Tis the season for holiday shopping! It’s time to start crossing off names on that list. Instead of spending hours online and in stores trying to find the perfect gift, we’ve done all the work for you!
We’ve found 10 amazing gifts for everyone on your list from 10 incredible LA-based businesses. Each one is unique and will dazzle each recipient with not just the product, but the story behind it. Here’s The Ultimate LA Gift Guide 2016!
For Your Friend with the Sweet Tooth
Top This Chocolate ($12.99+)
Looking to personalize a gift for your sweet-loving sweetie? Top This Chocolate is an LA-based business where customers can personalize their chocolate by choosing premium dark, milk or white chocolate and their preferred toppings from over 50 choices of nuts, dried fruit, candy, cookies and salty snacks. Owner Shana Elson began this business after being bored with the options for her nightly chocolate fix. She began making her own creations at home and realized there was nowhere that others could turn to if they wanted a specific combination of nuts or dried fruit. Shana enrolled in the entrepreneurship program at USC Marshall School of Business school and decided she would definitely launch after winning the $25,000 first place prize in the Women’s New Venture Seed Competition.
For the Wine Lover in Your Life
Vinley Market ($39)
Wine Wednesdays just got real for your wine-loving friend. At Vinley Market, you can give the gift of a wine club membership! This Santa Monica-based business is the ultimate place to go when you’re ready to graduate from grocery store wines or cheap wine clubs and discover fancier, wallet friendly new pours. And the gifting option is just darling with a handwritten note on stationery designed by June Letters.
For the Girl or Guy Who’s Into Home Decor
Have a friend who’s into home interiors? Look no further than LA brand, Cheeky! Cheeky not only creates beautiful and modern tableware for your home, but is on a mission to make mealtime matter by helping to end hunger in the U.S.! For every Cheeky product purchased, a meal is donated through their partnership with Feeding America. Not only does this gift make your friend’s home beautiful but continues to help others during the season of giving! Cheeky’s founder, PJ Brice, also founded the Manhattan Beach Cricket Club! PJ has two daughters and loves to surf with his son!
For the Ultimate Foodie
Lemon Bird Preserves ($40+)
Has your SoCal foodie tried it all, but you still want to wow them to suit their taste buds? Lemon Bird Preserves is an award-winning artisan food company in Southern California. LBP creates handcrafted jams and pickles using local, pesticide free fruit from family farms. Their jams and pickles are made with all natural ingredients and feature the best seasonal produce from our region in all of their products, such as the The Food Lovers Gift Box (perfect for the person who loves food and cooking) or the The Cheese Lovers Gift Box (with jam pairings for the ultimate cheese fanatic).
For the Friend Who Has it All
Your friend may have it all, but they probably don’t have many handmade trinkets or items made from Kenya or Honduras! Enrou is an LA-based, online marketplace for social good gifting. Anything from fashion accessories to home good products are all uniquely handcrafted by artists and creators from around the world. Whether you’re gifting your party friend the Entertainer Gift Set, made by woodsman Lenny in Uganda, or the Free Spirit Gift Set for the wanderlust in your life, made in Ethiopia, Honduras and Kenya. Enrou was founded by Ann Wang and Jessica Willison, two young innovators and social activists who wanted to make a change in the world through conscious consumption. They have created an online space for people to take action, make a difference and create opportunities for others in the world through beautiful keepsake items.
For the Girl Who Loves Jewelry
Love Infinity For All ($70+)
Perfect for any lady who loves simple, yet beautiful jewelry, Love Infinity For All hand makes beautiful jewelry with a mission: to start a conversation about the far too silent impact of mental illness. And do they do it with style! 15% of all sales go to the National Alliance of Mental Illness. Not only will this jewelry be a beautiful gift, but is the gift that keeps on giving.
For Your Friend Who is All About Beauty
Your beauty-loving bestie is going to be all about this LA-based, small business specializing in all-natural beauty products! All Soaptopia products are Leaping Bunny-certified and PETA-certified—both of which ensure that the eco-friendly brand’s skincare, bath and body products are free of animal testing. Whether you’re gifting their MistleTwo for You (two artisan soaps for only $13), their Holiday Hiatus pack (which is basically a spa day in a box), or their Slather Sampler (allowing your friend to try all different kinds of delicious oils), your friend will feel luxurious and rejuvenated!
For the Fashionista
Karen Kane ($129+)
Dress up your friend in some of these winter favorites from Karen Kane! After graduating from FIDM, Karen Kane launched her eponymous line in 1979, and the company has grown into a 130,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Vernon, California. Karen’s collections are featured in department stores and specialty boutiques nationwide. Treat your best gal pal to winter pieces like the reversible faux fur vest or flare hem lace top in cream and ice blue. A tad pricey, but worth absolutely worth the chic design!
For the One With a Green Thumb
Urban Agriculture ($24.80+)
Is your friend into gardening, planting and keeping greenery around their apartment? This LA-based company is helping city dwellers build their own organic garden no matter the size of their living space! Urban Agriculture’s unique gardening “grow kits” have been making waves as a go-to gift this holiday season, even being named a top gift on Oprah’s “2016 Favorite Things” list. Two spectacular gifts include the Grow Your Own Cocktail Kit (with herbal-inspired recipes and cocktail-making tools) and the Christmas Tree Kit (a tiny evergreen grown in a galvanized can that will grow indoors for a year!). At age 29, founder and CEO Chad Corzine committed to lead a healthier lifestyle by gardening on his apartment balcony and selling his now signature growing kits at farmers markets across Los Angeles. Just ten months later, Urban Agriculture’s kits are now retailing at Williams-Sonoma, Nordstrom, and thousands of small boutiques across the country!
For Your Wanderlust Loved One
Natural Retreats ($195 per person)
Though technically outside of LA, your travel-loving friend prefers it that way! Recently named one of Travel + Leisure’s Best Villa Rental Agencies, Natural Retreats is a travel and real-estate company specializing in unique destinations that balance luxury accommodations and outdoor experiences. The perfect gift this year is the Hot Air Balloon Ride in Palm Springs! Climb into a balloon and take off from the floor of the Coachella Valley, then drift through the desert air and see the California landscape from above. During the flight you’ll see polo fields, orchards, Palm Desert, and the beautiful area mountain ranges. Flights are available from November through May, and typically begin at sunrise or late afternoon. The perfect gift for a significant other or an activity for a girls weekend getaway to Palm Springs!