Somehow the longest dumpster fire of a year is almost over and it’s hard to believe that a new one will be here in just a few weeks. Writing these local gift guides is always a fun and rewarding challenge each holiday season. As you already know, it’s so easy to shop the big-box stores and it’s also easy to recommend items from them. I try to make a conscious effort all year-round to support the men and women who make our community unique, beautiful, well-fed, & strong. These small businesses need our support now more than ever before. So whether it’s online or six feet apart, scrolling through your phone at 12am or pushing a stroller down Washington Street, please get out there and shop local!
This cute uptown boutique is such a great addition to the Mile Square. Whether you need a gift for a brand new bébé (Moira Rose would definitely approve of their hair accessory collection) or something for a toddler, big kid, or the tween in your life, they have a little bit of everything. I love this Hatley robe and slipper set along with the plush skateboard pillow. They have adorable umbrellas, backpacks, plenty of unicorn themed merchandise, tie dye ear buds, and plenty of other great gift ideas for kids. Check out their social media pages for more giftspo (gift inspiration).
I finally had the chance to visit this new shop on 6th and Washington and chat a little bit with the owner about the concept and unique items you’ll find in it. The Co. is a mix of eclectic, trendy, artsy, vintage, and homey – which make it a great place to find a find a gift. Most of the items in the shop are made by local designers or sustainably sourced brands. Many of the pieces are upcycled or vintage as well (for example, reframed vintage art prints). This funky teapot reminded me of Saved by the Bell and I may or may not sneak out tomorrow to scoop it up. They also have a wall dedicated to self-care products and lesser found items in town like crystals, smudge sticks, tarot cards, & more. They stock candles from Little Batch Candle Co. in JC, coasters from Hometown Hello, art prints from Roig Gallery, and many more items. Whether you’re looking for your hipster cousin or yourself, you’re sure to find something in here that you love, all while supporting local businesses.
We can’t forget about the furry friends who have kept us company and majorly benefitted from having us home during quarantine times. For those who just fostered a pet for the first time, to those that have lived in small apartments with big dogs for years now, this adorable “Happy Camper” bed is good for a cat, dog, or even a small child 😉. Help keep the streets of Hoboken clean by gifting someone this humorous yet helpful bag holder. Again, this could also be great in a diaper bag... just sayin’. This Hoboken-based online business also has tons of other great gifts for pet owners like cuddly toys, gear, leashes & harnesses, and cute dish towels like the one pictured.
This one’s for the runner in your life! While the rest of us were morphing into our favorite couch cushion and stress eating chips while unsure of what day it was, these people were up and at ‘em running virtual marathons, 5K’s, and having the nerve to post their progress stats for us to see. If you’re looking for a practical gift for a runner or athlete in your family, stop into Fleet Feet for one of their breathable masks, sweatbands, gear, and more. They have great sunglasses too!
I am a sucker for nostalgic gifts so I was PUMPED to see the old school Spirograph at Big Fun Toys. Not only did they have that, but they’re carrying the 70’s edition of other classic board games like Chutes & Ladders, Twister, Candyland, and more. My 5 year old is getting the classic edition of Perfection for Christmas and let me tell you, I am 100% more excited about it than she will be. Aside from games, this local toy store has tons of options for kids of all ages. They stock Melissa & Doug items, LEGO, Playmobil, Magnatiles, books, and more. Stop in and support this local Hoboken staple.
The local moms behind this ingenious and much-needed oasis transformed an old butcher shop into a café/playspace/marketplace during a global pandemic. Their space is modern, yet so inviting and warm. You can drop in for a coffee and pastry, pick out a unique gift (like this adorable vintage milk truck above), or grab these fun Camp cocktail jars. When you’re looking for something different or special to give to a hostess or friend, come browse their selection. Kids getting in the way? Well, this is the best part. There is a fenced-in, ridiculously cute little play area in the back. So you can - w a i t f o r i t – drink your coffee in freaking peace. Amen. Grab a gift card for your bestie today.
“A Year to Forget, A Beer to Remember”; if that’s not perfect for 2020 I don’t know what is. If you’re struggling to come up with a good gift for your brother, a roommate, I don’t know… yourself?, just head to a local liquor store and pick up some beer from Hoboken Brewing Co. They have a few different styles, such as pale ales, IPA and DIPA’s, Gose beers, etc. Many Hoboken restaurants serve their brews as well, but if you happen to be buying for a New York resident, you can order and have it delivered through their website.
Another great gift idea for someone who loves wine and has some time on their hands this winter is this sommelier class from Pair Wine Tours. They teamed up with Cork in Hoboken to offer this virtual sommelier class at a great price point. Cheers!
This adorable little shop in Jersey City (on Palisade Ave.) has their own line of candles and body products, including *because 2020* hand sanitizer, soap, & more. Their candles can be found at shops all over New Jersey, but they finally have a home of their own here. Whether you want a ready-made scented candle or prefer a fun DIY candle making kit, these soy & beeswax blend jars make cute little gifts. I also love that they’re scented with premium fragrance & essential oils that are phthalate-free. If you’re looking for something else, these Conscious Step socks are practical and support great causes. You can find incense and lots of other little gems in the store or online.
This new boutique on the block is stunning and packed with lux gifts for yourself or a loved one. Brooke + Bel stocks a variety of designers, some you may already know, and some new ones that are bound to wind up on your wishlist. I love the fact that they stock a few items from local designers as well. These gold versatile hoops pictured above are from Electric Picks (huge fan over here) and they’re a perfect gift for a mother, sister-in-law, friend – really anyone in my opinion. If you’re looking for apparel, I love this faux fur statement coat. Stop in their beautifully curated store or shop online.
Sticking to stores with a /+/ sign in their name, I want to highlight another great local shop carrying awesome finds for men (which can be hard to find in town) as well as women’s apparel and home décor. With locations in uptown Hoboken and down the shore, Dune + Salt is a cozy, stylish little shop that carries high quality flannels, outerwear, shave kits, and… a shot board? Umm, I’m 37 and quarantined with 2 little monsters but yes, sign me up! This would actually be a great gift for my younger (childless) brother along with some local whiskey or vodka. Their national park candles also make good stocking stuffer ideas. My favorite part is that the ZCH sweatshirt above donates 20% of every sweatshirt purchased to your local homeless shelter and helps support the heroes that volunteer their time within your zip code.
Okay, so you’ve watched The Home Edit, potentially bought 30 new bins that you have no idea what to do with, and still have unorganized closets. Or perhaps you have a family member who could really benefit from someone coming in and removing things that stopped sparking joy in 1997. One of the best gifts for someone who doesn’t need any more “stuff” is a professional home organizer. I’m aware that Covid can complicate this sort of service, but if and when you’re comfortable, here are two of my favorites to follow. Organizing You is a local Hoboken mother of 2 and works wonders with clutter, closets, & kid’s items. Sort of Space is a new mom over in Jersey City and uses her very own S.O.S. method for helping her clients. And she’s also a pro at the “rainbow method”.
Not seeing family this year? Looking to send a care package or edible gift? The ideas below are perfect for DELIVERY near or far.
The first item is described perfectly in their name – “Small Packages”. A literal small package is delivered to the recipient’s door with an assortment of fun items (some edible, some not) and you can customize the box to your liking. Some packages are curated for Self-Care, some for a New Home, an Engagement, a New Job, and the list goes on. And what if it’s not for a happy occasion? No problem. They have “Get Well” packages, a Breakup box, and even “A Wedding Pause” option. My favorite is “Women in Food” because, duh, who run the world? Girls. The founder (yes, a female) started this clever company right here in Jersey City.
Stumped for what to give the dessert lover in your family when the holidays are already full of so many desserts? I love the idea of a “cookie cake of the month” subscription from The Cookie Cake Co. – based right here in Jersey City. Their cakes have been featured on the Food Network and across the internet, and they have TONS of options to choose from. Their creations are also perfect for those with dietary restrictions as they have Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, etc. Choose a 3, 6, or 12-month subscription or just send someone you love a cookie cake anywhere in the US or Canada. You’re welcome.
I started doing these ornament roundups because there are so many talented artists who sell at local stores, at coffee shops, or through their own online shop. Some of my favorites this year are:
Hometown Hello which can be found at The Co, Lovelocked, Washington General, and through their own Etsy page.
Embroidered ornaments from Schwing Shop, which can be purchased through their site.
Custom painted ornaments from Love, Amarie which are available through her website.
Write Pretty For Me has beautiful custom acrylic ornaments through her Etsy page.
Duman Home in downtown Hoboken has a beautiful assortment of ornaments that kids and adults will both be excited about.
This brand new addition to 1st Street in Hoboken has a beautifully curated assortment of home items, décor, pet products, and yes, ornaments. Check out this beautiful space, and the artwork by Ricardo Roig (which is also available for purchase).
If you’re looking for a gift that will help others in need, please consider donating to a local charity. While there are just too many to list here, below are just a few options: