'Tis the shopping season! Gearing up for the holidays and getting your gift lists together? Shop local to support your favorite business here in San Diego. Not only will you find unique and thoughtful gifts for your loved ones, you'll also help your communities by supporting small business and local entrepreneurs. I've compiled a short list (in no particular order) to give you my favorite shops to get your holiday shopping done as well as some experiences that make for memorable presents.
1. Shop Good (North Park + Del Mar)
It's the ultimate haven for clean beauty. If you have a beauty guru in your life, it will be easy to find a gift for him or her. Although it can be difficult to buy skin care products for others, there are many items here that are great for any skin type (like the masks and the Botnia travel bag shown below). As CBD becomes more popular, oils and other CBD products make for unique gifts. Cordial Organics CBD oil happens to be a favorite of mine. Check the counter for mini items, such as lip masks or travel items.
Top left: Botnia travel kit
Top right: KNC Beauty lip Mask, Zabana mini deodorant stick, Honest Hazel eye treatment, Edibles cacao CBD Chocolate, and Hrblz honey/lavender/tarragon infused calming herbal chews
Bottom left: Cordial organics - enhance oil, balance oil, and nourish facial oil
Bottom right: Josh Rosebrook active enzyme exfoliator and Botnia Kale Yeah! face masks
2. Collins & Coupe (North Park)
Know someone who enjoys being an at-home bartender? You'll find the perfect gift for them at Collins & Coupe. It's a cocktail enthusiast's dream. They have everything from glassware to bitters, and even have themed holiday boxes for the upcoming season. Flasks always make a great present, especially when you "Fill it up with a liquor they'll enjoy!", says Gary McIntire, the owner of Collins & Coupe. Cocktail books are one of my favorite presents to receive. The wine keys and small bitter packs which include different flavors are great for adulting stocking stuffers.
Top left: cocktail picks and wine keys
Top right: flasks
Bottom left: books about cocktails
Bottom right: sets of bitters
3. Paru Tea Bar (Point Loma)
This quaint shop in Point Loma carries a variety of loose-leaf teas to choose from as well as fashionable teaware. Mix and match products to make your own thoughtful tea sets (see photos for inspo!) Perfectly curated tea box sets will also be available for the holidays. Gourmet tea salts make a good gift for the culinary aficionados in your life. My favorite? Treat someone special to an intimate tea tasting in the actual shop.
Top left: blue chamomile tea, reusable tea tumbler, and tea filter bags
Top right: matcha bowl, whisk, and organic ceremonial matcha
Bottom left: tea light and blooming tea
Bottom right: ginger spice chai tea, coconut chai tea, and glass tea pot
4. En Concordia (Point Loma):
Everyone has a plant loving person in their life and this shop is for them. They even have special Amaryllis holiday bulbs dipped in red, silver, and gold wax that bring the holiday spirit into any space. In addition to a wide variety of plants, they also have home goods like fragrant candles and incense. Their clean beauty section offers smaller items like CBD products, creams, and handmade soaps (all great stocking stuffers). Don't forget to pick-out holiday cards to go along with your gifts!
Top left: variety of small plants and pots
Top middle: candles and incense cones
Top right: Amaryllis holiday bulbs
Left: green tea facial steam, Cordial Organics restore stick, Little Seed Farm Han-Aid Holiday hand balm, and rosemary mint scrub soap.
Right: holiday cards
5. Graffiti Beach (South Park)
Graffiti Beach is a one-stop shop filled with everything from women's jewelry to men's clothing and home goods. My favorites include cozy sweaters, constellation necklaces, and all of the adorable Christmas ornaments. The mens' section is robust and carries a wide variety of cool finds for any type of guy. You should also check-out their sister store, Thread & Seed, in Bankers Hill.
Left: cozy sweaters
Bottom left: Christmas ornaments
Bottom middle: constellation necklaces
Bottom right: Damn Handsome Beard Kit, High Spirits cocktail multi-tool, and Richer Poorer everyday crew socks.
6. Gold Leaf (South Park)
This dreamy boutique specializes in home goods. You can find practical gifts for someone who loves to cook or the person who is all about sustainable living. I love all of their kitchen items and throw pillows! Edible items like the honey tasting set and handmade caramels are thoughtful gifts for new friends.
Right: glass tea infuser, glass straw kit, Bee's Wrap reusable food wrap, and reusable glass cup
Bottom right: Caramel Caravan Co. small batch and handmade caramels
Bottom left: California tea towel, measuring spoons, and a cookbook
Material items don't have to be the only thing you give this season. Giving experiences can be just as memorable if not more. My favorite experience ideas are as follows:
- Cocktail class at You & Yours Distilling Co. (East Village): cocktail workshops are $45 per person and are offered the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. You will learn how to make two delicious cocktails, and I guarantee you'll pick up a few tips and tricks. I've given this class as a gift and it was so much fun to do with someone.
- Winemaker dinner at Wine Vault & Bistro (Midtown): the restaurant offers some amazing winemaker dinners complete with wine pairings for each course. You'll also learn about the wine from the guest winemaker themselves! You'll be hard pressed to find a more beautiful setting to spend an evening. Be sure to call in advance to make a reservation.
- Facial from Skin Habit (North Park): Who doesn't want great skin?!? Give a facial from one of my favorite skin care spots in the city. Standard facials run anywhere from $25-$88.
- Cheese event/class at Venissimo Cheese (North Park, Mission Hills, Del Mar, Point Loma): I'm a cheese connoisseur and I personally think the gift of cheese in any form is fantastic. Prices vary based on the event/class.
- Massage from The Spa at Rancho Valencia (Rancho Santa Fe): make a statement with your gift by giving pure luxury in the form of a massage. The spa offerings are pricey, but the gift will go a long way. If your gift recipient gets a spa service, they'll also have access to all of the other on-site amenities that day: steam room, workout classes, pool, and sauna. So in reality, you're essentially giving an entire day of luxury!
Don't forget that Saturday, November 30th is small business Saturday, a perfect day to support your local economy and community. Happy Holidays!