Hey, want to head to the Mall? Fight traffic, hunt for parking, and wait in long lines at the stores? Neither did we.
So this year MomsLA chose to support some local businesses that are making amazing, unique gifts right here in Los Angeles. Oh and by the way? We saved ourselves from all that aforementioned frustration and had a ball along the way. You probably will, too.
(This was written in 2017, but all these local businesses are still open and we still love them.)
We had a really terrific time, first picking the 7 places, then visiting these amazing businesses – and wrapping up our gift lists in one awesome shopping trip. We chose gifts we wanted to buy (and receive) and we wanted to be sure they were unique and made here. Join us on our journey around LA, shopping and dining – and having a wonderful “only-in-LA” day.
Seven Great Made in LA Gifts Perfect for the Holidays (or Anytime)
Multiple locations around Los Angeles including
3431 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016
The flagship See’s Candy store and factory on La Cienega is where they say Lucille Ball did her research for the famous scene from the Lucy show where she and Ethel try their hands at working on the candy line. And did you know that the first See’s opened on Western Avenue back in 1921? You’ll find lots of delightful candy gift options at See’s. And how wonderful to be offered a free sample while shopping! You can opt to select a pre-made gift box, create your own gift box, or opt for something different like lollipops that are also ornaments! In addition to holiday creations, See’s creates special packaging for every holiday as well as birthdays, thank you gifts, teacher appreciation, and more.
127 E. 163rd Street, Gardena, CA 90248
We’ve been fans of this locally-made soap since it launched in Mar Vista in 2005, and we’re still fans. Sarah can’t help but buy the Candy Cane soap every holiday season. (And give it away as gifts to those she loves.) The online store (the Mar Vista location closed last year) has soaps, scrubs, oil slathers, and lip balms, and more. All products are natural and handmade and are described as “natural, yummy soaps and skin products that not only nourish the body, but also awaken the senses and promote self-awareness.” You can pick items a la carte or choose a gift basket. They ship worldwide from their website, but they make it all here in LA.
Fifi and Romeo
7282 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Every dog has his day, but not every dog gets a couture sweater made from upcycled cashmere at Fifi and Romeo. (Although we’re sure they all deserve one and would Love them!) This shop, which is open by appointment only, caters to the most fabulous dog owners around the world. Fifi and Romeo was founded by a Hollywood costume designer and, for over 20 years, “has managed to single-handedly diversify a market formerly limited to the mass-produced selections of corporate chain pet stores.” These one-of-a-kind items are made here in L.A.
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3014 W.Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90006
We love mole – don’t you? We also love Bricia and Paulina Lopez, two sisters who help run their family’s famous Oaxacan restaurant – and who also host a fabulous podcast called Super Mamás, which we’ve been honored to be guests on. But back to the food! Guelagetza has been named to Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants List, and with a ton of good reasons. Treat yourself to lunch and buy some delicious mole gifts for family and friends. If the drive to Koratown isn’t convenient for you, you can also shop from their online store.
Cafe & Store: 130 W. Bruno Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
This is a café, a bakery, a shop for merchandise – and a movement, all in one. If you don’t already know the story, known as the largest “… gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world,” Homeboy provides job training and opportunities, and along the way, the products they sell help fund the important work they do. Homegirl Café is wonderful and we love their food. We bought gifts in the store for our most deserving friends, like T-shirts, Father Greg Boyle’s books (including Barking to the Choir – and here’s our affiliate link to buy it), and their homemade jams, jellies and butters. This model of offering an opportunity for people to change their lives with a job is something we wholeheartedly support and we hope you do as well.
Shop Mi Vida
5159 York Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90042
At Shop Mi Vida, they make their own T-shirts, literally silk screening them right in the store, plus they sell one-of-a-kind items made by other local artists. Their retail business began in 2008 “with the purpose of providing the surrounding community a shopping experience that compliments their lifestyle, incorporating cultural elements into fashion and functional art.” You’ll also find plenty of gift items including jewelry, totes, hats, and more. They are seriously connected to the art scene in LA, having been a part of the NELA Art Walk every 2nd Saturday for over 10 years. They’ve got amazing murals that will probably be different the next time you come by, so go often! Love this store!
Hedley & Bennett
Showroom 3864 South Santa Fe Ave., Vernon, CA 90058
We knew we had to have the kind of work gear worn by some of the best chefs in the world! These aprons are super chic and they are made in LA. We both want to look awesome when we’re cooking, and of course we want our gift recipients to look fabulous, too. Plus once we heard the company’s story we were hooked. We love that it was started by a young woman, and only about 5 years ago. We love that she has a pet pig, who’s also the company’s mascot, and we love their headquarters in Vernon, where they make and sell their amazing products. You’ll find much more than aprons here including chef coats, work shirts, socks, and kitchen linens. Just don’t tell the pig how close they are to the Farmer John plant (really close).
Sarah Auerswald is the co-Founder of MomsLA.com. She and Yvonne shopped and dined and spent their own money at each of these businesses. This is not a sponsored post and they were not compensated for their time. But they did finish their holiday shopping, so there’s that.