So after a recent chain email about not buying crappy things made in China for gifts, I thought I would create a list of local (San Diego) places to buy things and I'm also listing a few friends that sell online goods and what they are.
1. Toys/Fun Things:
Squid Hats/Funny Hats Josh Freeman makes these here in San Diego and sells them on Etsy.
So Childish is a boutique that sells children's toys and clothing in South Park.
Babette Schwartz is a fun store in Hillcrest that carries things to tickle your funny bone. And while you're in the neighborhood, check out some of the other stores that are nearby and locally owned.
My friend Susan is the talent behind Moon Dog Treasures, making malas, bracelets and necklaces.
Wink Parlour is Norma who works at Twiggs Coffee Shop and sells beautiful jewelry when she's there (I know Friday mornings for sure). Some of her pieces have unique stones, like green amber, which I had never seen. She has a show on November 12th at 6:30 pm at Twiggs with other local artists.
Perspectives at Moonlight Beach is a boutique that offers one of a kind jewelry and accessories from local artists.
Kristin Bags - I met Kristin in San Diego and I have one of her bags that people LOVE and want, she's in the middle of making new designs at the moment but you can take a peek at her website to see some of the styles. My bag is washable and gorgeous, she often makes them out of faux suede and vintage kimono material. For those of you that know what mine looks like, it's a Jipsee and it's a large.
Think organic has to be expensive? Can't buy something made here? Try Vuori, a local clothing company that in preparation for their 2012 line, is clearing out their t-shirt inventory at the low price of $10. Hello!!!!
Ecotopia in North County offers a variety of items, organic clothing, books, eco-friendly items.
Leaping Lotus is a 21,000 square foot home to a variety of vendors selling jewelry, furniture, home decor and numbers of gifts in Solana Beach.
3. Restaurants/Coffee Shops - Want some ideas here they are:
City Delicatessan - They offer gift certificates in any amount, think about buying a gift certificate for a cake for someone who is always hosting parties.
Big Kitchen - Judy the Beauty has been running this local eatery for a long time, great breakfast and eclectic atmosphere, you can't have a bad time here!
Twiggs - my local coffee house favorite, they offer little coffee gift certificates and they're also a bakery.
Saffron - one of the best places for Thai take out or dine in, DELICIOUS!
4. Food/Wine Baskets etc - For a variety of tastes.
Rosie Lees British Foods in University Heights, 4657 Park Ave., she sells lots of delicious treats and even makes some herself, you must stop in she doesn't have a website.
Chuao Chocolatier - they're local and OMG delicious chocolate! Located in UTC Mall and Encinitas.
Meghini Winery is located in Julian, if you don't want to drive out there, they ship to you or anyone else. I shipped 2 bottles of their white dessert wine to my mom this year and she loved it.
5. Hair Cut/Spa Services/Massage - there is this WONDERFUL thing called SPA WEEK and two of these places offered up their specials well after spa week was over. So if you're looking for a deal sign up for Spa Week and their newsletters, you won't be sorry, the other was a generous donator to VDAY this year:
Envious Skin - in University Heights, small space, tranquil environment, great deals.
A Better Body Salon and Day Spa - in Clairemont, a little larger and great deals.
World Spa - in University Heights offers unique treatments.
David Cienfuegos - my hairdresser, if you didn't know I am normally blonde and everyone comments on my natural red headed look, he works out of Frederick Michael Salon in Mission Valley but sets his own appointments. (619) 540-0462.
Rhianna Basore - a talented local actress day jobs as a stylists at HS Salon in Encinitas (760) 942-8888
Massage - Don't buy a gift certificate from that chain massage store that is probably paying their staff $15 of the $100 you're paying.
Kat Masse (858) 245-4436
James Armour (619) 318-4934
Renee Gauthier (510) 406-2000 Private studio in North Park also offers Yoga
Maya Montoya (619) 548-0455 (specializes in Thai Massage and yoga)
6. Fitness/Gym Memberships/Yoga - oh FYI I do private yoga classes in people's homes, hit me up if you want more info but here's some other suggestions:
There are a LOT of local gyms in San Diego that have websites and offer gift certificates.
