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Where to Shop for Better Stocking Stuffers

Indie brands making small, cool, affordable gifts.

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Wary Meyers Glycerine Soaps, $14

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Stocking stuffers are generally as uninspiring for the shopper as they are for the recipient. With all the gifts under the tree already, you have to be mindful of the price tags when playing Santa — which sometimes can mean relying on boring, everyday items from the drug store, gag gifts, or the same old extras like gloves, hats, and socks from mall chains to fill up those stockings.

But there are plenty of labels out there making cool, unexpected goods small enough to work as stocking stuffers, from accessories to patches to perfume, at affordable prices. So if you’d rather support small indie brands than Duane Reade and Gap this year, we’ve got you covered.

For even more shopping ideas, see our list of the best places to shop for gifts online.


Craighill Brass and Enamel Wilson Key Rings, $15

Craighill

Stocked everywhere from the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum store to boutiques like Texas favorite Stag Provisions, Brooklyn’s Craighill makes handsome, affordable stainless steel and brass accessories (bracelets, money clips, key rings) that would be a welcome addition to anyone’s stocking.

Die Trying TX Cactus Arrowhead Patch, $34
Die Trying TX Red Rose Patch, $42

Die Trying TX

Each colorful, hand-stitched patch (from $24) made by Die Trying comes with a mini sewing kit so the recipient can add the patch wherever they please (maybe even one of the label’s vintage denim jackets).

Fat & the Moon Apothecary Products, from $10

Fat & the Moon

This all-natural apothecary brand makes a wide selection of toiletries, medicinal salves, makeup, bath soaks, and more. While most products would fit just fine into a stocking, we especially like the lip balms and lip and cheek stains ($12).

Joomi Lim Velvet Choker with Pearl, $38

Joomi Lim

Stuffing a stocking with jewelry can get pretty pricey, but Seoul-based designer Joomi Lim has a wide selection of pieces, especially wrap necklaces and chokers, for around $40. If you are feeling spendy, she makes a number of cool pieces for over $100, too.

a bunch of vintage hair ties

Mane Message

So the name is a little corny, but this handmade hair accessories brand has all kinds of cute hair things, from sparkly bobby pin sets to colorful hair bands to vintage barrettes, all priced around $10 or under. (For something a little fancier in the same realm, check out Sylvain Le Hen’s minimalist barrettes.)

small vials of perfume by Na Nin Na Nin Perfume Oil Sample Pack, $36

Na Nin

Richmond-based Na Nin makes earthy, soothing scents in the form of perfume oils, cone incense, candles, and eau de parfums. From the 10 ml travel-size perfumes ($18) to the 10 ml roll-on oils ($38), most are the perfect size for adding to a stocking.

Richer Poorer Top Drawer Kit, $98

Richer Poorer

If your giftee needs a top drawer update, Richer Poorer has them covered. This California brand makes comfortable socks ($12) for men and women in a whole range of colors, materials, and prints, plus T-shirts (from $30) and underwear, from boxer briefs ($24) to bralettes ($26).

The Hillside

Brooklyn-founded, Japan-made menswear brand the Hill-Side makes a full collection of men’s clothing and shoes, but the small goods — enamel pins ($29), tie clips ($59), pocket squares, and souvenir bandanas (from $23) — are among some of our favorite pieces.

Wary Meyers Glycerine Soaps, $14

Wary Meyers

Maine-based Wary Meyers makes soaps and candles in unexpected scents like Italian Tomato Leaf, Cosmic Yuzu, Oud Wood, and Japanese Cherry Blossom (from $14). In bright stripes and patterns, the bars of soap are as bold-looking as they are good-smelling, like little works of art.