Holiday Gift Guide: Shop Local Small Businesses in the San Fernando Valley

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Stay away from the madness of the malls and shop local, independently owned businesses. Despite the holiday rush, it’s guaranteed you’ll receive personal service and beautiful gift wrap. Here’s a list of some of my favorites across the 818. If there’s a shop you love and don’t see it here, I want to know! Please add it to the comments section below or email


The following stores are in an area called Magnolia Park,  which is full of one-of-a-kind shops. Check out the Magnolia Park Facebook page.

Mindfulnest and Klean Spa inhabit a two-in-one boutique in Burbank. Owner Amanda Vernon has filled Mindfulnest with mostly North American artisan’s wares — jewelry, candles, greeting cards, pottery, home décor and more.  Klean Spa, owned by Jennifer Hardaway, located at the back of Mindfulnest, has delicious body products that you can buy off the shelf or custom blend your own. They also have a location in Santa Monica. 3319 West Magnolia Blvd, Burbank (818) 840-1023

Playclothes Vintage Fashions offers an extensive collection of fashion, furniture and accessories that range from the 1900s to the 1980s, with a special focus on the 1940s through the 1960s. Owner Wanda Soleilu relocated from Studio City to the  Magnolia Park neighborhood . 3100 W. Magnolia Blvd.BurbankCA.(818) 557-8447

Audrey K (named for the owner herself) has a vast array of kitschy gift items — from books, home accents, jewelry and hand picked fashions. Owner Audrey has infused the inventory with a modern and vintage appeal.  Clothing is all made by local designers and carried in  small collections. 3414 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank (818)558-1733

Unique-Vintage is a “vintage inspired” clothing store overflowing with eye candy — satin, tulle, and chiffon in every color — mix it up with sequins, animal patterns and polka dots. The prom dresses, cocktail dresses, bathing suits, shoes, and even the wedding dresses, all have a modern twist on decade-old styles. There’s also a fun selection of handbags and accessories. 2013 W. Magnolia Blvd Burbank (800) 721-6589


Blush Boutique is also located in Calabasas.  Owner Sherry Thomas-Blaka fills her boutiques with trendy clothing and accessories for women and teens. Best of all, her stylish items retail at (way) under $100.  23671 Calabasas Road Calabasas, (818) 222-5874; 16101 Ventura Blvd, 2nd fl. Encino (818) 788-3893 (the merry ground mini mall)


Big Kid Collectibles Toy Mall and Retro Shop has a tremendous selection of retro games, figurines, lunch boxes, toys, posters, candy and more.  Remember wacky packs, shrinky dinks, bozo and kit kat clocks? Snack on free popcorn while you roam.  Another plus — Nat’s Early Bite is right next door. 14109 Burbank Blvd., Sherman Oaks (818) 785-9208

Handmade Galleries is a 5000 square foot gift emporium showcasing the work of over 100 artisans and 25 crafters.   Most everything you can imagine is sold here for men, women and children. If it gets too overwhelming, personal shoppers are available. 14556 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks (818) 382-3444

Lollipop Dream is on the outside of Westfield Sherman Oaks, but it’s an independent shop with an  adorable selection of dress-up clothes, games, books, animals and even some very uptown diaper bags (for moms, of course!). There’s also a goody bag bar with items that are perfect stocking stuffers. Westfield Sherman Oaks, 14006 Riverside Drive (park on the Bloomingdales side). (818) 981-7446

Mulberry Row is a florist and a gift shop.  In addition to unique floral arrangements, they also carry many one-of-a-kind items from local designers— greeting cards, pillows, handbags, jewelry, bath and body products, candles, books, stationery, and home decor that includes vintage items and fine art. 13365 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks (818) 788-8285

