While I might love Target a bit too much, it simply doesn’t carry the unique holiday themed items that small boutiques do. So when I’m looking for a special gift for my mom, neighbor, or myself—I head to some of Chicagoland’s perfectly curated shops. I mean, there is nothing better than a handmade item from an independent artist, and when you shop from a small business you are giving back to your community and supporting someone’s dream. If that isn’t the reason for the season, I don’t know WHAT is. So here are my suggestions for Where to Shop Small for the Holidays in Chicagoland:
Gathered Boutique and Workshop, Mount Prospect
While chatting with the owner of this cozy little shop, she told me that someone once described Gathered Boutique and Workshop as a “Third Place”—a community spot for gathering outside of home and work. And honestly, that is the BEST description of Gathered. There are so many items created by local artisans and these same experts also come in to lead classes and workshops. It is the perfect shop to pop in when you are in the need of a gift. There are things for hostesses, kids, husbands, and more. Oh, and they sell the matching card to go with the gift, too.
Pasquesi’s Home and Gardens, Lake Bluff
If you have followed my blog or social media for any amount of time, you already know how much I love Pasquesi Home and Gardens. It is such a beautiful shop with helpful and knowledgeable staff that is ready to assist you any time of year, especially during the holidays. As I previously wrote, it is my holiday headquarters because I can get just about ANYTHING there (including complimentary coffee). They carry gifts that you simply can’t find anywhere else and once they are sold out, they are OUT. So act fast and hurry to my ultimate spot to shop small for the holidays in Chicagoland.
Vintage Charm, Multiple Locations (LaGrange, Clarendon Hills, Hinsdale)
I love Vintage Charm because it takes the guesswork out of fashion for me. Each Vintage Charm location carries a curated line of on-trend and affordable women’s clothing and accessories to have you looking and feeling your best this holiday season (and honestly all year round).
You know that person who is SO HARD to buy for? Virtu has him or her covered. Why? Because whether you are looking for something refined and elegant, creative and snarky, or all-things-Chicago, Virtu carries it. I especially love shopping at Virtu because there are ample Christmas AND Hannukah gifts, perfect for Interfaith families like mine.
Waterlemon, La Grange
Hate dragging kids around with you while doing your holiday shopping? Waterlemon has the solution for that. Not only is Waterlemon an absolutely ADORABLE play space, it also carries handpicked kids’ clothing and apparel. I mean, if you think the bright and open play area is gorgeous, just wait until you see the products they carry. They are ON POINT.
Blumen Gardens, Sycamore
While it might be a hike for most of us Chicagoans, driving to Sycamore to check out Blumen Gardens is well worth it. Not only is it a beautiful event space, but it also carries gorgeous gifts for just about EVERYONE on your gift list. They even hold crafting classes if you prefer to gift your loved ones an “experience” type of gift.
Building Blocks Toys, Multiple Locations (Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park)
Stepping into one of the Building Blocks Toys locations truly feels like you are walking into Santa’s Workshop. There are SO MANY great toys and books to feast your eyes on—many of those not available at big box stores. Knowing that the owner carefully selects each and every product and that her staff is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful in any gift giving situation makes Building Blocks Toys a true gem. Oh, and did I mention that they offer complimentary gift wrapping and will deliver your items to your car when ordering by phone? Now THAT’S SERVICE.
Alice and Wonder, Chicago
I like to describe Alice and Wonder as the ultimate place to go shopping with your girlfriends during the holidays. There are tons of cute, sparkly outfits to model for each other, in addition to whimsical gifts that you can surprise each other with. And their Instagram page? Swoon worthy.
Where is your favorite place to shop small for the holidays in Chicagoland? Leave your favorites in the comment for us to check out!
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