Seasonal Suggestions: A Pride Holiday Shopping Guide
Let’s be real—holiday shopping isn’t the most serene of activities. In fact, the sheer thought of tapping into my bank account in the traditional sense of holiday consumerism can invoke such panic that I simply click on the nearest site. What’s more, “blind shopping” is not always focused on supporting the most important part of our local scene: its artists and creatives. But intentional gifting is not just throwing pennies caution-less to the wind. This season, try rethinking gift-giving as a way to celebrate community by sustaining the innovative local artists, craftspeople, and organizations who are expanding the way local art and creativity passionately unite the community.
From supporting your local femme-run salon or tattoo parlor, and wearables from Minnesota-based queer designers to queer-friendly boutiques, handmade goods, and long-term community contributions, we’ve compiled a few people and places to keep in mind during the season of giving. These highlights support local art while going beyond the act of the purchase and might help rekindle that spark of joy when thinking of others this year.
Wild Things Antiques
Gay-owned and operated, Wild Things Antiques keep everything so you don’t have to. From vintage to modern, oddities and wild cards, their eclectic finds are collected to “make the soul smile.” 2431 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis ◆ wildthingsantiques.com
Like having your own personal stylist, everything at this North Loop menswear destination is curated for an opulent and contemporary look and lifestyle. From cufflinks and elegantly functional travel kits to designer colognes and apparel, it’s an oasis for all things dapper. Some of our favorites are Fulton & Roark’s Zero Razor Burn Kit ($65)—complete with cooling face towelettes formulated with bergamot and eucalyptus—and Brackish Bow Ties, one-of-a-kind, handcrafted modern takes on classic bow tie wear. 212 3rd Ave N, Minneapolis ◆ martinpatrick3.com
Mother Co., Plants
Plant care is self-care. With dreary winter months ahead, a tangible reminder of the beauty green, flourishing nature holds can be just the peaceful push we need to get us through until spring. Mother’s rare selection of hundreds of cacti species, leafy tropicals, and air plants in all shapes and sizes from across the globe are perfect for transforming a space into a desert paradise, even when it’s far from it outside. They offer organic, urea-free cacti and tropical fertilizers, nutrient-rich essential oil blends, and accessories for delicate plant care needs. Services also include installations, window displays and home garden project assistance. 2400 North Second St, Minneapolis ◆ mother-plants.com
Feel the Noise
Perfect to keep in mind for those wanting to hone their musical skills, Slam Academy’s music production, mixing and mastering, DJing and sound design classes are taught by local producers and DJs. slamacademy.com
She Rock She Rock
Dedicated to empowering girls, women, trans, and non-binary folx through the art of music, She Rock She Rock features workshops, lessons, and youth-centered music production and composition. They provide the equipment and offer sliding scale options. sherocksherock.org
Queer bodies deserve to be connected to queer ink. Local shops like Tailorbird, Jackalope, Minneapolis Tattoo, and The Aldrich connect with queer, femme, and non-binary-identifying folx for designs worthy of permanence.
Tailorbird Tattoo, 3319 E 50th St, Minneapolis ◆ tailorbirdtattoo.com
Jackalope Tattoo, 3753 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis ◆ jackalopetattoo.com
Minneapolis Tattoo Shop, 2211 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis ◆ minneapolistattooshop.com
The Aldrich Tattoo Parlour, 2836 Lyndale Ave S, #270, Minneapolis ◆ emilierobinson.com
If a season-long membership to the Guthrie or the Minnesota Opera isn’t within your budget, or if your loved one is just not the commitment type, look for tickets to individual performances at local grassroots theaters and production houses that encourage and support queer performance art like Gadfly, Pillsbury House (home to Lightning Rod Productions), Phoenix House, Controlled Burn, Mixed Blood, and 20% Theater Company.
