When we were planning this gift guide, we asked ourselves, “Selves, should we do a roundup of products available online like we did last year (before we’d launched to the public), or should we go to an independent brick-and-mortar that exemplifies outdoor living and that also offers e-commerce, and shop till we drop?”
This year we’re doing the latter. The store with gift inspiration to spare: Pigment in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood. Less than 30 minutes from our house, Pigment is where we go for our Jack Rudy replenishments and Woolly Pockets. Here, tillandsias and cactuses for sale mingle with books on fermentation, and Mast Brothers chocolates and garden chairs in urgent colors. It’s a playground for anyone interested in beautifying his/her surroundings, the ideal combination of nostalgia and newness.
At Pigment, the new digs now allow for whimsical window displays.
Along with home and garden accessories, Pigment carries furniture by Gus Modern, Albion and Bend.
Gifts and accessories include small-batch jams and chocolates, leather goods, stationery, candles, DIY terrariums, planters, cactuses, tillandsias and jewelry. Kids will also find toys and teepees!
“I’d like to say we have this really developed business plan with a mission statement to boot, but we really don’t,” says Amy Paul, who owns Pigment with her husband Chad Anglin. They originally opened the shop as a retail space for Amy’s multimedia artwork and the works of other local artists. Six years later, Pigment has moved down the block to a space more than twice the size of the original, and offers goods both global and local.
Amy adds, “We want to knock people’s socks off, that’s the goal: to inspire, to trigger smiles, nostalgia, wonder. I’m a painter, and the shop, like a canvas, is a place where I have complete creative freedom — and where all the other companies we work with, big and small, are collaborators.”
The garage door allows for easy furniture pickup, and views of the impending holiday parade.
Below, we hit the sales floor to bring you this holiday gift guide. Many of these products you can find at Pigment’s online shop. (And if not…maybe at an independent design store in your town or city.)
The design-minded gardeners — and plant-minded design geeks — on your list will rejoice.
For the Kitchen Commando:
Because the best recipes are still found on faded index cards. This tin recipe box by Rifle Paper Co., $34, has been a consistent sell-out at the store.
Got a host or hostess with the mostess on your list? The simple syrups of Royal Rose uses 100 percent organic ingredients, $12.
The dapper wrappings do justice to the Brooklyn-crafted chocolate bars of Mast Brothers, which come in flavors like Papua New Guinea (with notes of bacon and aged scotch) and Vanilla and Smoke ($7.99-$11.99).
These Big Spoon Roasters Nut Butters are $8.95 in store. The Chai Spice alone changed our lives.
Made with organic fruit, Inna Jam (geddit? Inna…jam?) sources its ingredients within a 150-mile radius from its Bay Area kitchen. Flavors include “Seascape Strawberry,” $11.95. Rare Bird also delivers stellar preserves, $11, and sandwiches go noir with Empire Mayo Co.’s black garlic condiment, $7.
Fermentation fans will appreciate True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kumbucha at Home by Emma Christensen, $23.
Craft cocktails meets DIY. Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits by Andrew Schloss.
For the Bathing (or Grooming) Beauty:
Smelling like trees is all the rage. After a long day in the yard, s/he will get up to snuff with this Cedar Wood Soap by Kalastyle, $8.50.
Bottled by Margot Elena in a small-batch U.S. perfumery, the soaps, hand-soothing creams and fragrances of Library of Flowers include playful accords like green cardamom, ylang-ylang and amber ($13.50-$54). The beautiful packaging only ups the excitement!
For That Seedy Someone:
The succulent section includes hens and chicks, lithops and baby toes.
The air plant offerings ($3.25-$19) include Tillandsia caput-medusae, T. victoriana and T. ionantha ‘Fuego.’ “These little creatures are such a rad gift,” co-owner Amy Paul says of air plants. (The shop counsels customers on care.) “They have this architecture that is just so beautiful.”
A white ceramic “Cercle” planter by ACD, $10, provides a clean, stark home for a braided sansevieria.
Is a vertical garden on your friend’s horizon? Get them started with Woolly Pocket Living Wall Planters, Wally One (top, $40), and Mini Wally (bottom, $18).
Know a gardener who’s already counting the days till the daffs appear? Paper to Petal: 75 Whimsical Paper Flowers to Craft by Hand by Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell will keep SAD at bay. Martha Stewart wrote the foreword! $24.95.
More Paper to Petal.
Or make your own terrarium at the workshop!
Cactuses and a Euphorbia lactea ‘Alabaster Swirl’ are great to give as-is or replanted in a spanking new pot or terrarium.
For the terrarium enthusiast, there’s even a moss bar ($2-$10).
For the Glitter Bug:
For the Pint-Sized Plant Enthusiast:
On the left, Secret Garden by Johanna Basford ($14.95) is a horticultural activity book for the wee ones. The Sunprint Kit by Thames and Cosmos ($7 for “Regular,” $14 for “Super” size) will inspire backyard explorers of any age. Place objects — e.g. plants — on UV-sensitive sheets, and any covered sections will turn white in the sun, and the rest of the paper will turn Prussian Blue.
Treetop Friends Floor Puzzle, $18.
For the House Proud:
Fresh mistletoe, locally harvested, $9.50.
Metal bistro chairs made in France by Fermob, $216 per pair. They’re ideal for anyone with a flair for outdoor entertaining.
If we still had room in our backyard, we would be taking home a whole gaggle of these lovelies.
Faceted planter, $52.
Scent your room the subtle way with these handcrafted wax sachets by Rosy Rings, with essential oils and whole botanicals.
We’re head-over-heels for the honey tobacco scent.
The haul, part one.