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A holiday gift guide for procrastinators, Part 1

With just 6 shopping days left until Christmas, these holiday gift suggestions may make your life a little less stressful, especially for those prone to procrastination. Shopping local has many advantages. Walking from shop to shop is the most obvious, but as I put this 2018 list together I realized the added value of meeting and talking to the friendly shop owners in the CWE. They make the experience of finding gifts for everyone on your holiday list a whole lot merrier.

At St. Louis Art Supply, 4532 Olive St., co-proprietor Carson Monetti helped me gather suggestions for kids and adults, though several gifts would be appreciated by any age. Free gift wrapping is available.Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

The shop has a wonderful children’s section for the budding artist. From left: Faber-Castell 64-piece Young Artist’s Essentials comes in a handsome red wooden case, $50; 20 water-based pens by Stabilo, $19; Learn to Paint Set in a zippered plastic bag, $18, sits on Claytoon clay packs, $4 each; and far right, a bucket of 50 Faber-Castell Connector Pens which, when hooked together with enclosed connectors can double as a building set, $19.99. Lower right, assorted stickers, $3 each.Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Clockwise from top: 50 point 88 fineliner pens by Stabilo, $37.50; Kalita coffee decanter, $24.99; dripper, $17.99 (filters, $4.99 not shown); Ethiopia Coffee from Coma Coffee in The Grove, 12 oz. $17.50. (The shop stocks a hand-crank “ceramic-burr” coffee grinder too, $49.99.) A trio of assorted pencil sharpeners, $4.99 each; ever-popular, non-stick Washi Tape, $3.50; Midori polar bear stationery $6.50; 8 matching polar bear envelopes, $5.50.

Far left, an assortment of Ro-biki waxed-covered notebooks to slip inside a jacket pocket, $8. St. Louis Art Supply is the only shop in the U.S. that carries some of these hard-to-find Japanese products.

Check St. Louis Art Supply’s website for hours…. they will be open on Christmas Eve.

Brian Simpson, proprietor of east+west, 387 N. Euclid, was quick to pick out his favorite gifts ideas to share with you, see his selections below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

From left: 2018’s edition of hugely-popular Chup socks from Japan feature Fair Isle patterns, $36; a solid-cast brass key ring from a LA jewelry designer hooks onto jacket or belt loop, $99; two-tone leather card case/wallet from a Portland OR company, $40; a Nashville-based company makes 6 varieties of candles poured in whiskey glasses  in scents such as balsam fir, tobacco & musk, and oak & moss, $44. Top right: In case of an emergency, or for the camping enthusiast, a military grade 10-ounce flask that contains compass, flashlight, 2 shot glasses & a bottle opener, $74; straight out of Copenhagen’s Kinfolk magazine, an assortment of 12 beautiful cards, $22.

By the way, east+west carries Sump Coffee, 12 oz/$16, delivered fresh to the shop weekly.

For more information, head to east+west’s website.

At Provisions STL Ross and Debra Hunter are still flying high about St. Louis and the rousing reception they’ve gotten from the neighborhood. The shop stocks a wide variety of gift items, so the following is just a small sampling of what you will find there.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Top photo: Hook & Albert dopp kit, $115. Canada’s Rockwell Razor’s shaving supplies include Beard & Body Bar, $10; razor, $29, razor stand, $30; AfterShave Balm, $15; Shaving Soap, $15, and Shave Brush, also $15.

Bottom photo left: a selection of hand-blended OLO perfume oils from a self-taught Portland-based perfumer, $45. Right: a cozy hypoallergenic alpaca blanket from Equador, $165; doggie coats, $35 to $45, have been reordered twice since the shop opened 2 months ago.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Left: Provisions STL carries an assortment of wood & inlay board games including backgammon sets in small, $125, and large, $210; domino set, $68; “Shaken” Cocktail Kit, $70; and fleur de lis bottle openers, $12.  Right photo: “Stirred” Cocktail Kit, $70; Everyday flask, $24; Picnic knife, $35; lower left, Bike Snob, $16.95.

For more information visit Provisions STL website.

Left Bank Books 399 N. Euclid, has been publishing “best of” book selections almost daily on Instagram and Facebook, so you might check those sites out for staff suggestions. What’s shown below are gift ideas that caught my eye, augmented by advice from LLB staffer Lauren Wiser.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

From top left: Super Diva RBG Workout Calendar, $14.99; Bibliophile ceramic vase, $24.95, with quote from Louisa May Alcott brings literary charm to any room; acid green readers, $19.95; Ideal Bookshelf canvas shopping bag, $21.00; Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi Simple, $35; Clifford socks, size 0 to 12 & 12 to 24, 4 pr. $12. My First Books include Coco (Chanel) & Marie (Curie), $8.99;  Spike the Left Bank Book cat mug, $12.99.

Visit Left Bank Books website for hours and information.

AG Jeans, 36 Maryland Plaza, has great-looking gift ideas, and the staff is immensely helpful with their suggestions on what to wear out on the town.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Since I visited last Thursday, the shop has started its semi-annual 30% off sale, so what’s listed here are pre-sale prices. A viscose slip dress in “duck canvas” (the color),”$228, is paired with a black lyocell & spandex turtleneck, $98. The slipdress is also available in navy and burgundy. Right: black razor back knit top, $74; “the Jodi crop” in super stretch sateen, $188, and right, “Farrah skinny ankle pant,” $188.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

For men: Left, black “Kane Shearling Coat,” $1348; “The Sin’s Crew” in true black, $168; “Tallis” pant in multi-plaid Merlot, $198. Right: “Jaren Hoodie” in deep lolden, $268, and “Everett Pant” in cognac, $178.

