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Larchmont Village. Courtesy of Leanna Lin.
Larchmont Village. Courtesy of Leanna Lin.
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Small Biz Saturday Guide: The Best LA Spots To Shop Local

Picture of Marie Cradle
Updated: 9 February 2017
Mundane mall shopping doesn’t have to be part of holiday tradition. A growing number of buyers are dismissing the big-box bustle of Black Friday and are getting more into the spirit of Small Business Saturday. In Los Angeles, there are standout small biz districts showcasing and celebrating the fabulous, the small, and the independent. Here is the list of LA’s top small businesses worth your time.
Unique socks at Leanna lin's Wonderland. Courtesy of Leanna Lin.
Unique socks at Leanna lin’s Wonderland. Courtesy of Leanna Lin.

Shop Hip & Funky Unique In Eagle Rock

Arguably Northeast LA ‘s finest area is Eagle Rock. Along the main streets of Colorado Blvd and Eagle Rock Blvd are independent boutiques taking part in the 5th Annual We Heart Eagle Rock event on Small Biz Saturday. Among participating businesses are quirky boutiques like Purple Twig, Cuculapraline-Frenchic, Leanna Lin’s Wonderland, and Bubble Cuts. For those into out-of-the-box holiday gift giving, this shopping event is a must. Find oddities like handmade, monster-like plush dolls, and select from a variety of prints and pieces from local artists. Besides making purchases, the merry occasion is marked by live music and refreshment.

Village Heights shop at Larchmont Village. Courtesy of Leanna Lin.
Village Heights shop at Larchmont Village. Courtesy of Leanna Lin.

Shop LA Chic In Lovely Larchmont

About a mile away from mega malls at the Beverly Center and The Grove is neighborhood shopping treasure Larchmont Village. This enclave hosts a festive Small Business Saturday and Holiday Open House event on Nov 28, featuring a few dozen inviting, unparalleled boutiques. Those wanting to play ‘Eclectic Santa’ can find a wonderland of specialty gifts for those on the ‘nice’ list — from stylish frocks to paper goods. Larchmont’s quadruple shopping front, ‘Landis’ (Landis Gifts and Stationery, Landis’ Labyrinth Classic Toy Shop, Landis’ Early Years, Landis General Store), offers the largest variety of the handsome and handmade. For high-quality fashion finds, head to Village establishments like CH Boutique and Ampersand. After Small Biz Saturday, the holiday spirit is extended with on-going sales and caroling events.

Do Luxe Fab In Brentwood

While it may not be as well-known as Beverly Hills, Brentwood is a top-notch independent shopping spot on the LA map. Drawing upscale-loving commoners and celebrities alike, this part of West LA is home to Brentwood County Mart, a centre-de-luxe with exclusive, independent boutiques that stretch along San Vicente Blvd, Barrington Ct., and 26th St. Presents from high fashion shops like Christian Louboutin is sure to please fortunate recipients. Shoppers looking to give imaginative and well-crafted toys and games to kids on the ‘nice’ list should head to Toy Crazy. Enjoy the festive ambiance at the Mart with tasteful Christmas and Hanukkah-friendly decorations while shop hopping.

Craft and Folk Art Museum. Courtesy of Leanna Lin.
Craft and Folk Art Museum. Courtesy of Leanna Lin.

Unique Artsy Anti-Mall At Miracle Mile Museums: LACMA & CAFAM

Looking to buy a tabletop art book or artsy knick-knacks? Head to the museum heart of LA, the Miracle Mile district. Among the museums is principal point of interest, LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the smaller but equally culture-rich venue, Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM). Each has its own gift shop of remarkable gifts that are incomparable in quality to mass-produced mall items. Plenty items — from original art paintings to jewelry — are handcrafted and imported. At the LACMA gift shop, current-exhibit-related gifts make for timely holiday presents, as well as exclusive pieces like Bauer Gallery pottery ware. At uber-ethnic CAFAM bazaar, choose from several unique art pieces, often made of clay, wood, glass, or metal — instead of mostly plastic which makes up much of the items from commercialized brick and mortar locations.

Half Mile Holiday Shopping Via Montana, Santa Monica

While common visitors in LA’s fashionable neighbor, Santa Monica, trek down crowded Third Street Promenade with shopping bags, discerning others stroll down intimate Montana Avenue. With ten blocks of upscale independent store shopping, the stretch is prime for purchasing fine gifts for the holidays. Find cozy sweaters at plenty of apparel shops, like unisex-friendly Tam’s Tim Tam. Other Montana fashion boutiques include trendy women’s wear stops, Marcia Bloom, Cozzi Cozzi, and Margaret O’ Leary. Non-clothing highlights include general item shops such as Limonaia and Seasons. Come on November 28, on Small Business Saturday, as well as on December 4 for Montana Ave Holiday Walk 2015. The latter date features not just a special celebration of small businesses but scrumptious treats, caroling, and a visit from Santa Claus himself.