Guest Blog: Favorite Shops in Orange County
Friday November 25, 2011see more by jen
Aimee Della Bitta from Explore Life Daily wrote a fabulous guest blog for me today in celebration of Black Friday and the official start of the holiday shopping season! Here is what she writes…
“I’m so excited to be guest posting today on Tiny Oranges. I’m equally excited to be sharing some of my favorite local OC boutiques, just in time for holiday shopping!
There are so many reasons to shop locally, especially while our economy continues to struggle. For example, did you know that for every $100 spent at locally-owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures?*
Since small businesses contribute so much to the economy as a whole and specifically to job creation, efforts are being made to drive shoppers to local merchants across the US. One major effort, Small Business Saturday was launched by American Express in 2010.
In just one year, the program has gained over 200 participating shops and 2+million facebook fans. Strategically placed between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday falls on November 26th this year.
Now that you’re all revved up to shop small this season (especially the Saturday after Thanksgiving – tomorrow!), let’s talk about where to go. Below are just a sprinkling of my favorite Orange County shops, but there are soooo many more. So, whether you visit the ones on my list, or some of your own favorite, be sure to get out this season and show your support for the small businesses in our community. It’s a small thing that goes a long way!
Hillary, 374 Ocean Avenue, Laguna Beach
I stumbled upon Hilary, a children’s clothing shop named after the owner’s 11 year old daughter, while out to lunch with a dear friend and her boys. The newly opened store is perfectly styled. So perfect, that if the kid’s clothing labels they carried came in adult sizes, I’d be in trouble! A great location in Laguna Beach, Hilary is a must stop if you’re trying to find a unique and special gift for the little ones in your life.
[Photos: Aimee Della Bitta]
Kitson Kids, 83 Fortune Dr. Ste. 233, Irvine
This is a small shop with a big name. The wildly popular, celebrity hangout Kitson from Los Angeles just opened its doors in Orange County. Kitson Kids opened in The Irvine Spectrum in October and it’s everything you’d imagine it to be. From designer jeans to vintage toys, Kitson Kids carries the hottest trends and designer labels around. But, my favorite thing about this shop (besides those super, adorable kid’s moccasins) is that the staff is lovely and eager to help you find the perfect gift.
[Photos: Aimee Della Bitta]
Toy Town, 26632 Crown Valley Parkway, Ladera Ranch
I absolutely love everything about this toy store starting with the warm welcome that you get from the owner and his staff. Owned by Joshua and Irene, the store has been a staple in Ladera Ranch and is loved by its community. That’s probably because it’s everything a small shop should be, unique, inviting, and oozing with the something extra that you just don’t get at major retailers.
[Photos via Yelp.]
Juxtaposition, 7976 E Coast Hwy, Newport Beach
There are gift stores that you like visiting and then there are the ones that you’d like to live in. For me, Juxtaposition, nestled in The Crystal Cove Promenade Shopping Center in beautiful Corona Del Mar, is the latter. I could easily spend an hour browsing the hand-picked merchandise, much of which looks like it was sourced overseas. Their slogan is “Where vintage industrial, crisp linen, and found objects are not strange bedfellows”? I love that! Oh and after you find that perfect gift you can walk out their doors and gaze over the Pacific Ocean. That’s pretty nice too.
[Photos via Juxtaposition website.]
Fleur De Lys, 369 E 17th St # 14, Costa Mesa
There are many reasons why Fleur De Lys, in Costa Mesa, makes my list, and one of them is that shopping at this lovely boutique usually means I’m going to eat brunch at their neighbor Plum Café afterwards. But really, my love of Plums’ is just an extra bonus; Fleur De Lys has that urban flair that reminds me of a shop I’d find in New York and it carries items that are fun and unique. You don’t have to think too much about them, you just know they’ll fit in your home or be the perfect gift.
[Photos via Fleur de Lys website.]
Areo, 207 Ocean Ave, Laguna Beach
I visited this quaint Laguna Beach staple while on vacation here 10+years ago and it was love at first sight. It’s stocked with so many great items that even though the store is small, you end up finding something you haven’t seen before at every turn. If you’re looking for the perfect hostess gift or something fab for your oldest friend check out Aero, and who knows, you might finds something for yourself as well.
[Photos via Areo website.]
*sourced from the small business advocacy group The 3/50 Project.”
Aimee is a freelance marketer and author of Explore Life Daily, a blog that highlights local finds, good food, pretty things and family life. Born and raised on the east coast, Aimee now lives in Orange County with her husband and two children, ages 5 and 2.
Now happy shopping mamas!