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Go shopping in West Seattle

Finding the perfect present proves possible on West Seattle's California Avenue

Capers in West Seattle is a treasure trove of fun and unique finds. Photo credit: Allegra Antwine

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The holidays are a time for family, friends and fun; gathered around tables crammed with caloric casseroles, or gathered around trees adorned with sparkling lights and ornaments. It's a time to celebrate bonds and to make and cherish memories. It's also the time for - cue dramatic drumroll - gift shopping. Often dreaded and procrastinated, searching for presents can sometimes feel daunting and overwhelming. Luckily, the West Seattle area has many stores to peruse, where that mythical and elusive "perfect gift" is sure to be lying in wait.

California Avenue in West Seattle is overflowing with unique and uncommon stores that carry equally unique and uncommon goods for shoppers with gift-giving on the brain. For the fashion-forward friends that make the Christmas list, stop into Funky Jane's Consignment store. The term "funky" is an appropriate term for the quaint shop, indeed: numerous hats, bags, jewelry and shoes ranging from subtle to in-your-face line the walls and form displays around the store while racks of leather jackets, plain and studded denim, and cute oversized wool sweaters make up the bulk of the shop. Funky Jane's also carries some designer items, including Coach, for the brand-centric fashionista.

Vain hair salon and boutique greets shoppers with the fruity, rich aromas of fancy hair products, some of which are available for purchase. For delightful stocking stuffers, take a look at the repurposed dominos that have been made into earrings, necklaces and refrigerator magnets, and all-natural, interesting journals, and handmade soaps from brand Estrella. Scents for the pretty marbled soaps include mouthwatering Pink Lemonade, Grapefruit Vanilla, and Blood Orange Almond - all of which smell so amazing, resisting the urge to take a bite will be more than difficult.

Capers may be the gem of California Ave., for its plethora of whimsical, kitschy and downright awesome finds are sure to cross more than one person off the holiday shopping list. Charming mugs, ceramic bowls and paintings from Bellingham artist Cary Lane are available for sale, each item beautifully crafted with storybook-esque paintings and sweet poems. Countless candles, soft and playful pajama sets, scarves and knick-knacks are scattered about, as are books with conversational titles like Your Mother Was Right and How to Spot a Hipster. Numerous body lotions, washes and soaps are dedicated to the indulgent individuals, and an assortment of cookbooks specializing in culinary goods like oysters, eggs and spices beckon for the loved ones always experimenting in the kitchen. The store also boasts a lovely children's section, filled with books and pleasant finds such as the "Build your own sock monkey kit." Capers also offers hundreds of various fun fabrics to choose from, available for custom designed furniture.  

West Seattle's California Avenue should be an essential stop while shopping this holiday season. With Easy Street Records' ever-impressive vinyl, CD and tape selection, Pegasus Book Exchange's diverse book assortment, and Next to Nature's impressive cache of everything needed for friendly Fido and cuddly cats, shoppers are almost guaranteed to leave the eclectic city having everyone crossed off their Christmas shopping lists. 

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