Let's say you're sick of seeing all of the same bland gifts at a big box store. You want to spice up your shopping to make this holiday season one to remember. Why not just take a stroll down the Delmar Loop?
These three stores on Delmar offer fun, unusual alternatives to traditional Christmas gifts.
Located above Sunshine Daydream, accepts walk-ins for tats and piercings. With a wall full of samples and an open mind when it comes to custom designs, Enigma is no stranger to offbeat Christmas shoppers.
"A week or two before Christmas, people will come in wanting to buy their mom, sister, brother, dad or whoever a tattoo," employee Chris Greer said.
Wait . . . moms? Even the white picket fence suburban moms who wear mom jeans?
"Occasionally, we do get them."
Gift certificates are also available for purchase.
As the store's tag indicates, Phoenix Rising offers a wide array of "eclectic gifts for every occasion." In addition to showcasing American and local jewelry, the store sells gag gifts, hilarious books and calendars and all manners of unusual miscellanea.
"We just have sort of unusual, unique gifts," sales sssociate Nicole Beckert said. "We have something for everybody."
One of the store's bestselling items is the book What's Your Poo Telling You?, Beckert said. Created by authors Josh Richman and Anish Sheth, M.D., the book and its companion pieces — a daily calendar for the year 2011 and a record keeping log book — can help readers understand more about their health from checking out their . . . uh . . . excretions.
Phoenix Rising can be a great resource for Christmas shoppers trying to pick something out for that one person on your list who might be difficult to please.
"A lot of people say they find things for people they might not have thought about" if they hadn't shopped at Phoenix Rising, Beckert said.
For your loved ones who enjoy handcrafts, Plowsharing Crafts sells creative crafts from across the globe. Because the store participates in socially conscious business practices, customers can go home feeling they've made a difference.
"It's a fair trade store," volunteer Lisa Ackerman said. "Everything we have comes from developing countries. 'Fair trade' means the artists received a fair price for their crafts."
Many goods for sale have been repurposed or recycled in a way that transforms them from mundane, everyday items to charming crafts. This includes wallets made from inner tubes, coin purses made of candy wrappers, plates made of magazine and newspaper pages and statuettes that Haitian artists crafted out of oil drums.
Plowsharing avoids exploitative business practices, paying a fair price that takes cost of materials and craftsmanship into account, Ackerman said. Sales from the store help artisans from Vietnam to Kenya sustain a living.