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Chicago shop owners pick top holiday gifts

We tapped the minds behind our favorite local boutiques for their all-time favorite presents

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen
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Struggling to secure a secret Santa gift? Searching high and low for the perfect present for that special someone? The hunt stops here. We asked Chicago shop owners to select their in-store favorites for stocking stuffers, winter accessories and unique gifts you won't find elsewhere. Here's what they're wrapping this season. 

RECOMMENDED: Chicago's best shopping strolls

Neighborly
  • Shopping
  • Design and interiors
  • East Village

Chicago skyline embroidery kit ($25)

This small kit makes a great stocking stuffer and includes everything your favorite crafty homebody needs to survive the winter: embroidery floss, needle, fabric, a circle hoop and instructions.

Heritage Bicycle Company
  • Shopping
  • Sports
  • Lake View
  • price 3 of 4

The Dash ($1,198)

This sleek commuter bike may not fit under the Christmas tree, but we’re certain no one will mind. Its hand-built frame and wheels, auto two-speed hub and pristine silhouette make it a classic ride ready for daily transportation.

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Milk Handmade
  • Shopping
  • Boutiques
  • Uptown
  • price 2 of 4

The Salt Empire fringe earrings ($128)

Head to Andersonville to grab these stylish earrings that are fit for the fashion-forward friend who leans more spunky than preppy.

Stock Mfg. Co
  • Shopping
  • Menswear
  • United Center
  • price 2 of 4

Red buffalo-plaid flannel ($88)

Warm up with this cozy shirt, which is available in a variety of other colors and patterns. Bonus points: These handsome button-downs are made right here in Chicago.

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57th Street Books
  • Shopping
  • Bookstores
  • Hyde Park
  • price 2 of 4

The Madeleine Project by Clara Beaudoux ($23.95)

Techy bookworms will appreciate this endearing tale—told through tweets translated from French to English—about what Clara Beaudoux discovers in a storage space left behind by a previous tenant.

  • Shopping
  • Streeterville

Brian Eaton’s Memento Mori Clock ($285)

This morbid walnut clock just needs basic information about its owner, then it pulls data from the World Health Organization and starts a countdown to their demise. Oh, and a song plays when the clock hits zero.

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Ad Hoc
  • Shopping
  • Boutiques
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

Wool scarf ($29)

Snag this cozy and stylish winter accessory for your always-chilly cubemate. The trend-forward West Town shop has plenty of other styles and patterns to choose from.

GreenHeart Shop
  • Shopping
  • Boutiques
  • Lincoln Park

Hand-painted serving bowl ($52)

Crafted and decorated in Tunisia, this colorful dish is a welcome addition to any entertainer’s repertoire.

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Smitten Boutique
  • Shopping
  • Gifts and stationery
  • West Loop
  • price 3 of 4

Easy Tiger Yay! champagne flutes ($38 for two)

These celebratory flutes are ideal for your champagne-guzzling cousin. Or grab a pair for yourself in preparation for the New Year.

Notre
  • Shopping
  • Menswear
  • West Loop
  • price 3 of 4

Private label candles ($32)

Available in winter-ready scents like campfire, coffee and rosemary, these simplistic stunners are made in collaboration with Chicago Candle Co. They make great last-minute gifts for anyone on your nice list.  

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