The holiday season has finally arrived. You know what that meansit’s time for some shopping! While we all love our Targets and Starbucks cafes, there’s so many small businesses in the Syracuse area that deserve some love as well. You can use this list to get your loved ones something special this holiday season while supporting local shop owners.

The Cherry Pit

The Cherry Pit is located in downtown Syracuse and features incredibly unique clothing items and home decor. Their inventory is individually curated, so you won’t have to worry about anyone rocking the exact same outfit as you. It’s essentially an elevated thrift store. Additionally, some of the vendors are Syracuse students, so you’ll be supporting your peers!

BeeKind Syracuse

BeeKind is a female-owned, handmade soy candle business. They also carry other natural products like spices and seasonal drink mixes. Anything from this store would make an amazing gift, or you could take your friends and family members to one of their pop-up shops. They were even nominated for’s 2022 CNY Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Gift Shop, so you don’t just have to take our word for it!


This boutique in downtown Syracuse is owned by Syracuse University graduate Caeresa Richardson. Her store promotes sustainable and ethically-made fashion and beauty products. Richardson’s goal is to raise awareness about the effects of fast fashion on the environment, so you know if you shop here you’ll be supporting a great cause. They even have a “Gifts” section on their website if you need a place to start!

Recess Coffee

While not exactly a gift shop, Recess Coffee is perfect for when you need a pick-me-up after a long day of shopping (and a great place to get gift cards for your coffee-drinking friends!). This cafe features a variety of espresso drinks, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, teas and smoothies; they basically have anything you could ever want on a cafe menu! They’re even open until 10 p.m. if you’re more of a night owl. Happy sipping!

Wildflowers Armory

Wildflowers Armory is a multi-vendor marketplace that has everything you need and more. It’s essentially a central hub for hundreds of products handmade by local vendors. Some of the things you will find here are prints, soaps, apparel, jewelry and all the eclectic knick-knacks you could ever want. You’re simply bound to find a one-of-a-kind gift here!

Holiday shopping can be a stressful time for some, but it can be super fun if you know where to start. Hopefully our list gave you some inspiration to skip the nationwide franchises this year and opt for stores a little more unique and personalyour loved ones will definitely appreciate it.

The Peel wishes you a low-stress and cozy holiday season!

Written By Madison Manczko ’24, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

This list is for reference purposes only and is not deemed an endorsement by Syracuse University.