Birthdays, weddings, barbecues—’tis the season for a party, and shopping at local boutiques has become my new favorite outlet for gifts that are equal parts thoughtful, unique, and often locally made. Here are my eight favorite spots in San Diego for something special:
Pigment: As far as home and gift boutiques, Pigment is the cream of San Diego’s crop. The selection of home decor, jewelry, furniture, kitchen products, and stationery is outstanding, and the DIY succulent station, complete with plants, planters, and colorful sand, is a great way to put a personal touch on a gift. The universally loved store is a constant barrage of eye candy, from florescent glass water bottles to $120 watering cans you never knew you needed.They also host craft workshops, and sweetie-pie shop dog Cash is often splayed out on the cement floor.
Hi Sweetheart: Owner Molly Rossettie has quite an eye. The Orange County native, who lived on the East Coast for seven years before moving back West, has filled her La Jolla shop with endless giftables, most notably colorful kitchenware from big names like Fishs Eddy and California-specific items in the form of totes, pillows, and mugs. Walking in her store feels like a shot of sunshine. (Photo via)
Progress: The charming South Park boutique stocks stationery, kitchen items, accessories, and beauty products, but it’s their lustworthy line of custom sofas that has everyone gaga. The mid-century-style pieces feel very West Elm without the West Elm price tag.
Maven: San Diego newbie Maven is perched on a corner in Normal Heights and boasts a slightly different business model. Owner Alexandra Hall is all about finding non-local products—like MCMC Fragrances and Charlotte Stone Sandals—that San Diegans would be hard-pressed to find. It feels earthy, bohemian, and straight out of Ojai.
Teeter: A dose of Kinfolk Magazine in the hippie beach ‘hood of Ocean Beach. Teeter carries home furnishings, plants, and beauty products that fall under the rustic-homemade category. It’s a perfect spot for the minimalist. (Photo via)
Make Good: This South Park store is my go-to for gifts because every item—clothing, accessories, beer glasses, these awesome cards, and more—is made by a San Diego or Tijuana artisan. It’s often hard to think of a San Diego-specific gift to give friends and family, but I love that this boutique helps tell a bit of our region’s story. The store was also the recent recipient of a makeover courtesy of American Express, Shop Small, and Etsy Wholesale, and designed by the editors of Rue Magazine. (Photo via)
Casa Artelexia: What’s San Diego without a little South of the Border flavor? This Little Italy shop specializes in handcrafted Mexican decor, gifts, and home products, especially those with a Day of the Dead flair. Owned by a father-daughter duo, Artelexia is stocked with hand-picked items from all over Mexico, has an in-house art gallery, and offers craft workshops. It’s a beautiful, magical Technicolor explosion in there. (Photo via)
The Work/Shop Collective: The beautiful thing about San Diego’s small business community is its collaborative nature. That’s most evident at The Work/Shop Collective, a trio of locally owned brands housed in one space in Del Mar’s Flower Hill Promenade. There are handbags by Rais Case, natural candles and soaps by Mr. B’s Luminaries, and minimalist planters by 5ing. (Photo via)