The holiday shopping season is here, and small businesses around Houston have everything you need to make it a special one. Unlike big-box competitors, these retail underdogs and Houston haunts have engrained personality and pride into our community. Take a break from online sales and hectic parking at Galleria Mall. From hard-to-find records to independent fashion designers, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite small shops to support this season.
For Music Lovers: Cactus Music
A haven for vinyl connoisseurs and indie music purveyors, Cactus Music has cultivated a space for Houston’s thriving music scene. Houston’s oldest independent record store has been rocking the 713 for more than 30 years, bringing people together for free live concerts. Within the aisles of records, you’ll find rare treasures and the latest releases.
2110 Portsmouth Street, Houston, 77098
For Bibliophiles: Brazos Bookstore
A true book lover’s homestead, Brazos Bookstore has been serving its literary loving patrons since 1974. There’s a warm feeling when you enter the humble bookshop that’s brimming with soul. Today, the shop puts on some of the most notable literary events in the community. From hosting speakers like Secretary Hillary Clinton to feminist icon Gloria Steinem, the bookseller enriches the city with world-class speakers and author meet-and-greets. Rather than support an internet giant, why not support a bookstore that boosts literacy in the Houston community?
2421 Bissonnet Street, Houston, 77005
For Offbeat Artists: Space Montrose
Into eclectic statement pieces and obscure art? There’s a place for that. Space Montrose was founded by Leila and Carlos Peraza in 2010. From charming accessories to unique paintings, the H-town shop serves up a variety of artistic gems and gifts that represent the spirit of the city. Space Montrose features over 200 entrepreneurs, with approximately 70% based in Texas.
1706 Westheimer Road, Houston, 77098
For Sustainable Fashion Fans: Forth and Nomad
When you walk into Forth and Nomad, you’ll be overwhelmed by the welcoming aesthetic and high-quality goods. The Heights artisanal outpost curates a collection of small-batch goods that tell a story about the people behind the product. Featuring a multitude of Houston makers, the contemporary retail store features home, women’s and menswear digs that exude creative flair. If you’re the type of person who prefers one-of-a-kind gifts, Forth and Nomad is a must.
731 Yale Street, Houston, 77007
For the Modern Gentleman: Manready Mercantile
Founded in 2012, Manready Mercantile taps into sophisticated, quality men’s goods unlike any other. Nestled into the mélange of hip storefronts and classic antique sellers, Manready Mercantile showcases premium goods produced within city limits. Snapping a picture in front of the location’s enormous American flag is a traditional prerequisite before walking to the second floor to find tables upon tables of locally-produced goods.
321 West 19th Street Suite B, Houston, 77008
For the Hostess with the Mostess: Pepperlou Gifts
Love an impeccably styled home and hostess gifts galore? Look no further than Pepperlou Gifts. Created by Valerie Cassady and her daughter Ellie, the charming gift shop is filled with everything you could ever want in a holiday gift. Cassady curates gifts from artists and makers in Houston and around the country. The business is inspired by Ellie, her teenage daughter with special needs, who helps choose all of the unique pieces in the warm and inviting space. Be sure to stop by "Ellie's Corner," a section of the store with all of her favorite things!
14208 A Memorial Drive, Houston, 77079
Did we miss one of your favorite Houston shops? Tweet your recommendations to @Sunny99Houston!