Posted: Saturday, Nov 25th, 2023

By Visit Ventura

Shop Ventura Local: 10 Unique and Personalized Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

The holiday is coming up and that means shopping bags filled to the brim, the sound of the clock ticking as you try to find the perfect gift, and all the stress that comes with the season. But it all seems to be worth it when you gather with your family and friends and watch their faces light up once the wrapping paper hits the ground. That’s how you know you’ve done your job. 

To help kickstart your holiday shopping, we’ve compiled a list of 10 unique gifts to add to your own wish list or your shopping list to help inspire your gift buying (but there are so many more local options in town too!). After all, what’s better than shopping small, supporting local businesses, and scoring a gift that your friend would’ve never thought about? 

1. Create a Custom Candle at Dusk

dusk candles, make your own candles in Ventura

Instead of grabbing a candle off the shelf, step up to Dusk’s candle bar and completely customize your own candle, down to the scent and candle vessel. First, choose how many ounces you’d like, find the vessel that fits your style, and choose from dozens of different scents to mix and match like citronella, cedar wood, pumpkin spice, and so many others. All of Dusk’s candles are made 100% of soy vegetable wax. Once all the details are decided, Dusk will mix and pour the wax, ready for in-person pickup after a few days. 

If you’re not sure which scents your friend would like the most, gift them a voucher so they can go and make their candle themselves. It’s a fun experience itself and a truly unique gift!

2. Pick a Custom Scent at the Refill Shoppe

Refill Shoppe Ventura

Like Dusk, at the Refill Shoppe you can choose from all different scents to find the right blend. Super eco-friendly, head over the the Refill Shoppe to get your friends or family a custom shampoo, lotion, body wash, and other health/beauty products. It’s a fun way to shop and bring to life a gift that shows thoughtfulness, one that is also eco-friendly, vegan (except for their honey face wash), and unique. 

3. Make Personalized Jewelry at Brooklyn Charm

Brooklyn Charms

Situated in a little store on Main Street, Brooklyn Charm has made a name for itself for its customizable jewelry in which you can choose from hundreds of different gems, pendants, and charms to make necklaces and bracelets… you name it! You can become the designer and pick out the charms you think best fit your friends’ style.

4. Build a Chocolate Bar at Top this Chocolate

Top This Chocolate

Looking for a sweet treat to gift to friends, family, or colleagues? Top this Chocolate offers customizable chocolate bars, perfect for the holiday season. Spell out names or decorate your bar with all different toppings. First pick out your chocolate base (milk, dark, white, or sugar-free), and then choose from salty to sweet toppings to finish your bar off. Top this Chocolate’s build your bar is a fun way to add a little twist to your typical sweet treat gift-giving and only takes a few minutes to set. You’ll walk out with your personalized chocolate bar in no time. 

5. Gift a Personalized T-Shirt from Chapter 11

Chapter 11
Courtesy of Chapter 11

Chapter 11, surf shop/brainchild of local Venturan and pro-surfer Dane Reynolds, is another local business that may not have been on your radar for a unique and personalized gift to get during your holiday shopping. With different art on file, pick which design you like the most and add small customizations to the art to make it your own. Made in their workshop in the back, visit the Chapter 11 crew in person to get more information on a customizable screen printed or embroidered t-shirt. 

6. Build a Custom Gift Set at Olive Ventura

Olive Ventura custom set

For the chef in your life, head over to Olive Ventura for a gift set filled with goodies that you pick out! Come in with a theme in mind (maybe you want a baking set, a pasta set, or even a tea set), and watch the magic unfold before your eyes as you work with the staff and choose the right products to fill your set. Or, if you’re an olive novice and don’t know where to start, let the staff know your budget and they’ll help you curate the perfect set. It’s a cute gift idea that your friends or family will be sure to use in the coming months!

7. Make Clay Art at Clay Parlor

Clay Parlor clay ornament
Courtesy of Clay Parlor

Looking for a one-of-a-kind, completely handmade gift to give your loved one? The Clay Parlor is offering a ton of different holiday-themed clay classes in December where you can make your own carved ceramic ornaments, pour-over coffee sets, air-dry bird ornaments, carved candle vessels, textured mugs, or incense chimney and match holders. No experience is required for these one-day classes, just an enthusiasm to get your hands dirty for this one-of-a-kind gift. Make sure to book the class you want before it fills up!

8. Pick out a Personalized Gift Basket at Peirano’s

Peirano's gift basket
Courtesy of Peirano’s

This holiday season, let Peiranos help you spread festive cheer with their customizable gift baskets tailored to your loved ones’ unique tastes. Whether you are shopping for a foodie, wine aficionado, or fan of artisanal delights, Peiranos has the perfect gift basket for them. These thoughtfully curated baskets feature an array of delights, from imported olive oils and local artisan treasures to a handpicked selection of wines and gourmet snacks like crackers, cheeses, and olive tapenade. You can even add your personal touch by including handpicked items and gift cards to the restaurant.

9. Design Custom Jewelry at Fox Fine Jewelry

Fox Fine Jewelry
Courtesy of Fox Fine Jewelry

Specializing in custom jewelry, Fox Fine Jewelry is a great local business to create a special necklace or ring for your loved ones. Work with owner George Fox to design your custom piece. Maybe you want to remake a family heirloom or you have a special jewel you want to use. Whatever is it, shopping local in Ventura at Fox Fine Jewelry will make a unique gift for the holiday season your loved one won’t forget. 

10. Curate a Spirits Stacker Set at vomFASS

Vom Fass

For your spirits lover, head over to vomFASS for a customized spirits stacker set. Choose your spirit or liquor (brandy, bourbon, tequila, oh my!) and Vom Fass will help you curate three imported samples from different parts of the world. vomFASS handwrites each label so you can have a special note on your gift too!

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