Sunday, August 16, 2009

PS regarding Shops I Love

Please tell us about the shops you find that you love. New ones that Victoria didn't cover. It's exciting to find them and it's wonderful to support the new entrepreneurs. I have seen many primitive collections--Sylvia is bringing a new interpretation to the genre. That's something I found so interesting. It's not imitative. Pumpkin Man has me charmed at the moment. He's unlike any Halloween decoration you'd see commercially made.

Visiting a shop online is different from being there in person. It's better than not, but I was especially charmed by the environment and display that Sylvia created in Simply Gianna. Looking forward to creating a list of shops I'd love to see based on your experiences.


  1. My husband and I just came back from a road trip to the Midwest. While in Madison, WI, I came across one of my new favorite shops: Anthology. It is co-owned by sisters Laura and Sachi Komai.

    As per their website: "The store is furnished with old suitcases, window panes and dressers scrounged from basements and garages, with quilts and books and other products peeking out from open drawers. The ceiling is painted a speckled light blue with royal blue birds flying around. One wall is a robin's egg blue and the other wall is a soft green with a red accent. There is an old farm table toward the back of the store where art projects are usually underway and/or supplies are available for playing. We tried to make it warm and charming and hope you can stop by for a visit someday."

    Their focus is creativity, as all items are made by the Komai sisters, their dad, and some friends. It is a wonderful place.

  2. My sister and I visited a shop this week in Mystic, Connecticut called "Nest". Very simple name for a really extraordinary place. Quite eclectic as upon entering, the first thing you will see is a nice assortment of Eileen Fisher sportswear. If the clothes do not appeal, a few twists and turns will take you to some interesting collections of handmade jewelry, including crystals, beads and shells. The most wonderful items are the silver mint julep cups, the sparkling cards and notepads (it's hard to find cards that use the glitter I remember from childhood!), triple milled soaps, potpourri, books, flowers, china, and crystal. Both my sister and I chose small oval sillouettes of a lady's profile with a vines and flowers living on the top of her head! We were amused and charmed by her and knew she had to come home with each of us.


  3. There is a shop in the older part of the downtown section in a nearby town.

    It sells primitive country items, candles, artwork, and other items which take us back to another time.

    Every visit into the store is like a mini vacation with the aromas of the candles hitting me as soon as I enter, the dulcimer music playing in the background, and inspiring beauty all around.

    It is no wonder that my Christmas and birthday presents over time have been gift certificates to this store. :)

  4. I am always enchanted by the layouts in Victoria (Regina) of leisurely moments prowling through florists, furniture stores, drapers, etc. Some of my favorite features revolved around wonderfully unique hat shops photographed and explored with that meticulous Victoria flair.
    I spent a happy hour recently in a vintage clothing store in Rochester, NY called Ricky's Place (film buffs will recognize the reference to "Rick's Place" from Casablanca). Ricky, a 70-ish woman and displaced New Yorker, loves truly vintage clothes ("not this 80's stuff" she says distainfully) and has a collection of hats that make a chapeaux-lover's heart skip a beat. All along the walls, up to the ceiling, perch hats from every era: Edwardian boaters, floppy Carly Simon wannabees from the 70s, frilly nothings from the cocktails-at-five era, "pancakes" from the Thirties, snappy confections from the screwball comedy days of Hollywood. Ricky's got them all and the stories to match.
    Because I present Silver Screen movies in costume for a local arts cinema (The George Eastman House), I often browse Ricky's collection to find THE finishing touch for my cobbled-together outfits. Last Saturday, I picked out what appeared to be a Hershey's kiss made of fine white woven straw and cocked it, just so, over my left eyebrow. I looked at my face in the mirror, Ricky's face appearing over my shoulder beside me. We both grinned, knowing this was IT--the perfect accent for a navy-and-ivory floral print 30's-style frock I'll wear to introduce the rarely seen Irene Dunne comedy, "Theodora Goes Wild". This hat is just exactly the loopy, devil-may-care exclamation point I was looking for. And Ricky and I both knew it.
    It's a joy to shop in a place where the owner genuinely respects, cares for, and cherishes her wares, but also loves to see her special vintage "pets" go out into the world to charm the beholder once more.

  5. PS...that last comment from Karen Marline, in Rochester...sorry I didn't sign my name!

  6. I was shopping for a mum-to-be recently, but instead of a baby gift, I wanted to choose a mother gift. I found myself walking along lower Fifth Avenue when I came upon a new Kate Spade store. I knew immediately that the perfect gift would be a bottle of the signature fragrance, a beautiful bouquet of gardenia scent. As I browsed the well-designed displays in the store, I found many books serving as "pedestals" for the handbags. I was as drawn to the books as the bags, especially when I found a true gem: CALLING CARDS by the editors of VICTORIA magazine.

  7. Victoria magazine has always been an inspiration! I've been cutting out pictures for years to save for design ideas. It was a thrill that one of our customers would comment on our store here and it is so neat to see so many other shops being recognized and appreciated. Thanks from Anthology in Madison, Wisconsin.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Ok, let's start that post again, sans mistakes.

    Another charming Madison, Wis., shop is Fromagination, a cheese place on the Capital Square. It's got the ambiance of a European cheese shop but showcases regional cheeses. You can shop for sandwiches there, and I usually do when I am in town on business. They wrap odd bits and cheese and sell them as samples - "orphans," they call them - so you can try new cheeses. Nice crackers, jams, jellies and confits, too. I dodge in to this bright shop one night to get out of the November gloom - and left with two bags of goodies.

    I miss shops that provided an experience as much as tempting merchandise. A fragrance, a feeling, something that inspires.

    Another place like that is Newport House Gallery in Ellison Bay, in Door County, Wis. You can buy carved shorebird decoys and more, and the two women who own it, both carvers, have created magic there!