Bah! You dread going holiday shopping because you can't stop thinking about how much of what you're buying is mass-produced and made overseas.
Here's an alternative: Unique Los Angeles, a two-day shopping event featuring specially priced, locally made gifts and fashions. Two hundred American designers will be offering clothing, stationery, housewares, toys and books grouped into categories such as "eco-chic" and "rockin' babies & cool kids." Brands to scout for include Rojas, Black Hearts Brigade, Johnny Cupcakes and Illume candles.
You will find inexpensive gifts such as $30 Spiders & Caviar T-shirts ( Katherine Heigl is a fan); $25 Steven Shein laser-cut black cloud earrings; $28 onesie seven-packs from Baby Eggi; $28 De La Luna pocketbooks; and Sonja Rasula's vegetable-ink card sets (two for $20).
Children and spouses can stay busy creating gift tags at Etsy's DIY lab or designing T-shirts at Fresh Press. And in keeping with the spirit of the season, half of the $5 entrance fee goes to Create Now!, a local charity that brings arts, music and literacy to at-risk youth.
Credit cards accepted by some vendors.
Unique Los Angeles at the California Market Center Saturday through Dec. 14: California Market Center, Penthouse, 110 E. 9th St., Los Angeles. (323) 644-5516. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. www.uniquelosangeles.com.
Gen Art and Dwell Present Shop by Design Thursday: Apparel and home furnishings for 70% off retail with items starting at $20 from labels such as Jeffrey Sebelia's Cosa Nostra, Akiko, Malgosia and Marlova, plus accessories from Rebecka Fröberg, and Lark and Lotus. A runway show will be held at 8 p.m. featuring looks from participating Gen Art designers. Need a break? Complimentary cocktails will be served. Credit cards accepted. Admission is free.
California Market Center, 110 E. 9th St. Los Angeles. (323) 782-9367. 5 to 10 p.m. www.genart.org.
Play Couture Fashion Show Thursday: Tween 90210 shopping destination hosts a charity fashion show to benefit Children Uniting Nations. Tomorrow's top models will parade "green" fashions from L.A.-line Sustainable Kids down Play Couture's in-store catwalk. All proceeds from the event go to CUN, which offers support to youth in foster care. Advance $12 tickets available at playcouture.com until Tuesday; $18 admission at the door.
253 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 858-8413. 6 to 8 p.m. playcouture.com.
Holiday Walk on the Avenues Thursday: West Hollywood's Avenues of Art and Design association launches a "Holiday Walk" along Melrose Avenue, Robertson Boulevard and Beverly Boulevard near the Pacific Design Center. Participating design shops and fashion boutiques will extend their hours and serve free hors d'oeuvres and beverages. Shops featuring 20% discounts include Kitson (Men and Studio), John Varvatos, Beckley, Steven Alan and Le Bra. Alpha will offer 40% off men's apparel, plus gift ideas such as Martini: The Game ($20) and a hand-crank-powered Eton radio ($40). Shoppers at Phillip Lim will receive a 3.1 "happy face" canvas bag with purchase.
(310) 289-2534. www.avenuesartdesign.com.
Showroom Seven Holiday Sample Sale Wednesday through Dec. 23: Here's a great chance to grab some chic gifts such as an Erickson Beamon "gilded lily" Lucite necklace for $291 (originally $730) or A&G cashmere "God Save the Queen" pullovers for $225 (originally $562). Accessories and footwear are also on offer, including $267 Orla Kiely patent leather "frame" bags and $110 wedge sandals from Bloch London. Credit cards accepted.
860 S. Los Angeles St., mezzanine, Los Angeles. (213) 316-0112. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. www.showroomseven.com.
Women's Multi-Designer Sample Sale Saturday: Designer head-to-toe looks including shoes, jewelry and accessories for up to 80% off -- starting at $20. Labels include AG Jeans, Mike & Chris, Rozae Nichols, Geren Ford, Botkier and Iodice. Credit cards accepted.
7994 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 200, West Hollywood. (323) 951-1066. Noon to 5 p.m. email@example.com.
Kitson Robertson Boulevard's general store goes east. Look for gifts for guys such as the Ultimate James Bond Collector's Edition Monopoly ($38); for girls, the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen book "Influence" ($35), a bedside "bling" tray ($24) or Knitwit's fleur-de-lis cashmere wrap ($190); and for kids, a Peco Ware mini tea set ($18). 889 American Way, Glendale. (818) 244-9901. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday. 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. www.shopkitson.com.
Padilla is a freelance writer.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun