If you’ve been anywhere near a mall parking lot in recent days, you may have noticed that the festival of commerce known as holiday gift shopping is well underway. But, chances are, even if you battled the crowds to take that swing through the Grove, you probably came up empty-handed for at least a few of the names on your list. To help you find the perfect thing for those last few folks, we’ve compiled our guide to some L.A.-centric presents we would be totally down to give (or receive).
For the luxe lush: Local designer of luxury leather goods Simone LeBlanc also creates perfectly curated gift boxes that celebrate “quality, craftsmanship, and emotional resonance.” We’re particularly taken by this cocktail kit ($350), containing a bottle of local whiskey from Mulholland Distilling, chocolate from Echo Park’s Valerie Confections, stylish bar tools, gilded playing cards, and a set of LeBlanc’s leather coasters (personalize the coasters with a monogram for $18).
For the fitness guru: Pursoma specializes in natural bath and body treatments and, while they’ve got a whole range that any self-care aficionado would enjoy, this bath soak designed in collaboration with Taryn Toomey — creator of cult workout The Class — makes a perfect gift for the friend who never stops talking about their latest exercise regime. Each pouch ($34) includes ingredients chosen for post-workout recovery (pine oil for aromatherapy, seabed magnesium for muscle relief), and comes with a discount for Toomey’s classes at studios in Venice, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, or Hollywood.
For the tropical modernist: L.A. brands Modernica and GLCO paired up for this very limited run of classic Eiffel-base shell chairs, decked out with a bold palm motif created by Venice-based eyewear designers GLCO. Only 40 of these chairs ($450) will be produced (all at Modernica’s DTLA factory), so while it might be a splurge of a gift, at least you know you’ll be giving them something they definitely don’t already have.
For the social media star: LuMee specializes in mobile phone cases with built-in lighting, so your recipient can snap perfect selfies, delectable food photos, or whatever keeps their feed fresh. This limited-edition version is designed in collaboration with #Girlgaze, a network that supports emerging women in photography, and 30 percent of proceeds from sales will be donated to the #Girlgaze Foundation. You may have seen #Girlgaze around L.A. quite a bit in the past year (the organization staged popular shows at the Annenberg Space for Photography, Subliminal Projects, and even the Google pop-up space in West Hollywood).
For the true baller: Sign your sportiest friend up for this new, NBA-endorsed subscription box, and they’ll get a load of fan surprises every other month ($29.99 per box). While they’ll find different team merch each time, at least one item will be exclusive to the crate, like January’s Mitchell & Ness snapback cap, shown above. And, yes, Clippers fans, they’ve got you covered, too (along with 11 other NBA squads for now, and more to come).
For the goal digger: L.A.’s favorite stationery and design boutique, Poketo, has just the thing to keep any organized pal on task throughout 2018. The Daily/Weekly/Monthly Planner ($34) boasts a sturdy cover with the brand’s colorful terrazzo motif, specked with metallic foil, and 232 tidy pages for planning out a year of social engagements, professional and personal goals, appointments, and notes.
For the finicky music fan: It’s been said that experiences create more positive memories than material goods, but what if you don’t know exactly what experience your giftee would enjoy? Rather than buying tickets to a concert that they might not love or be able to fit into their schedule, send them this package from The Wiltern. The experience includes two general-admission tickets to the concert of their choice in 2018, passes to the Underground Lounge bar for pre-show hangs, and a parking pass ($200).
For the adventurer: That person who is always off camping and exploring will appreciate this nifty, made-in-L.A. gadget ($299 – $399) that transfers pro-quality photos and videos from camera memory cards directly to a mobile app for editing and, of course, posting all over the internet — assuming they have signal out there, that is — all without the hassle of carrying around a laptop.
For the one who believes the children (or possibly pizza?) are our future: A few months back, Society6 teamed up with local non-profit P.S. ARTS and illustrator Tallulah Fontaine for an artist residency workshop at Whaley Middle School in Compton. Students spent a week studying the techniques of Henri Matisse, and creating their own works inspired by his bold style. Society6 has made a line of products, including this pizza tee ($19.99), showing off some of the designs that kids produced. Proceeds from purchases go right back to supporting P.S. ARTS.
For the gluten enthusiast: A freshly baked bread is one of life’s great pleasures. Beloved bakery Friends & Family wants to make it easy to get a loaf of it into the hands of carb-loving Angelenos. Monthly subscription crates (starting at $38) include two loaves of heritage grain bread, a jar of house-made jam, and a wheel of cheese from an artisan producer. (Just keep in mind, these crates are designed for in-person pickup, not shipping, so you’ll want to gift this to someone within range of Thai Town.)
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