A Gift for Every Person

Whether you're shopping for a hip infant or a beloved aunt, we've got you covered.

For Your Street- Art-Loving Friend:

‘Oakland Bangers 2011’ by Nite Owl

If you have a person in your life who loves street art but don’t want him or her to go traipsing around decaying warehouses in questionable places to see it, get your special someone the next best thing: Oakland Bangers 2011, a “hella limited edition” photo book of murals, slaps, tags, walls, wheat pastes, trucks, and other adorned surfaces in Oakland taken by street artist Nite Owl (available in hardcover and as an ebook on Blurb.com). Eighty color pages include works by Deadeyes, GATS, Jurne, Eddie Colla, and more — names that might not register with most people, but for followers of street art, are celebrities in their own right.

Available at Loakal Art Gallery & Boutique

For Your BFF:

Print by Le Petit Elefant

We have whole holidays dedicated to declaring our love for significant others, but what about BFFs? Shower your friend with affection by giving her a ridiculously cute print by San Jose-based artist Genevieve Santos (aka Le Petit Elefant). The self-described “nomadic addict” — who studied animation and previously worked in creative advertising at New Line Cinema — creates whimsical illustrations imbued with a childlike sense of innocence and joy (think rosy cheeks, big heads, and smiling faces) — just the kinds of feelings your BFF probably inspires in you.

Available at Modern Mouse

For Your Bro:

FluffyCo Wall Mount Bottle Opener

Yeah, you could have a regular old bottle opener, but why not have a wall-mounted, locally sourced, San Francisco-made piece of domestic maple plywood screen-printed with an image of a bear on its hind legs that also lets you crack open a brewski?

Available at Modern Mouse

For the Person Who Hella Loves the East Bay:

Antietam Designs Oakland Tree Lasercut Bamboo Pendant

Chances are you know someone who’s really proud of the fact that he or she lives in the East Bay. Luckily, the avenues for expressing local pride have never been more plentiful. We like the subtle option, like this oak tree logo pendant made out of laser-cut bamboo, which is designed and made in Oakland, of course.

Available at Loakal Art Gallery & Boutique

“The Island” T-shirt by Backfloat

Oakland isn’t the only East Bay city that gets love from its denizens. Alameda also has its share of civic pride schwag. You’ll find much of it at Modern Mouse, an oasis of sustainably minded, independently and locally made goods nestled inside the otherwise Big Box-worshipping Alameda South Shore Center. Backfloat’s “The Island” T-shirt, with its simple logo of the Park Street bridge, is one of the boutique’s most popular items: It comes in men’s and women’s sizes and is only available at Modern Mouse.

Available at Modern Mouse

Oaklandish 4-Pack Shot Glasses

For the friend who wants to think locally, even when getting trashed, check out Oaklandish’s shot glasses, which feature Town-centric designs such as the iconic oak tree, the steel cranes, and the (old) Bay Bridge. Even out-of-towners will appreciate them.

Available at Oaklandish

For the Über-Hip Baby:

Ana Apple Turntable Bib

Nothing shouts that your kid is cool more than vinyl records. Ana Apple’s kitschy turntable bib is colorful and PVC-free, and makes for an excellent photo op — guaranteed to earn pics of your babe (even when covered in his or her dinner) many non-ironic likes on Instagram.

Available at Loakal Art Gallery & Boutique

For the Tree-Hugger:

Juniper Ridge Steep Ravine Cabin Spray

Berkeley-based company Juniper Ridge is all about creating an experience. Its line of soaps, incense, and cologne are created from wild-harvested materials, such as bark, moss, plants, and tree trimmings found while “hiking the backcountry.” We’re fond of its area-specific cabin sprays, which come in an assortment of fragrances such as Big Sur and Cascade Glacier. Steep Ravine is named after the Mount Tam trail in Marin County — it’s one of the most enchanting Bay Area hikes, replete with redwood forest, creek and waterfalls, bridges, a ladder, and plenty of awe-inspiring vistas. And it’s all captured in a little bottle. Your outdoorsy friends will be impressed.

Available at Field Day & Friends

BugMeNot Candle Tin

You know what’s great? Camping in the woods. You know what’s not great? Camping in the woods when insects are trying to devour you. Instead of spraying yourself with harsh chemicals, try BugMeNot’s natural insect-repellent candles, which are made of 100 percent non-GMO soy wax and make for a practical stocking stuffer.

Available at Field Day & Friends

For the Fashion- Conscious Lady:

OSC Hat by Ebbetts Field Flannels

Oakland Surf Club is such a popular boutique that it’s now become its own brand. We love its OSC baseball hat, which is made by the old-school ballcap-maker Ebbetts Field Flannels. It’s simple — constructed of black wool with white lettering — but classically stylish, with a brown leather adjustable strap. Baseball hats have been dudes’ favored accessories for a while now, but they’re really having their moment with women. So you can give it to your girlfriend — and borrow it, too.

Available at Oakland Surf Club

Molly M Design Leather Hoops

Hoop earrings are popular for a reason — they look good with almost any face shape. San Francisco-based jewelry designer Molly McGrath makes a particularly interesting pair. They’re made of oxidized sterling silver, are wrapped in waxed linen, and are adorned with laser-cut, metallic-dyed leather triangle shapes. McGrath was trained as an architect, so her designs have a strong sense of structure. Combined with her penchant for laser-cutting, McGrath’s jewelry is simultaneously futuristic and classic — a combo your fashion-conscious significant other will surely admire.

Available at Foxglove

Ali Golden Reversible Bag

Oakland designer Ali Golden makes clothes that have an earthy, ethereal quality about them — they’re cut generously but are conscious of the female form. Her reversible bag has a similarly grounded characteristic: Handmade from leftover material, it features waxed cotton on one side and untreated cotton on the other, as well as hand straps and a removable cross-body strap, brass rivets and hardware, and two deep outside pockets. It comes in a variety of colors and can be dressed up or down — perfect for the laid-back East Bay.

Available at Ali Golden

For Your Pre-Teen Niece:

Pacifica Roll-On Perfume

What is it about the pre-teen years that draws us to sweetly smelly fragrances — to candy-scented lip gloss and fruit-flavored bubblegum? Whatever the reason, the tween in your life will surely appreciate Pacifica’s roll-on fragrances, which come in sleek little glass vials and in an array of exotic (but not-too-strong) scents such as Waikiki Pikake, Tuscan Blood Orange, and, our favorite, Tahitian Gardenia. Made by a Portland-based company, they’re free of phthalates, nitro-musks, benzene, and are 100-percent cruelty-free.

Available at Foxglove

For the Student:

Herschel Supply Co. “Little America” Backpack

Forget JanSport. Herschel Supply Co. makes backpacks you actually want to wear: Its vintage- and mountaineering-inspired “Little America” bag (one of its top-selling styles) has details like leather straps, back padding, and a striped lining, as well as totally practical aspects like an internal pocket for media devices and ample room for a laptop. Think of it as an added incentive to go to class.

Available at Oakland Surf Club

Snack Tiffin

You eat organic, drive a hybrid, and avoid chemicals at every turn — take it a step further by getting rid of the plastic Tupperware in your life. The stainless steel tiffin is practical, sturdy, and durable. It comes in a range of sizes, with multiple compartments that attach to one another. You can reuse it for years without worrying about the chemicals leaching into your lunch.

Available at Treehouse Greenhouse Gifts

For the BF/Hubby:

Blade + Blue Woven Shirt

There’s nothing like a finely tailored, well-fitting shirt to turn a dude into a Man. Blade + Blue’s woven shirts are far from the mass-manufactured button-downs you’ll see lining the racks at Big Box stores this season. Mostly made in the Bay Area, the shirts come in an array of colors and patterns and are constructed from “premium Japanese fabrics” by craftsmen who we imagine probably have impeccable facial hair and straight-razored haircuts. The quality is to die for.

Available at Standard & Strange

For Your Fancy Eccentric Friend:

Taxidermic Moth


If you’ve got a couple hundred dollars lying around and want to impress your eccentric rich friend, how about an artfully presented taxidermic moth in a shadow box? Part art, part oddity, part creepy dead thing, it’s guaranteed to be, at the very least, a conversation starter at the holiday party.

Available at Crimson Horticultural Rarities

For the Hard-to- Shop-for Person:

$1.95 and up

Here’s why we love plants as gifts: They’re living, they’re biodegradable, and they instantly make a room more appealing. Also, they’re cheap. Besides alcohol, they’re almost universally appreciated. Who doesn’t like plants? Whether you’ve got a hipster friend who needs a new Tillandsia for her terrarium or an aunt who loves orchids or a horror-film fanatic who has a fondness for the macabre (Venus flytrap, anyone?), you’ll find it at Berkeley Horticulture Nursery. Peruse the nursery’s row upon row of trees, flowers, vines, vegetables, herbs, and ground cover, or head into the greenhouse, where a variety of well-tended-to exotic plants and succulents awaits, in a range of prices. It’s extremely hard to walk out without something.

Available at Berkeley Horticulture Nursery


Berkeley Horticultural Nursery, 1310 McGee Ave., Berkeley, 510-526-4704, BerkeleyHort.com

Ali Golden, 470 49th St., Oakland, 805-340-7086, AliGolden.com

Crimson Horticultural Rarities, 470 49th St., Oakland, 510-992-3359, CrimsonHort.com

Field Day & Friends, 329 19th St., Oakland, 510-338-6624, FieldDayandFriends.com

Foxglove, 1746 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 510-841-1626, Foxglove.BigCartel.com

Loakal Art Gallery & Boutique, 560 2nd St., Oakland, 510-747-9957, EBXLoakal.com

Modern Mouse, 2223 South Shore Center, Alameda, 510-814-8830

Oaklandish, 3419 Fruitvale Ave., Oakland, Oaklandish.com

Oakland Surf Club, 337 14th St., Oakland, 510-465-2770, OaklandSurfClub.com

Standard & Strange, 484 49th St., Oakland, 510-373-9696, StandardandStrange.com

Treehouse Green Gifts, 2935 College Ave., Berkeley, 510-204-9292, TreehouseGreenGifts.com


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