Holiday Shopping, Indie Style: A Curated List from the Bay’s Local Shops

The holidays are the perfect time to merrily combine two of your favorite things: art and shopping. We know you love supporting artists and independent retailers, so we contacted local shop curators for creative holiday gift ideas: one from their own establishment and one from another neighborhood shop. Here are their picks.



SF Zipper Pouch, $16

Lauren Smith and Derek Fagerstrom from the Curiosity Shoppe made selections for the holiday traveler who needs a little reminder of home. Their SF Zipper pouches are “perfect for all the little things in your life—great for pocket electronics, art supplies, toiletries, etc.”


Shifter Pack, $129

From SF-based outdoor company Alite, they suggest the Shifter Pack, which is “equally at home on your commute to work, or your trek up the Sierras.”





Wooden Flashlight, $85

Jamie Alexander from Park Life has another idea for outdoorsy types, a handmade wooden flashlight by Gad Scot Tal that was created to benefit the Headlands Center for the Arts. It’s charming and “built of reclaimed wood from local dismantled dwellings.”



Farm Tactics Tote Bag, $88

From his own shop, Jamie suggests a canvas tote by Farm Tactics, which is made from recycled climbing nylon and is available in several colorways. For your fashion-conscious (or hoarding) friends, a bag is always the right answer when it comes to gift giving.




The Thing Quarterly Subscription, $220

We contacted the good folks at The Thing Quarterly because a subscription to the “object-based publication” is high on our list for art lovers. Four unique art editions created by blue chip artists are delivered throughout the year, and nothing sounds more delightful than free, surprise art. The Thing’s Holiday Special subscription includes a bonus: their best selling edition, a Dave Eggers shower curtain, “or any amazing back issue of your choice.” It will arrive at your art lover’s door in time for the holidays, dressed up in Macfadden & Thorpe-designed wrapping paper.


Stoneware Mugs from Gravel and Gold, $24

Jonn Herschend and Sarah Simon from The Thing also recommend stoneware mugs by Albion, Calif. artist Cliff Glover, available at Gravel & Gold, which sounds like a good gift for your boss. It will hold her coffee each morning, reminding her to give you a raise next year.





Andrew Martin Scott, proprietor of local zine shop, Needles & Pens, recommends a recent publication called PUBLIC NOTICE by Nathaniel Russell. He says, “It’s hilarious, and everyone who picks it up laughs out loud.” It’s filled with fictional flyers that “run the gamut from Found Dog and Idea Party…all the way to an ad for Grampa’s Waterfall Skate Jam.”


2013 Songwriter Calendar from Curator, $30

He also recommends Curator’s 2013 songwriter calendar “because everyone loves Stevie Nicks, right?” You’ll also find portraits of Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Johnnie Cash.





Wood Cutting Boards, $90-$160

Julie Cloutier from General Store has ideas for the chef and the jewelry junky in your life. For the kitchen, Luke Bartels’ handcrafted, “elegantly shaped wood cutting boards,” would make a gorgeous addition to any countertop. Plus, double as a classy surface on which to serve cheese, or perhaps some bootleg foie gras.



Pt. Reyes Hoop Earrings, $75-$85

Available in different sizes in silver or gold, Julie also suggests the Pt. Reyes Hoops from Gravel & Gold, because everyone knows that the fastest way to a woman’s heart is through her pierced earlobes.





Katz and Company’s Organic Artisan Olive Oil, $25

Jamie Kidson and Adrienne Armstrong of Oakland’s Atomic Garden have chef suggestions that pair nicely with The General Store’s cutting boards—a nice bottle of Katz and Company’s Organic Artisan Olive Oil from Market Hall in Rockridge.



Teak Pie Server, $38

Atomic Garden’s Teak Pie Server comes sweetly wrapped with a 100% linen dish cloth and is one of many lovely kitchen and home items available at this Rockridge shop.





San Francisco Map, $50

For the San Francisco expat (who mostly likely moved to New York or LA), Giselle Gyalzen of Rare Device suggests a print of Jennifer Maravillas’ San Francisco Map, a colorful addition to any ex-local’s (or local’s) art collection.



Anchor Denim Duffle Bag, $40

Giselle also suggests the Anchor Denim Duffle Bag from San Franpsycho, a shop that showcases local artists’ work through hand-screened items from clothes to dog wear. The cool anchor makes this bag perfect for hard-to-please teenagers.



Now that you’ve checked the chefs, bosses, nature and art lovers, travelers, jewelry junkies, expats, and moody teenagers off your list, it’s time to treat yourself. You need a new bag to cart around all those gifts, don’t you? Happy holiday shopping to all, and to all a good bag.

For more ideas on where to shop, check out KQED’s extensive list of local venues.

– By Kristin Farr

Holiday Shopping, Indie Style: A Curated List from the Bay’s Local Shops 27 November,2012kqedguides

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor