The holiday shopping genie returns to Austin to fulfill one-stop browsing wishes
Sometimes it feels like the only way all the holiday shopping can get done is if a genie steps in. Austin’s Blue Genie Art Bazaar (BGAB) isn’t far from that fantasy; no one can choose for you, but the curated artisan goods narrow down the possibilities, gathering a mix of people-pleasing and hyper-specific gifts under one roof.
November 18 kicks off the 22nd iteration of the bazaar, with nearly 200 vendors that generally steer clear of holiday clichés, focusing mostly on art, snacks, and home goods. It would be easiest to shop for friends and family who love decorating their homes and kitchens, but shoppers will also find accessories, toys, and sometimes even experiences.
The website divides the vendors into categories that make it easy to plan a trip with shoppers who like a plan, although seeing what stands out in person is at least half the fun. One step further into perfectly streamlined shopping, personal shoppers will make selections for a fee of 10% of the price of the item a home shopper selects (capped at $25).
Three of the four BGAB founders — all artists themselves — sent out some ideas to their nice list contacts:
- Dana Younger recommends soap by Fleegal Farms, tea towels by Victrola and Kimball Prints, chocolate by Madhu, tea from White Cloud and SESA, and shirts by Supermaggie.
- Kevin Collins recommends artworks by Dan Grissom and Danika Ostrowski, and accessories by JNA Designs.
- Chris Coakley recommends art by JCR Work, Eya Claire, and another founder, Rory Skagen.
“As always, this year’s Blue Genie Art Bazaar will be filled with some of the best work of our local artists,” said Younger in a press release. “And, as always, we’ll have a mix of recognized favorites along with exciting new artists and plenty of items to surprise and inspire."
In 2021, Blue Genie’s efforts were acknowledged by Austin Chronicle readers, who voted it to the top of the Austin Gifts/Souvenirs category. In addition to a well-balanced curation, it offers a very shopper-friendly experience with free parking and admission, and a snack bar. Shoppers can feel good about supporting local artisans as well as the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Central and South Texas, which receives a portion of every Monday’s sales.
The 22nd annual Blue Genie Art Bazaar will be held in the Blue Genie Art building at 6100 Airport Boulevard, from 10 am to 10 pm daily until December 24. The last day, Christmas Eve, closes at 6 pm. More information and shopping links are available at bluegenieartbazaar.com.