Austin’s best gift shops
What’s better than shopping at one of Austin’s hippest boutiques? Shopping with a mimosa in hand. With a charming back porch sitting area, a tiny café (complete with mimosas) and rooms full of vintage and new treasures, there’s something for everyone in this converted Eastside bungalow. Best bets include gorgeous ceramics, handmade jewelry and beauty products from cult brand like Olo and Meow Meow Tweet.
Japanese design is at the core of this Eastside jewel-box filled with things your BFFs never knew they couldn’t live without. For a housewarming, pick-up a salt box or a ceramic sponge holder. Or for something that feels more personal, purchase a copy of Haiku Texas, a collection of 19 poems inspired by some of the most beautiful places in Austin written by owner Nina Gordon’s mom Kathleen Burke.
Leather is the main draw at Noah Marion, much of it untreated and undyed to allow each piece to age beautifully with use. From valet trays to stylish clutches to dog collars, the South Austin outpost has something that appeals to every member of the family. Your snowboarding cousin will appreciate the wool knit caps and your hippie aunt will go mad for the organic castile soaps. But with all this luxury, we won’t judge you if you take a cuff or keychain home for yourself.
A dark sense of humor makes this downtown shop especially unique. Although the stock is constantly changing, there always seems to be something with a skull on it and the odd bit of taxidermy. You’ll find plenty to gift your less goth friends, too, like pillows made from global textiles and cheeky cards. An online store will be opening in late 2017 if you don’t want to get out of your pajamas.
If your best friend is getting married, you can treat them to something generic off his registry. But they’ll be more likely to come to your wedding if you buy him something from Kettle & Brine. Featuring carefully curated home goods (many from local artisans like Wiege Knives and Foxware Ceramics) with a focus on the kitchen and table, the West Austin outpost is admittedly a bit of a splurge. But it is also the epitome of “I love you.”
If you are looking to outfit a new graduate's dorm, Nannie Inez’s home accessories are right on trend. We especially like the selection of prints that give some instant sass to the walls, but the shop is also full of planters and vases, sculptural hooks, jewelry holders and throw pillows from trendy designers like Afternoon For Menu, Wrong for Hay and Ferm Living. While you’re there, pick up a few bath time essentials from the apothecary like sugar scrubs or essential oils.
Owner Lisa Bagby spent much of her previous career merchandising some of America’s top retail brands, so it’s no wonder that her downtown outpost is a delight to visit. Prize lives up to its name by mixing homewares from coveted big-name designers like Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler and Fornasetti with curated coffee table books and jewelry from lesser-known trendsetters.
It’s difficult to think of a more colorful shop in Austin than this South Congress mainstay. Tesoros sources their traditional folk art and crafts from more than 20 countries across the globe, but they are best known for their Latin American Dia de los Muertos figures. There’s plenty of one-of-a-kind objects like Peruvian retalbos dioramas, but the store has even more shelves devoted to affordable treasures like coin purses, woven bracelets and paper roses.
Houseplants are enjoying the greatest surge in popularity since the height of the ’70s. Get in on the growth moment at this tiny shop off South First. There’s a plant at Frond to match almost any decor—from rustic staghorn ferns to sculptural tropical terrariums—all mixed with naturally scented candles and botanical prints.
Our secret weapon for baby showers? The adorable selection of locally-made onesies from this SoCo shop printed with cute slogans like “Hecho in Austin” and “Hold Your Horses.” It’s a terrific place to shop for adults too, with handcrafted art prints, tea towels, so-hot-right-now enamel pins and clothing for both men and women. All of it is made in Texas, so you’ll feel good about supporting the local economy.
If you are perpetually a last minute holiday shopper, Atown should be your go-to stop. Featuring the work of more than a hundred local artists, the Allandale gift shop has plenty of affordable options for every member in your family. Our first stop is always the sock wall, a collection of the wildest and wooliest socks your family’s feet will ever meet. We tend to load up on Texas-themed t-shirts and prints, barware and novelties, too.