11 Holiday Gift Ideas From Independent Brands Around Miami 

Shop local, support Miami-owned businesses and score points with your loved ones

December 9, 2022 7:41 am
Holiday gift ideas from Miami independent stores including Candela, Chinola, Pura Vida, Jrk!, Mrs. Mandolin, Books & Books, Nikkie Designs, Apaya
Where to shop local this holiday season.
Candela, Chinola, Pura Vida, Jrk!, Mrs. Mandolin, Books & Books, Nikkie Designs, Apaya

From hot sauce makers to jewelry designers to local bookstores, there are enough independent brands throughout Miami to satisfy your entire shopping list this holiday season. That being the case, we vote for supporting them before looking outside South Florida for your gifting needs — and here, you’ll find 11 of our top picks. Happy shopping, Miami. 

For the 5 a.m. gym junkie

No Days Off Apparel

Founded by Manning Sumner, the celebrity trainer behind Legacy Gyms in Miami, No Days Off offers men’s and women’s clothing that can be worn inside or outside the gym. The line includes tops, bottoms and accessories in head-turning neons as well as neutrals. 

Eat Me Guilt Free Brownies

For the health-conscious friend or family member on your list, consider Eat Me Guilt Free Brownies. The Eat Me Guilt Free line of products was founded by Cristie Besu, a registered nurse and certified sports nutritionist from Miami. The mom of three set out to create a line of protein-packed on-the-go snacks that are great for fueling a morning workout or satisfying those mid-afternoon cravings. 

For the budding bartender… 

Candela Mamajuana’s Coquito Holiday Kit

Coquito is a popular holiday drink that originated in Puerto Rico, and this year you can gift the Coquito Kit from the Miami-based rum company Candela Mamajuana. The kit includes all the ingredients you’ll need to make your own coquito — spiced rum, condensed milk, coconut milk, coconut cream and evaporated milk — along with four limited-edition holiday shot glasses. 

Chinola Passion Fruit Liqueur

Founded in Miami by hospitality experts Gabe Orta and Gui Jaroschy, Chinola Passion Fruit Liqueur is made from the Dominican passion fruit that locals call chinola. The drink has sweet and tangy notes and mixes well with anything from tequila to whisky. The drink can also be sipped straight or poured over ice.

For the frequent party host

Pura Vida Paradise Candle

The Pura Vida restaurants were created by a Miami husband-and-wife team who wanted to provide a community-based establishment that serves fresh, delicious food. The casual cafes have a bright and airy feel with lots of natural elements like straw lamps, hanging plants and wicker furniture. To bring that same natural feeling home, the company offers a luxury candle that has a clean, woodsy scent with notes of sandalwood, amber, iris and leather. 

Mrs. Mandolin Glassware

For that one friend always opening up their home for parties and game nights, consider gifting them a glassware set from Mrs. Mandolin, the home goods brand that’s an extension of the Miami Greek restaurant, Mandolin Aegean Bistro. The store is named after Anastasia Koutsioukis, known as Mrs. Mandolin, who was the designer behind the restaurant. The line also includes a selection of table linens, serveware and home decor. 

Sauces by Jrk!

Created by chefs and Miami natives Wayne Sharpe and Stephen Brown, these sauces are handcrafted from the same team behind Jrk!, a fast-casual Jamaican restaurant in Miami. There are three flavors, Bonnet Hot Sauce, Jerk Ranch, and Jerk Sauce, and they can be ordered in different combinations. Great for those who like to fire up the grill, the sauces will add some island spice to any dish. 

For the tuned-in tastemaker… 

Books & Books

Books & Books is one of the best independent bookstores in the country, and the shop has thousands of bestsellers and indie titles that can be purchased online or in-store. There are a few locations in Miami, but a visit to the flagship Coral Gables location is a great way to spend the day looking for that perfect coffee table book or new release. Along with thousands of titles, some of them signed, Books & Books also has cool merch like T-shirts and tote bags. 

Sweat Records

Another place worth an in-person visit is Sweat Records in Little Haiti. The independent music company sells records, cassettes, CDs and turntables, plus all the expected accompaniments (a unique collection of pins, sweatshirts, custom guitar picks and more).

For the fashion trendsetter…

Nikkie Designs Jewelry

You probably know a woman who’d be delighted with just about anything from this brand, which offers an amazing selection of delicate jewelry. Each piece is handcrafted here in Miami and made from sterling silver dipped in 18K gold. The collection includes stackable bracelets, gorgeous rings and dramatic earrings.

Apaya Tote Bag

The Apaya brand was founded by Colombian sisters based in Miami who’ve partnered with artisans in their home country to create handcrafted tote bags made with sustainable materials. The raffia bags come in an assortment of colors and styles and the latest winter collection includes rich jewel tones that are perfect for day or night. 

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.