Shop Local: Your Ultimate Brooklyn Holiday Gift Guide

Discover 38 of the coolest, craftiest items for loved ones on your shopping list, right here at home

If you want to give a heaping helping of Brooklyn-made treats, this supersize basket delivers up to 11 items for $179, from bklynlarder.com (All images courtesy of the featured companies)

Who needs malls or Amazon.com if you live in Brooklyn? We’re surrounded by a abundance of makers, designers and creative shopkeepers. To guide your holiday shopping, we’ve curated a diverse selection of gift ideas (with links to buy) for family, friends, colleagues and anyone who’s on that list you’re checking twice. All these items were made, designed or stocked here by local merchants. You can also shop Brooklyn at the new site IntoBrooklyn, consult Brooklyn Makers, or check out this lineup of ten Brooklyn shops. Found any other great Brooklyn products people should know about? Please share in comments. Happy holidays!

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Gifts for Her

The Necklace

Simple, sexy, and solid 14k gold: The adjustable Greco Lariat, handmade in Williamsburg by Catbird, ticks all the boxes. And it will set you back just $188. Buy at Catbird.

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The Ring Holder

Designed by Avandi Studio in Red Hook to hold prized rings, this solid brass, leather-footed beaut doubles as sculpture. $60. Buy at Avandi Studio.

The Perfume Trio

Giving fragrance can be tricky. But this Perfume Oil Mini Trio, complete with leather Baggu pouch, is bound to include at least one scent she loves. Handmade in Crown Heights by MCMC Fragrances. $68. Buy at MCMC Fragrances.

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The Scarf

There’s something downright queenly about inlieu’s Möbius Scarf, what with its giant merino-wool yarn and Elizabethan-ruff vibe. Handknit by inlieu in Brooklyn. $275. Buy at inlieu.

 

The Baby Alpaca Pants

Local designer Lauren Manoogian’s insanely soft baby alpaca pants, made in Peru, will become your loved one’s favorite thing to put on after a cold commute home. $345. Buy at Bird Brooklyn.

 

 The Winter Coat

Now that color has invaded winter outerwear, her old black dress coat may fail to thrill. Fix that with the Beth Cabin Coat in blue wool melton. The fit is slightly coccoonish, a bit oversized, and completely on trend. $405. Buy at IGWT [In God We Trust] in Greenpoint or Williamsburg, or online at IGWT.

Gifts for Him

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The T-shirt

Who knew that this was the official motto of our borough? The good folks at Greenpoint’s M.N. Davis and Son, that’s who. The sentiment—screen-printed onto this 100% cotton tee—has never been more timely. $24. Buy at M.N. Davis & Son.

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The Heating Massage Oil

After a hard day on the slopes (or shoveling out the car), this concoction of natural and essential oils could be just the thing to soothe sore muscles. Made by Eir NYC, the lauded Williamsburg-based skincare line for active people (founder: former extreme athlete Jun Lee), it doubles as a daily body moisturizer. $40. Buy at Eir NYC.

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The Cap

Jump on the more-is-more denim thing with this BLKSMTH baseball-style cap from Loren Manufacturing in Greenpoint. Raw denim twill keeps it real; an adjustable leather tab ensures a perfect fit. $45. Buy at the Williamsburg store or at Loren Manufacturing.

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The Flannel Shirt

When it comes to plaid, it can be tough to strike the proper balance between in-your-face and fuddy-duddy. The oversized pattern on this brushed-cotton shirt does the trick. (The fact that the fit is slim yet non-constricting is a bonus.) By Brooklyn Tailors in Williamsburg. $205. Buy at their shops in Williamsburg and Greenpoint or online at Brooklyn Tailors.

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The Sunglasses

For the past couple of years, Lowercase Eyewear has been using European techniques to manufacture minimalist shades at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. This black-amber model, fittingly named the Frost, will handily cut the glare of a snowy sidewalk. $299. Buy at one of three Brooklyn retailers or at Lowercase. (You can read our profile of the company here and listen to our podcast with the co-founder here.)

