Whether you need to buy something for that coworker who steals your yogurt or a lifelong friend, these locally owned shops make it easy to find a high-quality gift in a hurry.
1. Take Heart
If you’re looking for a picture frame, a small plant or what might be called “noncommittal” gifts, Take Heart helps you tastefully send the message of “I like you, but let’s not go overboard.” You’ll find a nice selection of pottery, candles, stationery, greeting cards, Japanese vases and wall art.
1111 East 11th Street; (512) 520-9664
When you really have no clue what kind of gift you want to buy, head to Monkey See Monkey Do for instant inspiration. With everything from gag gifts to vintage toys, the shop provides an abundance of fun options. Be warned: some of the toys and books are not suitable for kids. This is an ideal place to find humorous stocking stuffers for all ages. 1712 South Congress Avenue; (512) 443-4999
With everything from predictable Texas souvenirs to handcrafted jewelry by local designers, Austin Gift Company has one of the most extensive selections of gifts in Austin. Within the store, local vendors have their own booths or mini-stores. The vendors change regularly, so it’s a good idea to stop by frequently to see the latest additions. 4211 South Lamar Boulevard; (512) 326-9460
Another store that’s seriously committed to supporting local artisans, Atown sells T-shirts emblazoned with clever sayings, locally made jewelry, coasters, pet products, clothing and beauty accessories.
Looking for a low-priced gift? Check out the wall of $5 earrings. Need a leather bracelet decorated with guitar picks? Atown has you covered. 5502 Burnet Road; (512) 323-2533
The shop is known for its locally made soy candles with funny names like Unicorn Puke and Puppy Farts. The candles actually smell like gingerbread, not farts, but they’re perfect gifts for those annoying coworkers or grumpy uncles.
You’ll also find creative earrings, handmade necklaces, goat soap, and infinity scarves. 502 West 30th Street; (512) 677-9825
Prepare to be assaulted by every color in the rainbow and a cacophony of bleeps and blorps. Toy Joy is a little overwhelming at first, with floor-to-ceiling toys of every imaginable kind. Even if you’re here to shop for your kids, you’ll soon get lost in nostalgia as you encounter retro toys from your youth. Many of the toys are educational too. Where else would you find a selection of stuffed toys in the shape of microbes? And if you have a Hello Kitty fan in the family, well, plan on spending a couple of hours here. The store offers two free hours of parking, with validation, at the garage at City Hall (301 W. 2nd Street) or AMLI apartments (421 West 3rd Street). Toy Joy, 403 West 2nd Street; (512) 320-0090
Featuring only Texas-made gifts, clothing and jewelry, Parts & Labour is the ideal spot to go when you’re shopping for a good friend but you really have no idea what you’re looking for. The helpful staff can point you to locally crafted necklaces at reasonable prices, whimsical T-shirts or decorative art. If your friends’ tastes tend toward the eccentric, check out the racks featuring “upcycled” clothing for a truly one-of-a-kind gift.
1704 South Congress Avenue; (512) 326-1648