Over the years, the Heights has developed a reputation for its quirky sense of individuality and charm. The incredible architecture, top-rated restaurants and festive block parties (Lights in the Heights, White Linen Night) have Houstonians heading north to this historic neighborhood. In the heart of it all? 19th Street. This iconic block is lined with a variety of shops, making it the perfect place for holiday shopping. We have rounded up a few of our favorite spots to help you tackle that gift list.
Mary & Moss
Heights resident, Vanessa Wodehouse, opened Mary & Moss in 2017. This boutique sells clothing, accessories and gifts. As you walk through the front door its apparent Wodehouse has created a unique environment for her unique inventory. 1800-inspired floral wallpaper, antiques and re-purposed display fixtures make perusing through the Nest candles, Lollia goods, the trinkets and baubles, a joy not a chore. Mary & Moss carry clothing brands that offer timeless, American made pieces crafted with natural fabrics (the price points on clothing reflect ‘quality’, not ‘quantity’). Circa’s Holiday Shopping Tip: Mary & Moss is the perfect place to find gifts for teachers, neighbors, the babysitter or your boss. Stock up on a few Rosy Rings candles for last-minute presents.
Struggling to find wonderful gifts for the wonderful men in your life? We’ve been there. But thanks to Travis Weaver, who opened Manready Mercantile a few years back, that’s all in the past. Manready Mercantile is just about every whiskey-sippin’, gun-slingin’, boot-wearin’, John Wayne-watchin’ man’s dream. Trek up the creaky staircase to the store’s 2nd floor location and discover the modern man’s mancave: spacious, well-worn leather sofas, exposed red brick and the scent of sandlewood. Every wall perfectly curated with a collection of taxidermy animal busts, rusted trade signs and a mishmash of old magazine ads and tattered banners. The thoughtful space is a true reflection of the products. The leather goods range from high-end Coronado bags to braided bracelets with re-purposed .22 shells and small Texas-shaped key chains made on site. Manready has men’s clothing, shoes, accessories, home goods, kitchen staples and apothecary products. Circa’s Holiday Shopping Tip: Grab one (or three) of Apolis x Manready Mercantile’s Houston Texas Bags. This roomy, waterproof tote is the perfect gift for people on the go.
Music lover on the list? You know, that one friend/partner/family member who believes everything sounds better on vinyl. Grab their gift at Vinal Edge, one of the few remaining music stores in town. This Houston institution has been a gathering place for underground music lovers for years, long before its move to the Heights in 2012. Owner Chuck Roast’s knowledge and passion for music plays a huge role in why Vinal Edge has not shuttered to the digital music marketplace. If you want a ‘WOW’ gift, Vinal Edge has a killer selection of rare and unusual records. The gift recipient will definitely turn the volume up to 11.
Big Blue Whale Toys
‘A magical place to find classic, hard-to-find and handmade toys’, Big Blue Whale Toys took the words right out of our mouths. Escape the mad crowds at those chaotic big-box stores and skip the plastic nonsense that breaks before Boxing Day. Gift the kiddos with presents from this Heights toy store. Circa’s Holiday Shopping Tip: Big Blue Whale has an excellent selection of children’s books. Give the book you loved as a child to the tiny tots on your shopping list. Pick one up for yourself, just try not to get lost in past.
This women’s boutique is one of our favorite stores in Houston (last fall, a second location opened in Montrose). At Emerson Rose, you can find a gift for every tween, teen, 20 and 30-something gal on your shopping list. Owner Bonnie Reay fills her store’s racks with clothing for almost every occasion. Cozy lounge sets for a Netflix binge, sequined dresses perfect to ring in the New Year, soft tees with witty sayings to wear running errands, Emerson Rose has it all. This 19th Street shop also carries jewelry, candles, beauty and gifts. If you can’t decide (or don’t even know where to start) the cheery shop girls are happy to help. Circa’s Holiday Shopping Tip: The insta-famous HOU hat is perfect for any proud Houstonian.
After all that shopping, you’ll need some caffeine.
We have a deep love of all things caffeinated and Boomtown is our favorite spot to get a fix. If the small-batch roasted coffee wasn’t enough of a draw, Boomtown also has great food, local art on display, and free WI-FI. Your Christmas shopping is complete, celebrate with a warm croissant and latte.
While you’re out and about 19th Street, stop by the Circa Real Estate office. We would love to see you!