I do all of my Christmas shopping online. I know that many people like to shop for gifts online since it’s simpler than wading through the crowded malls. But my approach is a bit different. I like to find the perfect unique gift for everyone on my list. My rule is that it has to be something that they would want but wouldn’t buy for themselves.
Over the years I’ve bought a travel mug shaped like a Canon SLR Camera Lens for my father-in law who’s a VP at Canon America, as well as a bottle opener consisting of a magnet, a piece of wood, and a nail for my dad the structural engineer. Both of these gifts have now been picked up by wider distributers but I’m proud to say that I found them at the source a year prior.
And no—my secret isn’t turning to Etsy or the super-overpriced Uncommon Goods. Instead I find fun online boutique shops in the depths of the Internet that focus on curating unique gifts. I source these shops from, of all places, the Real Simple Gift Guide. I don’t just look at their holiday gifts—my focus is on the sites where they find the gifts. So I look at their Mother’s Day Gift guides, Birthday gift guide, Hostess gift guides, etc. Some of their gifts of course come from mainstream sources but a fair amount come from boutique sites and that’s where I head. The sites are always super adorable and fun to surf through.[divider] [/divider]
Here are the ones I’m checking out right now:
1. Photojojo is an uber niche site for the photographer but over the past few years has expanded this to include nifty smartphone accessories. This is one of my all time favorite sites. The iPhone Boom Mic ($40) is actually on my personal Christmas list this year and I think the Phoneography Starter Kit ($40–a $60 value) is really one of the best gift choices out there right now.
2. Fab is an extensive site ranging from clothing to office items to décor all with a fun twist. It’s similar to Modcloth.com. Two of my favorite gift items have to be the Elephant Paper Shredder ($17) and USB Toaster Hub ($20 [on sale at the time of this post])
3. iLoveHandles.com is mainly an Apple accessories site- but as they say, “We never meant to be another iPhone accessories company. Sorry about that. We know there are already a lot of them out there, so we are careful that our products are not more of the same.” And I have to say—their products are definitely unique. I love the Facet (39.95), a magnetic origami-like stand for the iPad. For a non-Apple product check out the SmorgasBoard, a wooden magnetic bulletin board with a selection of different attachments ($75 for the full set).
4. Amelia is a quirky site ranging from bowties to funky jewelry. A lot of the merchandise is a bit too precious for me and a bit overpriced but there are some fun finds such as the Ask Me About My Cat Cotton Tote ($15) I also adore the selection of greeting cards such as this Celebrate With Cake Card ($5).
5. Apartment 48 Featuring an eclectic mixture of the whimsical décor, their mission is “the pursuit of the world’s best pieces brought to you to discover.” Prices range from less than $10 to more than $100 but there are some very cool finds. This year I’m obsessed with the stripes long-eared bunny ($25) and the Bamboo CheeseBoard Set ($38).
What are your favorite quirky go-to gift sites? Tweet us @litdarling.
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Oh thank gawd you wrote this. I’ve been hitting a figurative brick wall in the gift brainstorming department. And p.s. I love the names of your cats. Like a lot.
So glad I could help! There are some great sites out there :)