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Valentine's Day gets a bad rap as a holiday made by and for consumerists—a fair conclusion if all you take into consideration are corny cards and stuffed bears begging not to be discarded when March rolls around.
Gift-giving, in reality, can be a lot more thoughtful: a way to tell a friend that you get them, a partner that you want to learn more about them, a dog that you love them as much as they love you. When the methods are local, even better.
Gold Heart Studs, Baleen Local
Simple gold studs win for their versatility: not just because they can be worn with anything, but because they can be gifted to anyone who wears earrings, from a five-year-old niece to a five-years-strong flame. All the better that this Ballard-based jeweler offers a BOGO deal for Valentine's Day.
Cherry Keychain, Anna Learns Things Local
Hearts are cool. But cherries are the unsung heroes of Valentine's Day iconography. A handmade keychain from local beading prodigy Anna Learns Things strikes the balance between adorable and practical.
Red Ballard Watch Cap, Filson Local
This is literally a holiday where gifting can be as simple as adhering to a color scheme. Don't overthink it. Everyone loves a Filson (seriously, name someone who couldn't benefit from a cute, high-quality beanie), and the brand looks its best proudly rocking that hometown pride.
Conversation Heart, Glass Eye Studio Local
Conversation hearts scream temporary middle-school relationship. A handmade glass version screams forever.
Love Cashmere Crew Socks, Free People
You know what they say: warm feet, warm heart. This subtle cashmere pair resists holiday-specific kitsch for year-round wearability.
Heart Leaf Philodendron, Glasswing Greenhouse Local
Nature already created the perfect Valentine's Day gift: Philodendron cordatum, a trailing houseplant with heart-shaped leaves, available from Glasswing Greenhouse in sizes from "sweet, non-committal gesture" to "when are you moving in?"
Heart to Heart Mega Set, Super Smalls
Fill a champagne flute with Martinelli's, because it's time to get fancy. Pair this colorful bracelets-and-rings duo with the Heart of Gold necklace set ($35) for an elegant playdate look.
Brandon Blackwood Kuei Mini Leather Crossbody Bag, Nordstrom Local
Think outside the jewelry box when it comes to big ticket items, and instead opt for this petite, impeccably festive purse from much-hyped Black-owned handbag company Brandon Blackwood.
Take Me Anywhere Heart Box, Seattle Chocolate Local
Did you think you were going to make it through a Valentine's Day gift guide without seeing a box of chocolates? Steer away from the big red hearts in the pharmacy checkout line and opt for local sweets. (And if you can't think of a date idea, check the box for inspiration.)
One Dozen Roses Soy Candle, Alair Seattle Local
Gifting one dozen roses has become something of a cliche romantic gesture. Gifting One Dozen Roses, a floral-scented candle covered in 12 headshots of the late Betty White's Golden Girls character, however? That's love.
Oysters: Recipes That Bring Home a Taste of the Sea, Powell's Local
Sure, oysters don't look as romantic as red wine or a box of chocolates, but they're about as Seattle as an aphrodisiac can get. Local food writer Cynthia Nims provides cooking tips for newbies, complex recipes for enthusiasts, and boozy pairings for a good time.
Pet Shop by Fringe Studios Roses, King Duke's
Whether you're certain your dog would be a milonguero if they had the bipedal posture Tango requires or just want to take some suave Instagram photos, this is the gift that keeps on giving. (At least till they chew it to smithereens.)
Garmin Forerunner 745 GPS Watch, REI Local
Does their heart really beat faster when they're with you, or did they just say so on the Valentine's Day card? This souped-up device does far more than track basic fitness parameters: It holds 500 songs for phone-free listening, stores credit cards for phone-free payments, and recommends popular running paths on-the-go.
Laundry Day Milky Pink Hudson, Prism Local
Laundry Day's discrete glass pipes double as objets d'art when not in use. Grab a pack of mesh screens from to keep the piece as pretty as the day you met it.
Vinca I Heart Knives Earrings, Sfingiday Local
Anti-Valentine's Day parties have gone a bit out of vogue, perhaps because we're desperate for any reason to celebrate—but we're loath to relinquish the entire aesthetic. These earrings say "I know you're not into this, but I got you a present anyway." (Plus, deadpan icon Aubrey Plaza's a fan of the brand.)
Pixel Heart Necklace, Hitchcock Madrona Local
Local jeweler Hitchcock Madrona pays homage to '80s video games with a hand-crafted sterling silver necklace worthy of Ms. Pac-Man. Or anyone with a bit of a nerdy side.
Turn to Sarah's Silks for the sweetest, simplest gifts you can find without the threat of a sugar high. Although the unadulterated joy of a child running around with a streamer flapping behind them feels damn close.
Funko Pop! Star Wars Valentine’s Day Figure, GameStop Local
Everett-based Funko Pop's holiday-themed figurines earn huge cute points, even from lukewarm fans—but won't be available until after Valentine's Day. Think of it like waiting in a big premiere line, young Padawan.
Angled Crystal Champagne Flutes, Viski Local
Locally designed barware brand Viski stocks a whole lineup of glass pairings, from gin and tonic glasses ($25) to whiskey tumblers ($20). Pick whatever pair gives you heart eyes and pair with the appropriate beverage for a buzzworthy evening.
Ready to get earnest and mushy with your partner? Probing questions ("What made you fall in love with me?) and fun wildcard challenges ("Write a short guide of how to love your partner well. 30 seconds. Compare.") help initiate meaningful conversations. The result? A gift that'll last way longer than those heart-shaped chocolates will.
You Solid Perfume, Glossier
If great things come in coincidentally Valentines-y packages, it follows that a Glossier shopping spree would be the greatest gift of all. This highly treasurable (and refillable!) pink perfume compact is the next best thing.
Pink Slippers, Pipe and Row Local
WYD when your date says "let me slip into something a little more casual," and then just slides these bad boys on? These fuzzy slippers from Fremont-based Pipe and Row, also available in a host of other colors, help glam up the comfortable phase.
Valentine's Flight Featuring Seattle Chocolate, Heritage Distilling Local
Heart Pull Through Hoops, Boma Local
Something can be beautiful and still get better. Many successful relationships thrive on this philosophy. As do these subtly reshaped gold hoops from longtime local jewelry shop Boma.
Give your feline friend a little Valentine's Day love (and keep their paws off all that super tempting heart-covered wrapping paper).
Checkmate Notebook, Papier
Personalized stationery, gifted to the right journaler or poet or Virgo, shows foresight and intimate understanding. Papier takes it a step further with a selection wide enough to satisfy any style, though we like sticking with the holiday color scheme, also available in hearts and colorblock. Play your cards right and they'll be writing about you.
Cascara Camp Cup, Miir Local
Nothing brings us joy, warmth, and energy quite like...a good cup of coffee. Um, and our loved ones, of course. Return the favor with a camp cup from Wallingford-based Miir. Romantic pro-tip: get the cup customized with each of your initials joined by an ampersand, tree-carving style.