Shopping Small in Dallas: My Favorite Gifts


All photography & product styling by Amanda Dale of CharCole Photography.


I recently celebrated my 30th birthday in July (#imold), and it inspired me to set out on a hunt to find the perfect birthday gifts for us gals who are told we are “hard to shop for” or “have everything”.

But…I had a few rules for my quest!

First, the gifts had to come from local Dallas businesses.


Why Shop Small?

You can click here for a fancy list of all sorts of reasons to shop small, but here are mine. Shopping small creates and supports local jobs. Each time you purchase a service or a product from a local Dallas business, you are helping pay the salary of a friend or neighbor in your community.

Plus, small business owners pretty much embody the American dream, and supporting them makes you a part of their dream. Stop and think about that for a second. Amazing.


The Gifts

The other rules for my gift hunt were: I had to believe in the mission of the business, and I wanted to have a genuine connection with the business owner or manager.

Oh, and I had to actually really, really, really like the gifts.

Without further ado…here they are!


Energy Gardens




Anthony, owner of Energy Gardens, has always had a love for plans and animals. He says without even knowing it, Energy Gardens was always in the making. “As a kid, I kept all types of creatures. Instead of housing them in basic aquariums, I would recreate scenes in nature for them to live in. I wanted my set ups to look like the ones I had always seen at the zoo,” he said.

Fast forward to today…Anthony, also known as #MrTerrarium, creates these one-of-a-kind beautiful terrariums with succulents, cacti, and tropical plants for his customers. I mean…aren’t they beautiful? (Terrarium | $49)

I had the hardest time choosing which one to take home, but now this little guy is one of my favorite new additions to our living room. Stop by the Dallas Farmers Market to see all of Anthony’s beautiful creations!

Ruibals Garden & Gift Shop



I almost fell over when I saw this planter hanging on the wall at Ruibals Garden & Gift Shop. ($165)  Thank goodness Store Manager Bethany Mieth was there to catch me! Bethany has the most amazing positive energy, and we had so much fun picking out plants together! This beauty is now hanging in our entry way.

I learned that in the 1980’s, Michael Ruibal began selling plants out of a small truck and a small daily rental space at the Dallas Farmers Market. That small daily space has now grown into an entire city block where multiple trucks unload daily…and multiple locations! One truck load at a time, one customer at a time, and the desire to satisfy every customer has earned Ruibal’s their amazing reputation.

Check out Ruibal’s, and don’t forget to pop into the Gift Shop. Prepare to be amazed! 🙂

Kate Weiser Chocolate




If you’ve never seen or tried one of Kate Weiser’s Chocolates…you are missing out! In addition to having the most yummy and unique flavors like buttery popcorn, strawberry basil, and caramelized pineapple, her chocolates are truly works of art. This box lasted about 2 days in our house. Haha!

Kate began her chocolate career with an Executive Chocolatier position at Chocolate Secrets in Highland Park. While there, she was able to experiment and create a style of chocolate making that was new to the Dallas area. Her hand painted chocolate collection and artistic style quickly gained attention and excitement through the DFW metroplex!

Kate plans to continue using new techniques and exciting flavors to share with the Big D!  Next time you’re looking for a sweet gift…I recommend heading to her shop in Trinity Groves to pick up the Artist Collection. (15 Pieces | $35)

Sarah Briggs Jewelry




These Sarah Briggs earrings are officially my new favorite, and I can’t. stop. wearing. them.! (Art Deco Tassel in Greige | $40)

Sarah Briggs started making jewelry as a hobby while working as a nanny back in 2004. Fun fact..she actually turned down her dream career at Neiman Marcus to start her own business. Today, she has a successful jewelry business that allows her to express her artistry and creativity.

This is probably my favorite thing about Sarah…she works amongst her growing family, chicken coups, and buzzing beehives. There’s even a crib in her office so she can work AND love on her kids. The way Sarah operates her brand has proven to be successful for both her family and her business (#goals!!).

You have got to check out her jewelry line. It’s been a long time since I have seen something this special and unique!

Ellie B Little Illustrations



I have truly fallen in love with this custom Ellie B Little illustration of my sweet fur-child, Immi!  (Custom Illustration | Starting at $75)  This piece of art is hanging in my beauty room, and it always brings a big smile to my face. 🙂

Owner of Ellie B Little Illustrations Niki Little said, “As an Artist, I love to paint the best of what people love the most to provide a lifelong keepsake.”

