Guest City Notebook: Kaisa’s last-minute, shop-small, Anchorage gift guide

by Kaisa Cummings

It’s a fact: some of the best gifts are bought at the last minute. If looking at the calendar is giving you heart palpitations, if the litany of names on your shopping list is spontaneously multiplying, and if the thought of going to the mall one more time gives you an instant migraine, fear not! Some seriously amazing Anchorage small businesses are here to help. From stocking stuffers to hostess gifts, there are plenty of quality gifting options to be found in our fair city. While there are many special places to shop in Anchorage, here are some of my favorite options in Midtown and Downtown Anchorage.

Bloomsbury Blooms

706 W. 4th Ave.

Widely regarded as the cutest flower shop in Anchorage (full disclosure: sometimes I work there), Bloomsbury Blooms, also carries carefully curated local and vintage goods.

The first pic in this post is of a basket of my favorite things: The Flower Recipe Book by Althea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo of Studio Choo ($24.99), Mint Floral Journal by Rifle Paper Co. ($15), beeswax candle pair by Holy Archangel Candles ($8.50), vintage red velvet ribbon on wooden spool ($5), handmade crock by MEZ Alaskan Pottery ($30), handmade gazelle greeting card ($3.50)

Octopus Ink Clothing

410 G. Street

Specializing in eco-friendly clothing with original designs by local artist Shara Dorris, Octopus Ink is also a functional gallery for other talented Alaskan makers. Favorite things: AttiCo herbal and floral small batch bath salts ($5.25), Juanitas Handmade pouches ($28+), Willow Designs cuddly creatures ($34), Alaska Glacial Mud Co. Glacial Facial ($34), Anne Estes embroidered compact mirrors ($27)

Her Tern Boutique

811 W. 8th Ave.

Her Tern Boutique is a real gem in the local fashion world. Here you will find some of Anchorage’s most drool-worthy garments and accessories from hip designers. If you have a stylish honey that needs spoiling or a swanky holiday party to attend, Her Tern will hook you up with all the pretty things—(just make sure your last paycheck has cleared first). For a more modest budget, browse their selection of elegant accessories.

Some goodies that won’t break the bank: Hansel from Basel knitted slippers ($28), S’well insulated bottles (starting at $25), Hansel from Basel Kids patterned socks ($22), Fresh Tangerine geometric studs [made in Seattle, WA] ($26), Liebeskind Berlin leather wallet ($28), Baggu large leather clutch ($48)

 Cabin Fever

650 W. 4th Ave.

Cabin Fever is a good spot to find kitschy Alaskana for relatives in the lower 48, but don’t be so quick to write this off as another gift shop. You can also find cozy Fair Trade knits, handmade pottery, and a lovely selection of kids books!

Favorites include: Alice Treagal’s One of a Kind recycled wool mittens ($69.95), Life is Beautiful extra chunky knit hats ($24), Mama, Do you Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse ($7.99), My Wilderness: An Alaska Adventure by Claudia McGehee ($16.99), handmade coasters with glass ($12)

La Bodega

530 E. Benson Blvd.

At La Bodega you can find the whole gambit of Alaska-made spirits, beer, and wine for all the connoisseurs and mixologists in the family. Whether it’s gin from Port Chilkoot Distillery in Haines or a bottle of Mosaic Saison from Anchorage Brewing, your contribution to the holiday bar will not go unnoticed.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge

530 E. Benson Blvd.

 Chocolate is a quick and delicious stocking stuffer. Modern Dwellers chocolate bars, made on site with strange and magical ingredients, is a particularly special treat. Combinations include smoked salmon dark chocolate, white chocolate citrus, and milk chocolate with vanilla bean and smoked bacon salt. Assorted exotic chocolate truffles can also be mixed and matched individually for festive gift boxes!

Favorites: Spicy Dark and Spicy Mayan mini drinking chocolate ($7.95), chocolate squares ($8.25), medium size drinking chocolate ($16.75)


Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

It’s the thought that counts, right? This year, combine thoughtful gift giving with thoughtful practices. Shop small, support local makers, and let the good karma roll on in.

Kaisa is a Midwest transplant, writer and budding florist. She bakes, hikes, and knits in Anchorage, Alaska.