By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The holiday season is well underway and while more and more people do their gift shopping online lately, Town & Village has compiled a guide for local residents who want to support local businesses when picking up what they need for family members and friends.
For the kiddos
Kids of all ages can find something to cure their boredom at Ibiza Kidz at 340 First Avenue in Stuyvesant Town. Owner and Stuy Town resident Carole Husiak said that some of her most popular items for kids and even adults are the squishable pillows depicting cutesy anthropomorphic food characters. Available characters include a dog/hot dog, pizza, ice cream and others, but Husiak said that the stuffed avocado is the most popular.
Seasonal clothing is 25% off at Ibiza, offering outfits for the cold weather, and down coats are 10% off. Outfits include shirts, pants and dresses for toddlers and older kids as well.
Scooters are always a popular item for children and Ibiza Kidz sells three different versions for kids of varying ages for the same price as online. The minis, $96, have two wheels in the front for kids from 2 to 5 years old, and the maxi, $140, for kids from 5 to 12, also comes in a model with LED light-up wheels. The sprite, for kids age 8 and up, is $100.
For the crafty
Ibiza Kidz also has a variety of project-based kits that Husiak said are difficult to find in other stores and some that she sells for the same price as online retailers. Magna-tiles, one of the items at Ibiza that’s the same as online, are sets of building blocks with slightly different themes that foster imagination, appropriate for both younger and older children. Science-driven kits with projects from Science-Wiz are also available at the store and are better for kids who are eight and older.
For young readers
Also available at Ibiza is a selection of kids’ books, including some by Stuy Town resident and part-time mah jongg instructor Susie Fasbinder. Fasbinder will also be selling her books at a holiday craft fair planned for Ess-a-Bagel in Stuy Town at 324 First Avenue on Tuesday, December 17 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
In addition to Fasbinder’s book, Husiak is also selling a book written by her daughter, Emily Greco, called “99 Feathers.” Greco, a special education teacher and social worker, both wrote and illustrated the book, which is about kindness and friendship.
For the Stuy Town lifers
Stuy Town resident Debbie Ferris has created a series of ornaments and baseball caps inspired by popular apparel company Supreme, with “Stuypreme” printed on them.
Ferris also has shirts with “Straight Outta Stuy Town” printed on the front in an homage to “Straight Outta Compton.” Ferris, a corporate event producer, works with a company to print the hat and shirts, and puts together the ornaments herself. Anyone interested in purchasing her items can contact her by email at DLFerris@gmail.com or by phone at (917) 837-5916. Ferris accepts Venmo for payments and customers can pick up items from her apartment or from Oval Concierge as well.
For the collectors
Thrift shop Cauz for Pawz at 333 First Avenue has a number of unique items for vintage collectors, including designer coats, tops and dresses, in addition to a collection of holiday pins and old perfume bottles. The store will also be holding a holiday party on Thursday, December 19 from 1 to 8 p.m. where customers will be able to get a portrait taken with their pet and Mrs. Claus. The store is open on Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.
Boyar Gifts at 383 Second Avenue offers a selection of specialty glass ornaments depicting anything from Mr. Rogers to Frida Kahlo to champagne and caviar. The store also offers a variety of candles, mugs and bathrobes with snarky sayings with quips like “Humble with a hint of Kanye” and “I’m kind of a big deal” and a punny tea set with the A-Team’s Mr. T (spelled “Mr. Tea”) is also available with a teapot and cup with a saucer. Store owner Tali Alexander said that the Jeff Koons lookalike statues that the shop sells are popular gift items as well.
Socks are often a stereotypically boring holiday gift but the sock selection at Boyar is anything but, offering a wide variety of patterns and characters, including Shakespeare, Care Bears and different animals.
For the beer and/or cheese connoisseurs
Malt and Mold at 362 Second Avenue offers custom gift baskets with a selection of craft beer, specialty food items and cheeses, in addition to gift cards in any denomination, and ceramic beer mugs. Customers interested in gift baskets can contact the store with the amount they want to spend and any dietary restrictions and they will put a package together with a selection of charcuterie, specialty items (the shop sells various pickles and other snacks) and a beer. Pricing and more information are available by contacting the shop at (646) 896-1341 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Pre-made baskets are also available from the shop, ranging in price from $50 to $75.
The shop also offers 32-ounce and 64-ounce growlers and a revolving program of draft beers, especially highlighting craft beer from breweries in New York. The cheese sold at the shop is a small selection but specifically picked from primarily local farms based on what is seasonal. One example of a seasonal cheese available at the shop now is an organic truffle gouda that is only available at this time of year.
For the stressed-out
Longtime local business Gloria Cabrera Salon and Spa at 309 East 23rd Street offers a wide variety of natural skincare products, including massage oils, body scrubs, cleansing creams, face masks, soaps and various serums made with natural ingredients. Gift certificates valid for six months from the date of issue are also available to use for the skincare products and salon services, which include haircuts, coloring, waxing and more. Various nail services, including manicures with hand massage, spa pedicures and nail wraps, are also available. The salon is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. and the website is gloriacabreranyc.com.