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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Holiday Shopping Guide Part One - LA Area Stores

Your faithful Hands in the Air staff--well, Jenni and Jason, anyway--love love love to shop. But also, we're good at buying stuff that is adorable. And on real people budgets! People are constantly complimenting our stuff, and asking where we got it. One woman at work even wants me to do her Christmas shopping. Which sounds kind of fun to me, actually.

But we can't do everyone's Christmas shopping. Not directly, anyway. So I decided we should just tell you a bunch of the places where we get stuff. We're not going to try to give you lists of expensive, extra-specific crap that we not-so-secretly want for ourselves (we're on to you, every other website and magazine), since that is usually not all that helpful, anyway. But we will tell you were cool and fun stuff is available, and let you browse for yourselves!

If you live in the LA Area then you can shop at these places. A lot of them do have websites you can shop at. In another post, I'll give you some of the websites I get stuff from!

Wacko/Soap Plant
4633 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles CA  90027

Such a good shopping spot, especially for gifts. They have tons of books and toys, bags, silly housewares and more. Plus, the La Luz De Jesus art gallery is right there, too, so you can get your culture on as you take shopping breaks.


7965 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(They also have stores in Santa Monica and Milan, if you'd rather.)

I am Tokidoki crazy. The good stuff can kind of sell out quickly both online and in-store, so you gotta move fast if you see something you like. Yeah, so, it's a nice all-Tokidoki experience at this shop.

7972 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046

So, right, this place has lotsa designer toys, no duh. Some clothes and shoes. It's not cheap, but you're not going to go cheap for the holidays, are you? ARE YOU?

Japan LA
7320 1/2 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Trendy Japanese cutie stuff and Japanesque stuff, too. Lots of sweet t-shirts, toys and accessories. Always worth a stop when down Melrose way.

Munky King
7308 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046-7513

Designer toys are the focus, here--and don't let that scare you, they aren't ALL $200 vinyl art pieces--but they also have clothes and jewelry. But yeah I've only ever purchased small toys here.

Tarina Tarantino
7957 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Not every single store on this list is on Melrose. But, you know. A lot of them are. Oh, wow, Jenni, you mean people go to Melrose to shop? Get out of here. NO YOU GET OUT OF HERE. Where was I? Right. Tarina Tarantino. These are sparkly things for sparkly people. So cute.

Meltdown Comics
7522 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046

See? This one is on Sunset. Anyway. As you're well aware, we share the tastes and likes of dorky people even though we are not ourselves dorks. At this fine establishment, you'll find mostly comics, books and toys. I have purchased many a gift here. Yes, for myself. Also others.

8910 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

This is a cosplay cafe, art space and a great shop. Every aspect is super fun. I'll admit, we like a lot of the Japanese-style stuff but that is because it is fashion-forward and artistic, with a sense of humor, like us! LIKE US.  Anyhoo, the shop always has adorbs stuff and eating there is good, too. Great art shows. They also have parties all the time. At night, when I'm asleep, yo.

Happy Six
2115 Sawtelle Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025-6200

There are a few brands I like to buy from over and over and over. Junk Food, Mighty Fine, Tokidoki and of course my beloved Sanrio. This shop is jam-pickety-packed with all that plus other good stuff like Harajuku Lovers, Disney Couture, Sugar and I can't remember what else. Tons of clothes but also accessories, shoes and kids clothes. KIDS CLOTHES.

Giant Robot
2015 Sawtelle Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025-6229
2062 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90025

At the Giant Robot stores you can get clothes, books, art, collectibles like blind box toys, vinyl art toys, DVDs, jewelry...just a lot of cool crap. A good place to buy presents for your hip and arty pals. Oh and their restaurant, GR/EATS, is also a delight. Sawtelle has a lot of other good places to shop. Try it sometime. A good time will be had.

Q Pop Shop
128 Astronaut E S Onizuka St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Little Tokyo has a lot of good shoppin'. But this is one of the best, just for the sheer variety of stuff and the fact that you won't really find what they carry anywhere else. At least not at the other places I shop. I love their t-shirts and accessories. They also carry toys and art and what not. Be sure to stop at the Kinokuniya book store and the millions of adorable gift shops in the area.

Vault 28 and D Street
1565 Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, 92802

You don't necessarily even need to like Disney stuff to shop at these stores. Vault 28 carries more girly stuff, Disney-related and not, plus really cute purses, jewelry, and great clothes. They've recently also started carrying more guy clothes. D Street has more dudely stuff, including lots of comic booky and Star Warsy tees and sweatshirts, but also carries lady stuff (that is also comic booky/Star Warsy).

I probably forgot a few of our favorite places to shop, but this gives you a pretty good idea of where to shop for me--um--I mean where to shop to get nice gifts you can't get at Target.

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