Your Local L.A. Gift Guide for 2016

When you live in the best city in the world, you don’t need Amazon

We are Angelenos. We have style. We have discernment. Sure, we can take 47 seconds to tap open Amazon and order some cheap, mindless scarf from some vile warehouse, but how much lovelier to find local, gorgeous, L.A.-made gifts to celebrate our glorious city? Here are 30 of our favorite L.A. and California based gifts to give your L.A. friends, your New York friends, your family in Minnesota, and, if we’re being honest, probably yourself. Because we’re the best city in the world:

1. XL Stendig Calendar



A photo posted by Shorthand (@shopshorthand) on

Welcome to the calendar you didn’t know you dreamed of. It’s giant. Like, comically giant. It will fill your wall as art, and it will fill your brain with dates. Win/win.

Where to buy: Shorthand, $48

P.S.: This typically sells out everywhere for a year in advance, and Shorthand has a handful of them left so get on it.


2. Hanging and Wall-Mount Wire Planters


This company is the new brainchild of the disgustingly talented folks behind Amsterdam Modern – a mid-century fanatics dream. You can PRETEND that you’ve seen any hanging planters that are more adorable than these, but you will not succeed. Cheap and cheerful, you will hunj percent buy two of these because you will require one for your own home.

Where to buy: New Made LA, $35


3. ‘No.04 Bois de Balincourt’ Candle


There are an est. 87595903857693 cutely packaged candles available in any given city, but if you haven’t sniffed a Maison Louis Marie candle, you haven’t lived. Your friends/fam will light it, inhale, and remember why they love you. It’s honestly no surprise that the brand carrying the single best-smelling candles originated in Los Angeles. We are so proud.

Where to buy: Maison Louis Marie, $34


4. ‘The Olive’ Manicure 


Olive and June is, without question, the IT mani/pedi destination in L.A. The decor is heav, their nail art is beyond, their taste is the chicest, and if you care about your bff AT ALL, you will hand him/her a gift certificate to this jewel of a place and cement your friendship-bond for eternity.

Where to buy: Olive & June, $35


5. Active Lash Extensions


Is it weird to give a gift that basically says: You need to add more hairs to your eyes to look pretty? No. No, it’s not. There are three kinds of people in this world: People who have lash extensions, people who are dreaming of getting lash extensions, and people who pretend they don’t want lash extensions but are only lying to themselves. That’s just called facts.

Where to buy: GBY, $200

P.S.: Why did we choose them, from all the lash places in all the land? Because (and we can attest to this) “active lash” is their new and only waterproof, sweat-proof set of extensions. So you can sob openly the next time you watch The Iron Giant without fear. 


6. Brass Lasso Cuff by Fay Andrada


This Venice boutique champions local designers, and their aesthetic is inspired by street culture and contemporary art. For people on your list who are utterly impossible to buy for because their taste level is intimidating AF, this is a verrrrrrry wise choice.

Where to buy: LCD, $195

P.S.: They also carry gorgeous clothes, shoes, bags that you will love– so like, treat yourself, whatever, you work hard.


7. Carry on Gin & Tonic Kit

A photo posted by Always XO (@alwaysxo) on

Frankly, this gift works whether or not you imbibe, because the packaging is hipster heaven, in the best possible way. BUT! What a bonus if you have someone in your life who loves the drink and has his/her own bar cart for the home. The specificity will feel thoughtful, but not twee.

Where to buy: Farmshop LA, $24

P.S.: Flavors come in Bloody Mary, Old Fashioned, Moscow Mule, and Hot Toddy (yes, yes, yes, and yes)


8. Select Card Membership


If you’re looking for an idea to buy US, please choose this, thank you. It’s a Select card which allows you access to inside VIP perks, discounts, free treats, at tons of your favorite places in L.A. They just launched in Los Angeles, and we couldn’t be more excited. Plussss, Select was sweet enough to do an exclusive option for us to be able to gift this.

Where to buy: Select, $300

P.S.: One of our favorite restaurants, Toca Madera, offers TWENTY PERCENT OFF YOUR ENTIRE CHECK whenever you dine with them and show them this card. Hi.


9. Opal Neptune Ring in 14k Gold


Opals are sort of like the middle school-aged sister of the prom queen. She’s in a training bra and has a puffy nose and gets zero attention, but she grows up to basically look like Giselle, and is somehow still really nice and always brings everyone coffee at work without them asking. The point is, opals are gorgeous, we love opals, and this ring will make someone very, very happy.

