’Tis the season for giving! Finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list can be stressful, but we’re here to make it easier by showing you how much shopping you can do in your own backyard. We’ve curated this list of the season’s most popular items from businesses in and around our community, so you can avoid the crowds and malls (you’re welcome!). With an eclectic mix at a variety of price points, consider this sampler a jumping-off point for finding local treasures. Cheers and happy hunting!
A Vendome Wine and SpiritsTop
Vendome has provided fine wine, spirits, beers and cigars to the Toluca Lake area and its surrounding communities since 1987. An expert staff is on hand to help choose the perfect wine or craft beer for your holiday gatherings. Wine Specialist David Milligan recommends the best-selling Five California Friends, a five-bottle gift basket with selections of pinot and cabernet sauvignon, along with snacks like focaccia crisps and brie.
B Generales & GeneralesTop
Generales & Generales has a large selection of affordable jewelry for holiday gifts with some extra sparkle. The family-owned business has been the purveyor of fine jewelry in the neighborhood since 1969, and has an expertly trained staff to help select special pieces from its house line or luxury brands. This season, they recommend pieces with subtle yet striking details, like these 14K rose gold and diamond drop earrings (also available in yellow and white gold). The store’s design services also allow customers to create earrings, rings and bracelets to their specifications.
A Riverside Drive staple, this gift and garden boutique has called Toluca Lake Village home since 1990. Owner Paulanna Cuccinello has created an out-of-the-box shopping experience with a finely curated selection of international and local home goods and accessories reflecting her modern, European-inspired aesthetic. This season, Cuccinello suggests a classic holiday bar set, with a Match Italian pewter shaker and classic martini vessels. Pergolina also offers a gift-wrapping service and customized gift baskets for individuals or businesses.
D Atomic RecordsTop
Since 1996, Atomic Records has served as the neighborhood’s premier destination for affordable rare and collectible vinyl, CDs and DVDs. While best known for specializing in classic jazz, soul, ’60s rock, punk/new wave, soundtracks and compilations, the store carries most genres at any given moment, thanks to its constantly changing stock. “New” used records arrive daily, meaning customers can drop by often to score unique picks for as little as 50 cents in the endless bins and crates.
E Bésame CosmeticsTop
Inspired by the cinema, art, history and culture of the 1920s through the 1960s, Bésame Cosmetics is widely recognized for emulating period glamour in its range of iconic red lipsticks, mascaras and face powders. Encased in vintage-inspired packaging, each item is highly giftable, acting as both makeup and covetable trinket in one. Visit the flagship boutique in Magnolia Park to explore and experience the brand in depth. Museum-like displays showcase historical makeup “artifacts” in their original packaging, such as pot rouge, cake mascara and lipstick, all of which have served as inspirations for owner Gabriela Hernandez’s modern creations.
F Spa Lé LaTop
The endless things to do during the holidays — shopping, baking, spending time with relatives and attending one party after the next — make unwinding at the spa a necessary indulgence. With gift certificates at the ready, Spa Lé La provides the perfect escape (or recovery) from the season with its popular bath, massage, nail and facial services. Founder Trina Renea created the Spa Lé La Signature Massage, a combination of facial acupressure and scalp, hand, foot and back massages in one. To make for an even more accessible spa experience, Spa Lé La offers complimentary childcare services. After their session, customers can bring the spa home with a selection of shea butter creams and body washes.
G Forget Me Not FloristTop
Add a fragrant finishing touch to any gift this season with an artful arrangement by Toluca Lake’s go-to florist Joey Chuy, owner of Forget Me Not Florist. Chuy works with customers to whip up bouquets using mixes of dahlias, cockscomb, white lilies, green hydrangea and larkspur, to name a few — perfect for home décor, a hostess gift or “just because.”
H Bell CottageTop
Since 1988, family-owned Bell Cottage has offered a relaxed shopping experience for finding the perfect gift among its jewelry, handbags, books and home goods (fresh coffee and cookies are available while you peruse). The shop also offers complimentary gift wrapping. Owner Theresa Hanna filled us in on two of Bell Cottage’s most popular items for the season: elegant Brighton handbags and keepsake memory blocks from Sid Dickens.
I Blast From the PastTop
Hero-themed gifts starring the Avengers and the Justice League are bound to be must-have items this season. Blast From the Past has the latest selection of Marvel and DC Comics items, with wall-to-wall selections of toys, T-shirts and collectibles from movies, television and comic books — past and present — to please fans of all ages. Co-owner Kathy Ross says that since Wonder Woman smashed summer box-office records, gifts featuring the Amazonian princess are going to be particularly big this year. For kids, Space Flyers offer a modern take on remote-controlled cars and airplanes of yesteryear.
J Cinema SecretsTop
Cinema Secrets is known worldwide for raising the bar in the professional cosmetics industry with its high-performance makeup and innovative application tools. The neighborhood beauty mecca’s 5-in-1 Chroma eyeshadow palette is sure to be a go-to product for this season’s popular metallic looks. Cinema Secrets spent a year perfecting the highly pigmented formula to ensure that the colors appear consistent on all skin tones.
Mindfulnest encourages a “mindful” approach to shopping by offering gifts handcrafted by local artists, artisans and American companies. The shop sources 70 percent of its items from California, so purchases contribute to the local economy and support artists in our communities. Alongside jewelry, wall art and prints, the Burbank location includes a KleanSpa bath and body shop with select spa services and a scent-blending bar. Co-owner Amanda Vernon recommends gift items in a variety of vintage and contemporary local motifs.
L Slone VintageTop
In the heart of Magnolia Park’s vintage shopping district, Slone Vintage offers some of the area’s best finds, with pieces from as early as the 1930s. Owner Amy Jordan curates a diverse selection of women’s clothing, handbags and accessories, in addition to new and found home goods, which she showcases regularly on the shop’s Instagram account (@slonevintage). Slone Vintage’s stock changes daily, so shoppers are encouraged to visit often to see what gems Jordan has scooped up. Pieces from the ’30s, like silk kimonos, are always popular and make for unique gifts, she says. For the home, she recommends tea towels and wine glasses as hostess gifts.
M SWAG Vintage DesignsTop
In 2008, mother–daughter duo Tammy and Lauren Dunn created SWAG and brought their love of all things vintage to Tujunga Village in Studio City. The store is reminiscent of a European-style boutique with its collection of French-inspired antiques, gifts, jewelry and home goods that combine vintage and contemporary flair. For the season, the SWAG Signature candle, with notes of Kahve caramel and Turkish coffee, is one of the store’s best-selling items. Antique-inspired jewelry imported from France is also popular.
N Pauline’s Premier SweetsTop
Burbank Media District
Add to the bevy of delectable treats this holiday season with homemade brittle from Pauline’s Premier Sweets. Pauline Marasek has been handcrafting her traditional recipes for the neighborhood since 1999. She blends different nuts and special ingredients to create twists on old favorites, such as the Smooth Operator, a decadent blend of dark chocolate and pecans, and the Sweet Fire mix of fiery habanero and chipotle peppers and peanuts. For those who can’t decide which brittle to bite into first, we suggest the Rockin’ Classic pecan and the peppermint and white chocolate Minter Wonderland.
Note: These items and businesses were selected by our editorial team because we love them — and we hope you do, too! We have not been paid to feature any products, nor will we receive revenue from any purchases made at these retailers.