Chicago Based Gift Guide
A roundup of the best gifts by Chicago based brands and shops!
Chicago Based Gift Guide
It’s no secret that I have a lot of Chicago pride, so it makes me SO happy whenever you guys get excited about purchasing gifts from my Chicago based gift guide that includes local shops and Chicago-based businesses!
Obviously this barely scratches the surface when it comes to all of the amazing shops you can visit if you live in the Chicago-land area, but it’s a start! Also, while a lot of these brands are local, a lot of them ship nationwide. So even if the person you’re shopping for isn’t local, you can still get them something really awesome while supporting a business here!
And if you’re wondering why this post has a photo of me in a gown at the top… there’s a reason, I promise!! A lot of you have asked about experience gifts this holiday season, which is why my first gift suggestion is tickets to Snowball 2023!
If you’ve never heard of Snowball, it is the Junior Council’s annual gala with live music, an open bar and tastings from Chicago restaurants, and a silent auction. All proceeds directly benefit the Pediatric & Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program at Lurie Children’s Hospital and help provide much-needed laboratory tests, medications, and services for uninsured patients and patients coming from low-income families. In other words, you can gift a fabulous night out in Chicago AND donate to a worthy cause all in one gift.
They also gave me the code LSL20 so all of you can take $20 off your ticket! I’ve been to 3 Snowballs so far and they are a BLAST. That’s actually how I first discovered Rod Tuffcurls and the Bench Press!! I literally went up to them at the end of the night and asked where I can see them play again 😂 They won’t be playing this year, BUT there will be an Abba cover band so I plan on being a Dancing Queen all night!
The event is on Saturday, February 25th, 2023 at The Old Post Office in downtown Chicago. General admission tickets are $175 (or $155 with my code LSL20), or you could get the VIP package for $2500. That includes 10 tickets, access to a VIP room, a private bar with a personal bartender, and premium alcohol. Get your tickets here!
Favorite Chicago Based Gift Guide from Brands, Stores, Artists
Alice & Wonder
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.
Everything she carries is adorable, but when it comes to gifting, I usually go straight to her Chicago section. There are so many good options in there!
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. And now through December 9th, they are doing a buy one, get one 50% off stocking stuffers sale that you can stack with my code LAKESHORELADY for an additional 15% off! Their Mindful Mineral Soak is my all time favorite bath product and a gift I’ve given many times (it smells like HEAVEN!), but I also recommend their bath bombs and a relief balm, both great for sore muscles and/or joints.
Do any of you follow @seeannnajane? You should because she’s a delight – but also One/Third is her jacket company, another favorite in my Chicago based gift guide!! Surprising no one, every drop is just as chic as she is. I have Jacket 16 (seen on me above) and it is SO chic, but if you’re looking for something cozier for winter, I’d go with Jacket 17. So 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, but her sling bags are definitely the way to go this year. It’s such a beautiful and polished take on the trend!! She also has beautiful jewelry, too!
Dana Rebecca Designs
If you are looking to splurge on a piece of jewelry this holiday season, everything that Dana Rebecca Designs makes is GORGEOUS. I love that while her collection can get pricey, it’s all so timeless and will never go out of style. There’s also a few pieces left from her collaboration with Liz Adams, too!
Monica & Andy
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 purchased variations of their hospital cuddle boxes as gifts so many times and it’s always a winner. They also have some cute stuff for toddlers, kids, and even Moms – as well as a pretty great sale section right now, too!
I met Amy, the designer behind VO Jewelry through Ali from Alice & Wonder – and it’s impossible not to love these women. I love my Ollie Hoops so much that I bought them as a bridesmaids gift for all of my girls!
Looking for a gift for a skincare junkie? Advanced Clinicals is a Chicago-based company with incredible prices… in other words, you can really spoil them! My favorite products are the Tea Tree Oil, Cracked Heel Cream, and Hemp Seed Oil Cream.
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!
Whenever people ask me what to get for someone who is hard to buy gifts for, I always suggest a Foxtrot box if they are local – but now they have a curated selection that they can SHIP anywhere in the US!!! For example, their Chicago Foodie Box has Carol’s cookies, Monteverde’s pasta, Bang Bang Pie’s biscuit mix, Garrett’s popcorn, and more. Definitely sending this to some Aunts and Uncles on my list!
Lost Girls Vintage
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.
Art Prints by Tegan Gebert
If you’ve been looking for some local artists, my friend Tegan has the most beautiful Chicago prints!! She’s SO talented!
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!
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?
Lena Rose is a green and clean spa and shop in Lincoln Square. In addition to incredible facials, they also have a shop with some of her favorite clean brands, and her own house line!
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.
Christie E Print Shop
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!
If you are shopping for someone who loves our city, Foursided has some of the best Chicago gifts around. They also have an incredible assortment of ornaments and greeting cards!
Neighborly is another shop that has great Chicago gifts – most of which are also made in Chicago! They also have kitchen items, home decor, and even gifts for the kiddos.
Flowers For Dreams
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.
Dine-It-4Ward Culinary Guide
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!
Are you going to buy any of these gifts in my Chicago based gift guide including artists, companies, and shops?
Let us know which ones in the comments!
PS. Don’t forget to check out my other gift guides, too!
December 8, 2017 @ 1:55 pm
I love so many of these local businesses and artists! Great roundup 🙂
December 10, 2017 @ 1:19 pm
Thanks for reading, Audrey!
December 10, 2017 @ 9:30 pm
This is so awesome! Thank you!
December 11, 2017 @ 8:43 am
So glad you liked it, Alison! Thanks for reading 🙂
Ellie | Hungry by Nature
December 11, 2017 @ 10:36 am
Thank you so much for including my granola Lauren – I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it! And PLEASE let me know if I can send you a bag <3