Whichever holiday you celebrate, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule or others, it is highly likely that it is part of the gift-giving season. And maybe you’re tired of gifting the same old presents from the same old stores—or even worse—something as impersonal as a gift card.

Well, you are in luck. We have scoured the county in search of stores that offer either handmade, carefully curated, or just plain unique gifts; gifts that say you actually know and care about the person receiving your gift enough to look for something that you know they will truly cherish.

If you’ve got loved ones on your gift list that appreciate locally made art, curated décor, rare Viking coins, handmade soap, vintage records, indigenous artwork, geek culture, or even morbid curiosities, we have you covered.

Viet My Gift Shop

Located on 38 Street, Viet My Gift Shop offers all kinds of Asian kitsch and art. Peruse the jam-packed shelves and browse through ornamental bowls; authentic tea sets; swan-shaped serving trays; real, wooden dumpling steamers; sculptures; and much, much more. If you’ve got an aficionado of Asian art or Asian pop culture on your list, make it a point to stop and shop at Viet My Gift Shop.

775 S 38th Street, Tacoma

Nearsighted Narwhal
Shop at the Nearsighted Narwhal for the person with vision. Photo credit: Ily Goyanes

The Nearsighted Narwhal

Geeky gal or guy on your list? Do you have a friend or relative that doesn’t just march to a different drum, but does the Cabbage Patch to Beethoven’s 5th? Then you’ll find the perfect gift at the Nearsighted Narwhal with its unconventional art, unusual t-shirts, absurdist pins and buttons, funky and chunky hand-painted necklaces, uniquely patterned paper goods and handmade jewelry.

2610 6th Avenue, Suite B, Tacoma

Lucky Dog Outfitters

Lucky Dog Outfitters place has the best name ever, because it is almost literally Urban Outfitters: the Fido Version. Find argyle sweaters, rain boots, a plethora of non-traditional chew toys, party hats, scarves, locally sourced raw food, and a whole bunch of stuff for the non-basic canine. The dog lover you know will get a kick out of anything you buy here for their furry little friend.

3411 6th Avenue, Suite B, Tacoma

Golden Oldies Records and CDs

Is your uncle a fan of 60s surfer music or 50s do wop? Does your niece collect rare vinyl? They’ll think you’re the bees’ knees when you gift them something from the Golden Oldies record shop. Bonus track: You will find recordings of legendary local musicians.

3521 6th Avenue, Tacoma

Soap and Clay Beard Kit
Soap and Clay’s beard care kit: beard oil, beard balm, beard wash, hair pomade and beard comb. Photo Courtesy: Soap and Clay

Soap and Clay

We all have that one friend or relative who’s head over soles into self-care. They make their own salt scrubs with herbs and essential oils or pay a pretty penny for top notch self-care essentials like soaps, scrubs, bath bombs, face masks and beard care products. Why not treat them to a bath bomb or soap and lotion-making DIY workshop at the family-owned and operated Soap and Clay? You can even schedule a private workshop. Your loved one can mix and match ingredients to their heart’s content—for an extra personal touch, attend a workshop with them.

2712 6th Avenue, Tacoma

Longship Goods Too

Full of both antiquities and contemporary items, Longship Goods can easily hold your attention hostage for several hours. The owners offer coins and other items over a thousand years old—yes, one thousand—as well as contemporary items. See what it feels like to hold a real Viking ax in your hands or to run your fingers across a coin from ancient Egypt. If anyone you know is into history; or Viking, Celtic, ancient Greek, Egyptian, Roman, or European culture; you will surely find something for them here. Modern items include meticulously curated jewelry, books, pelts, swords and more.

13118 Pacific Avenue S, Tacoma

Viking drinking horns
All kinds of drinking horns are available at Longship Trade Goods Too. Photo courtesy: Longship Trade Goods Too

Compass Rose

Choose from a consciously curated collection of jewelry, paper goods and decorative items to put a big old grin on the face of that special person in your life—the one person you know whose apartment looks like it could be the cover of Swank & Sophisticated Monthly. Compass Rose, which opened its first location in Olympia, offers Pacific Northwest and internationally known brands in the way of “inspired and crafted artisan pieces.” From delicate stationary to killer kitchen gizmos, you’re sure to find something for that one person who is so hard to shop for because of their impeccable taste.

3815 N 26th Street, Tacoma

Stocklist Goods and Gifts

If Compass Rose had a wiseacre younger sister, that sister would be Stocklist Goods and Gifts. Buy whimsical items like a Bigfoot air freshener or an oven mitt with an irreverent attitude by way of pithy quote or Pacific Northwest-centric jewelry and prints for that savvy sarcastic cousin of yours and this holiday season you may get a real smile instead of an ironic one.

1936 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma