Month: December 2019

Gift in Style at RARE Goodwill

The RARE by Goodwill store on Broadway is one of our favorite spots in CtrCity for one-of-a-kind finds. Holiday shopping is easy and fun as the entire shop is carefully curated, so inevitably there will be something exceptionally cool for someone special on your list. And by highlighting the highly personal, socially conscious, local and handmade, we emphasize the values we hold dear throughout the year. 

We pulled out some of our favorite items on a recent trip to RARE to give you an idea of what gifts you can find. Keep in mind, the stock is unique and most of the time, only one item is available. Some of the items listed here may no longer be available but trust us: there’s always a steady stream of “stylish” coming in. 

Bold Prints, Concert Tees and, Cool Jackets and Cocktail Dresses  

RARE by Goodwill is surprisingly savvy when it comes to trends, both in fashion at large and on the local scene. They also keep a pulse on the current through relationships with designers and social influencers. Special events like a repurposing of “last chance” a clothing-by-the pound by local designer Jeff Yokoyama of the Yoki Shop in Newport Beach is just one example of the fashion events the shop hosts. 

When we work with our pull crew, we are working with what the trends are and what people are looking for, and those are the types of things we look for when they are pulling,” Eric Smissen, Marketing and Branding Manager for Goodwill Orange County tells us. 

From ‘90s and concert tees, to a table full of denim shorts, to pieces that look vintage enough for Disney Dapper days, you can find it all. For the ladies we loved a pile of slacks in bold colors, prints and stripes. The ones pictured here are by Balena, Old Navy and CHAPS Ralph Lauren, all for under $10. There’s a sister stack of equally bold (sequins, florals and stripes) and jean shorts in the same price range. 

Fun, flirty and sophisticated cocktail dresses are waiting to be worn to a New Year’s Eve party and you can give a little edge to the ensemble with a smart jacket (the silver one pictured here is by Bebe for $20. 

Some of the best discoveries are in the t-shirt section including surf and skate brands like Vans and Hurley and one-of-a-kind concert tees like this University at Buffalo Nirvana In Utero 1993 concert tee. Most tees are around $8. 

For the Dapper Dan in your life, these black-and-white Stacy Adams dress shoes are a welcome departure from a bland dress shoe, while a rack of Hawaiian and printed dress shirts including brands like Ben Sherman and Calvin Klein are just right for your resident Jeff Goldblum (shoes $15, shirts around $8 each.) 


There are always fun throwbacks to be found in the store: from childhood toys from the ‘80s to random pop-culture memorabilia. 

In the artwork section, we came across this print of a charcoal pencil drawing by Gary Saderup depicting beloved Star Trek Next GenCharacters Wharf, Data and Counselor Troi in a stately pose. Put it in an outlandish frame and you have a quirky formal dining room piece for $8.  

Beanie babies were all the rage in the late ‘90s, early naughts, with many people collecting them thinking they’d be worth a fortune in time. While the Beanie Baby craze is over, the creatures are still cute and mark a time in history. Many of them (like the ones pictured here) is in excellent condition and still have the tags. Do a little spot cleaning and they become a great stocking stuffer!

Elegant Housewares and Artsy Artifacts 

Goodwill Orange County pioneered which comes in only second to eBay in online auction sites, Smissen tells us. There you can shop the best of Goodwill from all over the country and can ship throughout the U.S. as well. At RARE, many of the housewares were selected from the auction site. 

You can go with a color scheme (like Tiffany blue) for your classy best friend and pick-up a pair of mid-century serving platters to match with a Lenox for Kate Spade “birds of a feather” ornament (dishes $2.99 each, ornament, $6.99.) Or a coffee table book on a favorite musician or interest. 

A photographer might appreciate a vintage camera either for decoration or to take photos old-school style with this ‘60s era Voigtlander Vito CL camera (only $6.99). Pick-up up some vinyl as either a gift for a music lover or to add authentic flair to your holiday party. RARE has a vinyl listening station so you can test out what you buy. 

Happy hunting and Happy Holidays!  

CtrCity’s Uncommon Holiday Gift Guide

While it’s no secret that online shopping is up, especially during the holiday season, there are many advantages for shopping local and brick-and-mortar. From supporting small business owners and the community to picking up a great gift at the last minute, “slow shopping” still has its advantages.