 

The Glasses Case

Because there’s nothing like a sleek leather home for a favorite pair of shades. Handmade in Brooklyn by Annie Bukhman. $40. Buy at Annie Bukhman or etsy.com.

 

The Bespoke Shoes

For the man who has everything, call Joseph Der at venerable Der-Dau Custom Made Boots & Shoes. His master shoemakers will hand-craft a pair of brogues (or loafers or wingtips …) to your man’s exact size and specifications. $750 and up. Go to Der Dau or call 718-336-4513 for more information.

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For the Home

The Calendar

The four-foot-long 2018 Bubble Wrap Calendar is exactly what it sounds like: You mark each day by delivering a satisfying pop. Made in Brooklyn for UncommonGoods, the e-commerce merchant based in Sunset Park. $25. Buy at UncommonGoods.

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The Cup

Wheel-thrown by Brooklyn ceramist Signe Yberg, these glazed stoneware cups just feel so good in the hand. $28. Buy at Williamsburg-based Joinery.

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The Pillow

Punch up any sofa with the 18-inch, 100% cotton Field Pillow from Williamsburg’s Dusen Dusen Home, founded by designer Ellen Van Dusen. $89, including insert (your choice of feather/down or poly fill). Buy at dusendusen.com.

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The Serving board

Handmade in Brooklyn of solid cherrywood with a resin inlay and food-safe oiled finish, the Arrow Board hits the target. From Noble Goods, a sustainably-minded company co-founded by a stylist and a sculptor in 2012. $165. Buy at Noble Goods.

The Shower Curtain

This household essential becomes anything but pedestrian in the hands of Carroll Gardens residents Lisa and Michael Fine, a/k/a Quiet Town. Their Marfa Sky curtain, sewn in Brooklyn from U.S.-made heavyweight cotton canvas, is art for the bathroom. $198. Buy at Quiet Town.

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The Wallpaper

Originally designed by Revolver New York for Cobble Hill-dwelling Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys, the Brooklyn Toile pattern of Flavor Paper’s removable EZ Papes are perfect for commitment-phobes. Resembles a traditional French Country Toile, but with local icons including the Coney Island Cyclone and Notorious B.I.G. $200 per roll. Buy at Flavor Paper.

 

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For Kids

The Lip Balm

Struggling for a gift idea for your tween niece? Brooklyn-based S.W. Basics petroleum-free Organic Lip Balm Flight to the rescue. Four different 0.15-oz tubes—peppermint, cocoa, citrus, and cinnamon—nestle inside a cute tin. $8.99. Buy at S.W. Basics.

The Penguin Bib

Every baby needs a few spares. Few are as adorable as this penguin-printed one, made by Sunset Park’s Winter Water Factory of double-layered organic cotton. $19. Buy at Winter Water Factory.

The Hard Candy

Don’t tell the kids that this hard candy, by Cracked Candy in Park Slope, is sugar free. A four-pack taster (flavors: peppermint, cinnamon, orange and lemon) in reusable tins runs $19.80. Buy at Cracked Candy.

 

The Bike Tool Bag

Stop worrying about your teen blowing a tire on the Brooklyn Bridge: The waterproof Enchilada Original, made from upcycled vinyl banners, is designed for holding bike tools and fits in standard jersey pockets. $20. Buy at bikeenchilada.com.

The Bead Bracelet

The colorblock glass-bead bracelet from Williamsburg retailer Leif has a cool matte finish—and works for all ages. $35. Buy at the Leif shop or at Leif online.

 

The Headphones

The work of Sunset Park audio company Grado Labs, known for its high-end headphones, never fails to impress. Choose Model SR80e in Grado’s Prestige Series, which CNet reviewers call “easily among the best-sounding headphones you can get for under $100.” $99 at 4OurEars.

The Brooklyn T-Shirt

Toddlers will love the zingy colors of the Brooklyn Bridge on this 100% cotton tee, designed and printed in Brooklyn by the brand Chili Ortega. $40. Buy at IntoBrooklyn.

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 The Electric Toothbrush

Okay, so a toothbrush may not be the most exciting present—but design-savvy kids will love this minimalist beauty, made by Dumbo-based startup company Quip and named one of the best inventions of 2016 by Time. $55, including a year’s worth of free refills. Buy at Quip.

