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The Best Places to Shop for Gifts in Des Moines

We’ve all been there. You need a gift for someone, but don’t know where to turn. You could head to Target or order something off of Amazon. But why not take the time to support a small business and shop for your gifts in Des Moines? I promise it’s a no brainer once you have a list of places to go. And now that I’ve put this handy guide together, it’ll be even easier.

Sure, it’s great to shop small during the holiday season. But it’s even better to support businesses in our community year-round. No matter the occasion, there are so many incredible shops and small businesses you can support by buying gifts in Des Moines. If you’ve ever wondered where to find the perfect gift in and around the metro, look no further. These local shops have unique items for every occasion and gift recipient.


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We can all use a little extra pampering now and then. These shops offer wonderful gift options that let the recipient indulge and take a little time for themselves.

  • Eden (418 E. 6th Street, Des Moines): There’s no place with a more expansive selection of indulgent beauty products in Des Moines than Eden. From candles to face masks and everything in between, this beautifully curated shop truly is an eden for anyone looking for a gift that inspires a little self care.
  • Gong Fu Tea (414 E. 6th Street, Des Moines): I’m not a huge tea drinker. But I love the ritual and relaxation that goes along with it. One of my favorite—and easy—gifting options is to pick up a unique loose leaf tea from Gong Fu. If you’re not sure where to start, their staff is incredibly helpful and always has the best recommendations.

Clothing & Apparel


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Des Moines is full of chain clothing retailers. But the city also has some incredible local shops that sell one-of-a-kind clothing and apparel items. If you’re shopping for wearable gifts, consider visiting one of these wonderful retailers to find something special.

  • Fontenelle Supply Co. (524 E. Grand Avenue, Des Moines): Searching for menswear with a rugged, outdoorsy feel? Fontenelle Supply Co. is the place to visit. Not only does this East Village shop have a great selection of apparel, but it also offers all sorts of leather and handmade accessories.
  • MARNē (350 E. Locust Street #101, Des Moines): Clothing and accessories that are sustainably and ethically made are MARNē’s mission. I can’t think of a more worthy cause to support with your gift. Choose from a beautiful selection of unique clothing items, handmade pieces of jewelry, clean beauty products and more.
  • Preservation (3619 Ingersoll Avenue, Des Moines): If you’re looking to gift a beautiful vintage (or vintage-inspired) piece, Preservation should be your go-to spot. This shop has a beautiful selection of both new and old items sure to fit seamlessly into any style.
  • RAYGUN (505 E. Grand Avenue, Des Moines): If you’re in need of a quintessential Des Moines gift, all you need to do is pay a visit to RAYGUN. Grab one of their signature snarky T-shirts or a punny postcard to gift a piece of the Midwest.

Creative Gifts

Bookshelf with local recommendations at Storyhouse Bookpub in Des Moines, Iowa
Table of branded merch at Storyhouse Bookpub in Des Moines, Iowa

What better way to infuse a little creative inspiration into someone’s life than with a thoughtful gift! Whether you’re shopping for a bookworm or an aspiring maker, there are lots of places to find wonderfully creative gifts in Des Moines.

  • Beaverdale Books (2629 Beaver Avenue, Suite 1, Des Moines): Gifting books is one of my favorite practices for both birthdays and the holidays alike. I also make an effort to support local booksellers when I do buy books. In the Des Moines metro, the cozy and plentifully stocked Beaverdale Books is one of my absolute favorite spots.
  • Des Moines Art Center Museum Shop (4700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines): When I worked at the Art Center, I was a frequent shopper at the Museum Shop. Even after leaving to start a new job, it’s still one of my favorite, well-kept secrets when it comes to finding unique gifts. Plus, Art Center members receive 10% off Museum Shop purchases every day.
  • Red Door Press (900 Keosauqua Way #120, Des Moines): Letterpress makes my heart swoon and the Red Door Press creates some truly beautiful prints. Gift someone the perfect piece of handmade art to brighten their home or office.
  • Storyhouse Bookpub (505 E. Grand Avenue, Suite 102, Des Moines): Another great spot to find gifts for your favorite bookish friend is Storyhouse Bookpub. Not only does this local indie have an awesomely curated selection of both new and used books. But it also has lots of adorable, book-related items like totes, candles, bookmarks and more.

Foodie Gifts

Interior at Thistle's Summit in Des Moines, Iowa

Whether you’re shopping for a foodie or simply want to bring a thoughtful food-based gift to a gathering, there are endless options in Des Moines. From shops with all manner of kitchen gadgets to full-service eateries that create beautifully prepared foods that make great gifts, you’re sure to find the perfect edible item at one of these local businesses.

