In January I published a "Pittsburgh Valentine's Day Gift Guide" on a whim. To this day, it remains one of the most popular posts on my site.
With the holidays coming up, I wanted to do something similar... but it instantly proved to be very difficult.
There are SO many marvelous shops and artists Pittsburgh. How could I ever fit them all into one post?
Well, I can't.... but I'm going to try!
For my sanity (and yours), I am breaking these holiday guides into two posts:
Pittsburgh Shops and Boutiques Guide (this guide)
2017 Pittsburgh Holiday Gift Guide
Specific items will be in other guide. This post is all about local Pittsburgh shops where you are guaranteed to find 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 gifts.
Local Shops and Boutiques in Pittsburgh for Finding Holiday and Christmas Gifts - 2017:
1. A519 Chocolate Boutique (Holiday Pop up)
Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know about A519 Chocolate..... and, if you follow me in any capacity, you'll know I'm slightly obsessed with these chocolates. (I have a really big sweet tooth, okay??? It's not a crime!)
A519 produces chocolate truffles that look too beautiful to eat... but you're definitely going to want to try them, because they taste as good as they look. We're talking flavors like cranberry caramel, pumpkin pie, five spice, red wine, and dirty chai.
I was very excited to learn that A519 was hosting a holiday pop up shop in Lawrenceville from Christmas until Valentine's Day. Ergo, you'll be able to peruse their entire chocolate selection in person.
As a hostess gifts, stocking stuffer, or treat-yo-self moment, there are endless excuses to buy these beautiful truffles. (No really, if you need an excuse, hmu. I think of reasons to buy these chocolates every other week).
A519 Winter Pop-Up - 4415 Butler Street
2. No. 14 Boutique
I don't spend money on clothing. I just don't. However, No. 14 Boutique is the only place I'm at risk of maxing out my card every time I walk into the store.
No. 14 is very chic and girly... but even as someone who doesn't identify as either of those things, I can't get enough of this store. Even my hippy, outdoorsy friends love it. I always take out-of-town guests into this shop.... and they always end up buying something.
Here is the thing - you could buy them a gift card. However, actually picking out an outfit is a a lot more personal. No. 14's collection is impeccable. You can't go wrong.
Also, the staff is very knowledgable and friendly. They can help you find something neutral enough that anyone would like... or! If you show them a few pictures of your friend/girlfriend's instagram, I bet they would be able to come up with an outfit they would love.
No. 14 Boutique - 4601 Butler St
3. The Gilded Girl
If you have someone on your list who loves makeup, forgo Sephora this Holiday season. Head to The Gilded Girl for some indie makeup!
This specialize in unique and luxury brands of makeup. They scourer all corners of the beauty world and provide Pittsburgh with the best of the best in hipster makeup. They also have a lot of professional brands (ie: movies and makeup artists) that are hard to find elsewhere, much to try.
The owner is super friendly, and great at helping you pick out a product. You'll never go wrong with a new mascara, fun lipstick, and scented location/bath soap.
Gilded Girl - 5104 Butler St
4. Von Walter & Funk
Von Walter & Funk is exactly what I hope the inside of my brain looks like - organized, colorful chaos. Located on Butler Street in Lawrenceville, this is another shop with 💯💯💯💯 taste.
Von Walter & Funk is crammed with bright and shiny trinkets... hundreds of things you never knew you needed. They've definitely got their fingers on the pulse of what is new and hip. Everything is super trendy, especially for Pittsburgh. You basically open the door and are transported to New York or LA.
Anything they sell would make an excellent gift, but two of my favorite options are their colorful cord lights, and their bar equipment.
The store will custom make (to the proper length) cord lights to decorate anyone's home. If you know someone who just moved, this would be a perfect gift.
They also have a great collection of cocktail books, shakers, cups, ect. If you know someone who likes to booze... please introduce them to me.... then pick them up a stellar gift at Von Walter & Funk!
Von Walter & Funk - 5210 Butler St
5. love, Pittsburgh
Obviously, I am way too obsessed with Pittsburgh. It will probably come as a shock to most of you that I don't have "Pittsburgh" tattooed on my forehead.
