The #ShopLocal tradition is even more important this year for holiday shopping. Montclair’s local businesses really, really want you to know they are here for you. Shops have taken huge steps to balance an easy and effective shopping experience with keeping their employees and customers safe. Online ordering, curbside pickup, personal shopping appointments via FaceTime or in-person, and deliveries are all meant to help alleviate the concerns around COVID-safe purchasing.
This year’s holiday shopping guide hopes to encourage touring Montclair’s shopping areas on foot so we can spread our gift-dollars to as many local businesses as possible. Window-shopping, combined with checking out Fresh Air Montclair displays and picking up a bite to eat, makes for a fantastic way to spend a day supporting local businesses while respecting social distancing to keep shop employees and our community healthy. We can’t include every shop, so please put additional finds in comments!
Quick-and-Easy and One-Size-Fits-All: The gift certificate! Any restaurant, cafe, gift or clothing store, service outlet, or charity will be happy to issue a gift certificate for whatever amount you choose. These make great #ShopLocal gifts because they encourage further shopping after the holiday season is done. Pair it with some macarons from Le French Dad or chocolate covered almonds from Sweet Home Montclair, and you’ve got the perfect local gift.
The South End businesses are ready to offer gifts and good food to visitors. Want to brighten up a table or room? Check out Montclair Flowers & Gifts at 324 Orange Road for arrangements and potted plants for delivery or carry-away. In addition, an Artisan’s Gallery Pop-Up will be open for shopping at 312 Orange Road through the holiday season. The gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 AM – 7 PM. With items including jewelry, t-shirts and caps, candles, scarves, ties and belts, ornaments, purses, lotions and bath bombs, CBD products, baskets, and paintings, you’ll find something for everyone at a variety of price points. Local and NJ artisans like Soaps of Love, Vintage Montclair, The Little Scent Shoppe, Soapana, Velvet & Jute, Shi’s Cakes and Things are all featured. The Artisan’s Gallery Pop-Up offers in-person shopping or order from their website with curbside pickup. Stop in for sustenance including sandwiches and bagels, celebrated Mac & Cheese or crispy calamari, Caribbean dishes, or Chinese food.
Montclair Center’s shops and restaurants are bending over backwards to help make shopping easy and fun for everyone. With outdoor displays and events, the whole area makes for a colorful walk around downtown, so get your steps in as you get your shopping done!
Starting at Monty, at 12 N. Willow, will introduce you to emerging designers of casual and elegant clothing, jewelry, candles, as well as soaps, nail polish, and balms. Turn up Glenridge Avenue, checking in on Mr. Killion Men’s Clothing and stop at Dolly Moo and White Rabbit Black Heart for gifts, stocking stuffers, and creative and quirky items, some from local artisans! Some highlights are Dolly Moo’s bath bombs and soaps as well as lip gloss, smudging supplies, and the most pleasantly-scented hand sanitizer you’ll find. White Rabbit Black Heart is filled with holiday decor and thoughtfully curated gifts with joyful sass. Don’t forget to pick up some of the chocolatey confections while you’re browsing. Looking for a good read? Montclair Book Center has new and used books to browse and buy.
For a stroll on Church Street, start with East Side Mags at 7 S. Fullerton Avenue for gifts for your lovers of superheroes, manga, and all things comics – including a surprise box! Check out Heratij at 30 S. Fullerton and its ultra-cool fashion with free local delivery or in-store pickup. Keep walking to Church Street for accessories at Noellery, crystals and gemstones at Blu Lotus, and clothing, planters, jewelry and more at Culture Couture. Don’t forget to stop in for coffee, snacks or a meal at the myriad delicious spots along your shopping way.
On Bloomfield Avenue walk west towards Midland Avenue for scores of handmade and locally made products at Eclectic Chic Boutique (547 Bloomfield Avenue), paper goods and decor at Parcel (608 Bloomfield Ave), as well as everything from neon signs to baby clothing at Pazzazed (11 Midland Avenue).
Walnut Street’s focus is food, but don’t pass by Velvet Lush Boutique (123 Walnut Street) for a gift for your fashionista. Walk one block over to the corner of N. Fullerton and Claremont to visit Dem Two Hands with clothing, accessories, and statement jewelry. Need a tasty addition to a gift? Consider a pack of pignoli cookies from Cucina 98 (98 Walnut Street). Or stop in at any Walnut Street or Grove Street eatery for sandwiches, pizza, burgers, beer, avocado toasts, empanadas, or jerk chicken. And don’t discount Grove Pharmacy (123 Grove Street) for gift ideas! Their seasonal candy selection helps fill stockings, and their gift area has a variety of items at many price points.
A walk around Watchung Plaza is sure to provide some gift ideas for everyone on your list. If you start at Dot Reeder at 129 Watchung Avenue, you’ll find clothing and jewelry in a variety of price points. Peek into the new Yarnia location for knitting supplies and more, and pass the delis, pizza, sushi, coffee, and salad shops before turning the corner into Watchung Plaza proper to visit Le Souk’s Middle Eastern crafts and gifts and to admire D’MONI’s scarves, gloves, and selection of jewelry, where everything is included in the 25% off sale through 2020! Stop into Watchung Booksellers for, well, books. And don’t miss their selection of games, snarky socks, and stationery needs. Cross over to The Tea Store at 106 Watchung Avenue for not just teas, but also handmade ornaments and lovely ceramic and glass dish-ware (including teacups!), both new and vintage.
Uptown Montclair is ready for shopping and eating throughout December. Start your tour at Zoe’s Gift Boutique at 628 Valley Road for delightful holiday decor, fun seasonal gifts, and gorgeous baskets, snarky tea towels, and cozy scarves for gift giving at every price point. Continue to Moss & More (246 Bellevue) for plant-themed gifts. Barbara Eclectic/Village Vogue (594 Valley Road) offers sparkly earrings, star-themed clothing, and blouses, dresses, and pants in a range of styles. Not sure what to buy? Village Vogue has a “wish list” option that makes buying decisions stress-free!
Turn back to walk east on Bellevue Avenue to check out the designs at Susanne N., Pink Bungalow, and the styles at Coco, an Experience where Roz will make sure you find the perfect look. The General Store at Cornerstone Montclair (198 Bellevue) is full of quirky stocking stuffers, fun and creative gifts for Hanukkah, and all the games, puzzles, jewelry, and original decor choices you’ll need. And don’t forget to take a Sleigh Selfie outside the store!
Montclair has a wealth of shops all working hard to make holiday shopping as easy, enjoyable, and safe as possible. With online shopping, personal shopping appointments, curbside pickup, and limits to the mount of shoppers in a store, make sure to shop early and spread the love. We couldn’t possible include every store, but we hope that all shoppers will get outside, walk through Montclair’s shopping districts, and enjoy the festive atmosphere and positive vibes our neighbors and small business owners have created to help us #ShopLocal for Holiday Season 2020.
Leave YOUR favorite #ShopLocal spots and gift ideas in comments to continue spreading the word!