Refer to  AG Jeans website for hours and more information about current sale.

Not only will you find a great selection of jewelry at The Silver Lady, 4736 McPherson Ave., you’ll also get a healthy dose of humor from proprietor Lori Shifter who’s been in the jewelry business for over 30 years.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Above, a long dramatic silver necklace, $472, with matching earrings, $82.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Top left: A stunning Meterioite necklace, $312, and matching bracelet, $300. (Meterioite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the earth’s surface.) Top right: Show-stopping Stichtite, Prehnite & Peridot necklace, $1269, with matching bracelet, $259.

Bottom photograph: This charming bracelet contains real miniature flowers, $60; matching drop earrings, $28.

Visit The Silver Lady website for hours and more information.

Next up: Part II of this year’s Holiday shopping guide.

Checking in with Juno Bridal proprietor Claire Ketterer

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News Uncategorized  Truville wedding gowns Theia wedding gowns Leanne Marshall Laudae wedding dresses Juno Bridal Claire Ketterer    When I first met Claire Ketterer, the charming, savvy proprietor of Juno Bridal in March 2017, it was opening day and she was comfortably optimistic that her shop would be a hit.  Some might have questioned her decision to locate the business at 4432 Olive Street, several blocks removed from the CWE’s main retail/arts district, but that hasn’t stopped brides-to-be from finding her. As Ketterer laughed and said when I visited again recently, “You’re not going to walk by a bridal salon and say, ‘I think I’ll pop in and buy a wedding dress.’ ”

When Juno Bridal opened, Bowood Farms was the only other retail establishment located east of Walton Ave. on Olive. Then late this summer St. Louis Art Supply opened at 4532 Olive, and Bowood Farms has just opened “Holliday,” located across the street from Cafe Osage and the garden center. The new shop offers an expanded selection of unique goods that customers have come to love.

All signs indicate that Ketterer’s early confidence was well founded and over the last 1 3/4 years the business has grown to be a huge success. Customers find Juno Bridal on the wedding planning website The Knot, on Instagram, by word of mouth—someone’s sister or a friend is a fan, or because Juno Bridal carries a particular designer’s gowns. Coincidentally, Ketterer, a former nurse, has many clients who are nurses at BJC.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News Uncategorized  Truville wedding gowns Theia wedding gowns Leanne Marshall Laudae wedding dresses Juno Bridal Claire Ketterer

Juno Bridal carries what Ketterer describes as unconventional wedding dresses, from boho-inspired styles to more classical selections created by a collection of 10 designers.  Most of the designers are based in the U. S., though one is located in Budapest and two are in Vancouver.  This is trunk show season at Juno Bridal. The website has a description of what a trunk show is and the complete schedule for the next couple of months.

It’s suggested that the search for the perfect wedding dress start about 8 months before the big day. The initial appointment at Juno Bridal lasts about 1 1/2 hours, and after the dress is chosen it takes time for the gown to be fashioned, shipped to the store, and then followed by fittings.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News Uncategorized  Truville wedding gowns Theia wedding gowns Leanne Marshall Laudae wedding dresses Juno Bridal Claire Ketterer

Wedding dresses range from $1,200 up to approximately $3,500.  Ketterer pulled a few of her clients’ favorites, including Laudae’s “Jasmine,” $1,925, the petal dress shown in the opening photograph.

In the photograph above left: Leanne Marshall’s “Gabrielle,” $3,370. Marshall is the winner of Season 5’s Project Runway.

Right: More brides are asking for long-sleeved dresses such as Truville’s “Allanah,” $1,995.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News Uncategorized  Truville wedding gowns Theia wedding gowns Leanne Marshall Laudae wedding dresses Juno Bridal Claire Ketterer

Left: New York-based designer Theia’s “Nima” $2,250, features a gown with a beaded bodice.  Right: There is a variety of traditional wedding veils to choose from at Juno Bridal or,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News Uncategorized  Truville wedding gowns Theia wedding gowns Leanne Marshall Laudae wedding dresses Juno Bridal Claire Ketterer

a selection of rhinestone & ribbon hair vines, which range in price from $150 to $400.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News Uncategorized  Truville wedding gowns Theia wedding gowns Leanne Marshall Laudae wedding dresses Juno Bridal Claire Ketterer

In addition to building her wedding dress business, Ketterer has started tinkering with scents and dabbling in making her own perfumes, $32, and candles, $16, above. She’s given “The Juno Lab” perfumes names such as Good Juju, Fig, Yeah and Love Struck—bride or not, who wouldn’t want a little spritz of that?

The other big news at Juno Bridal is that Claire is engaged.  She and her fiance are living in the neighborhood and “loving it.” The wedding is scheduled for next fall, and the bridal shop proprietor hasn’t yet decided which gown she will wear, there are too many gorgeous possibilities.

Juno Bridal is open Tues., Weds., Fri., & Sat. from 11 to 7, Sun. from 11 to 5. The shop is closed Monday and Thursday. Book appointments online or email claire@junobridal.com.