Where to buy: Kristen Elspeth, $158


10. Iron-On / Sew-On Patches


This is the store owned by that rad chick, Tuesday Bassen, who stood up to Zara about them nicking her and other local artists’ designs. She has a poppin Instagram and a brick and mortar store in Chinatown with local art including cute patches, clothing, home stuff, paper goods, and you will want to buy all of it for everyone you know.

Where to buy: Friend Mart, $6 and up


11. ‘California’ Bamboo Cutting Board

If you have pride for your state, a cutting board in the shape of that state is crucial. Will you or the person you gift it to ever use it to cut things on? Absolutely not. But you will place triple crème brie on it with a handful of grapes still on the vine and you will feel that you are living inside an Anthropologie catalogue, and, for a moment, all will be right with the world.

Where to buy: LA County Store, $45

P.S.: Everything LA County store does/has/makes is perfect so allow for maximum time there.


12. Flying Together Earrings in 14k Rose Gold


Tiny, delicate jewelry is having a moment, and usually when things are having moments, we tend to steer clear, because who wants to look like everyone else. However, this is a trend that, when paired with rose gold things in bird shapes, tends to excite people to the point of mild hyperventilation. And these beautiful little birds are very special and memorable.

Where to buy: Hortense Jewelry, $264


13. The Baker Kit


There are people who know how to cook, and there are people who know how to bake. Bakers can be elusive types who hide in the shadows and know things like how many tablespoons of butter equal a pound. They are wily and have impeccable taste and will only be satisfied with the finest of cookery tools. I used the word cookery because I think Nigella Lawson uses that word and therefore it is the best. This kit is what to get those people.

Where to buy: Hedley & Bennett, $98


14. Cold Pressed Juice Cleanse


A gift certificate for Moon Juice is kind of a genius idea because the person receiving it can give themselves permission to drink double the egg nog and consume twice the amount of sausage fennel stuffing because they know they have the gift of a cleanse waiting for them on the other side.

Where to buy: Moon Juice, $70


15. Confine Clock 

A photo posted by Claire & Aaron (@wearemfeo) on


This California company is comprised of a husband and wife who make gorgeous home products with a sustainable bent. We particularly love this clock, because who gives CLOCKS as gifts? No one. Which is why you should do it.

Where to buy: MFEO (Made For Each Other), $195


16. Stem Cell Regenerating Serum and Cream


We really wanted to include a beauty product in this list and had a hard time finding a California based company that we loved. This one, C2C, is like a miracle duo. Even though we don’t live in a wind-whipping wintry climate (hi new york!), we still like finding products that are bursts of moisture for the skin. This is also a product that seems to be a hidden gem so your beauty hound friend slash mom slash whoever you’re buying this for will be excited that it’s under the radar.

Where to buy: C2C, $108 (Apple Stem Cell Regenerating Serum), $115 (Citrus Stem Cell Cream)


17. Oversized Italian Leather Clutch

There is something about creamy, soft leather that ups any outfit to the next level. And this bag is the creamiest. PLUS this company donates 10% of all proceeds to a local LA women’s shelter, which is a beautiful thing to do and we love them for it. Oh, and look at this bag because, you know, look at it.

Where to buy: von Holzhausen, $395

P.S.: Their brand message is all about sustainability, responsible sourcing, and giving back.


18. ‘California’ Gold-Dipped Necklace

Simple. Lovely. For the CA/LA lovers in your life. Perfect.

Where to buy: Dogeared, $30


19. XL Cookie Tin

So……we discovered that Momofuku Milk Bar will eventually, at some point, in the future, we don’t know when, be coming to L.A. Pausing while you freak out. Same.

Ok, so until then, how RIDICULOUSLY LOVELY to give someone an oversized tin of all of their fave Milk Bar cookies? Compost, cornflake, all of them. You will be the star this holiday.

Where to buy: Milk Bar, $52.50

P.S.: Have you tried their CORN cookies? Life changing. Yes, they’re in there.


20. Los Angeles Landmarks Pillow

A photo posted by 3rd Season (@3rdseason) on


This pillow is made in LA, and has a smattering of famous landmarks, and will look adorable on any sofa or chair and ok, we’re buying it, too.

