Believe me–my Amazon account gets plenty of use. But whenever possible, I love meandering through a good local boutique in search of the perfect, unique gift for that upcoming birthday, housewarming or wedding. One of my favorite things about Baltimore’s gift shops is that they always tend to be slightly chaotic–they’re a bit too crowded and disheveled, and I’m always worried I’m going to knock something over… but it makes gift-shopping feel a little like a treasure hunt. You find stuff you didn’t even know you wanted (uh, flamingo straws, hello?), you don’t have to wait for the mail (and then worry about someone stealing it off your stoop) and it feels great to know I’m supporting local business owners.
I thought I’d share a few of my favorite gift shops throughout Baltimore:
2910 O’Donnell Street, Canton, Baltimore.
This two-story gift shop was a godsend for last-minute Christmas gifts during a snowstorm a couple of years ago. TONS of Baltimore memorabilia as well as fun little gifts like the ones you’d find in Urban Outfitters. They sell bricks and wood panels painted by Baltimore artist Linda Amtmann, which I’ve always thought would be a great gift–you could get a friend’s house on a brick as a housewarming gift or get a couple’s favorite place in Baltimore painted as a wedding gift. 2910 also recently started carrying Route One Apparel, which is pretty much essential for any Marylander.
1634 Thames Street, Fells Point, Baltimore.
I always try to pop in to Zelda Zen when I find myself in Fells Point during the day. The owner is super helpful–the kind of person who will give you an honest opinion about how a bracelet looks on you or what you should get for that upcoming bridal shower. The shop has lots of Baltimore-themed coasters, which would be a really cute hostess gift.
50 East Cross Street, Federal Hill, Baltimore
Pandora’s Box is my go-to for last-minute gifts, since it’s nearby and I know I’ll always find something great and within my budget. I also LOVE that the owner wraps your purchase in tissue paper and throws it in the gift bag–makes things so easy for me! The shop is jewelry-heavy but also has things like scarves, sunglasses, candles, decorative wine glasses and wall art. Be sure to spend plenty of time near the register, where the owner tends to put clearance merch.
1132 South Charles Street, Federal Hill, Baltimore
This brand-spanking-new store in Fed Hill is seriously SO cute. Going into the shop feels like walking into an Instagram photo. This is the most clothing-heavy of the stores I’ve mentioned, so it’s a great place to head for a gift for your fashion-forward friend. The shop also has a good array of jewelry and home goods and recently added some adorable barware (shown in the photo above).
921 West 36th Street, Hampden, Baltimore
Trohv is last on my list because it has everything I want and almost nothing I can afford. Think vintage mahogany kitchen islands or a repurposed industrial spool. The shop also has lots of gifts (that you probably can afford). My favorite stops inside the store are a) the art prints–I could spend hours going through them, b) the snarky/hilarious/locally made greeting cards and c) the clearance section in the basement, where you just might snag something cool at a deep discount.
P.S. This is also a good opportunity to give a shout-out to the Industrial Arts Collective, which is hosting a Made in Baltimore Pop Up Shop starting August 8. Let me know if you check it out!
Linking up with Heather for Friday Favorites!