A plant for you, a plant for me. Photo: Courtesy Glasswing
We can’t promise the snow-dusted, scarf-wrapped shopping day of your dreams in Seattle. But if you’re looking for an experience, the weekend-only hours at this collection of dressed-up vintage trailers are practically an invitation to make a day of it. Throw on your best sweater, grab a mint mocha from nearby Brother Joe, and get ready to peruse an ever-changing selection of unique local goods, from art prints to upcycled vintage to handmade jewelry. It’s the kind of place where just the thing for each person on your list turns up like magic—guess a certain workshop up north has a little competition.
Whatever your motivations—outfitting a friend for that camping trip you’re planning to spring on them, showing your family back East that the Seattle aesthetic can, in fact, be cool—this downtown (and
Bellevue Square) shop is the quintessential kid-in-a-candy-store experience for any proud Pacific Northwesterner. But don’t let that adventure enthusiast framing fool you. Wayward carries useful tools for your friend who can’t seem to leave the backcountry, sure, but you’ll also find plenty for anyone whose most outdoorsy trait is their Pendleton blanket. (Maybe they need a mug to match.)
Some people only give and get practical gifts: fountain pens, sweaters, the dreaded-but-appreciated annual pack of socks. You’re here to throw a wrench in the works. That fancy-looking pen? Actually part laser. That Christmas sweater? Look close: It says “Merry Krampus.” Even the socks here drop their dull gift stereotype with depictions of a bundled-up Bigfoot or the Wallingford shop’s signature rubber chicken. So what if everyone at your socially distanced family gathering rolls their eyes? They’re about to sit on a whoopee cushion.
The beauty of a highly curated boutique: Somebody already found the good stuff for you. With picks like Seattle-made Baleen jewelry, wallets from Portland-based Tanner Goods, and all-the-rage Stamp Act coffee (plus a jewel-tone French press to make it in), this little Ballard storefront shortens your trip without making it obvious you bought all those presents in one place—at least until a stunned giftee inevitably asks where on earth you do your shopping.
You could spend hours in this downtown Fremont basement without being ever the wiser—ideal for the type of shopping you’re about to do, which pays out tenfold in holiday cheer what it requires in stamina. Dozens of vendors vaguely organized into their own mini shops means there’s something here for everyone, from retro Seahawks gear to mid-century barware to cheeky earrings made by local designers. You just might have to search through a few racks of ’90s nostalgia to find what you didn’t even know you were looking for.
This entire list is formulated around prioritizing the gifter over the giftee. Trust, we’re not judging your desire to split precious shopping time between loved ones and your Loved One—aka, you. It just so happens that one of Seattle’s most fashion-forward boutiques stocks giftables (gorgeous coffee table books, beachy perfumes, an entire world of houseplants) and swoon-worthy, wear-forever pieces in equal parts. Why not make time for everyone on your list?