It’s hard to even think about this already (wasn’t it just Halloween a few minutes ago?) but Valentine’s Day is upon us. That time of year where we publicly display our love by purchasing over-the-top, sappy, red and pink, covered in hearts and glitter everything. And I’m not going to lie – I love it.
If you’re not into the over-the-top, sappy, red and pink, covered in hearts and glitter everything I get it (I wasn’t always this way) and I’m here to help. We are blessed beyond measure to have several little hot spots for unique, local shopping that will more than please the little loves of your life. As a veteran mama to both boys and girls, I am here to help you nail it this year!
One of my first local joints to hit up for Valentine’s Day is Love of Character. I mean they literally have the word ‘love’ right there in their name. Love of Character is every little girls dream store – my daughters literally gasped the first time they stepped into the fancy little shop. They carry an array of fun gift ideas including heart shaped paper clips with tassels and bouquet-of-flower gummies. I should mention you’d be doing your self a disservice if you didn’t go into this colorful corner in college hill at least once because they have the most iconic wallpaper and THE BEST lighting for selfies.
Next on my list would be The Popcorner. The Popcorner has locations on the West side and the East side which makes it convenient no matter where you live. Kids get more than their share of sugary, chocolate-y treats for Valentine’s Day so I like to balance that with something a little more savory. The Popcorner makes their popcorn fresh using corn from Kansas farmers – and bonus – they don’t add any preservatives to their products. They also have a huge selection of flavors to choose from. So while I’m buying my little pickle lover a bag of dill pickle popcorn, and my little cheese addict a bag of sour cream and cheddar flavor, you can bet your booty I’m buying myself a bag of tuxedo popcorn. (Treat yourself, am I right?)
While doing my gift shop tour and asking friends about local spots to hit up for Valentine’s Day, I discovered Vortex Souvenir. Mind blown. They’re located in Revolutsia, which is one of my favorite places to hang out, and they carry curated items produced by independent artists that are as unique as your kids are! This will forever be my go-to store for any teenager gifts because everything they have is super hip and lets get really real here, teens are beasts to buy for. Vortex carries everything from slick looking midwest ball caps to sci-fi and comic magnets to your favorite “Wichita is not boring” gear.
Since we’re talking about gifts for older children I have to bring up Best of Times. This store is overflowing with distinctive gifts for every personality type. They have the best selection of glorious socks that I have ever laid eyes on – most of them tastefully inappropriate for that sarcastic teen in your life. I’m telling you, I giggled OUT LOUD in public walking around this store. I promise you’ll walk in looking for a specific Valentine’s gift and walk out with several items for yourself and your besties.
When shopping for unique local gifts one must not overlook Frou Frou. You’ll be amazed at the treasure box of gifts and décor they have for every taste and every budget. They carry items from sweet little locally made barrettes and earrings to quirky baby rompers to stadium purses (the small clear purses that are allowed into concerts and sports arenas). Frou Frou exceeds my expectations every time I set foot in their door. Whether you’re buying for littles or middle’s or grown children, this local shop will not let you down.
You now have a good idea of where to head in Wichita for those heartfelt Valentine’s Day gifts you’re looking for this year. If I was a betting woman, I’d bet you end up finding gifts for more than just your kids when you stop at these local shops. Have fun shopping, and for the love, don’t forget to buy yourself something too!