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These 13 Unique Gifts Are the Absolute Best for Anyone and Every Occasion

A unique gift is a surprise. The gifting is probably expected – there’s a birthday or an anniversary or a promotion or a baby or a some trespass that requires atonement – but the gift itself is not. The tough thing about finding the unexpected is that doing so necessitates getting off the internet’s game trails and rifling through Etsy shops and small brands running on Shopify tech. It takes an idea and more than a few minutes.

“To me, a good gift is defined by the thought that goes into it,” says Ashley Hosmer, a Portland-based interior designer. “You saw something that reminded you of someone and got it for them? That’s a good gift. The person has mentioned something casually that they want and you remember and get them that thing? Another good gift.”

Spy spoke to Hosmer — and other all-around cool people with good taste who’ve spent their fair share of time combing the internet for the good stuff — to find out how they approach gifting. Their advice? For a unique gifts, look to small brands, Etsy shops, or places that will personalize run-of-the-mill items. Don’t just pick something weird for the sake of weirdness, and avoid gifting items that will just add clutter, like a desk tchotchke or something from SkyMall (RIP).