Forget about the same old gift this holiday season and do some digging around at a local shop instead. Shopping locally means that you not only support stores that depend on business in the big D, but you will also find some unique one-of-a-kind gifts that will likely mean much more to the person receiving.
In McKinney, visit Fair & Square Imports. Owners Andrew & Kate Jones recommend the Felt Ball Coaster Set handmade by fair trade artisans in Nepal. The coaster set offers a round, multicolored felt ball design and is apparently a hit this year with gift givers.
Andrew said the item has been flying off the shelves. “Mainly because they are so darn adorable,” he added.
The itty bitty felt balls come in assorted colors, so each one is unique. These are fantastic coasters because felt will keep the table dry and your cup from sticking.
The Hand-Painted Dipping Bowl from the West Bank is a brilliantly colored ceramic dipping bowl crafted in the ceramic traditions long part of the Palestinian city of Hebron. The bowls emphasize the beauty of nature. Andrew suggested the bowl be paired with a mini spoon or olive oil.
There are a number of Bullzerk locations in Dallas. Owner Dan Bradley said, “Bullzerk exists to give the Dallas community hyperlocal swag that allows them to publicly display their North Texas affection — and in a humorous way. If our stuff doesn’t make you smile, then we’re not doing our job.”
Bullzerk features clever, humorous gifts and is the perfect spot to find T-shirts, coasters, hats, onesies, outerwear, posters, koozies, notebooks, glasses, and mugs.
At Dallas Farmers Market, the Dallas Antique Company is a sight for sore eyes if you want to find that special gift that you can’t find anywhere else.
Owner Amy Petreikis, who is a certified Interior Decorator, said, “We were a 'pop-up' before pop-ups were cool, setting up at Dallas Farmers Market during the weekends since 2013.”
She opened her permanent store last year with the newly renovated Market. The store carries a wide array of unique gifts, English antiques and one-of-a-kind items, with many products made by local partners in Dallas.
Petreikis’ recommendations are the assortment of large Brazilian cowhides starting at $199; a vintage coin bracelet made in Dallas, $9; the cowhide pouches/bags, $26; or cowhide koozies, $18.50. She also suggests the Black Forest Roe Deer Mounts, $64; Druzy Necklaces made in Dallas, $14; or the Dallas Antique Company Candles that are poured in Dallas and burn for 90 hours, $26.50.
While at the Dallas Farmers Market, visit Lone Chimney Mercantile, too. Owner Annie Holland said the shop is all about the "buying local" trend. Inside the mercantile, you will find artists' work that ranges from graphic prints to furniture creators, to ceramics and jewelry makers, and even an embroidery hoop artist.
For folks on your list who appreciate art, head to Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District and Artisan’s Collective Gallery on Bishop Avenue. This gallery has been a staple in the area since before this Oak Cliff neighborhood was hip. Owner Ted Matthews has culled the best and the brightest local artists to create a gallery where you will find everything from paintings and sculptures to ceramics and mixed media.
“I am always pleased to hear from well-traveled folks that I have the most impressive collection of unique and talented artists they have seen,” he said. “They always comment what a wonderful variety of mediums and styles that we have and how truly affordable it is. I am moved by the amount of people who go out of their way to rave about the gallery.”
He also prides himself on the fact that anyone can find something at Artisan’s Collective Gallery — pieces are often priced for less than $100.
If you are near Frisco, check out Blue Door Boutique on Main Street. There you will find hot items like a range of chokers from Rory Ashton and Bracha, graphic tees, and a variety of boots from short booties to over-the-knee styles. Owners Glenda and JoAnn noted that deer-themed home décor is really on trend this season, and Blue Door Boutique has plenty in this style, from pillows to serving trays to antlers.
“Behind our bright blue door, in historic downtown Frisco, we have everything from women’s apparel and jewelry to antiques and fun gifts,” the owners said. “We make it easy to find the perfect outfit from head to toe, while shopping for your home. We are truly a one stop shop.”
A bit further south, Miz Raus Gifts in Lancaster’s Historic Town Square specializes in gifts and antiques for the hard to buy for person on your list — the historic town square also offers a real hometown feel.
Finally, on Dragon Street, Gallerie Noir is the kind of exclusive shop where owner Melissa Enriquez expertly blends quirky gifts with modern home furnishings and world-class art. You can buy a perfumed candle decorated with the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat for $49 or an $11,000 Dali lithograph. It’s definitely a place to find more than enough holiday gift choices for anyone on your list.
Where are your favorite local gift shops? Let us know in the comments!