If you’re in the giving spirit this season, whatever season you celebrate,chances are there is a gift for your special someone no further than your own neighborhood.If you live in or near Cooper-Young there’s no need to dash off to the mall out in the suburbs for a gift there are dozens of unique retailers steps from your door.
Here are 12 great Cooper-Young gift ideas in no particular order(* plus a baker’s dozen 13th store) to keep you shopping local.
2155 Central; 901-274-4071; www.facebook.com/LangfordMarketMemphis
Vegan leather motorcycle jacket by TCEC, several styles and colors, $99
The motorcycle jackets at Langford Market have been the season’s big seller and, with three stores in one location, you’re likely to find the boots, jewelry or accessories to go with the style. Vegan leather might be an oxymoron, but store managers say Memphis’ vegan community has been flocking to the store for cruelty-free fashion. Next door at Wish, store managers say fitted Aztec-print dresses are the hot item, starting at $69.90.
2160 Young; 901-207-6884; halfordloudspeakers.com
Music Hall USB-1 turntable, $249
The least expensive turntable Stereophile magazine has ever recommended, owner David Halford said. Will fit with any stereo or home theater system, USB output to record your vinyl to digital, internal equalizer, plug and play.
Big Star, “Nothing Can Hurt Me,” $24.99
You’ll score cool points with your hipster relative or boyfriend with a gift of just about anything from Goner Records. If he loves Memphis music, try the Syl Johnson box set on CD or, if he has a turntable (of course he does), Big Star’s “Nothing Can Hurt Me,” a two LP soundtrack to the Big Star documentary movie of the same name, is $24.99. Trust us, he’s heard of it.
Kindred Spirit Style
2172 Young; 901-207-7797; www.kindredspiritstyle.com
The Backpack Messenger, $99
Reversible, upside-down-able, inside-outable, the Backpack Messenger can be worn eight different ways, with several different looks to go with anything, says Stephanie Langston. Seven ladies across the Mid-South sew these top-selling bags for Kindred Spirit Style, and they can only be found here.
Memphis Mean Time
917 S. Cooper, second floor; 901-725-6622;www.facebook.com/MemphisMeanTime
Restored vintage pocketwatches, $150-$200.; handmade leather lanyard by local craftsman, $35.
Why buy a pocket watch in the digital age? “It’s a way to give a classic touch to an otherwise up-to-date outfit,” said owner and horologist Colin Britton. Or, he adds, it’s also a great gift for a time traveler trying to feel at home.
Allie Cat Arts
961 S. Cooper; 901-722-0094;www.facebook.com/AllieCatArts
Fused glass pendants by artist Nicole Phillipe, $5-$30.
Allie Cat Arts also carries a range of made-in-Memphis works by more than 80 artists, including handbags made from vintage vinyl records.
Memphis Drum Shop
878 S. Cooper; 901-276-2328; www.memphisdrumshop.com
Drum lessons, $90 a month for four ½-hour lessons
Need more cowbell? You’re in the right place. If someone you know has got the beat, then start with the basics, learning to hold sticks, count time and learn basic beats. Memphis Drum Shop also has stocking stuffers for your budding John Bonham like egg shakers, sticks and practice pads.
Inside First Congo Church, open Saturdays and Sundays and after church services
Handmade leather owl bank, $9.50
Global Goods specializes in fair-trade, handmade gifts that benefit artisans around the world. Try this handmade leather owl bank made by a craftsman in India. Or, bundle up for the winter with 100% hand-knitted wool ski caps from Nepal for $25 – a portion of sales goes benefits women and girls in India and Nepal.
798 S. Cooper; 901-258-PASH; www.phillipashley.com
Taste of Memphis gift box, $32 for six pieces
Phillip Ashley Rix is raising chocolate to high art, combining new and unexpected flavors and vivid colors. His special edition Taste of Memphis gift box features truffles with the flavors of Memphis barbecue, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, bourbon and Ghost River beer, and a portion of sales go toward the Fallen Officers memorial.
Toad Hall Antiques
2129 Central; 901-726-0755; www.facebook.com/ToadHallAntiques
Southern Soy Scents hand-poured candles, $23
Made in the Arkansas Delta from renewable soybean wax, these clean-burning candles in glass jars are infused with holiday scents including Oriental quince, Christmas fir, Christmas nectar, red currant, chai tea, guava and fig. Beginning Dec. 1, Toad Hall will be open Sundays noon-5 p.m. in addition to their regular store hours.
2304 Central; 901-272-2304; www.flashbackmemphis.com
Sweet Art Attack bottle opener, $25
Like bikes? Like beer? Love Memphis? This custom bottle opener made in Connecticut at the special request of Flashback owner Millett Vance has everything. “These have been flying out the door lately,” Vance said. Flashback is technically outside Cooper-Young, but it’s just a short walk across Central to their overwhelming selection of vintage Christmas gift ideas: Kit-Cat clocks, sock monkeys, flasks, vintage jewelry, mobiles and more.
Xanadu Books & Music
2200 Central; 901-274-9885
One-string Lowebow, $140 and up
If you’re looking for a unique gift for a musician, it doesn’t get any more obscure than the Lowebow, a handmade guitar-esque one-man-band kinda instrument often crafted from cigar boxes or other found objects. Xanadu, a part of the Cooper-Young area for 15 years, is the only place in the world that has them, along with vintage and hard-to-find books and other musical instruments. You never know what you’ll find.