Check Everyone Off Your Gift List—Locally—With These STL Shops
Holiday shopping can feel overwhelming—or it can feel downright joyful and triumphant. This year, we’re choosing to opt for the latter, replacing the frenzy of free two-day shipping with a luxuriously languid jaunt to our favorite local St. Louis-area boutiques, where small business owners greet you warmly (sometimes with cider—we know, but it’s true!) and no purchase goes unappreciated.
If you’re making the switch to shopping IRL this year, you can do no better than frequenting these one-of-a-kind boutiques—you’ll be able to check every giftee off your list with ease, and you’ll make someone else’s season bright, too: your own.
LARK Skin Co.
How often can you find gifts for teens, work colleagues, hard-to-please moms and more at one shop? Blame it on the all-natural ingredients and pretty packaging, but LARK just seems to bring people together. The brand’s cult-favorite skincare line (as well as the expertly curated selection of friends of the brand that are also stocked at the store) appeals to the Glossier set as much as eco-chic shoppers, making this Webster Groves location a shoe-in for gift shopping. (At a loss for one tricky giftee? Nobody can turn down a facial. Trust.)
The Shaw neighborhood’s Future Ancestor has long been a go-to for one-of-a-kind mid-century furniture finds, but with the recent expansion of the store to include a new women’s wing called Descendant, there’s even more to lust over. In a newly diversified space that could easily be mistaken for your coolest friend’s airy urban loft, discover everything from hand-dipped taper candles to fashion finds from indie designers and top-shelf-worthy skincare.
Image courtesy of Carmen Troesser.
Now that liquor-cabinet curiosities have transformed from a topic of polite dinner party chatter to an all-consuming hobby for some (no shame—we’re all about it), The Grove‘s one-stop-cocktail-shop is more deserving of a spot on your gift-shopping schedule than ever. There’s something to please every variety of holiday host, rare-booze enthusiast and even the aspiring home decorator on your list—pick up a bottle of some holiday spirit to share or treat your favorite entertainer to a unique selection of vintage glassware.
A veritable supergroup of the St. Louis shopping scene, newcomer Seta in Shaw is the product of a friendship between the founders of Route (ethical new and vintage clothing), Oh Hey Aim (homewares) and LoKey Designs (plant goodness). The result? A hybrid concept shop that’s never the same experience twice.
While savvy foodies will know AO&CO as a prime source for scratch-made hummus, exotic spreads and small-batch cheeses, there’s more to this Botanical Heights general store than fixings for your charcuterie board. AO&CO is the perfect place to source gifts for friends and family who love to cook, with a selection of beautiful locally made cutting boards, cheery tea towels and more entertaining must-haves sprinkled in among the edible treasures.
Crimson Serpents Outpost
If the men you’re shopping for skew more selvedge denim than sneakerhead, a trip to Crimson Serpents in The Grove will serve you well. Among artisan denim from the likes of Left Field NYC and Railcar Fine Goods is a sharp selection of shoes, accessories and house-made small leather goods that are likely to outlast any other holiday gifts they’ll receive.
Who says wifi-enabled gadgets are the only way to capture a kid’s attention? Children and parents alike will appreciate the beautiful and well-made toys found at Honeycomb, which inspire creative play, are built to last and are (mercifully!) free of electronic buzzers and bells. Two-in-one tip: The Botanical Heights shop is scattered with good gifts for new moms and moms-to-be as well.
In this day and age, there’s sure to be at least one “plant parent” on your list. Bowood Farms offers not just a robust selection of leafy tropical plants sure to combat the winter blues, but also an unparalleled stock of stunning, Insta-worthy vessels to transform each one into a special, thoughtful gift. And be sure to check out the home goods selection at its cozy boutique Holliday, located just across the street.
Mac’s Local Buys
You might not expect to get much gift-shopping done in between downing burgers and brews at Mac’s Local Eats‘ new outpost in Bluewood Brewing on the east end of Cherokee Street, but the little shop tucked inside is as local as local can get—and it’s a sneaky-smart spot for sourcing ingredients for a St. Louis-themed gift basket or picking up stocking stuffers for foodies.
Image courtesy of Golden Gems.
If you take a trip to the far end of Cherokee Street, you’ll reap the rewards of this treasure trove of edgy, empowering designs by sister duo Amanda Helman and Susan Logsdon. From screen-printed pennants touting Midwest pride or unabashedly bold messages of radical self-love, to quirky keychains and comfy tees, every item in this weekends-only shop is perfectly suited for the fierce feminists in your local girl gang.
St. Louis Art Supply
A bit of a misnomer (in the best way), St. Louis Art Supply combines the titular paints and pens you might expect with some selections that aren’t as commonplace. The stationery junkies on your list will obsess over unique Japanese paper goods from this Central West End retailer, while aspiring novelists can find inspiration in their impressively curated wall of books. Need a few more tchotchkes to round out that stocking? Kitschy sushi-shaped erasers are a hit with young and old, in our findings.
Dead Wax Records
Blame it on the slightly anachronistic pursuit of owning a record player or the warm, nostalgia-inducing tones of vinyl, but there’s just no gift that feels as intimate as a favorite album. Dead Wax‘s collections are tightly curated enough to be flipped through in an afternoon, making the search for aural gold less overwhelming at this Cherokee Street shop than it might be elsewhere—but you’re sure to find something special in the stacks.
Provisions St. Louis
Perhaps our most explicitly gift-oriented pick, Provisions in the Central West End is the perfect place to drop by to round out your other selections. Maybe your purchases from LARK pair nicely with skincare from Oxalis Apothecary (founded by a St. Louis native!) or your Intoxicology booze require some nice cocktail napkins. Suddenly, you’ve got something greater than the sum of its parts.
Your friend who casually name-drops Aalto, Bertoia and Calder will swoon over anything you can find in this mid-century wonderland. While big-ticket items like a furniture piece might be reserved for the true MVPs on your gift list, MoModerne in Webster Groves also stocks the occasional coffee table book or small accessory that will be a nonetheless thoughtful addition to any Scandi design aficionado’s abode.
Image courtesy of May’s Place.
With even the most voracious fashionistas looking for ways to decrease their carbon footprint, shopping vintage is becoming less of an occasional fix and more of a lifestyle. May’s Place is leading the charge, with its ever-rotating stock of what seem like once-in-a-lifetime scores, interspersed with eco-friendly base layers from local brand Fauxgerty. Shopping at this boutique in The Grove can all but guarantee you’ll never gift something the recipient already owns—and isn’t shopping secondhand the definition of “the gift that keeps on giving”?
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Featured image of Bowood Farms courtesy of Attilio D’Agostino.