Lake Effect in Excelsior
Don’t get into a gift shopping rut. One of the best ways to find inspired gifts is to shop some place different—a new boutique you’ve yet to see, or one you haven’t visited in a while. Here are some of the local stores that deserve to be on your radar.
Lake Effect. I wasn’t sure how this nautical gift shop would fair once the lake froze over, but it turns out owner Danielle Riley can do holiday, too! The shop is decked out for Christmas with décor and gifts—ornaments, jewelry, festive pillows, men’s accessories, and lots of fun gifts for pets. 219 Water St., Excelsior, 952-474-1229, shoplakeeffect.com
Fleurish. It doesn't get the buzz that some of its hip neighbors have enjoyed of late, but while you’re in Excelsior, stop by this reliable gift shop where you can create a custom gift basket or add a monogram to anything from a baby onesie to cosmetic bags to sweatshirt blankets. 261 Water St., Excelsior, 952-476-2296, fleurishllp.com
Mama’s Happy. So much more than chalk paint. Jewelry, scarves, soaps, mugs, coasters, candles, and many other gifts with rustic artisan charm, plus cute wooden crates for packaging. Locations in St. Louis Park, St. Paul, Stillwater, and Independence. mamashappy.com
Flaunt Accessories. This fashion truck turned bricks and mortar store has created a charming space in Northeast Minneapolis (Spyhouse building) filled with jewelry, knit accessories, and apparel that would be perfect for your sisters and girlfriends as well as kids. Prices are affordable, and many of the brands are locally made. Open Thursday-Saturday. 945 Broadway Street NE, #210, Mpls., flauntaccessories.com
Jewelry from local designer Larissa Loden and others, at Highcroft.
Highcroft. Wayzata’s newest home store has plenty of gifts as well—hats and scarves, artisan jewelry, sleepwear, and luxury cleaning products, which make a great hostess gift. 770 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952-746-5826, highcrofthome.com
Cockadoodledoo Gifts. Don’t let the assorted vintage items outside the store dissuade you, this Bryn Mawr staple is packed with modern gifts from funky socks to candles, mugs, clocks, and more. 403 Cedar Lake Road S., Mpls., 612-377-8000
I Like You Too. The ultimate indie gift shop, which provides a marketplace for dozens of local makers, has opened a second location in St. Paul. It’s great for stocking stuffers like Minnesota-shaped key chains, “Gray Duck” mittens, hot dish tea towels, and tons more. 416 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul, 651-340-9710, ilikeyouonline.com
Shop in the City. The new location for this family-run gift store is smaller, but brimming with a potpourri of affordable gift ideas grouped by theme from happy to spiritual; chef to glam girl. 3930 W. 50th St., Edina, 952-658-6551, shopinthecity.com
Woodsy Christmas stockings at 14Hill.
14Hill. Just in time for holiday, a new gift store from a longtime Patina buyer. Find toys, tableware, cards, bath and body products, cookbooks, and all the accents to accompany them in the gift bag. 4737 Chicago Ave. S., Mpls., 612-886-3606, 14hill.com
Burlap & Brass. If you still haven’t ventured beyond the corner of 50th & France, now is the time. Just one block off the main drag, the shop near Agra Culture is much more than the materials its name suggests. The eclectic mix includes tableware, vintage inspired toys, jewelry, women’s accessories, Minnesota-made t-shirts, pretty wine boxes and more. 5013 Ewing Ave. S., Mpls., 612-886-2870
Aw, heck—let's make it a dozen.
Homade. A year after opening a parking lot away from Eden Prairie Center, this gift shop continues to impress with its modern mix of affordable gifts—some by makers, but few actually home made, so don't be deceived! (The back of the store is for DIY classes, if you are so inspired.) Homade carries Sugarfina candies, which make pretty sweet gifts. 582 Prairie Center Drive, Suite 223, Eden Prairie, 952-944-2441, homadegifts.com
Pharmacie. This Minneapolis home and design shop is sure to inspire the gift you hadn't thought to give, from polar bear sweaters to Bloody Mary enhancement kits. 2743 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-200-9633, pharmaciempls.com