Yoga Classes - I'm rating these according to my own experience and assessment of peoples needs
Gentle aka stiff, maybe not in shape, or needs more relaxation: A Gentle Way Yoga in La Mesa.
Most yoga studios also have Hatha or Gentle Hatha classes, if they don't then keep looking but check these out:
-My teacher, Arturo Galvez, teaches at UCSD Rec department (great yoga packages through there) and has public classes at Liberty Station
-OB Namaste in Ocean Beach offers a variety of classes including more challenging Vinyasa.
-Full Circle Yoga on El Cajon and 39th offers a variety of Iyengar classes gets you knowledgeable and helpful instructors.
-Yoga Del Mar in Del Mar offers a variety of levels of classes in a variety of styles with knowledgeable and experienced instructors.
Pilates - best kept secret in San Diego is Club Pilates, who offers inexpensive (think $11-$15 versus $45-65). Multiple locations.
Health and Wellbeing - Clea Shannon is enormously talented, she's a yoga instructor, artist and she does nutritional consulting for living gluten free. She does events at places like Whole Foods but she also does private consulting for wellness.
7. Fine Art/Photography - Don't head to the big chain portrait studio for the family photo. Do you have a friend who is an actor? Need a nice portrait for your own website or business card? Like Fine Art Photographs for your office or home? Look no further than these two, Paul Savage who took my wedding photos and headshots and has a collection of Fine Art prints, and Kymri Wilt who in her travels gets beautiful shots and also does headshots. The value of having a professional take your picture is worth every cent you pay. It's in their best interest to give you the best look. They know what they're doing from years of experience. Having had terrible headshots, wasted money and wasted time, I can recommend both.
My friend Cathleene Cienfuegos is an artist whose work is currently up this Saturday November 13th at Ray at Night in the Mystic Water Kava spot. She will be having an artist reception on Friday November 18th and her work is available for purchase. Some of her work is more abstract but her latest works incorporate mandala and yantra.
8. Books - think that used bookstores are a bad idea? Did you know some of them also sell new?
*Blue Stocking Books - they sell new as well and their selection is eclectic and interesting. They also will let you trade in your old books on account for discounts on your purchases.
*Ebooks anyone? Here's a recommendation, and I'm hoping someone is reading this out there that might buy this for me! Written by women who decided not to grow up, Whimsy for Wendys is a manual for all those looking to keep life fun! Another more spiritual and uplifting is the ebook from one of my yoga students on Amazon called It's Time: The Path from Struggle to Grace, available on Amazon.
9. Beauty Products -
SkinFolk sells at the Hillcrest Farmers Market and her stuff is so deliciously wonderful.
Nubonau sells products like Intelligent Nutrients (founder of Aveda who has now created a line that is off the grid produced and amazing.
10. Other/Gift Certificate Ideas/Etc.
The San Diego Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum is located in Vista and offers tours for children and so much here. They even sell the woven items like rugs and other items. Small admission price makes a great gift for a family, maybe just check out their goods at their museum store.*Support local actors, directors and organizations. While a show in December is great but everyone is usually so busy so January and February are great times and if you're buying in advance its usually better. Playwrights Project is an organization who has been developing young playwrights (teenaged) with their Plays by Young Writers Festival they do each year. Contact them about getting advanced tickets. InnerMission Productions produces VDay shows each year to raise money to end the violence against women and the ticket price is tax deductible. San Diego Junior Theatre is youth theatre and they have 3 shows opening in January. New Village Arts in Carlsbad has dedicated an entire season to using an ensemble of actors for their shows.
The Athenaeum Art Library is a private library offering art classes, small membership fee and even a younger crowd art experience known as the AList.
Cooking Classes - so many to choose from but check out Cups in La Jolla or Great News in Pacific Beach.My list may be incomplete. You may have to comment on the stuff you find and where. Please do!