You take time to select the perfect Noble fir, dashing from one tree lot to another to find the exact look and size. Then you search all over for the proper lights and hand-crafted ornaments to adorn your tree.

As for gifts, no matter how many Macy’s ads you’ve scoured, nothing seems right. You’re a particular shopper, and everything you purchase must reflect your keen sense of taste and style. In effort to ease the seasonal madness, we’ve taken a little time to make the Christmas stress a little lighter this year. As a discerning shopper, allow OurWeekly’s 2012 Holiday Gift Guide to aid in steering you through the next two weeks of the holiday-shopping grind. We could not think of a better way to help you prepare for the holidays than to connect our faithful readers to some of our favorite go-to shops (that are a combination of brick and mortar and online) and their perfect gifts ideas for the season.

Runway Boutique

807 La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90036, (323) 965-1877; www.shoprunwayboutique.com
With a fashion designer for a mother, it is no surprise that Runway Boutique owner Fatima Dodson’s career path led her into the fashion industry. She began as a stylist/costume designer, and shortly after completing fashion school in 2005 turned her dreams of owning a boutique into a reality. Nestled in the Miracle Mile District of Los Angeles, this event-based boutique has been a shopping destination for many since its opening.

Packed with gorgeous new and vintage garments, Runway offers a unique shopping experience. It is equipped with a life-size runway down the middle of the store, turning this boutique into the ultimate venue for fashion shows and other events.

Runway also hosts a ton of fun, girly fashion events, including Tea With Girlfriends, which is scheduled every second Sunday of the month. This quaint boutique is the perfect place to shop for that fashion aficionado on your list. Whether she is the COO of a Fortune 500 company or your 20-year-old granddaughter in college, the amazing staff at Runway Boutique will help find exactly what you’re looking for. Step into Runway and choose from one of their many carefully selected vintage pieces or a beautiful handbag from their wide selection.

Tech Heads of Southbay

17129 Hawthorne Blvd., Lawndale, Calif. 90260, (323) 723-2329
These days, with technology changing at an alarming rate, it is getting increasingly hard to keep current. While many of us are still feeling the recession, local entrepreneur Jeffrey Walsh and his partner Ryan Jackson have established an amazing business that will keep everyone up to date with the latest technology without out breaking the bank.

Tech Heads is an innovative business that buys, sells and trades smart phones and gadgets. Located in the Southbay, Tech Heads provides a little relief for all its tech-savvy consumers. Offering gadgets such as the iphone5, ipad mini, Samsung Galaxy 3 and the Samsung Note 2, the store has become a leader in new and “gently used” products. Stocked with phones from every major carrier, it provides customers with new options to purchasing technology.

“Many consumers are interested in purchasing new cell phones but do not qualify for upgrades with their current carrier, thus leaving the consumer two options. One, continue using the progressively outdated mobile device they currently possess or purchase a brand-new phone from their carrier at market price which is generally near the $500 mark. At Tech Heads, that customer can bring in their gently used phone and use it as credit toward the new device they were interested in purchasing originally, all without renewing a contract or having to go through their carrier,” says Walsh.

Equipped with an in-house technician, this business is offering top-of-the-line technology at a very attractive price. As an added bonus, they also offer smart phone classes to ensure that their customers are taking full advantage of their phones. If you have a tech-savvy teen or even a tech genius on your holiday shopping list, Tech Heads may offer what you’re looking for at a fraction of the price.


Niabella
Candles and Wax products; www.niabella.com
Melissa Melange is the creative force behind Niabella, a vegan line of natural candles and wax products sold through its online store. As a beauty product developer during the day, Melissa has always had a passion for ingredients.

In 2007, after giving birth to her son, she became increasingly aware of ingredients and the effects they caused to not only a woman’s body but also to a child.

“When you burn candles, you are emitting fumes into the air, and I learned during my travels to Bali sourcing raw materials that those fumes not only offer aromatherapy, but there are also properties that go beyond aromatherapy, properties that can also activate your spirit. They can cheer you up or help with a lot of things, and I was trying to infuse some of those natural products into mass-marketed products, and it was not really working,” says Melange.

Thus, she was inspired to create her own line, which currently consists of luxurious natural candles, infused with properties that are beneficial to the skin, the earth and the spirit.

The candles are 100 percent natural with skin nourishing ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, aloe vera and jojoba. The candles are made in small batches and contain a lead-free wick. Not only do they burn for 60-plus hours, but the wax is heat-controlled and, after liquefied, can then be used as a moisturizer for the body.