  • Allspice (400 E. Locust Street, Des Moines): Allspice is one of my favorite places to shop for specialty or hard-to-find ingredients year-round, but it’s also a phenomenal place to find gifts. Whether you’re picking up a fancy bottle of infused olive oil or one of their pre-made gift boxes, you can’t go wrong with something from this incredible spice shop.
  • The Cheese Shop of Des Moines (833 42nd Street, Des Moines): Can you ever go wrong with cheese? I honestly don’t think so. Stop by to grab a hunk of fancy cheese and a bottle of wine. Or, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, the Cheese Shop also offers pre-made monger boxes. Each include cheese, crackers, wine and more—all pre-picked and ready to enjoy.
  • The Grateful Chef (1938 SE 6th Street, Suite 103, Des Moines): Giving someone a gift certificate to The Grateful Chef is one of my favorite gifting options, especially during hard times. These pre-prepared meals nutritious and lovingly made. But they’re also an easy grab-and-go option for when life gets hectic.
  • Kitchen Collage (430 E. Locust Street, Des Moines): If you’re shopping for someone who’s always on the hunt for a new kitchen gadget, then this East Village store is the perfect place to shop. From gadgets to glassware, Kitchen Collage has it all. Also, their selection of cookbooks is unmatched!
  • Thistle’s Summit (340 SW 5th Street, #122, Des Moines): If you’re shopping for someone who is vegan or gluten-free, Thistle’s Summit is a must-stop shop. This cozy downtown spot has a wide variety of delicious grab-and-go baked goods alongside truly delicious bodega snacks and ingredients.

The Perfect Greeting Card

Display of cards at Ephemera in Des Moines, Iowa

I’ve always had a soft spot for a nice, hand written card. In fact, I like picking out greeting cards for an occasion almost as much as I enjoy shopping for gifts. Thankfully, Des Moines has plenty of greeting card makers and stationery stores to help you find the perfect message for any occasion.

  • Ephemera (505 E. Locust Street, Des Moines): My favorite select of cards, planners and more is at Ephemera in Des Moines’ East Village. This cozy stationery store is what I imagine The Shop Around the Corner from You’ve Got Mail would have felt like. No matter the occasion, I’m always able to find a heart-felt card at Ephemera.

Gifts for the Home & Outdoor Space

Shelf of merchandise at Olio Oddities in Des Moines, Iowa

There’s nothing I enjoy more than finding a gift that will brighten someone’s day every time they see it. When it comes to shopping for gifts for the home, I prefer to focus on small, thoughtful touches. But no matter what you’re searching for, Des Moines is full of places to find incredible gifts for homes, outdoor spaces and more.

  • Art Terrarium (520 Euclid Avenue, #101, Des Moines): Part plant shop and part art gallery, Art Terrarium is an incredible hybrid that has great gift options whether you have a green thumb or not. Their selection and helpful tips for future plant parents are truly unmatched.
  • CK Design Co. (3523 6th Avenue, Suite 101, Des Moines): CK Design Co.’s incredible selection of curated vintage seriously makes my heart swoon. Regardless of your gift recipient’s style, you’re sure to find a unique accent for their home at this local shop.
  • The Collective (3523 6th Avenue, Suite 101, Des Moines): Consider giving a gift that does some good when you shop at The Collective. This shop’s focus on sustainability and environmentally friendly alternatives means your dollars also support a worthy cause. The shop has a huge selection of helpful items like metal straws and reusable paper towels to help eliminate unnecessary waste.
  • Des Moines Mercantile (3707 6th Avenue, Des Moines): This cozy shop has some of the most charming, unique home goods, locally sourced foods and handmade personal care. Des Moines Mercantile is the perfect place to pick up a housewarming gift or a thoughtful host gift to have on hand.
  • Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden (909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines): While the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is a great outdoor escape, it’s also a phenomenal place to find gifts for the gardener in your life. I love the variety of items available in their small shop. Every time I visit, I discover something unexpected for my green thumbed friends and family members.
  • Olio Oddities (340 SW 5th Street, #122, Des Moines): Obviously, I’m a little bit biased. But my recommendation for the best spot to find weird and wacky home decor for yourself or someone else is my shop Olio Oddities. Here you’ll find a wide range of vintage items alongside some truly unique pieces from artists and makers.
  • Rescued Junk (135 N. Chestnut Avenue & 135 S. Chesnut Avenue, Earlham): Granted, Rescued Junk is about 20 minutes west of West Des Moines. But its incredible collection of vintage and home goods is well worth the trip. These vintage and handmade items all draw from the same flawlessly rustic aesthetic. No matter what you discover, their pieces are sure to bring a modern farmhouse feel to any home.

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Share Your Thoughts

I would love to hear from you! Where do you shop for gifts in Des Moines? What are some of your favorite shops?

Want to shop local but not sure where to start? Find the perfect present for any person or occasion at this incredible collection of places to shop for gifts in Des Moines, Iowa. #DesMoines #Iowa #BuyLocal #ShopSmall
Want to shop local but not sure where to start? Find the perfect present for any person or occasion at this incredible collection of places to shop for gifts in Des Moines, Iowa. #DesMoines #Iowa #BuyLocal #ShopSmall

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