Holiday Shopping: Shop Small Saturday Pretty in Pasadena Style

By now, you know a few things about us, we love our city and the surrounding area, we love to shop, volunteer, spend time with friends and family and support local businesses and nonprofits.  

So, basically Shop Small Saturday is essentially its own special holiday all by itself.

Here are 6 great reasons to shop small that we’ve adopted from Five Stars.

  1. Small businesses give back to your community [win!]
  2. Small businesses make major economic impact [and that also means our tax dollars stay close to home!]
  3. Small businesses provide better customer service [they want to help you!]
  4. Small businesses provide greater access to product diversity [there are seriously only so many things  you can discover yourself on the internet]
  5. Small businesses create a sense of community [we love getting to know the people who are owning businesses and helping the community, usually that means we also might strike up a conversation with a neighbor we didn’t even know lived near us!]
  6. You’re going to feel good [supporting your local community always feels good]

Here’s how we do a whirlwind Shop Small Saturday in our local ‘hood:

We wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready to take on the day with no lists in hand, but excited to see what we might find. (ex. That perfect gift for mom, because she never needs anything, or the plant hanger for your sister that she has to have, or the coolest greeting cards ever seen, etc.)

We hop in a car together and head out. Our first stop has to be coffee. Because #butfirstcoffee.

We’re really into being patrons at our local coffee spots.  We’ll likely stop at Lavender & Honey, Cafe de Leche, Millie’s (it’s new!), Seed, Lincoln, or the Coffee Gallery.  Once we’ve fueled up on coffee we begin.

(TBH, we usually go to L&H, treat ourselves to an indulgent latte, stroll that block, pop into Sidecca, and usually stop to chat with some adorable local artisans.  Michelle almost always buys local jams or honey straight from that coffee shop.)

Now that we’ve had our coffee we head straight over to Holly Street, appropriately the area called Shops on Holly Street – – our first stop is Hömage.  We love the unique curated collection this store is always showcasing.  Now that Lula Mae (RIP) is no longer on the block we have to get our fix of adorable, funny, whimsical and down right pretty straight from this local gem.  We’ll peruse the other shops on the street including Maude Woods (we love, love this store– you may recognize it from our early photo shoots), and of course we’ll pop into Therapy.  It looks like there are some openings on that block for new shops– we’re excited to see what comes next.

After Holly Street we might be needing a little pick me up so we’ll stop by Lather in Old Town Pasadena (face washes, shaving cream, delicious scrubs, anyone?), oh and it’s local to Pasadena.  Then we’ll stop by our local We Olive to buy some of that yummy herbed olive oil for gifts and then we’re back in the car headed to Vroman’s.  If you’re a local in Pasadena you definitely know Vroman’s.  We cannot get enough of this local bookstore. This is one of our favorite places to buy children’s gifts, books, local Pasadena items, and puzzles. (Seriously, Michelle buys a puzzle here at Vroman’s every year for her mother-in-law).  All that shopping is exhausting, and we are going to need some espresso right about now, so we’ll just go ahead and stop into Jones Coffee at Vroman’s (sipping away and talking a mile minute).

Now we’re starting to get hungry.  We’ll drive south and stop in San Marino to check out the Shops on Mission Street. Let’s talk about the avocado toast from the San Marino Cafe & Marketplace.  Delicious.  We also might order a platter for a Christmas Party while we are there.

Then we’ll stop over and see our friends at The Monogrammed Home (we’ve got to be putting in orders, because customization is always perfect and it takes time!) if you have not been to this gem of a store, please stop what you are doing, and go right now.  Next, we’ll run down the street to Simply Fresh! and Julienne and Serafina to round out the shopping experience!  We love looking for small unique items at all of these locations, and of course ogling the shoes and bags at Serafina.  P.S. there are so many great shops on that street you really could spend the afternoon there.

Next, it’s over to South Pasadena and immediately check out Hot Box Vintage and hit a few of the antique stores.  We’ll think about ice cream a lot when we’re there because on one end of the street is the old Fair Oaks Pharmacy (which has a totally ‘grammable old soda and ice cream counter) and at the other end is Mother’s Moo creamery.

Then we’ll head over to Highland Park.  This place has blown up and we are loving a ton of their small shops.  In particular, Shorthand, a boutique stationery store, has stolen our hearts.  There are so many places to visit on York, so just go indulge in your hipster self and find something amazing and new.  One place we are sure to always hit is Highland Park Wine. We like to stock up for unannounced visitors and hostess gifts.

Now that the day is almost over, before we decide if we’re having an early dinner together or rounding up our husbands we’ll probably stop at our favorite, the Langham Hotel, for an afternoon cocktail on the patio of the Tap Room.

We’ll probably decide in that moment we should have stopped by the Huntington Library Shop because they have something for literally everyone.  Cue Mackenzie buying everything that has a rose on it in the shop for everyone she knows.  

We’ll finally phone our husbands and tell them to meet us at Stone Pasadena.  Pizza will be ordered from the Luggage Room for dinner and then we’ll go home happy!

Best wishes for the giving season, one of the greatest shopping holidays of the year in one of the most amazing places to live!

Come visit us in Pasadena!


Did we miss your favorite place?  Leave us a comment. We want to visit more small shops during the holidays.

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