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The Best Unique and Independent Shops in Pasadena

November 15, 2018

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shopping, old, pasadena, bricks

Small Business Saturday

Every year, Pasadena celebrates Small Business Saturday to highlight over 150 independent stores sprinkled throughout the city’s historic districts. In Old Pasadena and Playhouse District, shop small on November 24 to find one-of-a-kind items for friends, family and even something special for yourself.

Gold Bug
34 E. Union St.
Pasadena, CA 91103
https://www.goldbugpasadena.com/

Gold Bug is a treasure trove of creative taxidermy, unique handmade jewelry and exceptional art pieces. A mash-up of Edgar Allan Poe (whose short story of the same name provides the store’s moniker) and whimsical antics from Alice in Wonderland, Gold Bug is definitely the place to find a gift for that friend who has everything.

Finn + Willow
34 Hugus Alley
Pasadena, CA 91103
https://onecolorado.com/Shop/finn-willow/

Located inside One Colorado, Finn + Willow offers a selection of unique women and men’s attire from some of today’s most fashion-forward designers such as Soft Joie, Suss, LOMA, Heather, Morgan Carper, Feel the Piece, The Lady & The Sailor, Splendid and Rebecca Taylor among many others.

The Dog Bakery
36 W. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91105
https://www.thedogbakery.com/

Do you love your dog? Like, really love your dog? Then you should spoil them with a special treat from The Dog Bakery. Tucked down lively Mills Alley, just off the epicenter of Old Pasadena, this charming bake shop specializes in providing your pooch with the same cheat-day luxuries that you enjoy. Did little Bandit just graduate from obedience school? There’s a donut for that. Coco is finally house-trained? Well, she’s earned herself that Barkin’ Brownie. And when Lula turns five? Yes – they bake doggy birthday cakes too!

Old Focals
45 W. Green St.
Pasadena, CA 91105
https://oldfocals.com/

If you’re the type to judge a book by its cover, the name of this store alone already has you whizzing through the door – a store name as apt as it is clever. Once you’re inside the cozy and unassuming storefront, you’ll find a treasure trove of vintage eyewear. As a matter of fact, Old Focals is home to the world’s largest collection of vintage frames – a collection that they are well known for lending out to the film and TV industry. (There’s even a section on their website highlighting the various “cameos” of Old Focals frames.) Find that one-of-a-kind gift for the bespectacled tastemaker in your life.

Therapy
65 E. Holly St.
Pasadena, CA 91103
https://shoptherapypasadena.com/

Whether you’re looking to purchase a new winter wardrobe or just something cute to buy, Therapy provides a classic LA look with a bit of comfort and style. With a fresh selection of clothes, bags and jewelry to pick from, there’s always something worth grabbing.

Everson Royce
155 N. Raymond Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103
http://eversonroyce.com/

Though perhaps better known at this point for their spin-off Everson Royce Bar in Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District, the original Everson Royce is right here in the heart of Old Pasadena. Started by the team that created Silverlake Wine, this spot has the same cool factor backed by wide-ranging knowledge.

For discerning booze-loving adults, Everson Royce is as close as you can come to “kid in a candy store” status, featuring a meticulously curated selection of wine, spirits and only the fanciest of craft beers from around the world. The vibe here is “pinkies up” without pretense. The staff is always friendly and stoked to help you find the perfect pairing, the perfect mixer or the perfect quaff while you shop – that’s right, they have a tasting bar, where you can sample the goods by the glass, by the flight or by the bottle.

Vroman’s Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91101
https://www.vromansbookstore.com/

For the bookworm on your list (there’s always at least one), you can’t do any better than Vroman’s Bookstore. Not just a Pasadena institution, but rightfully a Southern California landmark, Vroman’s was founded in 1894, making it So Cal’s oldest and largest independent bookstore.

Vroman’s has everything you could want from a bookstore: a sprawling art, design and architecture section; a well-curated employee-picks wall; large stationery, card & gift sections; a newsstand stocked with even the most obscure of periodicals; and a café run by Pasadena-based coffee roaster Jones Coffee. Upstairs, there’s an event space and an inviting children’s section, complete with a kids’ play space and a knowledgeable, passionate staff. It’s the perfect spot to browse for gifts and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the rest of your holiday shopping.

Elisa B
16 E. Holly St.
Pasadena, CA 91103
http://elisab.com/

A Pasadena staple since 1993, Elisa B. is one of the city’s must-visit boutiques that offers a 1,000 sq. ft. space of contemporary fashion brands worth adding to your closet. The trendy boutique is often used to host parties, trunk shoes and charity events, including exclusive experiences for those who subscribe to their mailing list.

Soap Kitchen
25 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103
https://www.thesoapkitchen.com/store/pc/home.asp

For over 13 years, The Soap Kitchen has created an amalgamation of natural soaps, candles, bath essentials and more for those who love to indulge in self-care, while also gifting some of the stores assorted goods. Free of harmful additives such as parabens, sulfates and synthetic fragrances, the brand is also cruelty-free. Stop by for some of their popular items including the rosemary lavender or tee tree peppermint shampoo bars that will leave your scalp clean, hydrated and soft. They even offer shaving essentials for men that include lip balms, olive oil soaps and more.

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