I have finally found a shop that is on my level. The "love, Pittsburgh" shop on Mt. Washington opened a few months ago, and sells gifts made by Pittsburgh artists and makers. They have everything from food to art to candles and more. If you are looking to shop local this holiday season, this is about as local as it gets.
love, Pittsburgh - 301 Shiloh St
6. The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh
The Artsmiths is a unique space in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. The space is really more of an art center, as they have a gallery, host classes, and sell local wares.
The shop boats items from over 300 Greater Pittsburgh artists - and you can tell! It's massive, and crammed with beautifully handcrafted jewelry, artwork, ceramics and more! There is also a cafe if you need to fuel up before shopping.
Another idea is to gift one of their classes. A full schedule can be viewed online! Options include enamel earrings, crochet, and mosaic making.
Be sure to check out the gallery downstairs while you're there!
Artsmiths -1635 McFarland Rd
7. Samantha Skelton Jewelry Design
I always drive by this shop, but I've never had the chance to stop in. However, a few months ago I started following Samantha on Instagram, so I can officially vouch for her work... because I want all of it.
Everything she makes is simple, yet stunning. The pieces look great standalone, or stacked together. Jewelry is obviously always going to be a winner in the gift department... so why not checkout a local artist? You'll get brownie points when you explain how you sought out a local gallery - trust me.
Checkout Samantha Skelton's work on instagram and be amazed yourself!
Samantha Skelton - 4049 Penn Ave
8. Kards Unlimited
Kards Unlimited is a total classic. I've been spending money at Kards Unlimited since I had money to spend. No, really. As soon as I started babysitting at 15, I would beg my mom to drive me over to Kards Unlimited to I could buy Harry Potter scarves, or a pillow in the shape of a moustache.
The shop remains relevant and quirky as ever, crammed with nerdy books, risque greeting cards, and trinkets that make you laugh out loud (see: a Shakespeare finger puppet). There's also a lot of Game of Thrones and Star Wars stuff in there.
If you're looking to buy a gift for anyone between the ages of 11 and 18.... or someone who is still a kid at heart... obviously make a spin through Kards Unlimited.
Kards Unlimited - 5522 Walnut St
9. Lily & Val
Lily & Val opened on Walnut Street in Shadyside about a year ago, and I've been actually obsessed with it ever since. I talk about it on social media so much that I've probably alarmed their social media manager.
It. is. just. so. cute. Everything about it. Once again, I am not even a girly person who loves pink... but I can't get enough of this space.
Valerie McKeehan is a Pittsburgh artist with a nationwide following. I would consider her Pittsburgh's very own Rifle Paper Co. She makes cards, cook books, pouches, planners, ect. You could get her stuff online... or you could just go to her flagship store in Shadyside! The shop has all of her products... and then some!
Think candles, drink mixes, posters, plates, teas, jewelry.... the more I talk about it, the more I just want to drive over there and hang out.
Lily's style is "chalk art," and she even teaches chalk workshops in the upstairs portion of the store... another great gift!
Lily and Val - 5900 Ellsworth Ave
10. Carnegie Museum of Art
Am I the only person who spends as much time in the museum gift shop as they do in the museum? My favorite gift shop in Pittsburgh is at the CMOA.
I have a new museum tradition - brunch at the Cafe Carnegie, walk the gallery, and then spend a good 45 minutes in the gift shop. They have tons of local products, as well as quirky, art related pieces.... like a Karl Lagerfeld stuffed animal.
My personal wish list includes their neon signs, A519 x CMOA chocolate box (always), Jeff Koons balloon dog statues, and the entire makeup selection.
SEE ALSO: The Warhol, The Phipps, The Mattress Factory also have fabulous gift shops!
CMOA - 4400 Forbes Ave
11. Farm & Forest
I discovered Farm & Forest a few months ago when walking down Penn Ave. The shop is really cute, and has a great selection of plants and ceramic pots.
This is the perfect place to shop for the resident plant lady in your life. There are a couple of other awesome plant shops in the city (see: City Grows), but Farm & Forest has a killer DIY terrarium building station. As someone who put in all the work to make a terrarium at home.... only to kill it a few weeks later.... let someone else do the hard work for you.
They have all the sand, charcoal, pebbles, ect, required to make a terrarium that lives longer than two weeks. A voucher for someone to make their own terrarium at Farm & Forest would be an excellent gift!
