By Nedra Rezinas | Contributing Writer
Holiday shopping is around the corner and I want to encourage you to shop locally this year. Shopping locally creates jobs, keeps money in the local economy, nurtures a sense of community, and supports the environment by reducing waste and conserving energy. Luckily, we have access to a wide range of unique retail stores right here in Concordia. There’s truly something for everyone.
For the Ladies
Lady Mae Boutique (2136 NE Alberta St.) has a great selection of cute outfits and accessories to match. The boutique name is inspired by the owner’s mother “Lady Mae” and her ability to put together amazing outfits. Great gift items offered here are high quality sweaters, gold filled earrings, and super soft cashmere blend socks. They also have eye-catching hair clips featuring fruits and unique patterns in bright, happy colors and offer gift wrapping in pretty packaging. I’ll be stopping by to buy gifts for my daughter and niece.
For the Guys
If you know a dude who loves sports, Laundry (1723 NE Alberta St.) can help. Carrying a wide selection of vintage sports hats, jerseys, sweatshirts, shorts, jackets and accessories from many current and retired teams, you’ll find something unique that he will love! Another option, Blendily (1532 NE Alberta St.) carries an impressive selection of homemade beauty products that make nice stocking stuffers like beard oil, beard combs, and mustache wax.
For Your Colleagues and Acquaintances
Candles are inviting year round, but especially nice on cold, rainy winter days. Stop by Mister OK’s Essentials (1455 NE Alberta St.) for soy-based scented candles with creative names like Belvedere and Empathy. For those who enjoy something sweet, pick up a box of mini cheesecakes and other delicious treats at Tiny Moreso (4520 NE 42nd Ave.), a vegan bakery. Petite Provence Boulangerie & Pâtisserie (1824 NE Alberta St.) offers seasonal and standard macarons, lemon tarts, croissants, and more French pastries, which can be boxed up as gifts.
For Little Ones
Shopping for the children in your life? Grasshopper (1816 NE Alberta St.) has got you covered with products from abroad and locally that are eco-friendly and fair trade. Grasshopper has something to delight kids of every age; from science-based toys, art kits, clothing and wooden toys to tea kits, books and games. Great gift ideas are the classic pull–along snail and Blabla dolls with distinct personalities. Don’t forget the cute stability balls for preschoolers and 200-500 piece animal puzzles for grade schoolers.
For Pet Lovers
The Filling Station (2001 NE Alberta St.) has everything you need for your pet; leashes, collars, toys, bowls, and food including freeze dried treats (good for both cats and dogs.) Many of the items are natural and eco-friendly. Show your pets some love this holiday with fun stuffies for your dog including the popular Lamb Chop and indulge your kitty with catnip pillows, tuna puree, and crinkle balls. The Filling Station is also a friendly place to bring your pets, boasting an outside treat station and lots of love and treats for pet guests inside. Can’t wait to get my dog something special.
For the Vintage Lover
Take it or Leave It (5012 NE 42nd Ave.) is a nicely curated thrift store filled with treasures from today and yesterday. A majority of the store’s inventory comes from individuals who bring items for consignment or trade. This store has furniture, clothing, accessories, housewares, jewelry, kids’ toys, and puzzles. It has an impressive selection of vintage and new glassware, bowls, pitchers, plates, mugs and more. I find kitchenware makes an excellent gift. I’ve had luck buying items for my in-laws here (and for myself too!).
For Sci-fi and Fantasy Fans
Parallel Worlds (2639 NE Alberta St.) has a vast collection of new and used fantasy and sci-fi books. I can buy YA fantasy books for my daughter and sci-fi books for my husband here. You’ll find classic authors like Ursula LeGuin, J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Prachett, and many more. Gift recommendations are The Green Bone Saga by the local writer Fonda Lee and Monk & Robot by Becky Chambers.
Our neighborhood shops have a wide range of creative, unique items that make wonderful holiday gifts. This year, try exploring some of the stores above or one you’ve been curious about for your holiday shopping. I bet you’ll find some fun surprises along the way.
[All photos by Roxanne Rezinas.]
Nedra Rezinas lives near U of O in Concordia. She does marketing strategy for small businesses, is a mom, drinks tea, is a birder, and is passionate to build community.