Koonce & Co. Jewelers
The Fitzgerald Chonograph Collection
www.kooncejewelers.com/products/the-fitzgerald
“If you value time, you definitely want a valuable watch,” suggests Marvin Ady, brand strategy consultant for Koonce Jewelers & Co. While Father Time is with all of us, a watch is an ultimate staple in a man’s wardrobe. It celebrates dignity, prestige and respect. The owners at Koonce Jewelers & Co., which is based in New York, have collaborated with Ady to create the Fitzgerald Chronograph Collection, a selection of magnificently crafted, wristwatches signifying luxury and professionalism.

“When it comes to fashion on a man, it is rarely ever about the main piece of clothing. If you are in a suit, it is important to have a good tie or pocket square. That is where his personality comes out. Many people are under the assumption that the more diamonds a timepiece has the more valuable it is.

However, the truth is the best watches have the most complication, meaning, more dials and details in the bezel. It is about fitting the most possible gadgets in that small frame of the dial.”

Cultural Interiors

5573 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90019
(323) 292-1500; www.cutluralinteriors.com
In 2006 Gail Hawkins opened Cultural Interiors, and her goal was to provide gifts and interior design services to the community.

“We wanted to bring different types of cultural gifts to the home,” notes Hawkins. Her store offers beautiful products for the home from all over the world, including such places as Asia, Latin America, and Africa. “We want to blend everyone’s culture so that all cultures are appreciated,” says the owner.

Cultural Interiors features local designers from both the East and West Coasts, offering a distinctive cultural flare to the market. One of Hawkins’ favorite designers is nationally known artist Pat Boyd, and among her favorite items are furnishings imported from Thailand, Asia and India.

The product mix at the store allows customers to really get a grasp of other cultures and bring those cultures into their home, blending ethnicities. The store has just recently opened a tea bar and has begun to bring in locally designed tea sets. The adorable sets are wonderful unique holiday gifts.

Venius

www.venius.net
After graduating top of her class, Venius Adams, began a fascinating career in the fashion industry working with such top brands as Alberto Ferreti and Moschino. However, she was not finding fulfillment.

So, she packed her things and moved to Los Angeles. After a few months of relaxing and partying, Adams decided to re-create a vintage turban she loved. Her original concept was a tye-dye and denim turban she felt might appeal to all the fashionable locals. However, through trial and error she learned that would be a really expensive process.

During her development stages she partnered with a colleague who assisted her by showing her the ropes of having patterns made and developing a product.

“I initially thought my market would be cancer survivors and women experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy, because all my initial research brought me back to them. My pink collection, which was established for cancer survivors, is currently in eight stores and in the process of being sold in hospitals.”
Adams has also generated a fashion collection and yoga collection. Venius is a perfect holiday gift for any woman who loves fashion headwear.

Naturally Bare by Diedre

8000 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, Calif.
(310) 694-7778; www.nbbydeidre.com
Naturally Bare by Deidre is a skin care line consisting of quality natural organic body products. Celebrity esthetician Deidre Gavin, who has studied nutrition and Eastern medicine, formulated these products for all ethnicities with an extra attention given to those with skin disorders. Gavin has combined her love for Eastern medicine, with the unique healing gained knowledge from her native New Orleans, and provided a luxurious and nutrient-rich body product line for both men and women. Her products are infused with organic ingredients such as tamanui, argan oil, coconut oil, borage oil and Sea buckthorn. When these oils are combined with the antioxidant rich body balm, which is a shea butter blended with cupuacu butter, a wonderful foundation is created.

“It was really important to me that people were able to moisturize their body with a product with a thick consistency that would penetrate quickly. It took a good 10 months to formulate this particular body balm and it is featured in five different fragrances.”

Philthy Ragz
4840 W. Slauson Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90056
(310) 703-0132; www.philthyragz.bigcartel.com
One T-shirt, a scoop of creativity and the letters FREE birthed one of Los Angeles’ favorite boutiques–Philthy Ragz.

Six years ago Philthy Ragz owner Gaynelle White asked God to allow her to use her gifts, and that prayer was answered. Shortly afterwards, her custom-designed garbs were seen on a Hollywood starlet and her dream became reality.

On any given day this boutique is filled with shoppers hunting down one of her custom-designed pieces, searching for an edgy top or just a unique piece to add to their wardrobe. After very humble beginnings, the Philthy Ragz boutique doors were opened in 2007. Now it has grown into a premier store, dressing many celebrities. For years, Philthy Ragz has been known as a go-to boutique, providing uber-chic, sultry custom designs and one-of-a-kind pieces.