(credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
We’re convinced that the Bay Area produces entrepreneurs in all kinds of places. Charming gift baskets, cutting-edge trendy urban street wear, organic and sustainable separates for women, top-end designer consigner items and a fashion boutique for both men and women represent the wide array of new shop merchandise we found by scanning up and down the Peninsula and South Bay. Enjoy the variety and be assured of a warm welcome when you stop in and say you read about it here.
353 Main St.
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Conversational gift ideas like hand-blown glass wine stoppers and wine chimes are among the unique items crafted by American artisans. Tucked away in the plaza off Half Moon Bay’s Main Street, this boutique has an online following and a loyal local one. Themed baskets are made up to suit any occasion or memorable milestone, from new baby to new pet to new home. Or, go with a basket built around somebody’s craving for chocolate, wine, fruit or even coffee. Just add a ribbon.
592 N. 5th St.
San Jose, CA 95112
When you’re shopping for somebody you know is too cool for the mall, it may be time to rock this brand. Cool California urban street wear for guys has a dedicated fan base online, and now you can get it in Japan Town across from the Gordon and Biersch factory. Opened in the summer of 2013, #HLWY wants you to represent the South Bay by joining the flock. Find clever messages on T-shirts, hoodies and hats. Of course, friendly staff can explain for the rest of us what it all means.
14567 Big Basin Way, Suite A1
Saratoga, CA 95070
You know how it works: some bring in their clothes, others buy them. And, some savvy shoppers do both. If you love consignment shopping, add this new location to your little black book. High-end fashion brand names for men and women from Alice & Olivia to Zegna are to be found on these curated rails, as the shop name suggests. Here is a welcome 2013 addition to the diversions of charming downtown Saratoga; it’s easy to find and hard to leave.
145 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
The newest addition to downtown Palo Alto’s retail scene is Susan Graf’s second store, expanding from her 15 years at the well-known Healdsburg location. Excited about the November 2013 opening, Susan says she focuses on lifestyle dressing for women in “clothing for how we live.” And for men, it’s what this fashion expert is certain will have him looking great when seated across the table from his dinner date. Find Susan’s own Techno Pants and Dress Code labels as well as Bogner, Etro, Kuna alpaca knitwear and more, just a block off University Avenue.
1126 Soquel Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Synergy stocks street wear and yoga clothing of organic cotton, using low-impact dyes and fair labor practices from producers in Nepal. Feel great, look great and reduce your carbon footprint while benefiting from flattering designs at reasonable prices. Husband-and-wife team Henry Schwab and Kate Fisher founded the downtown Santa Cruz location and supplemented it in 2013 with this outlet location. Shoppers find a wide selection of discounted fresh, youthful and eco-friendly fashion that works great for the office, running local errands, in-flight comfort, working out, at home and as maternity wear, too.
Laurie JM Farr is a freelance writer covering all things in her adopted San Francisco. A dedicated urbanite, she’s a transplanted New Yorker by way of a couple of decades in London as a hotel sales and marketing manager. Follow her work on @ReferencePlease, USA Today, Yahoo! and on Examiner.com.