Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Record Store Day (which some idiot decided to make on the same day as Black Friday — in addition to the one in April) are faker than any #hashtag holiday out there and driven — obviously — by commerce, consumption and, mostly, corporate greed. But unless you're a Trump tax break–scoring 1 percenter, you want to save money this time of year, so not taking advantage of deals out there is dumb. Scoring huge discounts and cool exclusives and getting exposure to new stores, designers and products that'll make perfect gifts for loved ones is smart. Be smart. Ghost the mall and give love to local businesses online and IRL. Many L.A. merchants and gift makers are rewarding you for it. Here are some of our faves.
1. Trailer Parks After Dark, the twisted brainchild of local craft goddess Else Evil Duff, is offering L.A. Weekly readers 10% off (use code LAWEEKLY10) on her snarky cross-stitched goodies, including black metal emotional support sock puppets (perfect for Black Friday), retro-sleaze bottle openers and light switch covers, "Sex Drugs and Rock & Roll cabinet knobs" and naughty wall plaques. TrailerParksAfterDark.com.
2. Bella Doña L.A., known for the DJ- and vendor-driven fete called the Scam & Jam, makes products any Latina or L.A. local with a cholita in the familia has got to love: jewelry, clothing, pins and more that celebrate barrio culture in all its glory. Everything will be on sale via the website beginning Thursday night at 8 p.m. PST and running through to the next day. Stuff sells out so get on it. bella-dona.com.
ONLINE & IN-STORE:
3. Dolls Kill is going big. The entire site is marked down and so is everything in their stores. The L.A. store will host a bunch of fun stuff including giveaways galore: cash prizes, goodie bags for lucky in-store shoppers with special Dolls Kill merch, and big prizes like a flat-screen TV, hand-painted by a local artist. 415 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; dollskill.com.
4. Proud Mary, a new plus-size shop specializing in vintage and original pieces and accessories for big, beautiful ladies is offering big, beautiful discounts in store and online all weekend. 5335 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park; (323) 250-6322, proudmaryfashion.com.
5. Spacedust stocks more than 100 different local and indie artists and designers, and it will be running a sale on most of it all weekend, from Friday at 11 a.m. through Monday night. Online the sale begins Thursday (coupon codes for online discounts: 5OFF50 / 10OFF100 / 40OFF200). 2153 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; (323) 484-6343, spacedustla.com.
6. Lemon Frog Shop will offer discounts and free gifts, including ET earrings, frog patches and donkey pins for Democrats! It is part the AmEx small business activation in the neighborhood, so there will be tote bags for the first customers of the day as well. Specials and giveaways on both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are promised. 1202 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; (213) 413-2143, Lemonfrogshop.com.
7. Bookshow L.A., known for its assortment of cool books by local authors and weird vintage books, has "a crapload of cool letter-pressed holiday cards and tons of weird new oddity gifty type things" in stock just in time for Small Business Saturday. It also has partnered with Drink Leche, offering a cool coffee-related gift package they put together with Out of Print. Proceeds from the purchase will go toward helping fund literacy programs across the country. 5503 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park; bookshowla.com.
8. Y-Que Trading Post, the home of the "neighborhood" T-shirt (we have the Los Feliz one with a vintage typewriter on the chest) is offering huge discounts all weekend on everything including candles, novelties and tees, and you'll have some fun in the process: Spin the game wheel for discounts ranging from 1% to 50%! 1770 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; (323) 664-0021, ekay.com.
9. Brooklyn Projects offers the best street style around and, despite the name, its looks are very L.A. So if you're looking for gifts for the badass boi in your life, now's the time to buy. Going on its 15th year, Brooklyn Projects calls its sale "the original Black Friday sale" and it's pretty distinctive: Everything in store (which is generally not cheap) will be $48 or less. 7427 Melrose Ave., Fairfax; (323) 658-3030, brooklynprojects.com.
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10. Pop Obscure Records is offering discounts, tees and totes on Black Friday, which just happens to be the 13th day it will have been open at the new location in Los Feliz/East Hollywood (next to Harvard & Stone). Discounts include 10% off all vinyl records and 10% off all posters. Spend $100 to get a free Pop Obscure T-shirt or tote bag and just $50 to take home five records free from the bargain bin. 5215 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; popobscurerecords.com.
More recommended stuff: Amoeba has the biggest selection of Record Store Day releases (see the full list here); Converse offers 20% off everything now through Nov. 25 (check out L.A. rapper Tyler the Creator's new line!); California makeup line Lime Crime is doing 25% off everything now and local designer Sergio Flores is selling his jewelry at great prices at Ma Arts Space. Get discounted vintage oddities at the new Silver Lake shop Diehl Marcus & Company or score cheap games at Game Realms in Burbank. Blastoff Comics in North Hollywood is offering 15% to 50% off everything; and Shoebox Tattoo, also in NoHo, is giving 20% off on gift certificates of any amount.
These are just some suggestions. Pretty much every retail business in existence is having some kind of sale post-turkey day, online, in store or both. Search your favorite brands in Los Angeles and beyond on Facebook or Google, and get ready to give your credit card a big workout.