Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Child's Play: The Shop Local LA Guide

In the end, the holidays is really about pleasing the kids (unless you don't have any, in which case you still must know some and must still buy presents for them all or be labeled that Singleton Scrooge). This is a short list, mostly because there's a paucity of good toy stores in Los Angeles, and because I have listings on my other blog, Find A Tadpole (yes, shameless self-promotion).

Bodies and Environment: Clothing and Accessories, Supposedly for Children but Oh So Pleasing to Adults

La La Ling: This charming store is on Vermont, smack dab in the middle of what used to be Los Feliz funk. There's plenty of cuteness to be had, from t-shirts to ethnic party dresses, although you might have to dig a bit (did I mention that it's a bit cramped?). What's especially satisfying is to stop by Fred 62 right up the street first, maybe for a breakfast burrito, before shopping for the kinder. And Skylight Books is right there, too (to be discussed in another entry, although it boasts a pretty good children's section to round out your gifting).

1810 N. Vermont Ave.Los Angeles, CA 90027

Sugarbaby: The sign outside says "Rocker Moms, Not Soccer Moms," and the location, a decidedly unkiddie city block on Sunset Blvd., certainly reinforces the credo. The owners, two very very cool LA mothers, have filled the airy space with fabulous clothing. My child went to preschool with co-owner Christina's daughter, and I can attest to her extreme good taste; the kid always looked great while still looking like a kid. That's an achievement in a town where I've seen four year olds with shirts boasting "Porn Star" on them. Sugarbaby sells stuffed animals and other various and sundry items too.

7523 West Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046


Flicka: One of the most established stores on the ever changing landscape of Larchmont Blvd., Flicka has lovely window displays and lovely goods to match. The girl's clothing selection for ages 2-6 is particularly great in a fairly classic little girl way. They also sell accessories aplenty, again mostly for girls, although the puppet assortment is unisex (big hairy tarantula, anyone?). While I sometimes find the service a bit on the absent side, they're very quick with the distinctive Flicka gift wrapping, which comes in handy around the holidays.

204 N. Larchmont Blvd.

The Little Seed: I'm alternately annoyed and enchanted by The Little Seed. Annoyed because its entire "organic baby" vibe is fear-based and elitist, but enchanted because the goods are often so adorable. This is mostly stuff for little ones, which means it's more for the new parents intent on decking out their new dolls. The bedding is so tasteful (not a nasty Disney character in sight), the toys special and perfect. It all comes with a special and perfect price tag to match, but if your wallet's up to it, they can put together one hell of a new baby basket.

219 N. Larchmont Blvd.

Lost & Found: This isn't the only place where I'm going to mention this store. Owner Jamie has amassed a good half a block of Hollywood real estate devoted to her Lost & Found dynasty. Here, it's the kid's stores that are relevant. There are two: one devoted to clothing and one for toys and decor. Both are incredible, stuffed with items I really haven't seen anywhere else. The decor store is particularly inspiring in a fairy forestland sort of way; it almost has a European vibe to it. Again, the goods here are lovely and precious, perhaps best appreciated by parents rather than the kids themselves. You might have to ask sales staff to open up the stores for you, but don't hesitate to ask. It's a real treasure trove.

6413 Yucca St.

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