Whether for the holidays, a birthday or just because, finding the perfect gift for a loved one is often top-of-mind when traveling. No matter if Seattle is familiar or a brand-new city, find tips and great shopping spots below.
Jen Jedda, local resident and founder of online boutique JJ Caprices, travels the world, looking for beautiful, unique jewelry, accessories and home items. She’s an expert at finding handmade and one-of-a-kind treasures—things that make fantastic gifts.
“I like to get off the beaten path when I am searching for standout pieces,” she said. “It is often more interesting for me when in a big city to go into neighborhoods to explore their markets and shops.”
Know you want to find a unique gift for someone but aren’t sure where to look? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
“People often ask if I research destinations for artisans or designers prior to arriving, and the answer is no,” said Jedda. “To me, the joy—and the art of what I do—is literally stumbling upon pieces as I walk the markets and talk to locals.”
She said she recently and unexpectedly stayed in a town in Guatemala that is home to a particular type of hand-woven scarf made by local Mayan women.
“I scouted out the women who made them and fell in love with the colors, softness and story of the work and tradition that goes into each scarf.”
You’ll know you’ve found the right item, said Jedda, by your reaction. “In Istanbul this past winter I came across Ottoman-inspired necklaces and earrings made by one of Turkey’s most important jewelry designers, Hüseyin Sağtan. His pieces literally made me lose my breath when I first caught glimpse of them. It is this sort of emotional and physical reaction that I hunt for while exploring for items.”
We’ve got a list of fantastic stores in Seattle that carry artist-made gifts of all kinds below.
This new shop is filled not only with Baleen’s line of minimalistic, affordable and stylish jewelry but also goods from other designers and artists. Baleen’s workshop is in the back, so sneak a peak of the goods in progress.
A beloved Seattle store for years, this spot is one of Jedda’s favorites. It “has beautiful apparel and accessories by both local and non-local designers as well as a downstairs of unique locally made gifts,” she said.
E. Smith Mercantile
Find jewelry, bath and body products, clothing, greeting cards, bar items and gifts at this Pioneer Square store. Celebrate gift-buying success with a small plate and cocktail at the back bar daily after 3 pm.
Jewelry is the star at this tiny shop. The pieces are sourced from a variety of artists, and the shop also does custom pieces, including engagement rings. Find rings, bracelets and necklaces at a variety of price points.
These blown-glass vessels are popular gifts—for yourself or a loved one. There are multiple shops, but the Madrona location has a hot shop in the back if you want to see artists at work. Said Jedda: “My idea of the perfect gift or souvenir from Seattle is a hand-blown glass votive from a local favorite, glassybaby.”
This boutique carries accessories from local, national and international artists, including one of Jedda’s favorite local designers, Jessica Park of Ampersand as Apostrophe. She “designs chic, versatile and eco-friendly bags that I love,” said Jedda.
Luly Yang Couture
Seattle designer Luly Yang’s downtown boutique carries her evening wear and bridal line, as well as pieces from Namiko Abloom, one of Jedda’s favorite local jewelry designers. “I literally bought my first necklace by her off the neck of another woman,” she said.
Home goods, office accessories, jewelry, shoes, sunglasses, artwork and more fill this bright store in Belltown. Find local and national designers here, carefully curated by Seal and her team.
Everything at this store is made in the United States, from sustainable materials sourced here. Find jewelry, home items, bags, children’s goods and more.
Pike Place Market
This popular spot has more than just food vendors and restaurants. Find stores with locally made gifts, crafts people and artists. Jedda suggests a delicious stop while there: “I like to head across the street to Beecher’s Handmade Cheese for a sample of their delicious mac and cheese!”
Portage Bay Goods
Located in Fremont, this shop has a huge variety of items from local artists, including a large selection of children’s items and greeting cards.
From jewelry and home accessories to clothing and bath products, Ballard’s Prism has a wide variety of products from a wide variety of artists and designers. There is also a selection of vintage items.
This Capitol Hill store is a great stop for gifts for the foodie in your life. In addition to things like salts and chocolates, the store is also an apothecary, with a selection of essential oils and a knowledgeable proprietor to help you.
With home accessories, furniture, jewelry, clothing and more, from local and national artists as well as vintage finds, this store is a treasure trove of goodies.
Head to Pioneer Square for this shop, which carries independently made clothing for women, as well as jewelry and accessories. Products here come from the United States and Canada, with an emphasis on designers from the Pacific Northwest.