A roundup of the best gifts by Chicago artists, companies, and shops!
It’s about 5pm on Election Day, and I have to say – I’m super grateful I’ve had this post to work on the past few days. As you guys know, there are few things I love more than my city. And after polling you about your holiday preferences this year, SO many of you said that you wanted to shop from small and local businesses as much as possible. So I spent some time upgrading this post so it includes all of the best gifts by Chicago artists, companies, and shops!
The best part? You don’t need to live in Chicago to shop from most of these places!! A few only have local pickup/delivery options, but the majority of them have online shops that ship nationwide, so this post really is for everyone, regardless of what city or state you’re in. There are so many gems on this list and I hope you love them as much as I do!
The Best Gifts by Chicago Artists, Companies, and Shops
Clothing and Jewelry
Let’s start with my FAVORITE, Alice & Wonder! I first met the owner, Ali, back when she only had a small online boutique – we shot photos of new arrivals on the streets of the West Loop and instantly hit it off. Now she has the cutest brick & mortar store, a beautiful online shop that ships nationally, and top notch social media content.
I will probably include her items in all of my gift guides if we’re being honest, but to get you started, you can’t go wrong with her gift section or Chicago collection. I personally own this Chicago Sweatshirt and this Windy City Sweatshirt and I love both so so so much.
I met Amy, the designer behind VO Jewelry through Ali – and it’s impossible not to love these women. Her Ollie Hoops are my go-to when I want a dangly earring that doesn’t feel heavy – and they’re only $30! I also think this heart bracelet, this masklace (just got this and it’s so cute!), and this custom letter necklace would be such great gifts this year.
Monica & Andy is a Chicago-based conscious clothing company that uses the softest and most trustworthy fabrics to create the best baby clothes. I’ve gotten this Hospital Box for a few of my favorite Mamas, but this Christmas, I’m just trying to figure out who I can give this beagle print onesie to! HOW CUTE?!
If you are looking for local brands that are also sustainable and ethical – meet Abby Alley! Abby creates the most beautiful bags and jewelry with artisans in East Africa. I first fell in love with her work when I got this handbag, and we even created a little mini capsule jewelry collection together last year. You can still get my necklace here! Also, you can use code LAKESHORELADY for a discount!
After we watched The Last Dance documentary, I posted something about how I wanted to get some Bulls/Michael Jordan gear. I was about to search the internet for something cute, when Kristina reached out to me and asked if she could make something custom for me. Umm…. YES PLEASE! She ended up finding an awesome vintage sweatshirt that she tie dyed and cut to make it perfect for me. If you have any sports fans on your list anywhere in the country, reach out to her!
Every single time I wear this cute heart sweatshirt by House of Shan, I get questions about it… and yes, it’s as cozy as it looks! The imperfect heart stitched onto each piece is a daily reminder to live your passion, laugh everyday, love deeply, lift others up, and don’t ever quit your daydream ❤️ Also, $5 from each apparel purchase supports House of Good Shepherd. This organization serves Chicago women and children affected by domestic violence by offering a safe space with ample opportunities to grow while giving them hope for the future.
There are a million companies making warm knit hats, but Surhilo is particularly special. It was founded by a couple (the girl grew up in my hometown!) who met in South America. During one of their trips in the region, they joined a co-op of women artisans in Peru. Since coming back to Chicago, Eileen designs all of Surhilo’s products, and the talented ladies in Peru bring them to life, by hand. By doing it this way, they are promoting the use of organic, sustainable materials, while also supporting female artisans in South America. So cool, right?
If you are looking to splurge on a piece of jewelry this holiday season, Dana Rebecca Designs has really classic timeless pieces that any woman would love. She also just launched a collaboration with Liz Adams, a fellow Chicago-land blogger that most of you probably already know. I think this necklace is my favorite!
Lost Girls Vintage is an extremely popular vintage shop here in Chicago with locations in both West Town and Logan Square. They also have an online shop that ships to anywhere in North America. Obviously they have amazing vintage gems, but I’m also loving this RBG mug as a gift this year!
Beauty & Wellness
I feel like Equilibria sometimes gets lumped in with much bigger brands because a lot of bloggers use their products and talk about them… but they’re really just a female founded small business based here in Chicago! I know most of you have already heard me rave about them a million times before, but for those who haven’t heard anything about them, you can read all about the benefits of CBD oil here, as well as an interview with Coco Meers, the CEO and co-founder, here. While you may not want to get ingestible CBD oil for friends and family on your list, this roller duo, these bath bombs, and this mineral soak would be great for literally anyone on your list! (Also, the code LAKESHORELADY will get you 15% off your order!)