When it comes to finding a gift for that hard-to-please person or even someone who deserves a gift as unique as they are, CtrCity Anaheim has it covered. From the foodie to the pop-culture enthusiast, here are just a few of the coolest gifts around town this season:

Original Artwork

Our favorite Japanese bakery, Okayama Kobo, regularly features the whimsical art of Amelia Haru. In addition to adorable “Kobo Kuma” enamel pins ($10), the bakery has an “Enjoy the Little Things” tote bag along with an assortment of original greeting cards ($5). And Washi tape with Haru’s designs is just the right stocking stuffer size.

Right next door, at Bizen Beer Bar, a collection of colorful original sharpie drawings called “Shisa My Way…” by Tustin restaurant owner Mayumi Vargas. Shisa refers to the guardian lions of Okinawa, Japan, where Vargas is originally from. Original drawings are $50 each and postcards are available at 5 for $20. Proceeds from the sale go to support the reconstruction of Shuri Castle in Okinawa, Japan.

Gorgeous mid-century style artwork by MUZEO Guest Services Manager and artist Baggio Ardon also grace mugs with 10% of proceeds donated to charitable causes. The shop also features jewelry by local artists including MJK bracelets by young jewelry-maker Madison Kelly.

Beloved local Anaheim artists Kevin & Jody (they have a long relationship designing for Disney) collaborated with Anaheim Brewery on $5 “Merry Krampus” pint glasses in their signature style. You can also find items created by the design duo at Pop Comics.

For the Train-Obsessed Littles

Most kids know what they want for the holiday gifting season and aren’t afraid to share the list. However, for the giver, watching a child’s eyes light up when receiving the unexpected is a true delight. MUZEO’s carefully curated gift store often reflects its featured exhibitions. For the holiday season, they present their traditional MuzeoExpress train exhibition through January 26th. For kids who love trains, gifts abound from full-sized to mini-train conductor teddy bears, to MUZEO souvenir train whistles, to Thomas the Train memorabilia.

Over at the Packing House, Seed People’s Market kiosks greet you right as you enter the second floor of the building. Year-round the kiosks and its companion shop feature eco-conscious housewares, decorations and candles. Cute and quaint little gifts from kazoos to toy boats by Green Toys and Jelly Cat stuffed animals are simply a few of the adorable and unique toys for sale.

                                     For the Vinophile and Beer Lover

This month, Colony Wine Merchant offers a trio of distinctive wines from Tres Sabores, a family-owned vineyard in Napa Valley. One of the first vineyards to be certified organic in California, the trio consists of a 2018 sauvignon blanc 2018 rosė and Porque No, their 2015 2015 red blend. Purchasing the three together gives you savings.

Fun, superhero-themed brewery Unsung in the MAKE building might have a few bottles of seasonal beer like their Pumpkin Spice Doctor Goodnight. Signature stemless wine glasses complete a gift package and to top it off, wooden Christmas coasters with the Unsung logo and a built-in bottle opener at only $6—a steal!

A neat way to package a gift of wine or local beer is in a big growler (Anaheim Brewery has some beautiful, authentic German growlers) or in a custom wine bag with accessories also at the Seed shop kiosk in the Packing House.

                                     For the Pop Culture and Sci-Fi Fan

With the opening of Requiem Coffee, CtrCity is quickly becoming a hub of the fantastical and fun. The fantasy-gamer-sci-fi themed locale has Star Wars merch, aesthetic gamer dice, and vinyl collectible Dungeons and Dragons figurines.

Over at Decades bar and grill, you can relive the eighties and nineties with regular live tribute and cover band entertainment. Pop in to pick up a gift certificate of any amount to cover dinner or ask for a VIP package which will include admission for the night’s entertainment.

No need to look anywhere further than Pop! Comics to meet all your fandom needs. Comic compendiums are all the rage and at 60 dollars a book of an entire comic book series is a better value than individual comic books. It also makes for a nicer gift. Pop has a large collection of Funko figurines including special edition Star Wars characters donned in holiday attire.

                                                Something for Everyone

Not sure you got everything covered? Not only is there much more to explore in retailers mentioned above, but plenty more gifting ideas in CtrCity. Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 14th for the Packing District’s annual Night Market from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. It will feature crafts, artisans and a free screening of the movie Elf. Beat that Amazon!