Black Friday and Holiday Gift Guide 2017

I hope you all had a safe, joyous, and loving Thanksgiving! One childhood holiday memory that always makes me smile is the family sitting around the table after dinner looking at the paper. We would make our plan of attack for Black Friday. Who would make the run for the televisions? Who would get the lawn furniture? Which refrigerator or washer and dryer would mom get this year? What stores had the latest boot style on sale? It was all so invigorating.


Photo by Allison Sowle

However, the best part came after the updated-appliance-talk. It was gifts. Questions of what each other wanted for presents and what was your favorite thing about this year floated in the air. The puzzle of finding the perfect gift for each other had commenced.


Photo by Allison Sowle


It’s easy to think of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday as only a fuel for today’s obsession with things. If you think of it as an opportunity to give and make someone happy, some excitement builds. Before you head out on your Black Friday adventures, I’ve made you a gift guide that will hopefully ease some of the perfect-gift-stress.


Photo by Allison Sowle


Anthropologie is the hub of all things knitwear right now. They have styles bursting with color and structural designs for the minimalist. Each has quality yarn and fibers that make them heavy, cozy, and look expensive. For a store who’s prices range from about $68-$300, their quality is stellar. They are sweaters that will last the person a lifetime. Take a look at them here.

I would also go here for housewares and candles. Their candles this season are Christmas bliss. They are the perfect mix of musty cozy, spice, and clean. They have plates with dogs on them and a ton of glass and porcelain decorated with gold; perfect for the millennial new home owner.


A boutique on Post Street in San Francisco, in the middle of huge fashion corporations, stands alone. They have beautiful holiday decor. They also do modern, boho, classy, etc. decor. The company thrives on their old school vibes. Their Christmas ornaments beat all competition. Imports from Poland and Germany for ornaments come every year. Some are hand-painted, and they have a ton of themes to choose from. I always describe this store as an adult’s candy store. You are overwhelmed with happiness and awe while feeling like you are part of an exclusive community.


Photo by Allison Sowle. Purse by Who What Wear.

Embarcadero Art Fair

This is another one specific to San Francisco. This fair is a weekend event where artists from all over California set up their stands and sell prints and originals. This is a personal and unique gift for the art lovers in the family. One artist who is a usual there sells all originals for $40 each, and she does cat portraits! Another man travels the world and photographs doorways. The artist next to him makes art on old circuit boards. There is so much talent and beauty, it’s hard not to get inspired. It is a whole court yard, so there will be something for everyone.

6th Borough Boutique

Their monogrammed necklaces and bracelets are my absolute favorite. I connected with this store over Instagram, and I am obsessed with each piece they sent me. Each have such a timeless design and can be worn with anything. They have a perfect minimalist choice, but the also revel in their stone and gem jewelry. Jewelry that can go day to night, or add some personality to an outfit is a priceless gift!


Photo by Allison Sowle

Find Your Feet

This is a sock lover’s heaven. It is a sock and sandal shop located in San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Coronado, Hollywood, and Palm Springs. They have sock designs that you wouldn’t even think of. There were socks with corgi donuts, disco cats, dancing broccoli and more. They have definitely helped me make my sock drawer colorful. Shop here.

Thrifting Lovers

Vintage fans will be so ecstatic to get something that is secondhand for Christmas. This is a way you can be eco-friendly in your holiday shopping. Some of the best locations for vintage clothing in the Bay Area are Thrift Town, Mercy Vintage, Mission Thrift, Vacation, Pretty Penny, and Rare Bird. For furniture I would visit 2nd Chance in Alameda, CA and Poor Honey’s in Oakland, CA. 2nd Chance is definitely the cheaper option. I also have been having huge luck on the Depop app. It’s a place for sellers to sell their used clothes, books, and accessories. Prices are usually reasonable.


Photo by Allison Sowle


What would a gift guide be without Target? Target’s apparel game has been winning this past year. Their partnership with blogging phenomenon Who What Wear brought a whole new connotation and audience to Target. If the person you are buying for loves boho dresses, this is an easy place to go. The clothing definitely has lifted in quality. It’s a good place to go if you want a one-stop-shop experience.

Uber or Lyft gift cards

Any college kid living in a city where Uber or Lyft is essential to get around, this is the best gift you could give them. I know a gift cards seem like a heartless present, but they will be so appreciative. That will save them some financial stress that month. Trust me, I am one of those kids!


Photo by Allison Sowle

Noa Trade

This shop is for the wanderer. All of their products are from artisans. Each is handmade and designed. If you have a traveler in the family, this is the brand to go to. They have beautiful cross body purses that fit so much and are comfortable on the shoulder. Supporting artisans and small businesses is so important. Out of all of the places on this guide, Noa Trade is my personal favorite. They also have natural beauty products and home decor. When they open it their mind will fill with Instagram picture opportunities!

Emily Meyer

For your business woman who loves a bit of luxury. Emily Meyer is a San Francisco designer who makes suits tailored to perfectly fit you. She is the woman to go to if the woman loves fashion, but has a wardrobe restraint because of work. There is fuchsia pink, tropical florals, beautiful tweed, and formal structure. Her wool tapered leg trousers are my personal favorite!


Photo by Allison Sowle. Shoes by Steve Madden.

I chose this outfit to support this post because I absolutely love this blazer for holiday. I found it at Mercy Vintage in Oakland. There are similar ones at Anthropologie right now! It adds flair to a power woman look. I would definitely wear this to a family dinner or a friend gathering. It’s appropriate while still keeping to your personal style.

Happy Holidays!

All photography by Allison Sowle.

XO- Alex

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