There’s something extra special about giving a gift that’s handmade, from the thought that goes into creating a unique object to knowing that what you’re buying is one-of-a-kind. Luckily, Santa Monica is full of small, local businesses that carry an array of artisan-made items. Here’s a list of some of the best stores in the oceanfront city to find unique gifts for friends, family members—and maybe even something for yourself.
Goods is located in a quaint building with an adorable red door on Ocean Park Boulevard. The cozy shop offers a “collection of handcrafted and eclectic finds.” With products ranging from accessories to housewares to toys, there’s no shortage of amazing goods at GOODs. The owners boast that the store’s pieces come from all over the world, which means you’ll be hard pressed to find these items anywhere else in town. The best part is that GOODs has a wide range of prices so you can pick something up here that won’t break the bank.
The tagline for Larkellen on Montana Avenue pretty much says it all: “Live. Love. Shop Local.” This family-owned and -run boutique offers quality products that make for ideal gifts. With tons of plush toys, stylish onesies, and much more, the large children’s section is a great spot to visit if you’re looking to make the kids in your life smile. The store also sells highly original dish towels that will turn your kitchen into the envy of everyone you know. Larkellen prides itself on the goods it sells and just how unique they are.
If you’re on the hunt for fun and exciting rare art, then MindfulNest is the place for you. Located right on Main Street, it’s home to some incredible art and handcrafted gifts all made by North American artists (70 percent of which are located right in California! Talk about local flair!). With pop culture and Southern California influences, these pieces will transform any living space into a work of art. MindfulNest also sells a range of limited tchotkes that make for superb stocking stuffers. For instance, ever wanted Elvis matches or a Cher candle? Now you know where to find them.
While it’s nice to shop in malls, sometimes you just want to wear something that only you own. Look no further than Wild Solstice. The store spotlights stunning one-of-a-kind jewelry that’s sure to add flare to any outfit. But jewelry isn’t the only thing you’ll spot here. Once you step inside the store, you’ll find that it’s very LA—in a good way. Besides jewelry, you can also find all kinds of crystals in the store. Yep, crystals. So if you want to feel like a true native Angeleno, check out Wild Solstice and pick up your healing crystals and stones.
ARTS AND LETTERS
In search of the perfect card? Look no further than Arts and Letters on Main Street in Santa Monica. This quaint store is packed with stationery, handmade knickknacks, and personalized invitations. It’s definitely the kind of place you could spend hours and hours browsing. But don’t worry, you won’t get overwhelmed. The staff is eager to help you pick out the best gift. But the greatest part about Arts and Letters? Sasha, the resident dog, who greets you when you step in the door.