Meet Me in the Bathroom
That Soap Shop
For a shower and bathroom cabinet worthy of peeking into, That Soap Shop specializes in local, handmade, and sustainable botanical lotions, soaps, scrubs, roll-on colognes, and face masks. thatsoapshop.com
Sink into herbal luxury with HempWorx’s Bath Box CBD bath bombs. cbdisgreat.com
And find locally made heated neck wraps and rose milk bath remedies by Eyeable available on Etsy. etsy.com/shop/Eyeable
Located in the Corcoran community in South Minneapolis, this femme-owned and -operated salon focuses on promoting sustainability and inclusivity, with natural approaches to hair color and wellness and a creative, passionate, and experienced roster of stylists. Book a cut-and-color or pop into the shop to peruse through an array of ethically sourced and eco-friendly style and body products. 2228 E 35th St, Minneapolis ◆ paperhairsalon.com
Love My Pet or Else
Lest we forget about our sacred furry friends; after all, the way to a queer babe’s heart is to become BFFs with their pet.
Long Dog Apparel
This Mankato-based company specializes in locally designed apparel that shouts from the rooftops how much the pet lovers in your life fancy their (or your) pet. Tell the world you’re a Cat Daddy while shopping through their collection of cuddle caves, plaid bandanas, and fleece slings. longdogapparel.com
Urban Tails Pet Supply
Well, yes, you could buy everything a pet needs on Amazon, but with this family-run, community-minded pet store with a friendly, knowledgeable staff, it’s more about the experience. Give a few cuddles to their four-legged helpers while shopping through a bountiful selection of pet toys and accessories, and raw food options. They also offer pet training classes for long-term pet happiness. 2106 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis ◆ urbantailspet.com
Dress You Up in Queer Love
Local designer Ivan Idland’s mission is to create joy and connection in people’s lives with his creations. With a unique vision for pants and shorts, his signature pieces are eye-catching and worthy of every compliment-laden conversation starter they garner. His tongue-in-cheek ugly Xmas sweater will have you channeling a “‘70s gay daddy” vibe. ivanidland.com
Unmistakably stunning, Nora’s signature lingerie and non-binary fashion pieces are size- and gender-inclusive, made-to-order, and can be customized to suit vogue needs. Our faves include the Unisex Boi Brief ($55), Dolly Bottoms ($35), the Bodycon Skirt ($35), and the Mesh Dulce Bralette ($30). Sported on the scenes by local performer Kamilla Love and drag artist Puffy, Nora’s designs inspire self-love and sexiness. norahidalgo.com
A Fink & Ink
Perfect for those who like to wear their queer politics on their sleeve, these collectible pins ($9–$11) range from witchy solidarity and gender- and orientation-positive pride to prohibiting toxic masculinity and TERF behavior. afinkandink.com
Designed by a local lesbian stud with the studly in mind, Focused features unique, colorful jackets, shirts, and signature streetwear pieces. Illuminate outdoor adventures with the Glow In Dark Camping Short Set ($80) or proclaim your realest undying affection with the No Fake Love Jacket ($50). focusedclothing.com
Conceived by four friends whose vision incorporates elements from their native country of Colombia, Mistura’s repurposed timepieces pieces are handcrafted from wood and renewable resources and inspired by the environment. Each piece channels fashion, sophistication, and the art of nature. Our favorites are the timber-tiled Suki Stainless Steel Watch ($119) and Hollister leather wallet made from natural cork ($45). mistura.com
If you’re loved one isn’t into receiving more things, consider donating to a worthy cause in their name. Bringing funding back into local organizations who value community is a key component in a sustainable and inclusive arts and culture in the Twin Cities. A donation to these projects can reap benefits all-year round.
Engaged in self-empowered and direct services, The Aliveness Project has been working with the community for over 30 years. Founded as a community center by and for people living with HIV, Aliveness facilitates connection to the community, offering nutrition and wellness services and linking members to resources to lead fulfilling and healthy lives. aliveness.org/donate
DJ-U is a mentorship and workshop program for Black/Indigenous womxn, femmes, and non-binary identified people of color that teaches the basics of vinyl and digital DJing. A donation to the project assists in helping keep local events inclusive and accessible. dj-u.xyz/donate
A local link to queer literature and media, Quatrefoil is a nonprofit library specializing in maintaining and circulating LGBTQI materials in a safe and welcoming space. A donation helps keep their mission alive and supports the accessibility of queer resources and culture. 1220 E Lake St, Minneapolis ◆ qlibrary.org/support