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Spotlight On 10 Stores From Local LA Artisans

ThingsUnique in Burbank

Neighborhood: Burbank

This art gallery and retail space right in the heart of the Magnolia Shopping District is a beautiful glimpse into the heart and soul of the owner and multi-faceted artist Shogher Baghdoud-Tikian. The title “ThingsUnique” is fitting, as her furnishings, jewelry, and accessories are one of a kind and really showcase an artist’s ability to create a beautiful perspective on common things we see in our everyday life. We love her paintings and pieces made from rose petals and her ability to take elements of the earth and create them into another remarkable piece of art. ThingsUnique also hosts art exhibits, music nights, wine and painting experiences, and art classes to satisfy the budding artisan inside you.

photo by – ThingsUnique

John Kelly Chocolates

Neighborhood: locations in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica

If you’re looking for delicious artisan chocolate products handcrafted in small batches right in the heart of Hollywood, look no further than John Kelly Chocolates. The two owners, John and Kelly, believe that flavor and quality go hand in hand and it shows in every bite of their award-winning artisan chocolates. A humble family recipe branched out into over 23 flavors and three locations, with their signature product being an out-of-this-world truffle fudge. The beautiful packing of the chocolates makes them a luxurious gift choice for a sweet-toothed friend or family member. From the gorgeous sea salt flakes to caramel swirls and consistency, you can feel and definitely taste the difference. Our faves were the hand-molded caramel-filled butterflies (so cute!) and the Dark Chocolate with French Gray Sea Salt.

Kaleidoscope Kollective

Neighborhood: Echo Park 

Reflecting beauty and creativity, Kaleidoscope Kollective is a women-owned collective that is full of one-of-a-kind locally handmade pieces including stickers, jewelry, candles, and affordable vintage clothing. Stop in for some super satisfying gift shopping or up your self-care game with some organic and artisan-made bath bombs, all while supporting other talented and hard-working women. 

Restrained Whimsy

Neighborhood: Studio City 

To founders Brian and Scott, “Restrained Whimsy” means a place where logic and play are celebrated, honored, and embraced. You can feel this energy as soon as you step into the Studio City store, bursting with inventive and distinctive personal and gift ideas that showcase local artists and also give back to the community. Our favorites at the store include funky home decor and luxe spa bath products at a very affordable price point. The local and homemade greeting cards are adorable and a great gift idea for holidays, birthdays, and special occasions. So many cute accessories and trinkets, we can hardly restrain our spending when we’re in this place!! 

photo by – Restrained Whimsy

Just What I Kneaded

Neighborhood: Frogtown 

Find yourself kneading some freshly baked artisan bread? Look no further than the yummy dough-lightful locally owned “Just What I Kneaded”, a community hub that caters to those looking for unique vegan goodies that reflect the artistry of baker and owner Justine Hernandez. Justine started Just What I Kneaded out of her then-home in Highland park in 2017 and has since built a brick-and-mortar from scratch, selling vegan treats, bagel sandwiches, cakes, and whatever else they decide to cook up. A few of our faves include the gluten-free apple spiced cake and the brown sugar pop tart. 

photo by – Alternative Press Magazine

Gold Bug 

Neighborhood: Pasadena 

This Pasadena-based independent art and fine jewelry store is weird, and we love weird over here. Gold Bug has both a brick-and-mortar store, as well as an online store where you can browse their roster of featured artists. The price point can be a little higher than the other stores mentioned here, but their selection of quirky and offbeat locally sourced and created artwork and jewelry is truly one of a kind. The curiosities and oddities showcase the unique perspective of each designer, and it will fill you with pride to see the level of talent that exists in our own backyard. 

photo by – Gold Bug Pasadena

FOLD Gallery 

Neighborhood: DTLA 

FOLD Gallery is a local and independent gallery and gift shop devoted to local LA and California artists and artisans. They carry a wide array of goods from independent, single, or small-team businesses including candles, beautiful leather goods, prints, and books. If you’re in the market for a uniquely handcrafted journal or some stationary for that friend who still loves to write with pen and paper, FOLD is a fantastic spot right in the heart of DTLA. 

Shop Merci Milo 

Neighborhood: Highland Park 

This shop is technically a toy store, but we like to celebrate the playful childish side within us, so go ahead and play! Merci Milo was formed in Mount Washington and is a small family-owned business that showcases handmade unique toys and accessories from local artisans and plenty of creative mamas. From playful candle holders to the cutest stuffed animal plushies to giant bubble wands, we love how a visit to this store brings out the kid in us all while supporting local toy makers and woodworkers. 

Photo By – Shop Merci Milo

Crafted Port LA

Neighborhood: Port of Los Angeles

Held every weekend, Crafted is held in a 1940s warehouse and features 45 shops to explore and represents over 136 local artists. Crafted showcases handmade home decor, fine art, and even artisan food. For pet lovers, check out Rufus Ragz’s pet boutique for epic accessories for your pup, and if you’re looking for that perfect touch of home decor like a pillow that makes the whole room pop, check out master upholsterer Kelly Reid’s Vintage Shop, where she designs and sells replicas of classic pieces as well as her own original designs for more than 20 years. 

MuMu Mansion

Neighborhood: Mid City

Boutique featuring a fantastic array of both modern and vintage jewelry, furnishings, and clothing. If you’re looking for a bold and bright jacket that will light up the room or the perfect dress for the next big event, this is your shop. You can tell that Melinda Alexander takes pride in curating unique pieces that celebrate the beauty in the diversity of all sizes and shapes. A great place to start upgrading your wardrobe with more sustainable fashion and long-lasting pieces. 

And if you’re on the hunt for some more perfect pieces check out the best sample sales in LA.