If they love plants, they will be thrilled for an excuse to pop through the shop.
Farm & Forest - 5437 Penn Ave
12. Maggie & Stella’s Gifts (Holiday Pop up)
This Oakland gift shop recently left their home on Oakland Ave and is in the process of transitioning to a new space. Until then, they are hosting a holiday pop up on Forbes Ave. This means you can still get their trendy gifts, cards, and trinkets in time for the holidays. The shop has a ton of great Pittsburgh items, as well as Swell bottles (great gift), jewelry, mugs, bags and more!
Maggie & Stella's Holiday Pop Up - 3955 Forbes Ave
SoMe is a quick drive north of the city. If you've never been to the area before, it's worthwhile to make it an afternoon adventure. Checkout Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve, The Hartwood Mansion, and then have lunch at Il Pizzaiolo or Whispers Pub.
SoMe is located in the center of all the aforementioned spots. It's my go-to spot for house warming gifts. It's filled with thoughtful and charming items, ie: candles, platters, ceramics, and beautiful trinkets.
My favorite aspect is their jewelry selections. It's an array of delicate and eye catching pieces. Additionally, the owner, Amy, is very talented with jewlery repair.
SoMe - 3394 Saxonburg Blvd # 530
14. Pennsylvania Libations
The Strip District
When in doubt? Booze. Don't know what to get them? Booze. And, if you're going to get booze, you might as well track down some locally distilled products.
Thanks to Pennsylvania Libations, you won't have to look too far. This store is PA's first independently owned craft liquor store. The space, located on Penn Ave in The Strip, sells over 75 Spirits from 12 distilleries in Pennsylvania.
Gin, rum, vodka.... They've got you covered.
Pennsylvania Libations - 2103 Penn Ave
15. Wheel and Wedge cheese shop
The Strip District (Lawrenceville?)
And, if you're going to bring local booze... why not throw in some local cheese? Wheel and Wedge, located inside of the Enginehouse 25 wine shop, purveys American cheeses (not... like.... the slices orange cheese.... just cheeses made in America). Many are from the New York and Pennsylvania. The owner is super knowledgeable (obviously), and can recommend a few silvers to pair with your wine, beer, or appetizer.
The space also sells crackers, jam, and wine..... woohoo! One stop shop!
It is also possible to order entire platters for parties/gifts on their website.
Wheel and Wedge - 3339 Penn Ave
I threw this on here at the last minute because... well, I only just learned about it... but also because it's Downtown, and I don't have any Downtown shops. Great location scouting, team!
Three Lawrenceville boutiques and one bag maker have teamed up for a Downtown holiday shop called "Vignette." As it is a holiday shop, I assume it is going to be very gift-friendly.
The shops included are: Vestis, Pavement, and Toll Gate Revival. Moop is a popular waxed canvas bag maker in the city. Together, this is going to be an awesome shop. If you're Downtown exploring, or needing to get a last minute gift on your lunch break, checkout Vignette.
Vignette - 807 Liberty Ave
17. The Direction
Ross Park Mall
I know. Who the hell wants to go to Ross Park Mall during the holidays? I know. But, there's a store inside of that holiday hellhole that sells local products and art.
Apparently the company (The Direction) has other shops like this in Indiana and Ohio. I don't love the name (I kept calling it The Dignation?), but the concept is great. And if you want a Pittsburgh product... that isn't a jersey or a terrible towel.... this is a great spot.
The Direction - Ross Park Mall (Level 2 in between Nordstrom and Sears)
Pittsburgh Holiday Fairs & Events to Buy Local Gifts:
I Made It! for the Holidays 2017 - November 24 – November 26 at The Waterfront
Handmade Arcade 2017 - December 2 at The David L Lawrence Convention Center
Crafts and Drafts Holiday Market - December 9 at East End Brewing
I Made It! at The Block Northway - December 10 at The Block at Northway
I Made It! at Cranberry Commons - December 16 at hhgregg in Cranberry
Like I said, I could never name all of the awesome spots! Please share your favorites in the comments below so everyone can check them out!
If you visit, please leave a comment below about your experience, or tag me in your pictures in Instagram!
See all of the other Pittsburgh small business posts here. #shopsmall
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