From New York City to Los Angeles, Bangkok to Cannes, I’ve been around the world participating in my favorite sport: shopping. And when I come home, I can still indulge in unfettered retail therapy, thanks to any number of locally owned shops and boutiques that never disappoint. As a former ad executive for City Weekly, I’ve rubbed elbows with some of the best shops in town. Here are some holiday gift ideas from my personal favorites.
Bad Dog/Cat Playing Cards, $9
These cards are based on the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name and feature hilarious photos of cats and dogs, plus the name, age, hobby and quote from each animal. These make great stocking stuffers and you will have a few bucks left over to buy some arty greeting cards.
The Museum Store at UMFA, 410 Campus Drive, 801-581-7332, UMFA.utah.edu
These toys amuse the young and old. Wind them up and watch them crawl, spin and spark. They come with names like Cranky, Critter, Spinney and Bonga.
Q Street Fine Arts, 88 Q St., 801-359-1899, QStreetFineCrafts.com
The appeal of these glasses is that they go from formal to casual, wine to water. Each piece is mouth-blown out of recycled glass, which produces a bubble-like effect in the glass. A set of four comes in various pastel colors. There are so many gifts to choose from at the Sundance outlet store. It’s like living in Paris and having the Louis Vuitton outlet in your own neighborhood. Why wouldn’t you go?
Sundance Catalog Outlet, 2201 Highland Drive, 801-487-3400, SundanceCatalog.com.
||Chinese Tea Pots,
Hand-made in eastern China, these extraordinary teapots are made of natural clay. The tea purportedly infuses into the clay, which makes for better-tasting tea. You can choose designs from a more traditional (dragon) to quirky (raccoon) to fun (chicken). Even if you don’t drink tea, you might as well pretend that you do.
Paletti, 3210 Highland Drive, 801-483-3200, Palettislc.com
When you enter the doors to Centered City, you immediately feel the calmness of this neighborhood jewel. The studio is not intimidating and does not have that New York City/Los Angeles vibe I have often experienced. Centered City offers classes for all levels including yoga for kids, core basics, power hour for men, yoga for stiffer bodies, and prenatal—which is my personal favorite. Most classes last 75 minutes and the first intro class is always free. This makes a great gift for someone who wants to de-stress and restore. Namaste.
Centered City Yoga, 918 E. 900 South & 1550 E. 3300 South, 801-521-YOGA, CenteredCityYoga.com
Winter Retreat Spa
Start off with a traditional Japanese ofuro bath. Next is an enzyme facial, add oxygen for $20, and finish with a 60-minute Swedish massage. Give yourself three hours for this blissful experience and don’t forget to use Kura Door’s complimentary steam room. Ask for the skilled hands of Ruth. Your Sunday will never be the same—yes, Sunday. The Kura Door is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Kura Door, 1136 E. Third Ave., 801-364-2400, TheKuraDoor.com
||Orchid Delivery for Six Months, $225
The Orchid Dynasty is the only place in town specializing in orchids offering stunning arrangements staged in white or black modernist cubes, concrete pots and wooden boxes. Each month, Orchid Dynasty will deliver an arrangement to your loved one. (If you are like me, you can get it delivered to yourself.) Orchids are long-lasting and make a big statement in any room. The company’s new location feels like you've stepped into paradise.
Orchid Dynasty, 959 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-583-4754, OrchidDynasty.com
Enough shopping for everyone else. This pick is for me and all of the other style mavens out there. It's a gray silk and viscose dress from Apt. 202, designed by Amsterdam-based Tony Cohen, a former professional baseball player. It features a built-in necklace made of silver and gold chains. Owner Ashley Rothwell-Campagna, the Rachel Zoe of Salt Lake City, has designed her store with vintage Gucci luggage belonging to her grandmother and painted quotes on the wall from Coco Chanel.
Apt. 202 Boutique, 850 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-0228, Apt202Boutique.com
||Nespresso Espresso Machine $349
This Swiss-made espresso maker will rival any $1,500 machine. It features a pod system with absolutely no messy grinds to contend with. It looks like a piece of art and comes in four sexy colors. Order your pods (coffee) online and receive them in two days. The pods come in a rainbow palette of 16 different flavors. This system comes with a milk frother for cappuccinos and lattes (without is $279). Honestly, just press a button, and it’s done.
Sur La Table, Gateway Mall, 801-456-0280, Nespresso.com
||Votives, Set of 5, $54
Because you can never have enough votives. These etched-glass votives come in a simple and modern wooden box in five earthy colors and are made by a super-cool homeware company called Roost. This would make a great gift for a guy or your favorite hostess.
The Garden Store, 678 S. 700 East, 801-595-6622