Happy Small Business Saturday everyone! I wanted to compile a local gift guide for all my Louisville readers to remind them of the great gifts they can find right here in Louisville. It’s important to support your local small business and holiday shopping is the perfect excuse to get out and show them some love.
If you’re anything like me, finding a thoughtful gift is much more rewarding than a generic item everyone else is buying. That’s why I’m excited to give you ideas from some of my favorite local shops so it can spark a personal gift giving bug in your head too.
Everyone loves a nice bottle of wine, but if you want to get something more personal (and even quirky) head to Work the Metal on Story Avenue. You’re guaranteed to find something for a host that loves unique handmade jewelry, Kentucky-themed home decor, or a book on winter-themed cocktails and everything in-between. Work the Metal is my go-to destination for quick gifts. And if your purchase is over $5 they’ll gift wrap it for you. All your work is done.
If your host in question has a green thumb, Mahonia is the only place you need to shop for plants, flowers, or terrariums. Seriously, this little store nestled in Nulu on E. Market Street is something out of a storybook. You’re immediately immersed in green plants, bushels of vibrant, wild flowers, and terrariums as far as the eye can see. The women who work in the store are plant experts, so if you need any guidance they’re happy to help. Oh, and they have some gorgeous homeware pieces as well. Check off all the boxes in one place.
I can’t say enough good things about this adorable homeware store in Butchertown. Everything is carefully picked, from the mid-century modern end tables to the eclectic coasters. Stag + Doe offers a ton of great homeware gift options for the modern-design enthusiast. And the best part? Most if it is at a reasonable price point. Give someone a unique, well-made piece for their home without breaking the bank.
Another stop in Nulu is Scout, a home accessories and giftware shop for everyone on your gift list. Scout offers table after table of one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces ranging in price points and styles. If someone on your list has a specific taste in jewelry or homeware accessories, you’re guaranteed to find it here. Scout also has a wide selection of fun art prints, books, and stationary. Give someone a pretty notebook with a witty saying for them to jot their New Year’s resolutions in.
If you haven’t heard of Anchal Project before now, a holiday gift is a perfect first introduction. Founded by two sisters, Anchal Project provides innovative programs and eco-friendly textiles that facilitate impact. All Anchal Project pieces are made my women in India who were previously forced into commercial sex work in India due to a lack of alternatives. Anchal gives the women work so they can create a better future for themselves and their families.
Purchasing home goods or accessories from Anchal is a triple threat: you’re supporting a local business, a great cause with immediate impact, and a gorgeous, handmade piece. Their designs are both natural and bright, minimal and bold, but all finely stitched or quilted in the form of scarves, bedding, luggage, and pillows (among many other things).
Sticking with the theme of good deeds, The New Blak is a woman-owned fashion company using sustainable and ethically sourced materials like bamboo and organic cotton. All of their pieces are handmade right here in Louisville and are designed to empower women of all ages. That’s a message I can get behind. The New Blak make their clothes with a classic design for all shapes and sizes, from jumpsuits to your new favorite little black dress. Snag one of their pieces for that special someone on your list and give them a party outfit they can feel good in and good about wearing.
If you have someone on your list that likes to be more experimental in their wellness pursuits, try out Weightless Float Center in Distillery Commons. They specialize in float therapy, which involves lying in a bath of warm water filled with 900 lbs of Epsom salt; yes, 900 lbs! Float therapy is said to reduce pain and inflammation and act as a great method of relaxation for your mind and body. One 90 minute float will cost you $65, but if you ask me, that’s a small price to pay for a giant bath all to myself, closed off from the rest of the world. Yes please! To make this gift even better, throw in one of their massage therapy or sauna sessions.
One of the best parts of the holidays is the food, but sometimes eating food outside your regular diet can leave you feeling like a whale. If you’ve ever wanted to try the juice trend, The Weekly Juicery in Nulu offers a membership-based monthly juice delivery to your house. Six organic vegetable juices will arrive at your doorstep to flood out all the cookies and cakes you ate during December and refresh your system with vitamins.
Louisville is home to several record stores around town, but my personal favorite spot is Guestroom Records on Frankfort Avenue. They always have the newest releases in-store and baskets on baskets of original used vinyl. They’re also huge supporters of local music, so if you’ve got someone on your list that’s into the Louisville music scene, you’re guaranteed to find their release at Guestroom. You can also find the missing pieces of your vinyl setup here, from turntables, to receivers. Basically, it’s your one-stop vinyl shop.
Skip the crowd at Guitar Center and head to a Highlands staple for a new or seasoned guitarist on your gift list. Guitar Emporium hires people who actually play guitar, so you know going in you’re going to get the best advice possible. After you’ve decided on your next music baby, be sure to take the guitar back to Guitar Emporium for any repairs, restringing, or repairs.