Lena Rose is a green and clean spa and shop in Lincoln Square. Even though we can’t get their amazing facials right now (thanks a lot, COVID!), they also have a shop with some of her favorite clean brands, and her own house line! I believe my code LAKESHORELADY still works both in store and online – and if you go in store, make sure you introduce yourself. She is the SWEETEST!
Merz Apothocary is another Lincoln Square gem. In fact, it’s been family owned and operated since it was opened by pharmacist Peter Merz in 1875. If you aren’t local to Chicago, you can also shop their products online at smallflower.com. They have a bunch of curated gift guides on their site already – but my personal favorites are Nest Candles and this Skin Food Duo!
Art & Home
Our friend Carly, aka Clementine Studio, absolutely blows me away with her work. Not only does she create custom wedding suites, but she also has wedding suite templates, as well as prints, paintings, and blankets! Oh, and she also does custom pet portraits if you’re obsessed with your dog like we are 🤣 We own and love this mountain blanket, and I’m desperately trying to find the right spot for this print called The Spaniard. Also, for all my gals in Bucktown/Wicker Park, how cute is this Club Lucky print?!
Christie has been an incredibly supportive follower of mine for years, and her city art prints are INCREDIBLE. I obviously LOVE the Chicago print, but she also has them for Madison, Denver, Boston, San Diego, and more!
Semicolon is exactly the kind of bookstore all of us want to support. It is the ONLY Black female owned bookstore in Chicago, and within their first year in business, they gave over $175,000 in books and direct donations to CPS students. They even evolved their #ClearTheShelves initiative into a nonprofit called Paran(t)hesis. If you aren’t in Chicago, you can still shop their books online here.
These slow made renewable, vegan coconut wax candles are made in small batches right in Logan Square. I found out about them thanks to a reader, and all of their scents sound incredible!
Bow & Arrow is an adorable gift shop in Bucktown that is temporarily closed due to COVID – but you can still shop online for pickup or delivery! They have the cutest cards, lots of affordable gifts, and my favorite masks!
Looking for something really unique? If you send Susan a photo of a home or a place that is special to you, she will paint a custom piece for you in one of 3 sizes. I love the idea of getting an illustration of your childhood home as a gift for your parents!
Jayson Home is what interior design dreams are made of. While they have a lot of really gorgeous furniture that would be a little too pricey for holiday gifts, they also have a ton of home decor items for a lot of people on your list!
This cute Lincoln Square shop has an amazing selection of one-of-a-kind terrariums and plants. If you can’t visit the store in person, they also ship their candles, alpaca throws, pillows and blankets from their online shop!
Back when all of us corona brides were postponing our weddings, I would get a ton of questions asking for ideas of what to send to their friends who were in the same boat as me to cheer them up. And every single time, I would tell them to send a Foxtrot box! Unfortunately the delivery address has to be in Chicago, but if that works for you, it’s the best. They have curated boxes that you can choose from, or you can build your own with your recipient’s favorite snacks, ice cream, wine, candles… you name it!
Their delivery zone actually includes a bigger portion of the midwest now, so you don’t have to be IN Chicago to order a bouquet for your loved ones this holiday season! Flowers For Dreams is really special because along with creating beautiful arrangements, they also donate 25% of their net profits to local charities. So awesome.
Scratch Goods is a homemade skincare company based in Chicago. All of their products use food-grade ingredients that are safe enough to eat, fragrance from pure essential oils only, and zero water, which eliminates the need for synthetic preservatives. In addition to their mask bar and shop, they also have an online shop where you can reserve items for pickup. Unfortunately they do not ship.
If you live in Lakeview and want to do something to support local businesses during this difficult time, getting a Lakeview Gift Card is a great option! It can be redeemed at over 70 shops and restaurants within that area… and they are going to be offering a promotion starting 11/20. Mark your calendars!
This culinary guide has BOGO offers for carry out and dine-in (when we can do that again!) for more than 75 restaurants in the city, including Le Colonial, Firecakes Donuts, Formento’s, The Bristol, and more. You can see more of the participants here!!
Gift Cards to Restaurants
If none of these appeal to you, you can also just get a gift card to their favorite restaurant! My sister got us a Spacca Napoli gift card for Christmas last year and it was one of our favorite gifts! Even if we can’t dine indoors, it’s still nice to have a date night at home with takeout from your favorite spot!
Are you going to buy any of these gifts by Chicago artists, companies, and shops?
Let us know which ones in the comments!