Niki and her husband Allen want to show others how to use their creativity to flourish and be self-sufficient. And get ready to fall in love with them….right now they are donating 10% of sales to a different local pet rescue every month and are partnering with local boutiques to host pet adoption events. Awww! As they grow and learn, their mission is to continue to find ways to give back to their community and help those in need.

I can think of several pet lovers in my life who would swoon over this gift, and I bet you can too!

Society by Jackson Vaughn




Jackson Vaughn is a full service design and decorating firm known for their signature style of warm, inviting spaces. Society by Jackson Vaughn is an amazing shop that gives us access to their aesthetic…it’s filled with candles, a curated collection of cards, curiosities, and unique antique finds.

I had the pleasure of connecting with Meridith at their flagship location in the heart of The Bishop Arts District. I think we were the only people in all of Bishop Arts wearing all black, and long pants, in the dead of summer. Instant connection! Haha

I am pretty much obsessed with all the Jackson Vaughn Proprietary Blend Candles, but No. 1 is one of my favs. ($32) It includes notes of earthy eggplant, sandalwood, and a 90-hour burn time. And, it’s manly enough that my husband loves it. Definitely a unique scent that makes an amazing gift!

Savor Patisserie



I’m a macaroon fanatic and let me tell you…not all macaroons are created equal. Kelli, the owner of Savor Patisserie, has got this thing down! Unique macaroon flavors like blueberry, pistachio, and honey…along with the most perfect texture…make her macaroons stand out from the rest.

Kelli was inspired to create her macaroon business because all the macaroon shops she had seen were very similar with sub-par macaroons. She wanted to create a macaroon shop that was different and had a bit of and edge, while providing her customers with the best macaroons.

Trust me…skip the cupcakes next time you’re celebrating and head to Savor Patisserie for a unique and yummy experience! (Box of 10 | $22)

Sun Lovin’ Roots



Stacie describes herself as the creator, owner, and #girlboss behind Sun Lovin’ Roots…a bohemian inspired brand that combines a passion for health living and a passion for loving your life wholeheartedly. The end result? T-shirts that are good for the soul! (Set Your Soul On Fire Tee | $42) 

Stacie is was born and raised in Texas, but her heart and soul crave the oean air. Her boho vibes influence each design and style of her heavenly soft tees. And by the way…all tees are ethically made in the U.S.A and are printed with love in Dallas.

Her mission is to create a community of like-minded individuals who have a passion for life and are about spreading positive vibes. Now, that’s a gift I can get down with!

Fox and the Fleur



This beautiful Fox and the Fleur arrangement had me smiling from ear to ear…I love how wild and colorful the flowers are!

Faith Anne began her  floral career making arrangements for family and friends for holiday parties, dinners, and baby showers. After many nudges, she decided to launch Fox and the Fleur to share her passion.

“We believe flowers are a joyful expression of God’s beauty and creativity.  Flowers inspire life and curiosity with fragrance, color and form.  We bring together these natural elements to create something stunning and well-crafted, ” said Faith.

Fox and the Fleur specializes in custom formal arrangement for any type of event or gift!

Southern Fried Style 



Marissa Farhat and Taylor Gray are two moms loving their families and who share an entrepreneurial spirit!  Starting with Southern Fried Style, they make it their purpose to find gifts that embrace the Southern lifestyle of entertaining and gift giving.

It was only natural to expand into their own line and therefore On the Rocks was born. And one of my favorite facts is…all products are proudly handmade by the girls here in Texas. They have the cuts and bruises to prove it!

Check out that adorable agate stemless wine glass and wine stopper. These are truly perfect gifts for the gal who has it all! (Glass | $17 / Wine Stopper $24)  

I am totally spoiled…now I want every single one of my glasses to be this chic!

Eliza Co Designs 



Mary from Eliza Co Designs might be the sweetest gal ever! She is the owner and artist behind the brand, creating beautiful custom hand-lettered products for her customers. Check out this adorable sign she made for me, complete with one of my favorite quotes. It is the perfect addition to our entry way.

But Mary’s services don’t stop at custom signs…she also hand-letters wedding invitations, prints, note cards, coffee mugs, and pretty much anything she can get her hands on!

