Q: I am really into giving friends & family personalized, unique gifts. But where can I find them locally this holiday season? – Jordan G.
Thank you, Jordan G. – I’m so glad you asked that question.
If there was ever a year to shop small + local – it seems like 2020 is it. Helping local business owners, sticking close to home, purchasing thoughtful gifts that show an emotional connection to the recipient? Yes, please. All of this.
As per usual, I have gone through the exhausting task of checking out some of the best local boutiques to get the idea wheels spinning. People – we’ve got some gems in Siouxland. If you’re familiar with these stores – great! Check them out for new inventory and holiday ideas. If you’re not, I can promise you an inspirational day of local shopping. Grab your friends and head out.
Empty Nest (33492 Co Rd K22, Sioux City / 712-239-6378)
You’re probably going to want to move into this house-turned-boutique the first time you visit. Situated in the picturesque rolling hills of the northside, Empty Nest is a haven for unusual finds thanks to owner Camille Liudahl’s curated mix of home goods, clothing, jewelry, candles, and baby outfits and essentials. I found lip tint in a wine-shaped bottle, CBD products for both my dog and I, personalized padlock necklaces, a fantastic collection of Nora Fleming decorative serving platters and accessories, trendy t-shirts and fleece pullovers, and the most adorable little baby clothes, stuffed animals, and room décor. If you’ve got a little one in the family, this is a must-stop for something you can’t find on Amazon. The best part about this shop is its affordable prices. If you’ve never stopped by Empty Nest, you need to see why this eclectic shop has been in business for over 14 years.
Sioux City Gifts (1922 Pierce St., Sioux City / 712-255-4346)
I hope by now you know about this place. It is a total treat to walk through. If you want a gift that’s all about Sioux City, this is the stop. Local makers and big-time Siouxland corporations sell their wares on the Sioux City Gifts shelves, but that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. You can find locally-written books about Sioux City history, artist Mark Kochen coloring books, puzzles, and graphics, Saturday in the Park memorabilia, DVDs showcasing such fascinating topics as the Green Gables restaurant or the history of Lower 4th Street, Siouxland zip code tea towels, and even a vintage-looking Uncle John’s t-shirt. This is an ideal spot if you’re shopping for a friend who has moved miles away and longs for a Sioux City fix.
Joba’s Décor & Gifts (15 Central Ave S, Le Mars / 712-548-4447)
Le Mars is delightful. I mean – seriously. It’s the cutest community. And if you haven’t been there for a minute, you owe it to yourself to enjoy a leisurely drive to check out the shops and restaurants that have taken up residency. Heeding a tip from a friend, I made a stop at Joba’s Décor & Gifts, and now it’s on “my list”. Two levels of indoor and outdoor home décor, bath products, a fantastic selection of furniture, and the best assortment of throw pillows I’ve seen in a while. Plus, cozy slippers, festive door mats, a huge selection of greeting cards and paper products, unique artwork, and gorgeous Christmas ornaments…it might be easier to list things you won’t find here. You’re going to want to check it out.
Kitchen Dressings (Southern Hills Mall, 4400 Sergeant Rd, Ste 508, Sioux City / 712-276-3770)
Kitchen Dressings has been a staple in Sioux City for years, and it’s no wonder. If you are shopping for a foodie, a chef, a baker, or just someone who likes to putter around in the kitchen, you’ll be able to make this your singular stop for multiple gift checkoffs. What? An entire wall of cookie cutters?? You don’t realize how valuable this is until you try to find cookie cutters locally and run into a very limited supply. Kitchen Dressings also stocks gourmet coffee beans and teas, spatulas and spoons of every shape and color, beautiful sanding sugars and serving pieces, decorative dish towels, and even a Nebraska-shaped wooden cutting board (my favorite of the tri-states).
Book People (Marketplace Shopping Center, 2923 Hamilton Blvd, Sioux City / 712-258-1471)
I love giving books as gifts. Books can be very personal, there are endless options, and plus – it’s winter. Who doesn’t want to curl up under a blanket with an intriguing book? (Side note – if you find someone, I don’t want to know them.) If books are on your list of gift-must-haves, swing in to locally-owned Book People and choose from their wide selection of classics, new finds, cookbooks, books for kids, and works from local and regional authors (shout-out to my friend Bill Zahren).
This shopping season, you really do have the chance to do something amazing for your community, for your neighbors, and for the local economy. And – here’s the bonus – you get to find incredible gifts for the people you love. Wander around the streets of Siouxland, and you will find treasures a computer screen can’t match. Support local business, shop small, and have the safest, most wonderful holiday season as we warmly welcome the healing power of 2021. ❤