the place to pick up something for your sister-in-law, your colleague or yourself. Sometimes a candle is, in fact, the answer to the eternal question: what do I get ______? At Burro that candle smells unique, delightful and is ensconced in artistic containers so it doesn’t feel like a throw-away item.
Bark N’ Bitches
It might sound crazy but dog people will swoon over a new collar or toy for their four legged child. Bark N’ Bitches (ignore the name) has an amazing selection of high end and fun products for man’s best friend that their owners might not be willing to splurge on themselves. If your cousin’s dog has it’s own Insta account, you’ll win mega brownie points with a present for Fido.
The Last Bookstore
Remember books? Yep, they’re still a thing and they actually make for great gifts. The Last Bookstore is a readers paradise with what seems like an endless supply of new and used books. While new books are great, peruse the rows of old books and pick up vintage travel guides for friends with wanderlust.
Caitlyn is a beauty, lifestyle and entertainment guru who has appeared on shows like The Insider, The Wendy Williams Show and The Today Show. She’s hosted digital shows on beauty, fashion, food and celebrities at HuffPost Live and WhoSay and has written for places like Yahoo! Beauty and The Huffington Post.
Featured image courtesy of Poketo