Holiday Shopping Ideas Out of the Box


Every holiday season it seems we are challenged with finding the perfect gift to give that perfect someone. At EU Jacksonville we like to support locally owned small businesses that have unique selections and a variety of items you won’t find at a big box store.

The Wardroom Ltd. IIThe Wardroom, Ltd.

1969 San Marco Boulevard

(904) 396-1091

If given the task to sum up the Wardroom, in one word, that word would be delicious. Magical also comes to mind, but then that would be two. This is a warm and cozy collection of things you won’t find anywhere else, from scented candles and lotions, unique jewelry, custom decorated dinnerware, pillows, stuffed animals, picture frames, and a plethora of other delightful gift-giving possibilities.

The best thing about this charming boutique nestled in the quaint shops of San Marco is the opportunity it provides for independent local and national artists who create eclectic items. The shop’s owner, Forrest Brewer, described the selection of items The Wardroom, Ltd. offers as “Gifts of Distinction, set apart from anything you can find in any of the local department stores,” as he proudly displayed the detail of a hand-painted wineglass by Savannah-artist Kathy Griner and eccentric coasters created by Rhode Island-artisan Michael Davis.

The French Cottage IIThe French Cottage

1992 San Marco Blvd.

(904) 551-4601

If you haven’t had the opportunity to travel to Paris, don’t fret. San Marco has the next best thing. The French Cottage gift boutique carries French-inspired jewelry, designer bags, toiletries, soaps, scented lotions, perfumes, and delectable jams and jellies imported from France. It makes gift-giving as jolly as good old Saint Nick!

Shop establishers Patrick and Carmelo Hall opened the store a year ago, its European theme inspired by their Italian and French descent. One iconic gift line carried by the boutique, Lampe Berger Paris, encompasses fragrance lamps that release the most exhilarating fruity, flowers and freshness depending on what is most sensible to your tastes. It gets even sweeter. The French Cottage’s collaboration with Three Layers Cafe will allow customers to nibble on delectably famous Jeff Squares and a host of other tasty pastries right inside the store as they celebrate their grand opening on December 5th.

Christmas is just around the corner, and so is The French Cottage. Just look for the Eiffel Tower in the window. One thing’s for sure, you’ll love everything you came for, and with gifts starting at $12, this trip to “Paris” won’t break the bank. Happy shopping! (

Waldecorart Inc.Waldecorart, Inc.

554 Lancaster St.

(904) 647-5226

Calling all art lovers. Waldecorart, Inc., puts the E in eclectic and I in ingenuity with creations that enhance the beauty of your home with their custom-made and steampunk-styled portraits, abstracts, art deco, landscapes, still-life, and interior and exterior murals.

In addition, Waldecorart, Inc., creates a line of distinctive jewelry including earrings, bracelets, purses, pins, and hats. Waldecorart has even discovered a way to display your family’s heirlooms creatively by creating decorative masks out of your sterling silverware and dinner plates as attractive wall décor. Take a short trip to Tappa That in Riverside’s Five Points where the Waldecorart collection is on display, or host your very own Home Show Art Party at the Waldecorart, Inc., gallery.  

Accentuate -Elevate Your StyleAccentuate ‘Elevate Your Style’

2 Independent Drive in Suite 147 inside The Jacksonville Landing

(904) 562-0136

Can’t every woman use a new handbag, even if they have more than they can count? With Accentuate ‘Elevate Your Style’ getting quality handbags for a great price has never been easier. Each piece is personally selected by owner Mrs. Mona Cobbs, so every piece is unique and one of a kind. They range from $25 to $75. Don’t know what to get a guy for the holidays? Why not get him a tie, cufflink and handkerchief set for $35? A variety of styles, colors and sizes suit your needs and preferences. Stroll around the Jacksonville Landing and find the perfect accessory this season with ‘Elevate Your Style’ at Accentuate.

Gallery725-Greater-Than-BW-1Gallery 725

725 Atlantic Blvd.

(904) 345-9320

Do you have an old favorite photo that you wished looked like the first day it was taken? Well, stop wishing and step into Gallery 725 to get your favorite photos digitally restored. Yes, Gallery 725 will take any photo you have, from an old family picture that has faded with time, to a new photo that has been stained. Just bring in the photo, and the owners Shayna Raymond and Matt Wingheart will restore your memory to its original glory. For $100 to $200, one gets the original photo back and a digitally restored 8-by-10 print.

WP_20151122_15_54_34_ProRusted-A Vintage Shop

1523 San Marco Blvd.

(904) 398-1523

Vintage pieces come with their own story. Rusted has so many unique pieces, you are sure to find something that speaks to you. Handmade or restored, Jacki the owner takes different pieces of jewelry and turns them into beautiful, wearable art. The necklaces are $18 to $30, and the bracelets are $18 each.  

Midnight Sun candlesMidnight Sun Imports

1055 Park St.

(904) 358-3869

If you are a candle lover, then this store is for you. Midnight Sun Imports has a variety of candles in different shapes, colors and sizes. Not only does each candle have its own scent and name, but each candle has a meaning. Small candles are $1.75 each. (Now, where are you going to find a better deal than that?) Not only do they have candles, but they have unique candle holders for $11 each. But that is just the beginning. What makes this boutique special is the Indian influence throughout most pieces in the store including the candles, the stone jewelry, the chimes, and the greeting cards. The tapestries that you see in the background also come in a variety of beautiful colors and designs. A single tapestry is just $25. A small, colorful candle, a unique candle holder and a bold tapestry in the design of your choice not only makes a great holiday gift but also a great centerpiece for under $50. But why just look at a picture of one creation when you can step into Midnight Sun Imports and take in the smell, the feel and different colors of the candles and create your own beautiful oasis?

About Britney Broussard