16 Gifts to order online from French stores before the holidays

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This year, the holidays are all about shopping early and shopping local… but no one said exactly how local. Show support for these unique French startups and small businesses with gifts and experiences for everyone in your life.

1. A one-of-a-kind piece of art

For something truly unique, order one of these spectacular “city globes” from the Atelier Charlotte Bourrus in Biarritz. These fresh takes on snow globes are 3D collages of your favorite cities, from Rome to Rio. Order a best-seller or customize to your needs.

2. A boutique shopping experience

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Prefer to do your shopping at small boutiques instead of big brands? French Face has you covered. This company, recently launched by a young American entrepreneur, partners with small French brands on a rotating basis to build a curated collection with hassle-free shipping to the U.S. Shop handbags, shoes, jewelry, books, skincare, and more, all lovingly hand-selected for you. Or, if you’d like to give yourself a little gift as well, sign up for their membership and automatically get a $50 gift card to give to a friend or loved one.

3. A champagne happy hour

Have a girlfriend who loves to pop bubbly at any occasion? Get her a gift certificate for one of Cynthia Coutu’s fun and educational Zoom classes. The founder of Delectabulles, Paris’s champagne club for women, is on a mission to teach women about wine through classes like “Sparkling Wines from Around the World” and “Bubbly Badasses: Women in the History of Champagne.” And though memberships are only available to women, webinars are open to people of all genders.

4. A game for the whole family

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Looking for something low-stakes to while away the winter hours with the family? The company Quille Molle makes a set for “indoor bowling.” Inspired by a Finnish game and made in France, these woolen bowling pins are safe to play in any indoor space.

5. A baking class

This expat baker was teaching pastry classes in Versailles before confinement hit, but she’s made a quick job of adapting her format to a burgeoning online presence. Molly J Wilkinson is currently offering a running slate of Zoom patisserie classes, ranging from 10€ “mini classes” to 25€ 90-minute classes. Only one registration is needed per household, so the whole family can learn how to make bûche de noël, tarte tatin, or galette des rois. Gift cards available here.

6. Books, books, books!

It’s never a bad time to support your local bookstore, even if that bookstore is an ocean away. Pick up some fresh reads or classics from Shakespeare and Company, which you can have customized with a poem, spritz of perfume, or the iconic Shakespeare & Co. stamp. They are also offering a 45€ membership program for 2021, which includes 4 book deliveries.

7. The perfect perfume

Perfume is a very personal thing to buy, so why not hedge your bets with a “Library of Scents” from Candora? This French parfumerie offers classes where you can learn about the art of creating scents, and even create your own. But if you can’t make it to the shop, they have an option to bring it to you, with a sampler collection of 21 fragrances, and a book explaining the secrets behind them.

8. The most versatile bag ever

This project went viral on Kickstarter after a father and daughter team came together to create a “vegan leather” bag made of stylish and ethically-sourced cork. Hence, LaFlore’s bobobark was born, an instant classic and incredibly versatile bag that captures the essence of Parisian style.

9. Your favorite chocolates

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Michel et Augustin has opened a factory in Brooklyn, and they now sell their famous shortbread chocolate cookies at Whole Foods. Try dark chocolate with sea salt, milk chocolate and caramel, or chocolate hazelnut.

10. A ‘More pasta, less drama’ T-shirt

La Semaine Paris, founded by French-Italian influencer Gabrielle Caunesil, is all about Parisian style, sustainability, and feminism. Shop by day of the week (“On Monday we are proudly feminist.”), or by capsule (“Belle de Jour” or “Vivement l’Été,” for example), for stunning fashion items.

11. Something feminist

Lindsey Tramuta wants you to know that Paris isn’t all rich, skinny, white women eating croissants and reading Camus. Her book, The New Parisienne: The Women and Ideas Shaping Paris, focuses on all the different ways there are to be a parisienne. While you’re waiting for delivery, don’t miss her podcast, The New Paris.

12. Something witty

The Parisianer isn’t a real magazine, but we wish it were. What started as a loving nod to the famously quirky covers of The New Yorker turned into a creative explosion from French illustrators Aurélie Pollet and Michael Prigent. Purchase a print or one of their 4 collections of covers.

13. A shoe for every occasion

Tanya Heath has solved a generations-old dilemma: how is a girl supposed to fit all the shoes she needs to travel in one bag? The hack involves designer shoes with interchangeable heels that transform your flats into stilettos in moments. Luckily this Parisian company has a U.S. offshoot to make shipping a non-issue. Use code Gratitude2020 for 20% off, and for a limited time, get a complimentary pair of black heels with any purchase!

14. A mask that will make someone smile

Brigitte Tanaka is the French-Japanese portmanteau for Brigitte Giraudi and Chieko Tanaka. They make, among many other cool things, vintage-inspired face masks embroidered with phrases like “Coucou” and “Merci.”

15. Something cozy

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A marinière from Saint James might be a little cheesy, but only because it’s a real classic. This heritage brand makes shirts and sweaters whose Breton stripes and nautical minimalist style will ship you straight off to Bretagne for the winter.

16. Something wild

Bisous Skateboards is a favorite cult brand based out of Montpellier that makes stylish boards for any skater or novice, like this truly unconventional lipstick board.

Featured Image: Stock Photos from pfluegler-photo / Shutterstock

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