9 Superlative Gifts That Were Made — and Can Be Bought — in LA
From Mexican blanket dog beds to the guy who makes hats for Cam Newton
In March of 2020, a coffee roastery, bakery, cafe and local goods hub called Sightglass Coffee opened its doors on Sycamore Avenue in Hollywood, establishing their first LA location after years of success in the Bay Area. Or, rather, they tried to — two days after they opened, LA County declared a mandatory shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
For almost a year after their LA debut, Sightglass operated on the marketplace model, selling artisan-made goods and foodstuffs; even after reopening their cafe and debuting a full menu in September 2021, supporting local makers remained central to the mission. “It’s exciting to us that we have found this dual direction that’s really resonated with our community and guests,” says Sightglass co-founder Jerad Morrison. “We love to shine a light on LA artisans and brands such as Brightland, Nicole Rucker’s Fat + Flour, and Bub & Grandma’s.”
Whether or not you make it over to the Hollywood roastery and marketplace this year, here’s a coffee pick from them, along with a few other offerings from local makers that are idiosyncratic in the best way — and are guaranteed to bring the eclectic spirit of Angeleno makers to your tree this Christmas.
From Brightland Olive Oil to Bub & Grandma’s sourdough loaf, Sightglass Coffee is dedicated to supporting local makers, bakers, and brands. They carry the Filipinotown-based Woon’s beloved stir fry sauce, freshly-roasted coffee, daily pastries, cakes, and cookies, and just about anything else a local foodie’s heart desires. Snag a giftcard for the bougie grocery lover on your list, or a nab pound of their Winter Solstice coffee blend for the caffeine fiend. The best part? Shopping in person instead of online. At least 2021 is better than 2020 in some ways.
Alberto Hernandez is a third-generation hatmaker who came into his own, aesthetically, after a particularly fortuitous viewing of Clint Eastwood (and his hats) in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Now he makes highly stylish hats (and killer limited editions) for a discerning audience — our top pick, of many contenders, might be the Fawn ($950), with a hand-dyed silk wrap for a hat band.
Plant lovers use living greens to decorate their homes and bring peaceful energy into every room, but local artisan Alanna Bailey has taken the process one step further — decorating the plants themselves. Little Chimes are wind chimes for plants, and the sweetest little accessory for the green thumb in your life. The chimes are hand-made in Los Angeles with natural gemstones and crystals.
First produced from perforated steel offcuts at RAD, Lander skateboards don’t look like anybody else’s. Over the course of product evolution, the steel was swapped for lighter, more flexible materials: fiber reinforced nylon and “recycled content.” It’s sold out in sand, but TBH we like the blue version best.
Because you love someone who suddenly became deeply invested in setting up a woodshop in your garage this year: this sleek mechanic tool bag ($120), in top grain saddle leather, from L.A.’s Heritage Leather Brand.
Sourcing traditional Mexican blankets to create cozy, handmade dog beds and other accessories was the perfect two birds/one stone project for Salvage Maria founder Janeesa Joseph and mother Maria, the brand’s namesake. This tiny East LA company has revived hand weaving in certain areas of Mexico where it had died out, and uses dead stock or other salvaged textiles for their dog-friendly designs.
Christmas cards are so ubiquitous they’ve almost become a parody of themselves, but what about all the other winter holidays? To fill that void, self-proclaimed pun masters Sean Leviashvili and Rebecca Perlmutter teamed up to create Menschions, “whimsical Jewish greeting cards” that do not disappoint.
Growing up visiting flea markets and vintage stores in the countryside of her native Belgium, Los Angeles textile designer Hilde Leiaghat wanted to create sheet sets with a “lived in” feel that retained their elegance. Using 100% natural linen, Hilde and Pom Pom at Home have created a hand-loomed sheet set that’s guaranteed to keep warm nights cool and cold nights toasty.
What’s better than supporting a local wine store that only stocks female winemakers? Getting a bevy of other California goods in the bargain, too. The “California Dreaming” gift box from Vinovore includes everything the powerhouse woman in your life might want during the holidays: Canyon Coffee, Oeno Pinot Noir, Compartés chocolate bar, California gummy bears, and Goldmine adaptogen powder.
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