You don’t think the world needs another shopping guide? I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. We need a Louisville shopping guide so we can find kick ass holiday gifts for loved ones, business associates, neighbors, teachers and all the other people on our lists. We need a Louisville shopping guide so we can find good gifts from great shops that add to our incredible local flavor every day. We need a Louisville shopping guide so we can impress the heck out of our gift recipients with one more interesting, unique gift and one less standard issue item picked up at the mall. We need a Louisville shopping guide so you can know what they actually sell at that one store on Bardstown Road, you know the one with the big bear out front.
So enjoy Consuming Louisville’s First Annual Holiday Shopping Guide. It features some specific items from local artists and companies, a few specific shops you should be shopping at, and an item or two that is Louisville related. Everything is unique. Everything is interesting. And not a single item in the Consuming Louisville Holiday Shopping Guide requires you to go to a mall.
How do I love WHY Louisville? Let me count the ways. I love the Night Owl shirt that I mostly recently acquired. I love the Home Fleur de Les (by featured shopping guide artist Art by Mags) and I’m still madly in love with the 502 shirt.
WHY Louisville is a unique shop that sells a lot of unique stuff but in
my mind, WHY Louisville is all about the shirts. They have a huge
variety of shirts that were either designed by local artists, feature
local landmarks or culture, or are otherwise related to how great
Louisville is. WHY Louisville is also the store with the big bear out
front. Don’t be afraid, they’re friendly inside.
relocated to Louisville from New Orleans post Katrina. And while she
still spends a lot of time in New Orleans and a lot of her heart still
belongs to that town we’re proud to claim her as a kick ass local
Louisville artist. Her work is self-described as “recycled materials
& diy design.” Using a whole slew of tools and techniques including
stenciling and screenprinting she creates clocks, t-shirts, cuff links, bags and other misc. accessories and clothes.
In my biased opinion her clocks and t-shirts are very nearly too cool for school. I’ve got two of her clocks (Scoot!
lives over my kitchen table) and two of her t-shirts that I rock all
the time. I don’t have this very new, very cool red rocket shirt yet
Go ahead, buy it and beat me to it.
Item: Red Rocket T-Shirt
Location: Art by Mags Etsy Shop (online)
Louisville based photographer Sarah Lyon, traveled 12,000 miles to both east and west coasts on her motorcycle to capture the images for her 2008 Female Mechanics calendar.
Forget that “Calm Nature Views” calendar you were going to buy for your
office Secret Santa pool and get this one instead. Your coolness factor
will increase x4 when your co-workers see you have such excellent
a gift that measures 35″x23″ you’ll probably not only win the “coolest
gift given” award but you’ve got a good shot at the “gift that takes up
most surface area” award as well.
This Make Your Baby Food kit from the brand new parenting boutique Mama’s Hip
will be awesome for the DIY spirited, hands on parents of toddlers on
your list. If you’re over 25 you’ve got at least one group of parents
like that. Show them you respect their parenting choices by making it
easier for them to feed the littlest human in their family the kind of
healthy natural diet that’s important to them. Of course it would also
be appropriate for anyone who just had major dental surgery as well.
Item: Make Your Own Baby Food Kit
Location: Mama’s Hip
1559 Bardstown Road
I’ve yet to understand it there are in fact people in this world who
prefer hot tea over coffee. If you’ve one of these sorts in your life
consider a trip to The Spice Merchant
in Chenoweth Square. The Spice Merchant specializes in fresh spices of
both common and very uncommon varieties (whole nutmeg, vanilla beans, several different kinds of curries, ground flax seeds, etc.) and loose leaf teas.
yes, they’ve got lots and lots of teas. They also have tea pots, tea
cups, tea spoons, tea services, tea condiments and tea accessories.
Everything you could possibly need to impress the tea lover in your
Item: Teas & Spices
Location: The Spice Merchant
3917 Chenoweth Square
Louisville, KY 40207
Item: Happy Hanukkah Dish
Location: Red Tree
701 East Market Street
Louisville, KY 40202
For that person on your list with a gigantic sweet tooth nothing will say “Happy Holidays” like a box from Dundee Candy Shop.
Tell the clerk to create a half pound box with lots of variety and
you’re sure to be much loved and respected by your gift recipient.
Or give a gift certificate to Dundee Candy Shop if you want to allow your candy lover the pleasure of picking out their favorites one by one.
