PILSEN — As a haven for vintage shops and artists alike, Pilsen once again proves to be a one-stop shopping destination this holiday season.
What's on our wish list this year? Custom slides, scrubs and boom boxes all handmade right here in the neighborhood.
Help your friend celebrate their new place with a custom plant and pot set ($13) from Verdant Matter, 1152 W. 18th St. The new plant and gift store features an impressive variety of succulents and small cactii that you can mix and match with pottery made in-studio by shop owner Kelly Doodeman.
Solid State Goods
For the friend who is always on top of their shoe game, a pair of custom slides ($100) from Solid State Goods guarantees to be a good fit. A black leather pair will withstand the test of time, but for the sartorially sharp, we recommend upgrading to shoemaker Julio Chavez's pony hair hide ($150), a popular pick with the West Coast crowd. Buy online or make an appointment in studio at 1710 S. Ashland Ave.
Lotus Farms Chicago
The return of snow officially ushers in Chicago's perennial winter traditions: dibs and dry skin. Combat the latter with Lotus Farms Chicago's salt scrubs ($10) and body polishes ($12), which you can pick up at Verdant Matter, 1152 W. 18th St., and the indoor Pilsen Community Market at Honky Tonk BBQ, 1800 S. Racine Ave.
Sending a gift to your far away sibling? Remind them just how much you love them — and Chicago loves them — with a "Chicago Loves You" frame ($50 and up) from Modern Cooperative, 1215 W. 18th St. Chicago-based artist Emmy Star Brown's hand-painted messages on salvaged glass fill an entire wall in the vintage and handmade boutique.
Reformed School Bowties at Gift
Using recycled materials and some ingenuity, ReformedSchool offers up inventive, one-of-a-kind bowties ($40-50) for those serious about style. Handmade in Bronzeville out of vintage scarves, leather pants and other repurposed materials, the bowties are now available at Gift, a brand new curated gift and art gallery in the Lacuna Artists Lofts buiding, 2150 S. Canalport Ave.
Shopping for someone on their game, gear wise? Check out FWRD Collection, a streetwear line for men and women that friends Noel Estrada and Pablo Ponce are designing out of their Pilsen apartment. Available online, the "Listen" tee ($23, left) comes in sizes for men and women.
Steel Petal Press
Doesn't everything sound better on vinyl? Two of the year's biggest releases, Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly" ($24.99) and Adele's brand new album "25" ($24.99) are in stock at new and used record store Pinwheel Records. Scott Schaaf and girlfriend Kim Foreit opened the new and used record shop at 1722 W. 18th St. this year.
Thalia Hall tickets
Thalia Hall's sister restaurant Dusek's is having a pretty awesome year (the staff was honored with a much-coveted Michelin star in October). But we still think the real star here is the stage. Why not get your friends tickets to a show ($22-$52) at Thalia Hall? Buy two, and it's like a bonus gift for you. Brandi Carlile, Bob Saget and St. Lucia are all set to take the stage here soon.