7 Bay Area Shops Tastemakers Love This Holiday Season

The Podolls I love shopping small and have made it a big part of my gift giving. And I was thinking, it might be fun to gather my favorite social media friends to come up with a wide selection of shopping small sources in the Bay Area. So each of us have chosen one place we recommend shopping small at. I can’t wait to explore many of these shops that are new to me.

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The Podolls – Caitlin of Sacramento Street

One of my go-to small shops where I know I can always find something I love is The Podolls. The husband and wife team have a store in Noe Valley and also one in Hillsboro. Much of the clothing in their shop, they have designed themselves. On my most recent shopping trip, I found a dress for me, a stocking stuffer for my son, and a pair of shoes. Everything they have in the shop is carefully curated and makes great additions to your wardrobe or home. It feels right to spend my money with folks who work hard to deliver quality and style in San Francisco.

St FrankSt. Frank – Ashley Kane of Brunch on Chestnut

St. Frank is my favorite place to shop for unique and authentic gifts (whether it’s for a loved one or a “to me, from me”). They have the most unique and beautiful textiles and accessories handmade by artisans from around the globe. Their collection is a perfect mix of vintage and new– the collector’s, home styling enthusiasts, and entertainers in your life will approve!

mill-8mill-3Mill Mercantile – Leslie Santarina of Spotted SF

Classic. Simple. Beautifully designed essentials for your wardrobe, especially for the everyday “t-shirt and jeans” kind of gal. Mill Mercantile has a lovely collection of home goods, books and quarterly magazines. They stock harder to find, indie brands from US and international makers. For the men folk, they have a separate shop called Unionmade.

Flora GrubbFlora Grubb – Erin Hiemstra of Apartment 34

When it comes to gift giving I like to go for something a little unique. My local nursery, Flora Grubb is the perfect for that. Be it an air plant, a beautiful piece of pottery or the perfect little potted succulent, I always find something special.

Hudson GraceHudson Grace – Crystal Palecek of Rue Magazine

Walking into Hudson Grace is a sensory experience every aesthete will love. From the beautiful white dinnerware, to the sophisticated scented candles, and the rich textures of baskets and linens, visiting is an elevated experience for all. Hudson Grace is definitely one of my go-to spots for holiday shopping and treating myself throughout the year.

esqueleto1 esqueleto4Esqueleto – Amanda Holstein of Advice from a Twenty Something

Esqueleto is one of a handful of stores on Temescal Alley in Oakland. It’s one of my favorite places to not only shop but get inspiration. If you’re looking for unique, artisanal gifts — everything from bohemian jewelry to home decor — Esqueleto has some really cool pieces.

alchemy-bottle-shop-15alchemy-bottle-shop-5Alchemy Bottle Shop – Bianca Sotelo of A Fab Challenge

Alchemy Bottle Shop is the prettiest booze shop in all the land filled with special small batch and locally crafted spirits. Each product, down to their gorgeous vintage barware, is carefully curated and unique. A beautiful bottle is a multipurpose gift in my book: it looks stunning on a bar cart, and is a novelty to drink!

There are many reasons to #ShopSmall TWODAY but one big motivation is the amazing Shop Small for 2X Rewards promotion American Express is running through the end of the year. So get out there and discover your favorite small shops you can support this holiday season. You can use Amex Shop Small map, to help you find participating shops. You can also enroll for our card at enrollment page.

I hope you enjoy finding your favorite small shops this season – happy holiday hunts!

*As you know, you must be 21+ to consume alcohol. Please drink responsibly.

All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting sponsored posts that keep Sacramento Street doors open.

Photos courtesy of Caitlin Flemming | Andrea Posadas | Leslie Santarina

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  1. Alexis Gil

    Great ideas for gifts! Thanks for sharing! It’s always difficult when you have no ideas what to buy, and when you have a lot good ideas and you can’t choose one.


  2. Mike

    Bitters + Bottles in South San Francisco is significantly better than Alchemy Bottle Shop. They have a much better selection not only of liquors but also of barware, mixology books and their travel sized alcohol.