By Miriam Raftery
December 4, 2021 (La Mesa) – This holiday season, why not spread some cheer by shopping local to find some unique gifts right here in East County?
If you haven’t ventured out lately, you may not realize that many new stores have opened amid the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
In this series, we’ll be focusing on new retail outlets perfect for your gift-giving needs – starting with La Mesa’s downtown village.
8270 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa
“I opened in August 2020,” says owner Shawnda Smith. Currently there are handmade items from over 70 different local vendors. They rent space and pay a commission, so it’s like having a store within a store.” The array of items, most made in East County, include hand-painted wine glasses, bottle lights, jams, spices, purses, jewelry, picture frames, Christmas ornaments that can be personalized, and much more.
This delightful gift shop also stocks craft supplies, such as scrapbooking materials, yarns, transfers for clothing items and more.
8239 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa
Under the same ownership as Amethyst Moon a block away, Sacred Sun features goods to pamper yourself or give to others for “essential life balance”, including some eco-friendly and fair trade items. Wares include candles, incense, tea, crystals, bath and body care products, water fountains, wall hangings, clothing, jewelry , books, greeting cards, embroidered wallets, tumbled gemstones and dreamcatchers.
The product mix includes many local artists and artisans, as well as items ideal as stocking stuffers for that special someone on your list.
8219 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa
This custom embroidery shop will personalize your gifts with a monogram or initials for your loved ones on items such as Christmas stockings, robes, hats, towels and more. They do both embroidery and screen printing on products such as T-shirts.
Shana Morgan opened up this new business recently, but she worked in her mother’s similar business in La Mesa for over 30 years before the pandemic forced the family to dissolve that company and sell off its building. “We started from scratch and went from 52 employees to two,” she says.
4965 Date Ave., La Mesa (1/2 block off La Mesa Blvd.)
Ashton Fulcher is the new owner of La Mesa Christian Bookstore. “I’ve been coming here as a customer for 8-10 years,” he says. When he learned that the former owners were moving, he came in to support them by purchasing some items and wound up buying the business and infusing his own ideas.
The shop sells new and used Bibles and other religious books including some for children, as well as gift items such as mugs and gift cards. The store is also open for seating and quiet studying, and has hosted podcast conversations. “Every first Sunday we host donuts and devotion for kids,” says Fulcher, adding that local authors will reads books to children. “We’re looking to partner with churches and home schools.
8201 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa
La Mesa’s newest floral shop invites you to “devour in our magic.” On its website, the business states, “On a full moon night you will find us conjuring up lush, unique and modern style flowers for weddings, events and everyday bouquets…Flora and Fauna continuously inspire us of all things nature and remind us of their true beauty in life.”
Owner Danielle Sanchez has been working with flowers for 11 years before opening first a kiosk in El Cajon and now this shop, which opened in June offering floral bouquets, flowered wallpaper, gifts and curiosities embracing nature. Where else can you pick up a bundle of herbs, such as mugwort for success or yerba santa for protection, to burn beneath a full moon?
Know of a new retail business we missed? Please post information in the comments section below.
Need gifts? Shop these new retailers in East County: Part 2 – El Cajon
Need gifts? Shop these new retailers in East County: Part 3 - Lemon Grove