Finding holiday gifts in local businesses

Close up of vinyl records photo courtesy Retrofit Records, selection of succulents at Native Nurseries photo courtesy Noella Williams, colorful crystals at Crystal Portal photo courtesy Crystal Portal, and gifts available at Quarter Moon Imports photo courtesy Noella Williams (left to right)

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and it’s a good time to begin brainstorming heartwarming gift ideas for your loved ones. If you prepare prior to the holidays, you can snag some memorable gifts as opposed to a gift card. 

Whether you’re shopping for a family member, close friend, significant other or secret Santa, local businesses in Tallahassee have a wide variety of shops perfect for most occasions. Due to COVID-19, most businesses have been heavily impacted, but there’s still an opportunity to support locally owned businesses instead of corporations like TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

For the melophile or musician

Located on Gaines Street, Retrofit Records is home to hundreds of vinyl records awaiting their new home. DJs, artists and music enthusiasts flock to Retrofit Records to enjoy the chill ambiance of the store. 

Sharod Bines, the owner of Retrofit Records, has no limit with his music taste and thinks records are the way to a music lover’s heart. 

“If you’re a music lover, it’s now more important than ever to support the artists you love,” Bines said. “The best way to support these artists isn’t through streaming services, but by buying directly from the artists, or picking up their physical albums from an independent, locally owned music store, aka Retrofit Records.”

Records provide its listeners with a different way to appreciate music, therefore, some people prefer records over music streaming apps. You can visit Retrofit Records and get some music recommendations from Bines at 439 West Gaines St.

For your botany-obsessed bestie

Local plant lovers are already familiar with Tallahassee’s local nurseries, Tallahassee Nurseries and Native Nurseries. Becoming a plant parent is currently trending, and the plants at these nurseries are waiting for their forever home. 

Elizabeth Georges, co-owner of Native Nurseries, views fruit trees as an unconventional yet appreciated gift.

“Fruit trees are best-sellers for gifts, because it’s literally the gift that keeps on giving,” Georges said. “Citrus or Meyer lemons look really nice during the winter time and begin to bear fruit. Dads seem to be really into blueberry trees.”

Whether it’s a succulent, blooming citrus tree, indoor houseplant or an herb to cook with, the plant parent in your life will appreciate this thoughtful green gift.

For the hoarder who collects quirky knick-knacks

Although they’re located in two opposite areas of town, quirky and unusual gifts can be found on either side of town in Curio and Quarter Moon Imports. Both businesses also happen to be owned by women.

Hidden in Railroad Square, Curio is home to many curated goods by women and POC from all over the world. As stated by its website, “We’re proud to carry products that make you smile, make you laugh and make you think. Simply put, we sell cool stuff created and found by even cooler people.”

Located along the Cottages on Lake Ella, Quarter Moon Imports has unique goods for any occasion. The owner of Quarter Moon Imports, Katie Haggerty, is a big fan of the sock collection that they offer.

“My favorite gift items are the socks,” Haggerty said. “We call them the socks that saved Christmas, because there’s a sock for everybody. There’s funny ones, cute ones, and also ones made from 100% cotton called Soulmate Socks.”

If you have enough socks and you’re looking for something else, there’s incense, kitchen decor, wind chimes and more in this Lake Ella store.

For the astrologist or medium foreseeing your future

Gifts that acknowledge a person’s zodiac sign or spirituality are easy to pick via their regular horoscope. With the help of their friendly staff, both Crystal Portal and Stone Age offer a variety of crystals, birthstones, handcrafted jewelry and sound healing bowls for the perfect present.

Crystal Portal is located within Railroad Square and is woman owned and operated. Prior to the pandemic, it offered yoga classes, meditation circles and psychic readings regularly at their shop. Stone Age also offers a range of tarot cards and beginner spell books for those interested in learning more about witchcraft. With the help of these local shops, this year’s perfect gift is written in the stars!

These are a few of the many shops in town that have an eclectic option of items for this year’s holiday season.  It’s easy to buy a gift card and take the easy way out with gifts, but a sentimental gift shows that you carefully thought about the person receiving it. 2020 was hard on everyone, so show some kindness to your loved ones.