Normally at this point in my week before the Christmas holiday I’d tell you about how I had the worst time finding a parking space at Fashion Valley Mall that was not located in the adjoining county or involved a secret map with a bright red X. I’d mostly likely be regaling you with tall tales of shopping yore – being trampled at the H&M or burning a hole in my debit card at Gucci. Yes, I’m kind of a label whore. It’s a title I’ve grown accustomed to in the years past.
But this year. THIS YEAR. It is now 3 days before the holiday and I’m done. All done. Finished up a few days ago actually. Presents are wrapped (in some cases now unwrapped since Steve turns five years of age every Christmas and can not, must not wait until Santa squeezes his red a** down our needs-to-be-relined chimney). They’re ready to be delivered to their respective parties wherever they may be.
NOW, normally I, like most of my readers, probably wait until the last minute (the Shell station does not have good gifts, unless your family enjoys Slim Jims) to finish up those last minute gifts. I totally understand the plight. The pain of the mall. The torture of parking and dealing with families who might have been better served leaving the toddlers (and booze) at home. Fear not dear Super-Procrastinator! Turn the car around (or get out of bed and put on some clothes) and shop local. San Diego has a plethora of amazeballs super awesome little stores tucked into and around it’s mildly sky-scraping buildings. And just for you reader I’m sharing some of my favorites with you. Five favorites to be exact.
Ready? Set…. Shop Local!
Noon Jewelery & Paper Goods
Someone said that bigger was better. Not in this case. Noon, a boutique no larger than the bathroom in my last house, is a great little hole in the wall. Serving up great Letterpress from designer Mais Liis Webb and fabulous jewelery by artist Nora Alexander, I’m totally digging the copper rings, hand printed bags and flour sack towels, and of course, their totally cool etched glassware.
4993 Niagra Ave., Ocean Beach & 349 N. Highway 101, Solana Beach
Open Christmas Eve from 11am to 3pm
Normally I don’t make it to Coronado from the “Mainland” too often simply because we on the East side of the bridge think it’s too far away. Ok, let’s be honest, the Bridge is really high and I have a fear of heights. However, Root 75 is a great reward for conquering my little phobia. A great little boutique tucked under the shadows of the famed Hotel Del Coronado, proprietors Kristy & Katherine have artfully mixed Jonathon Adler ceramics, Park & Orange prints (seriously some of my faves… I’ve featured them on my blog before) and seasonal floral arrangements. My favorite? The ceramic Mason jar ornaments. Yeah… totally cool.
845 Orange Avenue, Coronado
Open Christmas Eve until 2pm
Southpark has seen quite a resurgence in the past few years as more and more families settle in the quaint Craftsman neighborhoods surrounding it’s vintage-y Main Street (otherwise known as 30th to the locals…). The result is multiple great boutiques specializing in local fare filling the century old storefronts that litter the community. Progress is by far one of my favorites simply because they fill a modern niche that you’d have to drive elsewhere to find. I’m in love with their collection of vintage-esque clocks (totally atomic in appearance!), hand crafted furniture, and my all time favorite, the Sal ‘N Peppa gangster salt and pepper shakers. You know, because you never know when sugar will be staging a drive by.
2225 30th Street, Southpark
Open Christmas Eve until 5pm
Like Southpark, Northpark is San Diego’s up and almost there gentrified neighborhoods. It’s also home to Pigment. And D.Coop. No no, no affiliation except that they’ve swiped my credit card more than a few times (it doesn’t help they are Right. Next. Door. to one of my favorite places to nosh at lunch time. It really is one of San Diego’s gems, carrying the art work of Amy Paul (LOVE!), the extruded jewelery of Nervous System and enough awesome books to make staying in on a warm Saturday afternoon pleasurable. And for the non-green thumbs, there is always a selection of hearty succulents to choose from aside the front door.
3837 30th Street, Northpark
Extended Holiday Hours – 10am to 8pm
As it’s name implies, Solo stands alone when it comes to awesomesauce gifts, home goods and of course, BOOKS! Like a mini-mall of local artisans and craftspersons, Solo has multiple boutiques dedicated to the likes of Jennifer Price (industrial objet d’art and repurposed finds), Lori Graham (furniture designer extraordinaire) and Bill Wechter (20 year veteran photographer). I kid you not, everytime I’m there I find something new (and usually something new finds me!). Did I mention they’ve one of the greatest selection of Interior Design books in San Diego?
309 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
Open 10am to 6pm
Ok kids…. off to have a drink with mom and then I’m on vacation! Happy Holidays and may your shopping experience be bright!
All Images Copyright D.Coop and may not be used without permission. 2011
D.Coop received no compensation for this post.