In winter, I stay to local LA, I can’t cope with cold. There are no trips to Chicago, New York or anywhere that falls below 45 degrees at night. Jonesing for something different to do and write about, my 1928 cohorts tipped me off to the California (aka LA) Gift Show.
At first, I was like – great, another tacky place to see corporate gift ideas and mass imports of things I can find in Little Tokyo, Little Ethiopia, Melrose Ave. or H.D. Buttercup.
Boy was I surprised. In the first 10 minutes, I found vintage postcards and vintage printing services. My hopes rose. I set the direction for the day – to find unique, and a bit unusal, vendors that had amazing, simply to die for products. So at 8:30, I was off.
My first find was The Found Image Press. Based in San Diego, Found Image owns a digital library of over 34,000 vintage images that they use to print calendars, notebooks, journals and postcards. You name it, they have it. My personal favorite of course, the vintage Los Angeles images and the 1950s pin-up girls. Who doesn’t love something reminiscent of Hollywood Glam and Betty Paige?
Amidst a garden exhibit, I discovered the floral stylings of the Cesar Haro Design Studio. Orchids, Roses and Daisies with Diamonds, oh my! Cesar Haro has combined seemingly simplistic flowers and created artistic arrangements embellished with just the right amount of bling to make the the perfect gift for even the most discerning of friends/lovers.
The journey continued up and down the 1000 foot aisles until I arrived at a section deemed – Handmade. Around the corner, immediately to my left was Elie’s Papel (beautiful handmade wedding invitations). Elie’s invitations took my breathe away and instantly brought on those nesting/matrimony/ i wanna have children now feelings that that my independent nature fights against. Yes, I wanted to get married just to send these to people.
And this, was the start of a 5 hour journey into the world of giftables and upscale boutique finds for independent store owners. Stay tuned for more, in-depth exploration of my gift show extravaganza.