Buy local with savvy NOLA locals

My brother shared a bad joke at the Thanksgiving table. “Back in my day,” he told his  twentysomething niece and nephew, “we had to walk through 9 miles of shag carpet to change the TV channel.”

But seriously. In the old days, before remotes and touch screens and cursors, viewers and shoppers couldn’t make weighty decisions without putting time, thought and calories into them. No instant gratification, no armchair shopping.

For me, the holiday season has lost a bit of its shine in this DIFH (do it from home) era. There’s something special about getting out there where the blare of holiday carols and the scents of waxy candles and evergreens fill the air. And for those of us who veer toward mom-and-pop over big-box (and don’t most New Orleanians?), the holidays offer the opportunity to savor not only the season, but also the offbeat offerings of our unique city.

I turned to a quartet of the most savvy buyers I know to get some advice on shopping local for the holidays. They are my go-to contacts for all things artistic, clever and au courant. 

Meanwhile, if you’re a dedicated cybershopper, don’t apologize. My Amazon Prime account is also up to date. And if you do shop online, consider logging onto smile.amazon.com and selecting Partnership for Action, the NolaVie parent non-profit, as your charity of choice. A percentage of everything you purchase will go to our dedicated mission of covering all things New Orleans. And that makes even electronic purchases give back to NOLA, right?

BUY LOCAL WITH SOME ARTISTIC LOCALS

VIntage and modern at Nadine Blake (Photo: nadineblake.com)

Gretchen Wheaton
New Orleans artist and photographer

Top shops for holiday shopping:

Best gift snag:

Handmade journal with a vintage book cover, pages of recycled papers, wallpaper, envelopes, etc made by Eugenie Uhl at the Ogden Museum shop

Not in any-other-city shops:

Tips:

Avoid the Mall.

This year, I’m shopping at Mary’s Ace Hardware on North Rampart Street.

Clementine Hunter pillows and tableware at Little Miss Muffin (Photo: shoplittlemissmuffin.com)

Jennifer Uddo
Interior designer, co-owner of Haven Custom Furnishings

Top shops for holiday shopping:

Because: They all have unique finds with a local flair in any price range.

Best gift ever snagged:

That’s a tough one. Royal Street is a great place for estate deals. I once snagged a vintage Cartier watch for a steal @ Valobra Jewelry.

Petwear at NOLA Couture (Photo: nolacouture.com)

A shop you wouldn’t find in any other city:

Where else could you match your husband’s Tulane bow tie to his dog’s collar?

Tips:

I have learned to grab things when I see it because it is slim pickings around here at the last minute.

 

All things sweet and NOLA at Fleurty Girl (Photo: fleurtygirl.net)

 

Summer Suleiman
Fitness guru and editor of The Distillery

Top three favorite places to shop:

  • DNO
  • Kay’s, Magazine Street
  • Hemline, Metairie, French Quarter and Garden District 

Because: Each of these shops offers unique, funky, and boss girl gifts!

Not-in-any-other city shop:

  • Fleurty Girl, Metairie, French Quarter, Uptown and Mandeville

Does any other city have more local pride than New Orleans?

Tips:

  • Spread your shopping trips out over a few hours for several weekends rather than an entire day, so it doesn’t feel like an overwhelming task. And, of course, don’t forget to breathe through the holiday rush. I like to take a couple of days off throughout December to rest and recharge before I dive right back into it all!

LeMieux Galleries on Julia  (Photo: lemieuxgalleries.com)

Christy Wood
Co-owner, LeMieux Gallery

Top shopping stops:

  • I love gifting art/crafts and hand-made objects.
  • I always hit Palmer Park with my family after Thanksgiving and get ideas for holiday gifts for them from local artisans and craftspersons.
  • On Julia Street, I always go to Ariodante on Julia Street for unique crafts and gifts.
  • I love shopping along Magazine Street, especially below Jackson. I recently discovered a cute boutique called Grandmother’s Buttons that sells jewelry made from vintage buttons as well as a variety of unique and charming gifts.

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