Nesmon Cafe and Boutique is just a little bit of Paris. Owner Nily Yefet Shalom has traveled to Europe to fill her cafe with a carefully curated boutique with French imports, including antique serving dishes, antique aprons and dishtowels, serving pieces, containers, food products, candlesticks, and more.  Create your own gift basket  — wrapping is complimentary. 13333 Ventura Blvd.,Sherman Oaks (818) 855-8818

No Roses Gallery owned by Lisa Sirlin Hall and Tracy Hall, features  jewelry artists, fine artists and fine crafters.  You’ll find an eclectic, unique selection of jewelry for both men and women made from a variety of metals, silver, gold, semi-precious gemstones, textured glass, leather, petrified stone, wood and industrial fiber. 13624 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks (818) 986-1246


Pastimes for a Lifetime is the perfect place to give a gift of music or art.  Multi-talented owner Linda Werhli  teaches  drawing and painting in small classes and teaches how to read notes and play piano in private lessons.  Various packages are available. Get 10% off with My Daily Find. By Appointment (818) 766-0614

Sweet Butter Kitchen and Cafe also has a boutique section perfect for the food lover. Owner Leslie Danielian has stocked the marketplace with a good choice of select  cookbooks, kitchen accessories and specialty food imports to gift alone or in a basket. 13824 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks(818) 788-2832.

SOTO THROUGHOUT THE 818 (and Brentwood)

Soto Boutique and Soto Lifestyle  need their own category because there are stores in Westlake, Woodland Hills, Sherman Oaks and Studio City — and if you’re over the hill, they just opened in Brentwood.  SOTO stands for “south on Topanga” where the first store was born. Pamela Sutton and Jodi Perlman have filled  their boutiques with fashion forward clothes, jewelry, shoes and handbags. Phyllis Steinberg has stocked the Lifestyle stores with an array of home décor, jewelry and select clothing.  The price point can’t be beat. Click here for all the locations.


Emerald Forest is celebrating 25 years in business.  This is a treasure chest of a gift store that looks like a small cottage. Owner Michelle Gagnon has filled her shop with an eclectic array of items for everyone on your list — sports and vintage items for men, home décor, handbags, cookbooks, jewelry, bath & body and children.  12638 Ventura Blvd. Studio City (818) 509-8529 

Henry Road is a shop filled with a whimsical selection of goods for home and body. Ower Paula Small is a textile designer whose inventory includes unique furniture, pillows, chandelier and handbags, as well as candles. jewelry, select art, books and more.  3949 Laurelgrove Avenue Studio City, (818) 762-8966

Jill Roberts Boutique on Ventura Place offers chic lifestyle wear that can be dressed up or down. Find the perfect outfit for travel, going out or hanging out. There’s also a great selection of jewelry, candles, lotions, shoes and more.  This is the first location in the 818. Others are in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Manahattan.  There’s also free personal styling by Allison Marsh. 12053 Ventura Place Studio City, (818) 821-3413.

LTH Studio is a most unassuming, yet upscale boutique, filled with an array of unique jewelry — mostly meaningful pieces from over 35 designers — many of whom make one-of-a-kind items. Owner Heidi St.  John is brilliant at teaching the art of layering jewelry. 12182 1/2 Ventura Blvd.Studio City (818) 985-1278

Mimi and Hy is a funky, fashion savvy, fun shop filled with trendy jewelry, clothing, candles, candy from Dylan’s Candy Bar, niche gift items and more. Sisters Allison and Leah Moss named the store after their parents. Ask about gift baskets. 12212 Ventura Blvd., Studio City (818) 761-2202

Sy Devore is a legendary store named after the man who was the “tailor to the stars” who clothed the Rat Pack. Ower Danny Marsh still dresses the Hollywood elite for film and television (“Parenthood” just filmed there this week!) as well as us regular locals, with such designers as Canali, Eton, Paul Smith, Etro, John Varvatos and more. Get 10% discount with My Daily Find. Located at Coldwater and Ventura. Free parking in back.

