Even if you’ve already bought a present or two, Black Friday is the official kick-off to the holiday shopping season. Though nationwide retailers are promising big time discounts on all the latest gadgets, shopping small may be a better option for the hard-to-shop-for people on your Christmas list. Many independent retailers offer one-of-a-kind items, some even hand-crafted right here in Houston, and more personalized customer service in addition to Black Friday discounts, making it an attractive alternative to the traditional day after Thanksgiving shopping madness. Visit these top shops for unique gift ideas, or check out Houston’s past list of Top Local Shops To Visit On Black Friday for even more shopping options.
1025 Studewood St.
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 864-3556

Though you can shop Hello-Lucky online from the comfort of your own PJ’s, it’s not half as fun as shopping at the Heights brick and mortar boutique. Stop in on Black Friday for day-long deals on all of their comfortably casual, Houston-centered apparel, as well as chic and trendy pieces for men, women and kids. The shop has a selection of unique accessories, including jewelry, purses, wallets, socks and hats, and affordable, hand-crafted soaps and home goods. Hello-Lucky can also create custom-designed pieces, though a holiday delivery may be tight. Feel extra-happy about your purchase knowing all goods at Hello-Lucky are eco-friendly and created by local and national artists.

The Chocolate Bar
1835 West Alabama
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 520-8599

With a location in River Oaks and Rice Village, The Chocolate Bar is Houston’s number one stop for local sweet treats. In addition to homemade truffles and other chocolate candies, you’ll find a wide variety of chocolate-dipped fruit, cookies, cakes and pies. The chocolate shop also offers gourmet ice cream made on-site, coffee and chocolate champagne as well as theater-quality popcorn. With sugar-free options, creative holiday gift sets and special chocolate-free dog treats, The Chocolate Bar has something for every kind of foodie on your Christmas list.

Fit Japanese Store
9889 Bellaire Blvd., Suite 251
Houston, TX 77036
(713) 201-1360

From high-tech gadgets to the latest trends in beauty products, Fit Japanese Store has something unique for everyone on your holiday shopping list. The Chinatown superstore gets rave reviews from customers for its friendly staff and wide selection of gift ideas at reasonable prices. Be sure to have cash on hand in case your purchase doesn’t reach the store’s ten dollar minimum required for a credit card transaction. Skip the Black Friday crowds by shopping from their online store and have your purchase shipped directly to your home via one flat rate or choose their ship to store option for even more savings.

Related: Best Time To Shop On Black Friday

Fundamentally Toys
2401 Rice Blvd.
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 524-4400

Fundamentally Toys has an excellent selection of hand-selected toys kid-tested at their Rice Village storefront. The shop prides itself on its wide variety of fun, educational toys for both boys and girls of all ages and is eager to help shoppers find the perfect gift. From beloved classic toys to the latest must-haves, shoppers will find something appropriate for every child on their list. When shopping this Black Friday, take advantage of the store’s free gift wrapping service and cut down on your holiday wrapping.

Manready Mercantile
321 W. 19th St.
Houston, TX 77008
(800) 554-9352

Started in 2012, Manready Merchantile has grown from selling homemade, all-natural candles made in a Houston-area apartment to a full-fledged storefront selling a wide variety of high-quality men’s products. Thoughtful accessories, like Manready Merchantile’s valet trays, quality weekend bags, money clips, jewelry and handmade pocketknives make gift-giving easy for even the hardest guy to buy for. Search the store’s classic footwear selection, pick up a bottle of beard treatment for your man and don’t leave without one of Manready’s signature candles that started it all. This men’s store truly has something for every kind of guy.

Related: Gift Guides: The Best Subscription-Based Gift Ideas

Mary Evett is a yoga-loving Houston-area freelance writer, with a healthy DIY addiction. As the mother of three boys, she always knows where to find the best deal on sneakers. Her work can be found on Examiner.com, in addition to a number of other online publications.