Have a favorite quote you’d like to display? Maybe a special event coming up? Contact Eliza Co Designs!

Mesa Blue




Mesa Blue is a collection of handmade jewelry. Each piece is achieved by combining metal, geodes, textile, and leather to create signature jewelry for the gypsy soul…like this cute crystal rope bracelet. I’ve received so many compliments on it, and it’s now one of my favorite casual bracelets. (Crystal Rope Bracelet | $28)

Linsey Pisciotta, owner and designer,  aims to create unique pieces, many of which are one of a kind or available in limited quantity.

Every piece is handcrafted in Dallas, Texas!




I walked into {neighborhood} in the Bishop Arts District and thought…”Leave me here. I want to live here.”

{neighborhood}  is known for its modern style of home furnishings, current local art and jewelry, and its well curated collection of home accessories and local made items. This custom key ring with my life mantra is now with me everywhere I go! (Custom Key Ring | $15) 

{neighborhood} opened in 2012 by husband and wife team JP and Erin Hossley as they saw the need for more local culture to be represented.  With their backgrounds in architecture and interior design the couple felt there was a need for more design shops in DFW, where anyone could take home unique or one of a kind pieces that they couldn’t find anywhere else.

These two have more cool factor in their pinky toes than I have in my entire body…and I love it! Definitely visit {neighborhood} next time you’re shopping for a unique gift.

Kona Body



I can’t and won’t live without Kona Body’s All Natural Face & Body Scrub!  ($18.99)  Not only does it smell amazing, it leaves my skin exfoliated and so smoothe! I’m a picky patty with beauty products…so that’s saying something! 

Will, the founder of Kona Body, says the company was founded here in Dallas but inspired by the tropics. In fact, Will took 6 months away from the “real world” to explore several different tropical countries with his then girlfriend. During his travels he experienced several traditional spa treatments, but a coffee­coconut body scrub treatment combined with a massage stood out the most…especially because Will’s travel­mate was absolutely floored at how soft and smooth her skin felt. A couple years later, Will formulated what is now known as Kona Body.

Whether you’re buying this for yourself, or as a gift, just buy it. You’re welcome!

Perfectly Gifted Frisco




Amy and Ewa, owners of Perfectly Gifted Frisco, create some of the cutest and fashion-forward personalized gifts out there! Check out this amazing monogrammed cork tote ($50) and monogramed makeup bag ($12.50).   If you follow me on social media, you’ve seen me swooning over these personalized gifties for awhile now!

“I think a gift becomes more treasured with personalization. It says someone put thought into this for me…in this world of go, go, go, someone thought about me,” said Amy.

When asked what inspires each of them, Amy shared, “I think for both of us it’s our families and trying to set an example of going after your dreams but also that they understand handwork is a must for success.”

These two are hard-working mamas, with young kids, who talk the talk but more importantly…they walk the walk! Check out Perfectly Gifted Frisco next time you’re on the hunt for the perfect gift.




I’d love to hear about some of your favorite gifts or places where you like to #shopsmall! Share with me below. 🙂

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Photography and product styling by the talented Amanda Dale of CharCole Photography! Click here to learn more about Amanda.









  1. Jan Bezson
    August 7, 2016 / 5:53 am

    Absolutely FABULOUS, Krista. I love it and saw some affordable things I would love. I will call TK and see if she knows where your places are, etc. You know I dont go out to shop, ever, and I live “Frugal”. My Taylor grandaughters bday is nextbweek and I would love the beautiful bracelet if I knew where to go. Im getting her a couple of Sephora items if I can get to JCP tomorrow. Thx for ideas, Sweet Girl.

    • August 14, 2016 / 5:56 pm

      Thanks so much Jan! You can click on the link on the website to order the bracelet! Love you!!

  2. Jillian
    September 22, 2016 / 11:21 am

    Omg this is a great post! I’m obsessed with those earrings and totally need them! Also when I was in Dallas a few weeks ago, we went to Bishop Arts and bought the No 2 candle! I’m SO obsessed with the candle and that little neighborhood. Awesome blog girl, you’re doing big things!!

    • September 25, 2016 / 8:07 am

      Thank you so much! It means a lot to me that you like my blog 🙂 You seriously NEED those earrings. I wear them all the time…and Sarah Briggs is the coolest chick ever. Definitely a small business worth supporting! 🙂

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