Looking for can’t-miss gift ideas for teenagers on your holiday shopping list? First, consider your kids’ wish lists — are they outdoorsy, a fashionista, tuned into viral trends? Next, figure out where to find clothing and other items that they’ll really love.
Here are five Long Island stores with diverse specialties to match clothing and other items your teens are into. Bonus: These shops all carry items of varying price points and boast personalities as distinct as what’s on shelves.
For the fan of the outdoors: Saltwater Long Island
This family-operated coastal lifestyle apparel brand inspired and informed by Long Island’s great outdoors just opened a fourth location in Huntington. “We just love the feeling of being outside enjoying the saltwater,” says Joe DeMarco, 28, who owns and runs the store with his father, Buddy DeMarco, 61. “We design clothing for the people we love and the place we love.”
Maribeth Kilcommons, who lives in Southold and has four kids ages 13 to 22, has banked on Saltwater, for great gifts for holidays and everyday for nearly seven years. The shop is always swimming in clothes and accessories her children love — short-sleeve tees, long-sleeve pullovers, sunglasses, hats.
“I can fully support every item in the store when I am shopping for my kids,” says Kilcommons, who books private events for the Rolling in Dough Pizza in Greenport. Even Saltwater tissue paper — “cool coastal blues and greens,” she says, make presents special.
For the fan of positive affirmations: Mind Body Crystals
Crystals and minerals are known for their healing, energizing and affirming properties. Anastasia Sofranan’s airy, bright pink boutique in Farmingdale showcases these natural wonders, along with candles, incense and other gifts. Sofranan, 18, a Farmingdale High School 2022 graduate, opened her shop last spring. “About half my customers are teenagers,” she says, adding that part of the draw of crystals is their positivity. “Crystals are also a very big trend on TikTok, so a lot more young people are now educated about them.”
Tyler Kretzmer, 18, a liberal arts student at Farmingdale State College who went to high school with Sofranan, is drawn to the overall vibe of the store. Candles and incense in nose-tickling scents of chocolate, lavender and more are personal favorites. “They smell great,” he says. His mom, Kacey Kretzmer, who works for a construction company, “has always been interested in crystals and the meanings attached to them. They can make great gifts.”
For preteens: TandyGirl
Contemporary girls' fashions in sizes 7 to 16 is what TandyGirl in Commack is all about, so it’s no surprise that the store’s vibe is every bit as youthful and vibrant. “The personality of the store is “bubbly, fun and colorful,” says Tandy Jeckel, who opened the store in February. An Instagram wall, where shoppers pose in their latest style finds and the post the snaps. It’s all part of a retail experience.
For Rachael Garafolo, 46, a real estate agent with three girls, ages 9 to 19, TandyGirl has become a go-to spot for her youngest daughter. “When I take my little one there, the next thing I know she wants everything,” says Garafolo. “It’s nice to go in there and not see the same exact clothes as everywhere else. I always find fun surprises.”
For the fan of viral trends: Showcase
Showcase calls itself “the home of the hottest trends” — in health and beauty, toys, novelty items and beyond — and that’s what you’ll find when you walk into one of the brand’s boutique. You’re also apt to find plenty of teens, especially on days off from school, who are using the “try it before you buy it” policy.
“Our main audience is Gen Z, which is aged 10 to 25,” says CEO Samir Kulkarni. “Teenagers are definitely a primary audience. Our sales just ramp up like crazy around the holidays in November and December.”
For the trendsetter: Bluetique
Halime Berkay opened her Port Washington boutique more than 20 years ago. Ever since, teenage girls who are into fashion have made a beeline for young and contemporary fashions and accessories — bags, belts, hats, jewelry — as well as an upbeat, empowering atmosphere. Community-minded Berkay takes pride that her “store has always been a warm comfort zone” for school-age shoppers.
Stephanie Silverstein, 45, an elementary school teacher who lives in Port Washington and has two daughters, Sydney, 17, and Sloane, 16, has been a frequent customer for years. Gifts from the store “are always surefire hits,” says Silverstein, who appreciates the “thought and care” the owner puts into curating and streamlining merchandise. “There’s always something for everyone.”
Saltwater Long Island 291 Main St., Huntington. Also in Huntington Station’s Walt Whitman Shops, Greenport and Westhampton Beach, saltwaterlongisland.com
Showcase Walt Whitman Shops, Huntington Station; 631-944-8211 Also at Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, ca.shopatshowcase.com
Bluetique 25 Main St., Port Washington, 516-734-1002, bluetique.com
TandyGirl 114 Commack Rd., Commack, 631-623-5656, tandywear.com
Mind Body Crystals 184 Merritts Rd., Farmingdale; 516-404-2765, mindbodycrystalsllc.com