January 16, 2022 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

5 of the Best Local Queer Shops to Visit on Small Business Saturday

Trailing Thanksgiving are two more important holidays. That’s right, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. With all the deals, discounts and more more moreness of the weekend following Turkey Day, serious dollars are dropped.

According to Adobe Analytics, U.S. retailers earned a record $7.9 billion on Black Friday in 2017, an 18 percent increase from 2016. Adobe further predicted that Cyber Monday would bring an additional $6.6 billion in internet sales.  

So, why not spend some of that cold hard cash on the hard-working LGBTQ businesses in the area? Here’s a list of the Top 5 Queer Businesses to Shop at for holiday gifts.

1. Wildfang

Clothing shop

3430 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

Wildfang. A clothing store-meets hangout spot, this feminist and queer-run business has been a part of the New York and Portland communities since 2013. And now, they’re ready to take on L.A.

“We exist to empower every kind of woman to be the best possible version of herself, smashing gender roles and the patriarchy in the process,” the Wildfang website states. “Sometimes this means giving her the confidence to rock a suit to the party. And other times it means supporting her in taking a stand against reproductive injustice, gender violence, labor inequality and, well, the current administration.”

 

 


2. Nik Kacy Footwear

Shoes and Accessories

Website, Los Angeles-based

Founder of unisex shoe company, Nik Kacy is no stranger to the exclusivity of the fashion industry. Growing up trans and later non binary, Kacy said that they were never able to find shoes that adequately expressed their sense of style.

“Why do products and materials have to have genders?” Kacy pondered. So they created their own footwear line.

Nik Kacy Footwear not only directly benefits a small queer business, but it provides high quality shoes to an underrepresented niche in the fashion industry.

 

3. Cuties

Coffee Shop

10 N Heliotrope Dr., Los Angeles

Cuties is not only Queer owned and operated, but it is a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community can gather comfortably. This is much needed in the greater Los Angeles area, as most social gathering for the LGBTQ+ community are at bars. It’s nice to have the option to hang out with the community in a safe space that doesn’t revolve around booze and partying. It is with that that Cuties opens its door to the community, serving them coffee and peace.

“I’m so grateful for Cuties, Chelsie R. from Seattle, WA said on Yelp!. “I make a point to visit whenever I’m in L.A. Beyond great coffee and a cozy place to work, Cuties provides the city with a gathering space for queer community and works directly to grow and connect folks. Having a sober, daytime space for people is really affirming and vital. I hope they can continue to thrive.”

 

Photo: Yelp!

4. Wide Eyes Open Palms

Coffee Shop

416 Cherry Ave., Long Beach

A feminist and queer-friendly coffee shop nestled in the Arts District of Long Beach, Wide Eyes Open Palms has been a long time coming for couple Kat McIver and Angie Evans. They said that they always had a vision of the kind of cafe they wanted to open after working in the service industry for years, continually seeing male dominated kitchens and not queer affirming spaces.

“The queer is real, and I couldn’t love it any more,” Jesse C. From Downey said on Yelp!. “Glad I finally got to check them off my list. I was also impressed with how well they organized the space, it’s nice and simple. They let the coffee, the food, and their character do the talking.”

 

5. AIDS Assistance Thrift Store

Thrift Store

2011 East 4th St., Long Beach

Why not support the LGBTQ+ community and Mother Earth? Find all the best gifts gently used at this local thrift store nestled in the heart of Long Beach’s Arts District and is neighbors with the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach.

“The AIDS Assistance Thrift Store Inc. collects and sells donated items through the AIDS Assistance Thrift Store, performs fund-raising activities, provides facilities for volunteers and people choosing to perform community service and directly engages in the business of raising funds to be distributed to various agencies and programs in the Long Beach community who provide direct services and support to men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS and their families,” The Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce website reads.

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