Friday, December 17, 2010

INsite's Shop Austin 2010

Shop Austin Gift Guide 2010
"A Lot of Local In One" Place Edition

By Sean Claes
Photos by Jay West and Sean Claes

Each year, INsite likes to share a few places for you to consider shopping during the holiday season. One reason we’re known as Austin’s Other Entertainment Magazine is because we like to root for the underdog. In a town as big as Austin, it’s easy to go to your local “box store” and get your Christmas shopping done in one stop, but just like we enjoy telling you about local bands, just as good if not better than national acts, whom you may have never heard, we also like to share the names and locations of places you can shop local.

All of the places on this list are dedicated to featuring many local artisans in one place. So, essentially, like a “big box” store, these are “outside the box” one stop shops. You can truly find some one-of-a-kind gems for the folks on your shopping list this year. We hope you print this out and use it as a guide.

We hope you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Great Kwanza, Festivus (Seinfeld is still a great show BTW), or whatever you celebrate during this season.

23rd St. Renaissance Market

23rd St. and Guadalupe
Since 1969 artists and artisans have been gathering on the Guadalupe Street area known affectionately as “The Drag” to sell their wares under the awesome mural pictured at the beginning of this artice. If you’re looking for paintings, jewelry, tie-dyes, candles, or leather goods made by locals this open air market is one option. It’s also located in the heart of the University of Texas area of Austin as well, so it’s mighty popular with the college aged set as well. It’s open everyday between 8a and 10p, and since it’s made up of all local/area artisans, the finds change from day to day.

Blue Genie Art Bazzar

6226 Middle Fiskville Rd
For the last decade artistans have been getting together for this annual event. This year, they boast over 150 participants, each selling their handcrafted items. It’s located at the Marchesa Hall and Theatre in the Lincoln Village Shopping Center of Austin. This bazzar is free to attend and the caliber of artisans are pretty impressive. I’ve personally bought hand crafted items from a few of these folks, and we’ve featured them in previous issues of INsite as well as gift guides from years past. Funky handbags, jaunty hairclips, kids art supplies, paintings, and jewelry are just a few things you can find here. Check their Website for a full list of participants. This event runs from now until December 24. The hours are: Sunday – Thursday from 10a – 10p, Friday and Saturday from 10a-12m

South Congress Avenue (SoCo)
SoCo runs From the river to Oltorf
Visit the area of Austin that helps “Keep Austin Weird.” I know, it’s kind of a cop-out to use an entire street as the place to go, but if I listed out each place I think you should stop, this article would be about a million words long. So… a synopsis: Thrift stores, boutiques, fine and funky art shops, specialty food stores, the coolest candy shop in town, and a whole bunch of other places scatter this street.

You can grab some classic candy from the (pictured) Big Top Candy Shoppe (1706 SoCo), the over to Tesoros Trading Company (1500 SoCo) to buy Uncle John some folk art, then wander down to Blackmail (1202 SoCo) to buy your loved one that little black dress. Or perhaps check out the American Indian jewelry at Turquoise Door (1208 SoCo) before seeing what you can pick up for your hard-to-shop-for sister at Monkey See Monkey Do (1712 SoCo) and then to Parts and Labour (1117 SoCo) for a custom-made Chuck Norris handbag, complete with fuzzy mustache.

The choices are limitless as SoCo is a wonderland of funky and great things.

Several Stores who Feature Local Year-Round
Various Locations

Looking for a pillow that features Pee Wee Herman screenprinted on it? hand-blown glass wine-tags? Perhaps a plaid jacket that dons a likeness to the guys in DEVO? Whimsical handmade baby blankets? Vegan soap? Owl hat? Maybe the more classic items like Earrings, dresses, or necklaces? We’ve got several places in Austin that features things like this year-round…

Stores that feature many local artisans under one roof include, but are not limited to: Moxie (11th St) Parts and Labour (SoCo), Lucky Lizard (6th Street), and Sanctuary (Bee Caves). Click their names to visit their site for more information.

I limited this article to feature four destination points for you, but there are hundreds of stores in Austin that feature local artisans. I’ve culled a short list to provide you with a partial list of some of the local places (and Websites) that sell locally made items. Enjoy.

Austin Bikes - 1213 W. 5th St (
Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) Store - 823 Congress Avenue (
Austin Visitors Center - 301 Congress Avenue, Ste. 200 (

Authenticity Gallery - 910 Congress Ave # 100 (

Blue Moon Glassworks - 108 W 43rd St (

Creatures Boutique - 1206 S Congress Ave (

Emeralds - 624 N. Lamar Blvd (

The Gas Pipe - 701 E 5th St (
Images of Austin - 4612 Burnet Road (
Lucky Lizard - 412 East 6th Street (

Mexic-Arte - 419 Congress Ave (

The Oasis Gift Shop - 6550 Comanche Trl (
Parts and Labour - 1117 S Congress Ave (
Prima Dora - 1912 S Congress Ave (

Sanctuary - 3663 Bee Caves Rd (

Secret Oktober - 1905-B South 1st (

Sol Reflections - 107 Ranch Road 620 (

State Capitol Gift Shop - 112 East 11th Street (

Storyville - 2001A Guadalupe Street (

Terra Toys - 2438 W Anderson Ln (

Texas State History Museum - 1800 N. Congress Ave (

Things She Adores - 2306 E. Cesar Chavez, Suite 101 (
Wanderland - 3419 North Lamar (
Waterloo Records - 600 N Lamar Blvd (
Wee - 417 1/2 W 2nd St (
Whole Foods Market - 525 N Lamar Blvd (

So, Austin, please support Local this holiday season. And from my family to yours, have a wonderful Christmas.

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