Best online shops
Skip the crowds and the sore feet: The Web is a mall of endless options.
Wed Nov 18 2009
Peruse the curated wares of talented up-and-coming designers ( la Etsy). Click through jewelry and accessories, home decor and stationery; each item is accompanied by a designer profile page, and you can log in (for free) to send the creator a personal message or request. Some of our favorites: a heavy-duty tote bag made of seat-belt material ($26) by an artist in Australia, a Brooklyn-made set of interlocking vampire-fang rings ($195) that can be worn together or separately, and a T-shirt that reads I LOVE YOU MORE THAN ___ ($25). Check Supermarket’s blog for daily designer and product additions.
Greener Grass Design (greenergrassdesign.com)
This Houston-based site purveys unique and functional products for kids, pets, bauble hoarders and gadget lovers. Shipping costs can add up quickly (they start at $7.50), but at least you can guarantee against giftees muttering something about the thought counting. Surprise ’em with winners like a glass bowl that looks like a plastic sandwich bag ($22), a bottle opener disguised as a key ($14), a cigar ashtray ($34) or a porcelain candleholder made to look like a mini campfire ($20).
Gent Supply Co. (gentsupplyco.com)
Manliness abounds here: Well-made, sleek and functional products would please any dad, brother or boy toy. Maybe he’d like the clock fashioned after a roll of film ($129.50), or the mini LEGO-look-alike USB iPod speaker in blingy silver or gold ($24.50). Give former Space Campers a Stellarscope star finder ($47.50) to track 1,500 stars and 70 constellations on any day of the year. Gent Supply Co. throws in a gentlemanly flat shipping rate of $7.95 to sweeten the deal.
Three Potato Four (threepotatofourshop.com)
Head to this gem for always-interesting vintage and new picks, including toys, conversation-starting home items and printed goods. The husband-and-wife team behind Three Potato Four updates the shop regularly with new collectibles, many of which sell out fast, so keep an eye on the blog or newsletter for product updates and free-shipping promotions (N.B. Holiday shipping deals are coming soon). Among the options are a vintage lion coin bank ($35) and, for the true Manhattanite or Brooklyn loyal, ’50s-inspired maps ($48) of the respective boroughs.
Perpetual Kid (perpetualkid.com)
Stock up on little nuggets of childish hilarity, like bacon lip balm ($3.99) and a mooning garden gnome ($12.99), or a slightly more mature LEGO-inspired 4GB flash drive ($39.99) and a grass planter (no, not that kind) in the shape of a robot ($11.99). This young-minded store is a fab go-to for last-minute shopping, with next-day shipping—and free shipping when you spend $75 or more.
Velocity Art and Design (velocityartanddesign.com)
If you’re in the market for a modern, luxe token, consider this Seattlite shop. While Velocity Art and Design showcases giftables ranging from eco-friendly office supplies to artwork and games, the real gold is found under the “Accessories” tab. Help a loved one stay stylish with a 1980s-esque digital all-in-one watch--phone book--stopwatch--countdown timer--alarm clock ($28), or get them through the rain-and-snow season with a Frank Lloyd Wright geometric umbrella ($30). Or buy both items: Shipping is free for orders of $50 or more.
Give the gift of cultural design with something from this goody-filled Web shop, which showcases decor staples and decorative arts mostly from Japanese artists. Our suggestions: a cologne-perfume atomizer ($32), a shower-friendly iPod speaker ($58) and a mug with a gun trigger ($17) (for killing time, of course). MollaSpace will express ship items(in three days) for an extra $15.
The Spoon Sisters (spoonsisters.com)
While the sibling owners offer products ranging from kitschy to functional (including actual spoons), they excel in travel gifts. Help a friend prep for a trip with a navy unisex tote that reads BAG OF TRICKS ($15), a colorful and modernized lunchbox ($45) or an Inflight Comfort Kit complete with a neck pillow, eye mask, earplugs and sanitizing wet wipes ($13.95).
Delight.com features one gift at a special price every day (after that, if the item isn’t sold out, it’s kept on the site for purchase at regular price). Browse featured items (and other cool gear) with the help of handy categories that divide goods up by intended recipient (“the cook,” “teens,” “parents and in-laws,” etc.). Turn kids into indie-rockers with a gift set ($48.50) including a rock-band coloring book, Smencils (root-beer-scented pencils!) and an iPod speaker. Convince your brother to drink something other than PBR with whiskey stones ($19.75) made of natural soapstone, to keep spirits cool without watering them down. And help friends protect their iPhones with wooden cases ($39.50). Delight sends deals your way, with shipping for under $8 and promotions when you sign up for its newsletter.
Try this one-stop shop, which connects you to the best of the online sellers at Etsy, DaWanda, Big Cartel, Art Fire, Folksy and more. Papernstitch showcases a revolving roster of handmade wares, like wacky stuffed animals, apparel and jewelry. Lady-focused pieces help cross Mom, Grandma and the landlady off your gift list. Our favorite picks: a hand-painted coiled silk brooch ($20), a necklace made of upcycled magazine paper ($40) and a funky necklace made of hand-formed, fabric-covered links ($45).
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Holiday gift guide
Goods for everyone on your list.