If you are in the Studio City area, be sure to check out Tujunga Village just south of Moorpark and east of Colfax. It’s  a must visit for wonderful small shops and restaurants — including Swag (vintage and new clothes, accessories and home decor), Verona (jewelry, shoes, handbags), Diana’s (fashionable attire for teens and women under $100) and Panache (reasonably priced fashions).  Get a bite or coffee at Aroma CafeGelato BarCaioti or Suck It Sweets.


Billy’s Boutique  carries designer names for both casual and dressier occasions. Look for designers such as Elizabeth and James, Rag and Bone, Tracey Reese, Helmut Lang and Autumn Cashmere. 18723 Ventura Blvd.Tarzana (818) 343-5332

Dalia’s is an upscale boutique carrying designer labels, including  Equipment, Koral Los Angeles, Repetto, Blue Candy, Jonathan Adler, Vita Fede and more. Find clothing, shoes, handbags, accessories, home goods and more. 18663 Ventura Blvd. Tarzana (818) 881-8166

Harrisons  is an elegant gift store featuring an upscale selection of gifts, housewares and fine and fashion jewelry with name designers. Mother and daughter team Shellie and Stephanie Harrison have sophisticated taste presented in a warm atmosphere.  Get 10 % off with My Daily Find. 18737 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana (818) 708-7133

Jane of Tarzana is filled with clothing, jewelry and accessories that fit most every budget.  Most everything is under $100. Find lots of stocking stuffers and glitzy holiday wear. 18735 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana 818) 343-5001

***Note: Billy’s, Jane, and Harrisons are all in the same strip mall anchored on each corner by Hummus Bar and Kushiyu. You can shop and lunch!


Olive and Thyme recently introduced some very impressive themed gift baskets to their marketplace, which contains fine cheese, charcuterie, salts and condiments, wines both imported and domestic, olives from Tuscany, chocolate from Valerie Confections and more. Gift baskets theme include: Wine and Chocolate, Cheese, Coffee and Tea Lovers, Romance and Relaxation.  4013 Riverside Dr., Toluca Lake (818) 557-1560

Pergolina is a home, gift and garden boutique situated in the middle of Toluca Lake Village. Owner Paulanna fills her shop with sophisticated items with a European edge and wraps gifts with pure elegance. Known for its art shows, you’ll also find original art work. 10139 Riverside Drive Toluca Lake  (818) 508-7708

Weekendz Only is a fashion forward boutique that’s with varying prices levels.  Find an eclectic selection of clothing, fun jewelry, handbags, and lots of holiday wear. 10139 Riverside Dr.Toluca Lake (818) 752-3695


Hotel Surplus Outlet is a 30, 000 square foot warehouse filled with five star hotel furniture, as well as new furniture and some incredible home accessories and art that are perfect for gift giving starting at $10.   Owner Don Fenning  has shipments in daily and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, there’s a real good chance he can order it for you. Everything is up to 80% off! It’s the perfect time to spruce up your home for the holidays. The holiday sale and year end clearance is on now! 16625 Saticoy Street Van Nuys,(818) 787-7807


Kingfisher Roadlocated south of Ventura on Topanga, is a fun store filled with reasonable and unique gift items. Owner Kelly Epstein offers a diverse selection from here and abroad — designer jewelry, clothes, handbags, candles, books, greeting cards, home décor and more. 4922 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Woodland Hills (818) 887-1687

Bead Lounge, also south of Ventura on Topanga, is a place where you can create your own jewelry for friends.  Choose from a selection of semi precious stones, swarovski crystals, gold filled, sterling silver,  glass beads and charms.  Make it yourself or pick what you want and a staff member can assemble it for you. 4873 Topanga Canyon Blvd Woodland Hills,(818) 704-5656

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

More in Activities, Arts & Culture, Children, Eat, Family, Fashion, Fashion & Beauty, Featured, Gallery, Home & Garden, Interiors, Jewelry & Gifts, Lifestyle, Men, My Daily Find, Shop, Shopping, spotlight, Women
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