Holiday Gift Guide: Shop local in Alexandria’s small stores

Holiday Gift Guide: Shop local in Alexandria’s small stores

By Louise Krafft

One of the best aspects of ‘shopping local’ is the array of local boutiques and other shops to choose from in Alexandria. Galleries, home furnishing businesses, jewelry stores and clothing shops abound, making it possible to buy for virtually everyone on your list without leaving Alexandria’s city limits. Below are a handful of options, but small shops proliferate throughout Alexandria, including in Old Town, Del Ray, Fairlington, Bradlee Shopping Center, the West End and points in between.

Serafino Leather

Explore this little corner of Florence in Old Town Alexandria. If you can’t spend the holidays in Italy, you might stop at Serafino Fine Italian Leather & Accessories. The shop offers large and small handmade Italian leather goods and also carries a selection of silk scarves, Florentine stationery and numerous other gift items. Shop owners Liz and Hassan Tehrani hand-pick the inventory from small, family owned workshops in Florence, Padova and Naples and elsewhere in Italy.

Where to get it: 1127 King St., open Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Market Square Shop

Michael Bergin may have described it best, “A tiny jewel box of color and imagination, the Market Square Shop engages the senses around the most primal of levels – the home.” Dressed up for the holidays, the shop is brimming with gift ideas, decorations, bayberry scented beeswax candles and nutcrackers at attention on embroidered tea towels, needlepoint pillows, standing guard in the window and on the side tables.

Where to get it: 202 King St.; holiday hours are Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Gallery Lafayette and Studio of artist Todd Healy

With Old Town as his muse, artist Todd Healy has been creating watercolors of the homes that make up this historic enclave for the past 38 years. Healy has turned these watercolors into calendars, note cards, canvas totes and more. The 2019 calendar was unveiled earlier in November at the gallery and is now on sale. When not working on the calendar, Healy searches out historic prints and maps which he in turn hand-colors. He later copies those prints and maps and makes limited edition giclée prints.

Where to get it: 130 S. Royal St., open Monday to Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.


For more than 50 years, Gossypia has carried clothing, jewelry and accessories for all styles eclectic to classic. In addition to clothing, the shop features an extensive collection of Latin American folk art and nativity crèches from around the world that are perfect for holiday gifts.

Where to get it: 325 Cameron St., open Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 12:30 to 5 p.m.

Silver Parrot

Featuring one of the widest selections of sterling silver jewelry in the DMV area, the Silver Parrot offers designs to satisfy every style and budget. The jewelry is handcrafted by 30 different designers from a variety of countries including Indonesia, Nepal, Mexico, Turkey, China, India and the United States.

Where to get it: 113 King St., open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Whistle Stop Toy & Hobby Shop

What would the holidays be without a toy train circling the tree? Whistle Stop Toy and Hobby, a family-owned, old-fashioned hobby shop is here to help. The Shop carries the highest quality hobby items including Lego as well as N – G gauge trains, Thomas the Tank Engine, remote control cars, airsoft guns, planes and helicopters, die cast cars and military pieces, slot cars, rockets, models, paints, scenery and much more.

Where to get it: 1719 Centre Plaza, open Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sara Campbell

If you haven’t stopped by lately, Sara Campbell is dressed for the holidays. The phrase “put a bow on it” never sounded better. Think of it like this: you are the gift. Subtle bows are found on daywear and dramatic bows adorn evening wear. You’ll see red serving as the main attraction and as a featured pop of color on printed items. If you don’t think red is right for your complexion, you’ll easily find wraps, scarves, totes and small leather goods in attractive, timeless red tones.

Where to get it: 320 Prince St., open Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

One Good Tern

Looking for a gift for an avid bird lover, stop in at One Good Tern in the Fairlington Shopping Center. Nature-themed jewelry, note cards, serving trays, drinking mugs and coasters, bird houses and feeders, books and field glasses are just a few of the many possibilities.

Where to get it: 1710 Fern St. (2 doors down from Ramparts), open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


TSALT prides itself on a truly unique shopping experience. Its curated selection of the very best readyto-wear designer styles includes: Smythe, ALICE + OLIVIA, elizabeth & james, FRAME, Kempton & Co. and many more. The TSALT team strives to make their customers feel like a part of the family. They look to build relationships with clients like they are old friends by maintaining a conversation built around providing fit solutions that make women feel empowered and let their true selves shine through.

Where to get it: 106 N. Saint Asaph St., open Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.


A quintessential gift shop featuring antiques, home furnishings and accessories. Something for everyone on your list, including the dog.

Where to get it: 1709 Centre Plaza, open Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.