Shopping for Gen Z? 15 gifts for the ‘youths’ on your list

Christmas tree ornament illustration
(Roselly Monegro / For The Times)

This is part of the L.A. Times 2021 gift guide. See the full guide here. If you make a purchase off one of our links, the L.A. Times may be compensated.

Technically, Gen Z accounts for anyone born from roughly 1996 to 2010. Maybe that’s you, and you’re just looking for ideas. But if Gen Z makes you think of a teen or young adult in your life who wears clothes that were popular 20 to 30 years ago and says things like, “I don’t dream of labor,” this list is for you too. Maybe you don’t quite get it, but you can still get them something fun, cool and weird that speaks to their creativity, mindfulness and individuality.

Gratitude Journal from Poketo

Colorful cover of the Gratitude Journal

The Gratitude Journal, from L.A.-based lifestyle brand Poketo, is perfect for someone who’s into journaling and working on ways to improve their emotional well-being. The journal includes tips and writing prompts to help the owner through a yearlong journey to, hopefully, expand gratitude in their life.

$28 | 👉 Purchase here


The Beanie Bracelet from Ian Charms

A bracelet made of colorful beads and charms.
(Ian Charms)

Think of Ian Charms as an elevated version of the charm bracelets that millennial and Gen X girls made in middle school. The brand, started by L.A.-based designer Lisa Sahakian, has a very hip, celebrity clientele, including Justin Bieber, Pete Davidson and Olivia Rodrigo. Dua Lipa is obsessed. “Dua is the perfect Ian Charms customer,” Sahakian told British Vogue earlier this year. “She’s confident but doesn’t take herself too seriously.” Get the bracelet, or splurge on a necklace, for the confident-but-doesn’t-take-themselves-too-seriously young adult in your life.

$65 | 👉 Purchase here

Rise puzzle from Inner Piece

A selection of Inner Peace products such as puzzles.
(Paul Salveson for Inner Piece)

L.A.-based Inner Piece bills itself as a puzzle company that “spreads quiet time in a loud, distracted world.” Help spread some peace and quiet with this 1,000-piece puzzle featuring Afro-futurist art by visual designer Thais Silva.

$35 | 👉 Purchase here


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Sowden Toaster from Hay

A selection of Sowden toasters.

Sometimes the best gifts are nice versions of things you need but would never splurge on for yourself. This is a very cute toaster. It’s giving “Mad Men.” It’s giving “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” But most of all, it’s giving toast.

$95 | 👉 Purchase here

No Thanks earrings from Melody Ehsani

GIFT GUIDE - GEN Z: Melody Ehsani earrings.
(Melody Ehsani)

Melody Ehsani started her jewelry, clothing and accessories brand after dropping out of law school in 2004. Just like Ehsani said “no, thanks” to a life of legal briefs and corporate drudgery, help your loved one say no to whatever doesn’t bring them peace and health with these earrings.

$38 | 👉 Purchase here


Fire earring from Georgina Treviño

An earring shaped like a house key and painted with racing flames.
(Georgina Treviño)

Don’t take our word for it. San Diego jewelry designer Georgina Treviño’s fans include Doja Cat, Rosalía, Lizzo, Bad Bunny and Bella Hadid, who recently wore the “fire” earring with a red and cheetah print baby doll shirt and camo pants.

$80 | 👉 Purchase here

Resin Jewelry Kit from Maker’s Mess

GIFT GUIDE - GEN Z: Makers Mess
(Makers Mess)

Maybe the person you have in mind likes to make their own jewelry. This DIY flower resin kit — enough to make a pair of earrings and a necklace — could be perfect for a young, budding designer.

$55 | 👉 Purchase here

Mayfair x Netflix Queue Black Crewneck

The back of a sweatshirt reads, "You are my favorite season."
(The Mayfair Group)

You can’t go wrong with a crewneck or sweatpants from the Mayfair Group, the online retailer known for sweats emblazoned with slogans like “Your emotions are valid.” We like the collaborations with Netflix — which reads “Skip Intro” on the front and “You are my favorite season” on the back — because it looks good and is a potential conversation starter. Example: “Did you finish ‘Squid Games’ yet?”

$98 | 👉 Purchase here

Fragrance 01, Taunt, from DedCool

A clear bottle of DedCool fragrance.

Carina Chaz founded her unisex fragrance brand DedCool in Los Angeles in 2016. There’s an emphasis on sustainability — the fragrances are biodegradeable, plant-based and come in glass bottles — and using non-toxic ingredients. Taunt smells like bergamot, vanilla and amber, but there are nearly a dozen other scents. Individual samples cost $6.

$90 | 👉 Purchase here

The Essentials Bag from Noto Botanics

A cloth bag marked "essentials" and the bottles found inside.

Noto Botanics is a unisex skincare and beauty brand founded by former makeup artist Gloria Noto. Noto, a queer woman, has made a point of inclusive advertising that showcases different races and sexual and gender identities. The clean beauty brand also donates a portion of sales from its Agender Oil to organizations like Planned Parenthood, the LGBT Youth Center and the Okra Project. The Essentials Bag includes a body wash, a scrub and a serum, as well as an organic cotton tote bag.

$115 | 👉 Purchase here

30 minute Astrology Transit Reading from House of Intuition

Spiritual goods and gifts
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

According to House of Intuition, the reading will cover everything from your personality and emotional needs to what signs you’re compatible with, allowing you to “walk away with a better understanding of yourself and natural strengths you can utilize in your career.” They’ll need the recipient’s birth date, time and location.

$100 | 👉 Purchase here

Halo Halo pin from Giant Robot

A pin in the shape of a halo halo dessert.
(Giant Robot)

Giant Robot started off as an alternative bimonthly magazine focused on Asian pop culture that published from 1994-2011. Over the years founder Erik Nakamura has expanded and modified the brand — today, Giant Robot exists as a retail shop and a gallery, both in the Sawtelle neighborhood. The Halo Halo pin recommended here is a nod to Los Angeles’ large Filipino community (the largest of any metro area in America) and Giant Robot’s collection of food-themed pins — ramen, sushi, taiyaki, kimchi, spam masubi — with specific appeal to different parts of the Asian diaspora.

$7 | 👉 Purchase here

Stick & Poke Practice Tattoo Kit

A lineup of bottled colors in a Stick & Poke self-tattoo set.
(Stick & Poke Tattoo Kit)

While some people were baking sourdough or becoming plant parents, other young people spent quarantine learning to give themselves simple stick and poke tattoos using a handheld needle (instead of a tattoo gun). Yes, 2021 is almost over, but it’s never too late to pick up a new hobby, and Oakland-based Stick & Poke Tattoo Kit is here to help. We recommend you give the practice kit first (with professional tattoo ink and latex practice skin); you can buy a real kit for a little bit more.

$34-$60 | 👉 Purchase here

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