Where to buy: 3rd Season, $70


21. “Everything I Want to Eat” Cookbook, by Jessica Koslow


Chef Jessica Koslow has one of the most interesting restaurants in LA, called Sqirl. They serve bacon, but are vegan friendly, they make their own preserves, serve breakfast til 4 pm, and now Jessica has a cookbook with the prettiest cover since, possibly, ever. The recipes are delicious but healthy and are all made with real food. Literally anyone in your life who loves and appreciates food, will love this, make dinner with it, and read it in bed, as all great cookbooks are meant to be read.

Where to buy: Sqirl, $40

P.S.: Note to self: create an awards show just for cookbook cover art direction.


22. Poppy 2Way Belt & Shoulder Bag



A photo posted by Elizabeth Laine Los Angeles (@elizabethlainela) on

The fanny pack is back, but it’s slightly reimagined to make it chic and gorgeous. Truthfully, fanny packs were always spot-on in terms of their form to function ratio, and this company is making really cute ones.

Where to buy: Elizabeth Laine, $178


23. Pure Local Raw Honey


This company makes our favorite honey in L.A. Honey is the sweetest gift to give. YES PUN INTENDED, WHAT DO YOU TAKE ME FOR?

Where to buy: Malibu Honey, $15

P.S.: They have an ‘Adopt a Bee’ program, all proceeds go to provide bee hives to families in need of additional income. Guys, you can literally adopt a BEE.


24. The Ultimate Man Briefcase


This is an investment, yes. But the number of husbands and boyfs and best male friends that need to up their accessories game is at an all time high, and this briefcase is one that will last a lifetime. And then, every single time you see them with it, you can think: I did that.

Where to buy: Parker Clay, $498

P.S.: Headquartered in California and made in Africa, Parker Clay works to provide a way out for women being trafficked in Ethiopia. I know.. we’re beaming too.


25. Superfine Crew Socks


#hanselfrombasel spring + summer illustrations! ✏️ @littlewalden

A photo posted by Hansel from Basel (@hanselfrombasel) on

Socks are sort of the ultimate holiday cop out, because it’s like, hi, here’s some socks. But these beauties from Hansel and Basel are mind-alteringly chic, and they make them for grown ups and kids, so you can be a chicsock family. There is no particular cleverness in the blending of those two words, sorry. I’m tired. But seriously. These socks, though.

Where to buy: Hansel from Basel, $30


26. LACMA Membership

Photo by Amanda Friedman

Everyone wants to go to LACMA. Everyone wants to be someone who has a membership to LACMA. Everyone wants to understand art. But no matter what, everyone has some art they love and are moved by. Give the gift of showing someone you know the kind of person they want to be.

Where to buy: LACMA, $60

P.S.: The new Picasso and Rivera exhibition will be a must-see. As is the current Total Abstraction exhibit. Promise.


27. Monogrammed Leather Luggage Tag

Travel accouterments are fine gifts because not only are they universal and can be applied to your vaguest of gift recipients, they also feel totally personal. Look at these cute ones.

Where to buy: Urban Wrist, $30


28. ‘Milwood Sun’ Sunglasses


Here’s the thing about buying sunglasses that cost more than $50: you will lose them within 72 hours of date of purchase. But there is a caveat to this rule, which is that when you GIFT an expensive pair of sunglasses, the gesture is considered so beautiful, so thoughtful, that the receiver will fundamentally never lose them. It is written by the universe and I would not recommend going against that power. Plus, look at these!

Where to buy: Garrett Leight $375


29. Silk Fox Robe


For your single girlfriends, your sister who just had a baby and is feeling frump-city, your mom who still has gallons of spunk, robes are almost always one of those gifts that make you feel fancy and put-together. Like you’re someone who actually deserves a delicate, silk thing. Which you do. Which they do. We all do. Actually, buying one now.

Where to buy: Stone Cold Fox, $150

P.S.: This company was started by two childhood friends, and their clothes are both designed and made in L.A.


30. Fragment Vase in Walnut


Local artist William Stranger makes beautiful wood pieces – most of which is wood from locally salvaged trees. He often inscribes lovely words or lyrics he becomes obsessed with. The one above has “love is a place” from the E.E. Cummings’ poem. Beautiful, different, unique, deserving. A lovely gift, and a lovely gesture to a local artist.

Where to buy: Stranger Furniture, $225