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A quick Google search of "best shopping in Houston" will immediately give you the most touristy shopping centers that include big name brand stores. The Galleria alone is one of Houston's top places to visit. While I love shopping at these stores from time to time, some real hidden gems are within the city limits. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite unique stores. Whether you're visiting from out of town or are a Houston native, you're bound to find your new favorite spot. Here are all the places that a Houston fashion and lifestyle influencer enjoys some retail therapy.
Hemline: For The Trendy Girl
With four locations in Houston alone, Hemline is easily my go-to boutique. Brazilian Brigitte Holthausen founded Hemline after moving to New Orleans. She started selling jewelry at The Historic French Market in New Orleans. After she met her husband Luciano, they opened their first Hemline boutique. They carry brands like Amanda Uprichard, Paige, Dolce Vita, Krewe, etc. Hemline has a great variety of clothes, from casual to dressy to work-appropriate. They also have something for everyone's budget. Each location is a franchise and has different owners, meaning diverse inventory. They have 28 stores throughout the south and offer online shopping if there isn't a boutique near you.
2. Kuhl-Linscomb: Your One-Stop-Shop
This store, or should I say stores, is probably my favorite place in all of Houston. Located off West Alabama Street, Kuhl-Linscomb was founded by interior designer Pam Kuhl-Linscomb and her husband, Dan Linscomb. The store started as a small antique booth and has evolved into a five-building megastore. Kuhl-Linscomb is truly a one-stop-shop. They have men and women's clothing, perfume and body care, hair products, laundry accessories, shoes, jewelry, baby and children clothing and toys, a section for pets, furniture, lighting, bed linens, bath linens, home decor, tableware, antiques, a garden center, plus more. I love coming here for unique gifts, Christmas shopping, and to treat myself. Kuhl-Linscomb is the perfect place for a wedding registry.
3. Lemon Laine: For The Wellness Lover
Located in The Heights, Lemon Laine was founded by Laura Lemon. Combining a unique beauty and wellness concept in one, her goal was to recreate the beauty shopping experience. With Oil Bars featured in both the Houston and Nashville locations, you can meet with an expert and discuss your skin goals and get a custom face oil created just for you. They also have protein, supplements, and other wellness boosters so you can live your healthiest life. All of their products are considered "clean," which means they make you look good and are good for you, without the inclusion of harmful ingredients.
4. Favor The Kind: For the Boho Gals
Texan Carly Seale founded this unique, boho boutique in Dallas. The concept started as "The Gypsy Wagon" but has evolved to Favor The Kind with Houston, Dallas, and Crested Butte locations. The Houston location is inside the Heights Mercantile shopping center. Called a "modern-day general store" on the Heights Mercantile website, Favor The Kind features a curated selection of affordable apparel, gifts, and items for the home. The store also boasts one-of-a-kind selections with vintage accents and items created by local artists and designers.
5. Paloma and Co: For The Interior Design Obsessed
Paloma Contreras and Devon Liedtke founded this stunning French-inspired interiors store in 2019 over their love of classic design. They have stunning art, vintage furniture, and home accents from all over the world. While most of these unique pieces have a steep price tag to match, they have some luxury budget-friendly items as well. My favorite is their vast selection of drinkware and tabletop goods. Love their items but need design help? Contact Paloma Contreras for her design services or check out her book, Dream Design Live, for inspiration.
6. Tootsies: Designer Brand Heaven
Looking for name brands with a unique experience? Tootsies is your place! Mickey Rosmarin founded the famous shop over forty years ago. It's current 35,000 square foot location boasts a runway and private shopping and dining spaces. Tootsies offers the latest ready-to-wear clothing and accessories from luxury brands like Dior, Alexander McQueen, and Bottega Veneta. Find a gown for that upcoming black-tie event or a casual outfit for brunch with the girls.
Not in Houston? Tootsies has locations in Dallas and Atlanta.
7. Sobare: For The Athletic Girls
Founded by Krystal Luna, this athleisure store carries swimwear, athletic wear, and yoga accessories. They have a wide variety of unique brands from all over the world, which are hard to find anywhere else. With brands like Aviator Nation, Beach Riot, Koral, and Lilybod, you have no choice but to stand out in your next workout class or your next errands run. Plus, you can shop online if you aren't local.
8. Emerson Rose: For Those With an Eclectic Style
Bonnie Smith started Emerson Rose in The Heights. With the success of her first location, she opened a second in Montrose. They are probably most known for their pink mural wall outside, which is the perfect Instagrammable spot. After one look at the boutique's Instagram, I want everything in sight! Most items are under $100 and vary from shoes, clothes, and home accessories. It's also a fun stop during the White Linen Night in the Heights. You can shop directly from their IG or online as well.
We must keep our favorite small businesses in mind during this uncertain time. These exclusive stores with all their quirks are what makes Houston so unique. If you want to help out but don't feel comfortable shopping, check to see what stores have curbside shopping available or shop online. Do you want to give a gift from a boutique but don't know what size or style your special someone wants? A gift card is always a safe bet because one size fits all! Which store are you planning to shop first?