Photo courtesy of ROW DTLA
Ready to skip the big-box stores and shop small? While we don’t have anything against the former, there’s something ultra-satisfying about supporting your indie shop around the corner. Not only are you investing back in your neighborhood and community, you’re also taking home the most creative, original, and one-of-a-kind wares. From Highland Park and Boyle Heights to Santa Monica and beyond, we’ve rounded up 19 must-visit spots selling clothing, jewelry, books, home goods, and unique gift items—perfect for shopping local, even well beyond Small Business Saturday on November 26.
This AAPI-owned cafe is obsessive about how their coffee is made and prepared, but they’ve done the rest of us a favor by simplifying the oftentimes confusing process of buying it. At their Melrose outpost, they sell bags of coffee in four distinct taste categories—Dark & Bold, Rich & Smooth, Bright & Lively, and Unique & Surprising—each available in a variety of formats, such as whole beans or coarse, ground coffee. Their shelves are stocked with other covet-worthy wares too, like coffee makers and artisanal chocolates.
This Old Town Pasadena shop is like a permanent extension of MAUM Market, the monthly rotating pop-up that showcases goods from Asian artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs in different neighborhoods across LA. The general store offers a platform specifically for Korean makers—stocking art, ceramics, decor, jewelry, pantry items, and more from over 50 Korean-founded brands and businesses. Take home everything from artisanal tea made with Jeju Island green tea to konjac sponges.
Westfield Century City’s holiday market pop-up champions indie brands, most of which don’t have their own brick-and-mortar space yet. Here, you’ll find an excellent curation of gift-worthy items by small businesses with buzzy followings—from SuperHigh (private label skin care & hair care) to Diamond Art Club (a woman-founded company known for its innovative DIY arts and crafts).
This Black-owned business handcrafts all of its products—from environmentally friendly bar soaps to rich, moisturizing body butters—using organic, fair-trade shea butter from Ghana and Mali that’s naturally scented with fruit and flower extracts. Everything’s made with an old family recipe that takes care not to remove vitamins and nutrients from the shea butter.
This luxury eyewear brand is worn by celebrities, but it remains a small, family-owned business that started back in 1979. If you’re seeking stylish, new frames made from premium materials, there’s no better place to go than the Larchmont Village boutique, where independent optometrists and trained eyewear stylists are on hand to help find what suits you best.
On Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27, ROW DTLA is hosting the A.R.T.S.Y. Trading Post, a shopping experience that highlights small and emerging businesses, many of which are showcasing in person for the first time. In addition to an outdoor market with fragrances, sustainable home goods, contemporary fashion, and more, there will also be fireside chats and workshops for screen printing, embroidery, and ceramics.
There’s absolutely zero chance that stepping into this charming Highland Park gem won’t spark joy. Every surface of this eclectic shop is piled high with whimsical gifts, art supplies, unique stationary products, colorful stickers, and quirky accessories (we dare you not to leave with something!).
Founded by writer, metaphysicist, and alchemist Logan Hollowell, this woman-founded jewelry brand handcrafts stunning creations in Los Angeles using 14-karat and 18-karat recycled gold, ethically sourced gemstones, and conflict-free diamonds from around the world. Centered around spirituality, nature, wanderlust, and the cosmos, each piece is designed to be an instant heirloom.
This gender-inclusive line of clean cosmetics has a stylish storefront in Highland Park where you’ll want to stock up on skincare and multi-use cosmetics that are free of harmful ingredients. The brand is committed to sustainable practices as well—using biodegradable packaging made of recycled PCR plastics, glass, or metal. Plus, you can bring clean, empty NOTO bottles to the store for a 5% discount on refills.
This Latinx-owned shop is the brainchild of several entrepreneurs who are natives of Eastside communities like Boyle Heights, El Sereno, and Highland Park. You’ll easily spend hours perusing all the Lotería-influenced art, rare vinyls, children’s books about diversity, activism, and culture, and a massive collection of tees that are all about Los Angeles and Boyle Heights pride.
Looking for gems, crystals, or incense? House of Intuition is your one-stop metaphysical shop for everything you need to feel enlightened, empowered, and uplifted. Whether you’re interested in learning about tarot cards or astrology, you’ll find something you love from an array of aura sprays, ritual-cleansing kits, intention candles, and high-vibration talismans.
Chocolatier and pastry chef Valerie Gordon recently opened a 5,000-square-foot space that serves as chocolate factory, bakery, and event space. You’ll find all the artisanal confections she’s famous for here—pies, cakes, and, as part of the new Glendale menu, quiches, savory meat pies, and an expanded pastry program. Don’t forget to browse her selection of gift-worthy treats, like boxes of truffles or petit fours, local farmers market fruit jams, hot chocolate, and more.
This lovely neighborhood wine shop curates incredibly unique, natural, and organic wines with a wallet-friendly approach (few bottles are over $30). In addition to easy-drinking French Gamays and Italian orange wines made with biodynamically farmed, hand-harvested fruit, Kamp also carries a delightful edit of other provisions: fresh flowers, books and magazines, and artisanal treats you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else (crispy watermelon slices with Tajin seasoning, anyone?).
AAPI-owned Now Serving is renowned for its extraordinary collection of cookbooks on every subject. But it’s also got a wealth of other culinary-related knickknacks, like cooking utensils, gourmet condiments and sauces, and handwoven tea towels. The space also regularly organizes book signings and meet-and-greets with celebrated chefs and food writers.
This queer-identified, woman-owned store is dedicated to fair wages and labor practices. In addition to offering beautifully made products and apparel from several artists and designers, Otherwild General (their store within a store) carries refillable bulk home cleaning and personal care products, as well as low- or zero-waste reusables.
As a BIPOC celebrity stylist who’s worked with clients like Drake and the Black Eyed Peas, founder Dechel Mckillian saw firsthand the negative effect that fashion can have on people and the planet. In response, she founded Galerie.LA, where she scours the globe for design-forward clothing and accessories that have a positive environmental impact without sacrificing a stitch of style.
For a limited time, Conscious Market Co-Op is curating the Goodthings space located at 1 Hotel West Hollywood. The co-op’s earth-friendly approach means they source items from local, sustainable brands that you can feel good about supporting. Fresh brands will be introduced periodically, so keep checking for new must-haves—from cozy hoodies crafted with recyclable materials and compostable fabrics to jewelry made with ethically sourced, fairly traded crystals.
Founded by makeup and fashion industry veterans Carmen Dianne and Kara Still, Prosperity Market is a mobile farmers market that features Black farmers, food producers, entrepreneurs, artists, florists, and chefs. On December 3, it’ll pop up at The Original Farmers Market, where you can expect to shop more than a dozen vendors shilling granola, coffee, sauces, spices, and more.
This direct-to-consumer darling just opened the doors to its first-ever retail location in a Venice Beach bungalow on Abbot Kinney. You’ll find its suite of stunning products artfully displayed throughout the shop, which also houses the Our Place Café with tea, boba, haldi doodh (turmeric lattes), and other culturally rooted beverages. With its colorful indoor seating area and backyard, the new space will also serve as a community gathering place with events, cooking classes, demos, and more.
Tiffany Tse is a contributor to Thrillist.