Andersonville is such a vibrant neighborhood, full of fantastic small businesses of all types, making it the perfect one-stop holiday shopping destination!
We love working (and shopping – and eating) in Andersonville, so we decided to make a personalized guide to highlight some of our absolute favorite places and gift choices.
Also, as firm believers in supporting local businesses, we wanted to share our motivation for supporting our community in this way.
What are you really getting when you buy an item from a local business? What is your money actually paying for? Not only do you get the item that you chose to purchase, but you are showing with your dollars that you value the time and care the business owners and employees took with you to provide service – which is something you don’t get when you buy online!
Your money also goes towards providing jobs within your community and ensuring that these unique businesses continue to thrive and diversify your neighborhood. You’re showing you value their place in your community and how they give back to the people and place where you live.
Also, you get qualified expertise and even passion from people in local businesses. For example, at Sparkles, we’ve all been GIA-trained and we truly know and love jewelry. Even more, we love the relationships we form with our clients and the community we are able to serve! At Women & Children First (5233 N. Clark St), you’ll find devoted readers who are eager to recommend books to you as well as readings and events that benefit the wider public. The only thing you have to do to show us your appreciation is keep shopping local!
And we’ve gone ahead and made it extra fun for you. Enjoy our gift guide, and don’t be afraid to shop off the beaten path… there are so many more treasures in the neighborhood for you to find!
Murray and White, 5416 N. Clark Street
Rachel enjoyed perusing the magical wares at Murray and White. Her favorite splurge was the custom sofa ($2475) and ottoman ($1215) pictured above with the owners, JT and Travis. She also loved this grizzly bear bottle opener that can mount to the wall (other animal options also available, $18.50) and yummy candy cane soap ($10)!
Also of note are the great DIY gift basket options at In Fine Spirits, 5418 N. Clark Street.
Wine buyer Julia makes knowledgable recommendations for the mixologist or wine lover, and if you give this gift and you’re lucky, maybe the recipient will share!
Norcross and Scott, 1476 W. Berwyn Avenue.
At this gorgeous shop, Claire found quite a few things she’d love as gifts for herself, hint hint!
Our favorite is the five-foot Roundie Beach Towel in “Dream Time” ($110.)
These cheeky keychains make excellent stocking stuffers ($15). Or stop by Cas Hardware, 5305 N. Clark Street, for a copy of your key for that someone special!
Milk Handmade, 5137 N. Clark Street.
Claire discovered more amazing goods at Milk Handmade, including some candles she couldn’t leave (or live?) without!
Check out these boozy-themed goodies chosen by store owner Hallie Borden. Handmade in Chicago, they would also fill a stocking nicely! (Body scrub $12, body oil $10, bar soap $7.)
We also seriously covet this knit layer scarf ($48) and Milk-exclusive leather handbag ($248.)
Toys Et Cetera, 5311 N. Clark St.
Who doesn’t love a toy store? This one is jam-packed with toys for kids of all ages, from plush toys and puppets to puzzles and playsets. Jen adored the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar (44.99) and may have to snag one before the beginning of December.
There’s also the requisite and much-loved train table for railway or Thomas the Tank Engine fans, as well as Calico Critter families and accessories (24.99 for a family of four.)
And for your furry friends, don’t miss Jameson Loves Danger at 5208 N. Clark St.
Sparkles dogs Dudley, Waffles, and Wiffy would drool over the fresh and stylin’ variety of collars and leashes available here, as well as the winter weather gear, ranging from doggie parkas to warm, cozy sweaters!
And behold, the WALL-O-TOYS!!!
Lots of diverting cat toys are available too, as well as food and treats and grooming accessories. Two paws up – or maybe four?
Speaking of our four-legged pals, don’t miss out on Martha Mae’s (5407 N. Clark St) gorgeously curated daydream of a shop. Sweet Martha Mae (pictured above) and her talented human associate, Jean, have gathered artwork, art supplies, and all things visually lovely in this must-visit boutique.
Jen wishes for the tiny lidded vessels ($35-$40) hand-thrown by local ceramicist Christie Chapin. She also goes ga-ga for the artist’s model dogs ($25) and horses ($200-300) as well as the exquisite hand-silkscreened Japanese paper ($18).
After you’re finished admiring Martha Mae’s, don’t forget to stop in and see us next door at Sparkles Fine Jewelry (5405 N. Clark St.)
We’ve got goodies for all kinds of giftees. One of our favorite pieces is this lovely garnet and diamond pendant on 14k yellow gold ($762). It’s so festive and colorful and that checkerboard cut is stunning!
Another beautiful gift item is this wave-patterned diamond ring ($2400).
We also carry an attractive range of Citizen watches, like the one shown below ($195), as well as sparkly silver earrings ($180) and a variety colors and styles of leather and steel bracelets ($60).
Whatever you choose, make sure to support your local businesses and have a wonderful time!
Lots of love from your Sparkles staff!