Holiday Gift Guide: Independent They Stand
The holiday season is the perfect time to support local, independent retailers, either in person or online
By Nat Rubio-Licht
November 25, 2020
Holiday shopping is going to be a bit different this year. Though e-commerce was trending upward prior to the pandemic, it is projected to skyrocket 25% higher than last year to $748 billion, according to FTI Consulting.
The holiday season is the perfect time to support local, independent retailers, either in person or online. According to Yelp data, nearly 100,000 businesses in the United States have closed permanently as a result of the pandemic.
“It’s important to shop from small businesses this holiday season because you are directly supporting not only the business owners, but the team around them, their dreams and their ambitions,” says Valerie Madison, owner of Valerie Madison Fine Jewelry in Seattle. “They affect us a little more directly.”
Here are some local, independent retailers you can support this holiday season.
This Seattle-based online retailer specializes in comfort-able undergarments and ap-parel for people of all shapes and sizes. Co-owners Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez sought to create “under-wear that fits regular bod-ies,” making any wearer feel comfortable and confident. The company provides a wide array of ethically made bras and undies, as well as cozy loungewear and accessories.
Located in Pike Place Market, this shop offers a variety of feminine looks, including dresses, tops and two-piece outfits. Owner Frilancy Hoyle opened the boutique as a tribute to her grandmother, the namesake of the business. The carefully curated styles feature floral prints and bold colors that are trendy and comfortable.
Address: 2134 Western Ave. #118
West Seattle-based Carmilia’s features a collection of vintage clothing and products from local micro-businesses and independent designers. Carmilia’s is the namesake of Owner Linda Sabee’s two children, Carsten and Emilia. Sabee has curated a selection of one-of-a-kind looks, from cozy sweaters to bold woven straw totes.
Address: 4528 California Ave. SW.
Woman, minority and LGBTQ+ owned, Posie Turner de-signs superior-quality “socks for your soul,” with bright, modern designs and uplifting mantras meant to inspire, em-power and honor the magic in every person. The socks are designed in Seattle and women at a premier family-owned hosiery factory in Lima, Peru.
This Seattle, Black-owned sustainable contemporary clothing brand has recently expanded beyond its beautiful trans-seasonal dresses to offer vibrant, fashionable face masks. Perfect for those shop-ping for their favorite women (OULA dresses are great for working from home – light-weight, wrinkle resistant, and designed with comfort in mind) or for the essential workers in their lives who could use colorful masks to brighten their day.
A Capitol Hill-based “eco-boutique,” this store offers a unique array of vegan clothing, shoes and accessories for everyone. Drizzle and Shine is inspired by owner Jean White’s fashion blog, and a percentage of profits go to environmental nonprofit organizations. The company’s eco-friendly products include flowing summer dresses, comfortable graphic tees and ethically made accessories, such as vegan leather wallets.
Address: 102 15th Ave. E.
Shoes and Accessories
Looking for heels or a bag to pair with your favorite outfit? Clementines is the perfect stop for trendy shoes and accessories. Located in Pioneer Square, this modern boutique features products from designers both locally and around the world. Owner Linda Walsh offers a stylish selection of accessories for everyone, ranging from edgy platform boots to posh statement earrings.
Address: 310 Occidental Ave. S.
If you’re looking for a high-end gift for someone special this holiday season, consider Valerie Madison Fine Jewelry. Owner Valerie Madison and her team hand-create their pieces using recycled materials and eco-friendly stones, and opened their first store front in mid-September. From elegant necklaces to classic rings, the shop offers ethically made accessories that you can feel good about wearing.
Address: 1411 34th Ave.
Ola Wyola is a bohemian boutique offering vintage cloth-ing, apothecary kits and soul chains. Owned by mother-daughter duo Elaine Bonow and Rainbow-Renee Wyola Manier, Ola Wyola doubles as a wellness center. Whether you’re looking for bold accessories or energy-cleansing kits, this boutique has a great gift for the hippie in your life.
Address: 4427 Rainier Ave. S.
If you want a gift on the spookier side, visit The Un-common Cottage. Featuring a selection of clothing, jewelry and gifts, owner Jennafah Singer provides a whimsical experience for customers in the Fremont-based boutique, whether you’re looking for bold and dark earrings or an eye-catching purse.
Address: 465 N. 36th St.
Home and Gifting
If you’re in the market to spruce up your home, this is the spot for you. Located in the heart of Capitol Hill, owners Jon Milazzo and Lori Pomeranz offer home goods big and small, including pour-over coffee makers, metal straws, couches and chic rugs.
Address: 1103 E. Pike St.
Owned by Sarah Steininger Leroux, this Wallingford studio sells handmade ceramic and wooden goods and offers pottery classes. Saltstone has both simple and quirky products, including iconic mugs featuring images of Dr. Anthony Fauci or Michelle Obama.
Address: 2206 N. 45th St.
Retail Therapy is not your average gift shop. Owner Wazhma Samizay offers a thoughtful selection of cloth-ing, jewelry, gifts and cards in her Capitol Hill boutique. Along with selling quirky home goods and accessories, such as candles featuring images of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or drag queen Trixie Mattel, Retail Therapy also offers apparel from Samizay’s clothing line.
Address: 905 E. Pike St.
Bezel & Kiln and The Hand-made Showroom are accessories and homeware boutiques located in Pacific Place. Owner Marlo Miyashiro showcases a collection of products by local artisans and designers. The boutiques’ websites allow you to shop by product or by designer, putting a name to every product.
Address: 600 Pine St. #255
Located in Madison Valley, Hella Happy! offers vibrant gifts that make people feel good. Owner Shannon Koyano focuses on selling locally made, environmentally friendly goods. From home goods to accessories to apparel, this shop provides an eclectic mix of products and has something for everyone.
Address: 2812 E. Madison St.
QueenCare is a skincare and beauty store with a focus on aromatherapy. Owner Monika Mathews provides a selection of natural, handcrafted products that are “infused with good energy.” A portion of QueenCare’s profits go to Seattle and King County youth programming.
Address: 3702 S. Hudson St., Suite 103
Eco Collective is a zero-waste health and beauty store in Ballard. Owners Genevieve Livingston, Marimar White-Espin and Summer Hanson sought to make sustainable products more accessible. From skincare to home goods, Eco Collective products are good for you and the environment.
Address: 5309 22nd Ave NW. Suite B
This Tukwila-based online retailer was one of the nation’s first raw, natural pet-food companies when it was founded back in 2004. Both dog and cat meals come in a variety of flavors and meet guidelines for feline and ca-nine nutrition, so no supplements are necessary.