There are a million stores to buy great gifts, so why is it that you always end up in the gift card section of Rite Aid at the last minute? Your friend doesn't want a $15 gift card to Applebee's and you know it. It doesn't matter how "good" the "Buffalo Kickers" are.
So here's a list of awesome stores where you can find unique gifts fast. Bonus: you can order everything from these places online, so you don't have to leave your apartment or speak words out loud to anyone.
That's always the goal, right?
Gifts for everyone
Uncommon Goods: Uncommon Goods may or may not be the first place I look for a gift, mainly because they have so much stuff to choose from. Sure, there's the typical flattened-out wine bottle cheese trays, but they also have a lot of great handmade stuff that's completely customizable.
Perpetual Kid: We all have that person in our lives who just won't grow up. He's approaching 30, working on a serious bald patch, and still wears Superman shirts. Face it: he will never not wear Superman shirts. This is the perfect place to pick up that giant beer mug that holds five beers he's had his eye on.
Urban Outfitters: Don't be close-minded! Urban Outfitters doesn't just sell douchey v-neck t-shirts and floral babydoll dresses. They also sell interesting gifty stuff, like a test tube shot set and a party banner that says "Love will tear us apart."
Williams-Sonoma: If you're looking for high-quality kitchen appliances, look no further than Williams-Sonoma. This is a site where you will drop $200 on a Belgian waffle maker you'll use one time. But man, won't those $200 waffles worth it? Probably not.
Fishs Eddy: Great for housewarming gifts, Fishs Eddy has unique and quirky dinnerware, featuring prints such as the New York skyline, Alice in Wonderland characters, and my personal favorite, "Interventionware"—a set of plates printed with the words: "Do you really need that second helping?" Thinspiration!
Alessi: The best food you ever had was when you were in Italy, so why not buy all of your kitchenwares from an Italian company? They know what they're doing, right? This shop runs the gamut from minimalist glassware to high-end espresso machines. You'll find brightly-colored silicone spatulas listed next to a $200 electric juicer.
CB2: Crate & Barrell has a younger sister, and she is way cooler. She's got some tattoos, went to art school, and has probably done some drugs at some point and woken up in the ER. No judgement. Featuring a full range of everything from couches and paintings to cocktail glasses and appetizer plates, CB2's products are exceedingly awesome and surprisingly cheap.
Wisteria: Even though I've never seen a full episode of The Desperate Housewives, I always want to call this store "Wisteria Lane." See how popular culture gets in your head even when you're not paying attention? Whatever. This is a place where you can buy monogrammed cocktail napkins and a glazed sheep statue. Enough said.
Henry Road: Do you like the idea of flea markets, but hate sifting through all of the potentially bedbug-ridden crap for hours to find only a handful of things worth buying? Henry Road offers up a great mix of new and vintage, only featuring the good stuff.
Burke Decor: Great home decor accessories as well as a line of bath and body products, interestingly-named "Les Bains." I can't be the only one who reads that as "lesbians." I'm sure it's really nice soap.
Thomas Paul: Ahoy, mateys! I wear boat shoes way longer that it is fashionably acceptable, so I fell in love with Thomas Paul when I found his nautical-themed dinnerware. Animal prints paired with bold colors are found on everything from plates and cups, pillows and blankets, and stationery and cards.
Jonathan Adler: Jonathan Adler is a designer famous for his blindingly bright color scheme that he splashes on everything from pillows to ceramic coasters. I'm partial to bright colors because I like to pretend that I'm living in a Ralph Lauren ad, so Adler's designs are right up my alley. From orange cashmere throws to elephant-shaped salt and pepper shakers, everything is bright and—yeah, I'll say it—a tiny bit whimsical.
Relish Home: Offering up items for nearly every room of the house, Relish has a ton of awesome vases, rugs, votives, toothbrush holders (as "awesome" as toothbrush holders can be), and the like.
Canoe Home Accessories: Perfect for gifts and home accessories (hence the name), this Portland-based shop offers countless tabletop, impeccably-designed office supplies, and ridiculous items, such as wooden monkeys and nightstand condom dispenser.
Environment Furniture: If you're like me, you automatically roll your eyes when you hear the words "eco-friendly" or "eco-conscious." That said, this company, who has showrooms across the country (and throughout the globe) takes reclaimed wood and turns it into beautiful furniture that would make even the least environmentally-conscious Republican swoon.