 

For Those Who Enjoy Adult Beverages

The Beer 

Brooklyn Winter Lager, from the microbrewer-turned-colossus Brooklyn Brewery, is all that a cold-weather brew should be: Dark like a stout, but not sweet or heavy. Pairs well with hearty winter food. About $12 to $15 for a six-pack, depending where you buy. Widely available. (Listen here to our podcast conversation with co-founder Steve Hindy.)

 

The Vodka

Don’t confuse Technical Reserve with a regular vodka, warns Industry City Distillery, its maker. It’s a vodka concentrate (a dizzying 95.6% alcohol by volume), pure and clean, designed specifically to be used in craft cocktails. $34 for 375 ml. Buy at Dumbo-based e-commerce site Mouth.com. 

 

The Whiskey

You could give your best pal a bottle of Glenfiddich—but presenting a single-malt whiskey from the Red Hook artisanal distillery Van Brunt Stillhouse shows you to be way more interesting. $39 for 375 ml. Buy at Boerum Hill’s Free Range Wine & Spirits.

 The Gin

With a bucketful of medals from spirits competitions near and far, Brooklyn Gin wins over even non-juniper lovers, thanks in part to the liveliness of fresh citrus peels. Turns out it’s distilled upstate at the Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery, but as long as you buy it locally, you’ve got the spirit. $45 for 750 ml. at Brooklyn Wine Exchange.

The Bourbon

Eric Asimov of the New York Times calls King’s County Distillery’s Straight Bourbon “exotic and deep, with flavors of grain, licorice, vanilla, and molasses.” If that doesn’t scream “festive,” what does? Made at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. $48 for 375 ml. Buy at Atlantic Cellars in Crown Heights and many other merchants.

 

For Friends and Colleagues

The Holiday Card

The perfect thing to send with—or in lieu of—a gift. While you’re at it, mail one to President Trump. Made by Dumbo-based Sesame Letterpress. $20 for eight. Buy at Sesame Letterpress.

The Chocolate

Because Jacques Torres. Give the 12-piece Happy Holidays Jacques’s Choice: the legendary chocolatier’s very favorite bonbon flavors, made at the Brooklyn Army Terminal and tucked into a pretty little box. $21. Buy at Mr. Chocolate.

 

The Scented Candle

Transport a city dweller to a forest cabin with Apotheke’s White Pine or Fireside candles (or both). Made in Red Hook from soy wax and essential oils. $36 for each 11-oz. candle. Buy at Apotheke.

The Baby Cheesecakes

Hey, you can’t go wrong with a classic. Junior’s new Holiday Little Fellas Sampler includes 18 4-oz cakes: six red velvet, six devil’s food, and six strawberry-swirl “Christmas Cheesecakes.” Arrives frozen; defrosts in 45 minutes. $60.95. Buy at Junior’s Cheesecake.

The BAM Gift Card

Via a partnership with American Express, the Brooklyn Academy of Music offers a gift card for either $50 or $100 (plus a $5 processing fee), good for all BAM performances and merchandise. Buy at BAM.

Elizabeth Fenner is a Brooklyn-based journalist who has served as editor-in-chief of Chicago magazine as well as a top editor at Fortune, People and Money. She has spent the better part of three decades shopping her way through New York City

  • Steve Koepp

    Here’s a good place to add suggestions of your own, even if it’s your own business! We welcome comments. Thank you!

    • adamswagem

      $205 for a flannel shirt xD

      • Steve Koepp

        Yep, that’s a rich price. You don’t usually think of a cotton-flannel shirt as an investment (One of my favorite flannel shirts is from Kohl’s.) But if you consider that the BK shirt is a great one you’ll wear hundreds of times, maybe it’s worth it in Cost Per Wear. https://www.gq.com/story/cost-per-wear-magic

  • Steve Koepp

    Found another good one:
    W’burg record store offering vinyl gift-subscription service for your hippest friends
    https://brokelyn.com/vinyl-subscription-service/