380 NW 13th Ave., 209-8349, cargoinc.com.
Set aside plenty of time to get lost in this cavernous warehouse—you’ll need at least an hour to fully explore all the brightly colored goods from far off places. There’s gold jewelry from Africa and Asia, and satiny slippers in all sizes lined up next to mah-jongg tiles and yellowing Arabic newspapers. In the housewares department, find petrified-wood sinks, intricate wall hangings and Japanese stools.
Buy this: For the grumpy left-hander in your life, pick up beautifully handcrafted scissors ($32).
921 NW Everett St., 360-1163, ecovibeapparel.com.
Given Portland’s reputation for green living, it’s no surprise to find that the Pearl District now boasts an eco-conscious clothing boutique. This cozy shop features touchable—and very stylish—togs for women and men, as well as handbags and jewelry from local designers. Co-owner Andrea Koranteng says the goal is to offer green goods at a variety of price points, from organic cotton T-shirts ($38-$59) to a fabulous LooptWorks raincoat made from waterproof textile scraps ($149).
Buy this: Jewelry by Kevia Jeffrey-West.
In Good Taste
231 NW 11th Ave., 248-2015, ingoodtastestore.com.
For the aspiring or professional chef in your life, you’ll find a perfect gift at In Good Taste, a gourmet kitchen shop that’s known for its stellar cooking classes. Browse Le Creuset enamelware and top-of-the-line Shun and Wüsthof knives, or purchase a gift certificate for one of the mostly hands-on classes taught on site.
Buy this: Recent course offerings include Artisan Cheese Making and Knife Skills ($45–$125).
Oblation Papers & Press
516 NW 12th Ave., 223-1093, oblationpapers.com.
The local hub for all things made of paper, Oblation is your one-stop shop for letterpressed holiday cards, a gorgeous assortment of 2011 calendars and the entire Moleskine line. The DIY folks on your list will love their bookmaking supplies and handmade papers created in the “urban paper mill” in the back.
Buy this: Seals ($14 or $20) and sealing wax ($3).
Sheepskin of Oregon
1218 NW Glisan St., 242-0079, sheepskinoforegon.com.
Nearly every surface in this store is covered in sheepskin, fuzzy white or dyed in various hues. The store bills itself as a purveyor of “quality sheepskin seat covers and accessories,” which pretty much sums up what you’ll find here. Accessories include sheepskin rugs and comfy sheepskin-lined slippers and gloves.
Buy this: Custom-fit car seatcovers ($178+/pair) are also available for bikes ($24 and up).
1204 NW Glisan St., 274-0275, theasinteriors.com.
Perhaps you’ve never walked inside, but surely the whimsical window displays on the corner of Northwest 13th Avenue and Glisan Street have caught your eye. The name of this well-curated store is misleading; it should more accurately be called Thea’s Treasure Chest, or maybe Thea’s Jewelry and Antiques. Once you step inside, you’ll first notice the blend of local and vintage jewelry artfully displayed atop and in glass-fronted cabinets. Along with the wide array of jewelry, owner Thea Villasenor has gathered “collections” of vintage metal letters and signs, leather-bound books and ivory-embellished knickknacks from estate sales and flea markets all over the country. “My parents were antique dealers in Los Angeles, and my earliest memories are going to the flea markets and playing under the tables with all the cool vintage hats and gloves they picked up from the movie sets,” she says. She’s also brought in ceramics and textiles from local designers like Pigeon Toe and Appetite (set of four silkscreened napkins, $32).
Buy this: Find unique stocking stuffers in bowls full of odds and ends like watch faces, puzzle pieces, French flash cards, dominos and other game pieces ($1–$5).