Now that the holiday season is officially here, it’s time to get serious about the tedious process of gift shopping. A dreaded activity for many, Downtown gives shoppers plenty of alternatives that contribute to the success of local businesses instead of braving the crowds in the congested Fashion Show Mall. Find one-of-a-kind pieces for the fashionable hipster in your life from a new boutique offering an eclectic array of clothing or find original local art from an upcoming holiday fair. Here’s where to shop this holiday season.
Arts District Holiday Fair
On December 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Arts Factory is spotlighting local artists with the Arts District Holiday Fair. Shop special deals from resident galleries including the Joseph Watson Collection, Wonderland Gallery, Jana’s RedRoom, among others or from the eleven pop-up artist tents with work from WIKIDCANVAS, Eddy Lee Art, Second Nature Designs, and more in the Arts Factory parking lot. Artists will be selling original pieces, apparel, and other small gifts for stocking stuffers. Enjoy bites from food truck favorites Joe 2 Go coffee truck and Quality Food Services while pursuing the goods. Most importantly, the local charity Street Dogz, an organization that helps homeless people and animals, will be on site accepting donations. For the winter, Street Dogz is in need of dry dog and cat food, pet beds, treats and toys for animals as well as warm clothes, towels, canned foods, and rolling suitcases for the homeless. Street Dogz also accepts cash donations.
Hot Mess Boutique
There are plenty of places to shop vintage and antique items in the Arts District including the latest to open, Hot Mess Boutique. The store previously operated out of an old LAPD SWAT bus but opened a wheelless shop on 1104 S. 3rd St. in November. The stationery boutique maintains its edgy vibe with eccentric furniture pieces, such as a 1965 fringe couch and two vintage armoires previously stored in the Sands casino. And the boutique’s decor is the perfect representation of its clothing style, where the owner Christilee Ahnee describes the ideal customer as the “downtown-go getter” or “urban hipster.” “I stay away from trendy and strive to select interesting, unique ‘wardrobe candy’– the little extras that a lady will need to personalize her look,” Ahnee says. Prices are always kept at $40 or less and for the month of December, Hot Mess Boutique is offering complimentary gift wrapping and weekly sales.
You may recognize the Depressed Monsters signature character Yerman the Sad Yeti (pictured holding the band-aid heart up top) from murals at various Downtown locations, art installments at Life is Beautiful and Coachella music festivals, or on America’s Next Top Model and MTV’s The Real World. Founded in 2014 by local artist Ryan Brunty, the idea of Yerman was born after the passing of his grandfather, when the artist turned to painting as a creative outlet in order to cope. Brunty’s work recently launched online at Amazon and Zappos, currently offering limited-time deals. Shop for a good cause, as a portion of all proceeds go to mental health agencies across the country. Find apparel, hats, backpacks, toys, pins, and framed comic pieces. Take advantage of free shipping for the month of December on depressedmonsters.com.