Item: Candy, glorious candy
Location: Dundee Candy Shop
2112 Bardstown Road
is one of my favorite holiday shopping destinations. I wish I was a
good enough person to say that my primary reason for shopping there is
that they deal in fair trade merchandise and are making the world a
little better one sale at a time. The truth is though they’ve got
fantastic stuff at fantastic prices. The touchy-feely making the world
better stuff is just an added bonus. I particularly like buying jewelry
there. It’s beautiful, unique and oh so affordable. I bought this
bracelet for my mom. Don’t tell her.
Item: Beaded Bracelet
Location: Just Creations
2722 Frankfort Avenue
Cost: $10 (told you the prices were great)
Dirty Tease is made up of two
very cool women in Germantown who make “funny, witty, naughty” t-shirts
that have attitude to spare. With shirts for such categories as: geek, gay and lesbian, mental health, political and feminism
and several others there is something for everyone on your list. Well,
I would think that you might have a hard time finding a shirt that a
conservative Republican would like from Dirty Tease, but I could be wrong. My very favorite Dirty Tease item? The very cool, very geeky (just like me) No Comment shirt.
next few entries in the shopping guide aren’t specific items but
instead whole shops that you need to check out. There is no end to the
neat items you’ll find at these stores and no telling which people from
your holiday gift list you’ll make extremely happy with gifts from
is my new favorite shop on Bardstown Road. Run by a new transplant to
our city (Welcome!) The Makery is a consignment storefront that showcases
handmade, unique goods of all shapes, sizes, materials and styles. A
few examples are t-shirts, paintings, notebooks, jewelry, hats and
knickknacks, but that’s just scratching the service. Really, The Makery
is a place you need to check out in person.
Since the items in
The Makery are handmade the inventory turns over frequently. I can’t
guarantee you’ll be able to find these hilarious mouse and mousetrap
earrings when you go in but if you do your sister with the slightly
skewed sense of humor is sure to love them.
Store: The Makery
1617 Bardstown Road
I can’t afford most of the stuff in Scout
but I very much enjoy looking around, particularly now that they’ve
added a second floor with furniture, art and other large household
decorating items. If you comfortably reside in a higher tax bracket
than I do then you definitely should spend some time in Scout. To be
fair I should say there are some items in Scout I can afford, they just
don’t happen to be the items I want.
Instead I want this gorgeous, rustic solid elm table. I know it won’t fit under the tree but feel free to buy it for me anyway.
801 East Market
Clay & Cotton
is a women’s boutique that happens to be next door to my hairdresser.
This is a problem because every time I get my hair cut I ended up
spending more money at Clay & Cotton. Fantastic clothes, unique
jewelry, home furnishings, stationery, fancy soaps that make you smell so good and lots more neat items populate the shelves and racks at Clay &
According to the shop’s website “Clay & Cotton
products are dedicated to a more functional theme, with the idea that
the things we use every day can be beautiful and inspiring, and add
character and warmth to the rituals of daily life.” That’s a philosophy
I can endorse.
Store: Clay & Cotton
1341 Bardstown Road
Last but certainly not least don’t forget how great gift certificates can be to give this holiday season. Coffee shops, bookstores,
restaurants, record stores and all other manner of local, independent
businesses are great gift certificate options. Though gift certificates
can be impersonal they can also be an expression of understanding and
respect for a person’s likes. Take a little care to make sure any gift
certificates you’re giving send the right message. For example a gift
certificate to Heine Brothers for me shows that you understand my deep
and undying love for coffee and my pleasure in supporting local
businesses. A gift certificate from ear X-tacy for your music loving aunt shows that you support her love of music and want her to get something she’s going to love.
might also consider assembling a gift certificate package based around
a theme or a neighborhood. For example a Douglass Loop pack featuring
gift certificates from Heine Brothers, Breadworks and Horton’s Hardware is absolutely sure to delight any Highlands dwellers. A dinner and a movie pack featuring an Avalon gift certificate and tickets to Baxter Avenue Theaters
will most certainly win you friends and influence people. Got a poor
college student or starving artist you love? Consider splurging on them
with a “Find the Perfect Pie” pack with gift certificates from Wick’s, Clifton’s, Za’s, Impellizeri’s, Spinelli’s
or any of the other fine pizza places in town. Trust me on this one,
poor college students and starving artists love pizza. Make the effort
to go all around town collecting gift certificates for pizza and the
good karma will return to you infinitely multiplied.
you’ve enjoyed this holiday shopping guide and more importantly I hope
you’ll use it as a jumping off point for shopping at local businesses
and buying from local artists this holiday season. Those businesses and
artists are crucial ingredients to the unique and independent
Louisville flavor that we all enjoy.
While you’re shopping, if you could please share the word that Consuming Louisville.com sent you it would be much appreciated.