Walkable, shoppable, even swimmable, Gulfport’s got it all. You could and should make a day of it — hit the shops, stop for lunch, maybe play a round of volleyball on the beach or take a swing dance lesson at the Casino before finishing up the day with karaoke at O’Maddy’s. Here are a few of the gift ideas we found in the ’hood.
3015 Beach Blvd. S., botiki.com.
“A unique, chic beach boutique” is how BoTiki describes itself, and it couldn’t be more apt. Owner Maddy Guenther stocks her sparkling, sun-filled shop with a wide variety of giftables, from high-end jewelry to tongue-in-cheek greeting cards, as well as such coveted apparel lines as Johnny Was and Oh My Gauze! And then there are unique items like the leather motorcycle jacket emblazoned with bling, a recent attention-getter in BoTiki’s window. Rhodium-plated silver jewelry with Swarovski gems by Rhode Island-based designer John Medeiros: Pedras necklace, $350, and earrings, $155. Above: Hand-sewn leather jacket with bling by Alberto Makali, $375.
SumitrA Espresso Lounge
2838 Beach Blvd. S., sumitraespressolounge.com
Affable owner Maurice Loeb was born in Morocco and has experience as both a jeweler and a microbiologist, all of which contribute to SumitrA’s elegantly laid-back vibe. And so does the CBD-infused coffee, which sounds like a contradiction in terms but actually “calms the coffee down,” says Loeb. A basket of CBD-infused coffee beans and teas with names like Berrijuana and Peach Floyd, edibles like CBD-infused peanut butter cookies and perhaps a gift certificate for future lounging would make a great gift. Ask Maurice to help you assemble the gift basket; price will vary according to your selections.
Custom House Decor
2901 Beach Blvd. #103, customhousedecor.com
One of the shops that opened earlier this year in the new North End Village complex, Custom House Decor is serendipity in a store. Owners Mike and Andrea Knettel, who used to own the wonderful Domain Home Accessories down the street, have created another fascinating haven for distinctive housewares with a Florida flair, with a mix of pieces by local artists, well-crafted items from around the country and, at this time of year, wonderfully droll Christmas ornaments. Doggie ornament by December Diamonds, glass, $15; Gingko box clock in wild cherry and hand-tooled copper from Sabbath-Day Woods, N. Carolina, $132.
2901 Beach Blvd. #101, gulfportcigars.com
Another new North End Village business, Mike Allgire’s comfortable, spacious retreat is a boon for cigar aficionados, whether they’re looking to relax with pals or purchase a box of fine cigars. Lined with humidors filled with top brands from Latin and South America, the shop is a must if you have a cigar lover on your list. Gift certificates available; cigars can be purchased individually or by the box. Prices vary.
Brenda McMahon Gallery
2901 Beach Blvd. #104, brendamcmahon.com
The exquisitely subtle colorations of Brenda McMahon’s hand-thrown pottery will draw you into her gallery, which opened in May in the North End Village building. But she also has an eye for other talented artists, such as Zoe Bocik. Well-known as part of the husband-and-wife team behind Funktionhouse, the custom furniture makers, Bocik gets the chance at McMahon’s gallery to realize her personal vision, combining form and function in benches, tables, Ikebana vases and ingenious “wine trees.” Above: Zoe Bocik Equilibrium table, African mahogany, brass and glass, $3750, and Ikebana vase, $225; Brenda Montgomery saggar fired vessel, $520. Right: Zoe Bocik wine tree, rosewood, holds 10+ bottles, approximately 5 feet tall, $700. Smaller versions range from $290-$500. Below: Brenda McMahon vases; inquire at gallery for prices.