Clever - December 2019

16 Holiday Gift Ideas Courtesy Of LA's Coolest Creatives — All From Local Businesses

Let’s keep this short and sweet — after all, you’ve got shopping to do. To be honest, I love putting gift guides together, since I’m very opinionated and also love giving presents! But this year I wanted to change it up a bit and get some feedback from other artists and businesswomen I admire. I challenged a few of these inspiring ladies to share either what they’ll be giving to others this year, or what they’d love to receive — all by California-based businesses.

To be honest, I’m so glad I didn’t finish my shopping before getting their responses: it’s really refreshing to get an outside opinion and learn about brands and ideas that aren’t already in your orbit. Here’s hoping this list inspires you just as much as it did me — and that you get something really, really good this year.


Natalie Alcala, Founder and CEO of Fashion Mamas

“I just opened a space so I've been having fun decorating — specifically with florals — specifically with dried florals! I love the creativity behind WOC-owned floral company Under New MGMT. I would love to give or receive one of their dried floral installations or their dried floral monthly subscription!”

Under New MGMT ‘Buffy Dried Bouquet,’ $15 and up

“One of my dear friends and members is Dr. Deepika Chopra — Optimism Doctor, Visual Imagery Expert and Happiness Researcher. She created this amazing product called the Things Are Looking Up deck of cards that was created to inspire optimism and increase happiness. In addition to offering inspiring prompts and affirmations, these cards are visually stunning. I'll be giving TALU decks to everyone this holiday season!”

Dr. Deepika Chopra ‘Things Are Looking Up’ deck, $40


Geraldine Chung, Owner of LCD

“I love, love, love the blankets by local artist Lilian Martinez, going by bfgf. The blankets are 100% cotton, super cozy, and have the most wonderful drawings on them — from womanly figures to plants to basketballs.”

bfgf ‘Worldwide Aura’ throw blanket, $200 

“From LCD I am obsessed with these rhinestone water bottles by Collina Strada. The rhinestones are hand-applied and so sparkly — it's a great gift for those of us who don't remember to drink water throughout the day.”


Becca Lofchie, Graphic Designer

“Most years I try and hand-make my holiday gifts. I take ceramics classes at Barnsdall Art Center and gift people what I make. A couple years ago it was ceramic sponge holders. If someone buys me my next class I promise to make them something nice.”

“I’ll get my boyfriend a long sleeve from Total Luxury Spa — designed by my favorite LA studio. And I’ll get my mom a gift certificate to Jenette Bras because she likes to shop for herself.”


Toni Walker, Owner of Fair Season Vintage

“I have a lot of ladies in my extended family with very different style preferences, so it's a challenge to shop for all of them. I think I did alright! I know the lady who's getting these Made Solid coasters likes to sip her glass of wine after work, so she'll use them a lot.”

“The young lady I got this for wears rings often so it's a perfect catchall/ring dish. The pyramid style is feminine and a little glitzy. It reminded me of her!”


Carol Kim, Owner of Merci Milo

Carol tells us will be giving someone special this lightweight blend of olive, jojoba, and sea buckthorn oils from desert-based brand Wonder Valley.

Wonder Valley face oil, $85 

She also will be stocking up on beautifully textured, locally sewn textiles from Jenny Pennywood.

Jenny Pennywood tea towel, $32


Heidi Merrick, Designer

Heidi will be giving loved one bottles of cider and mead from The Apiary in Carpinteria, where her family has a home and where she recently showed her upcoming collection.

As for what she’s hoping to get this year, Heidi tells us glasses from Jacques Marie Mage are on her list.

Jacques Marie Mage ‘Loewy Lava’ frames, $555


Misa Miyagawa, Designer & Founder of Botanica Workshop

“My favorite holiday gifts tend to be edible or corkable indulgences, so I’ll be gifting bottles of bubbly from Vinovore, a wine and gift shop specializing in product by female winemakers and creators.”

Vinovore Beast Box

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