Keeping it Local-Shop Boston’s South End
One of the best ways to support sustainability is to keep your dollars local. There’s a lot of power in your pocketbook and spending money on goods produced in the surrounding area keeps dollars circulating in the community. This is true whether your talking about your home town or that little village in the last place you satisfied your wanderlust. The South End of Boston has a hip vibe along with an energy not felt in other parts of the city. The streets are packed with chic shops, good restaurants and plenty of places that focus on the keeping it local concept. I called this neighborhood home when I had a studio there for over 20 years. It has seen plenty of change, but still remains filled with with au courant atmosphere. Getting off the main drag is where you’ll find a lot of the real treasures. Here are a few of my favorite places to shop.
Twelve Chairs’ new second floor home right on Washington St is so warm and cozy you might just want to move in and nest. The co-founders have combined their design expertise with a strong belief in beautiful and sustainable products. They personally vet all of their vendors to make sure they meet a standard of local, healthy, and responsible commitment to the environment. Whether you are looking for a gift, artwork or a major investment piece, the well edited selections here will add lots of personality to you abode.
Jewelry designer Michele Mercaldo’s showroom and work space on Shawmut Ave. is filled with beautifully sparkling metal gems. Her Award winning designs feature 100% recycled Harmony Metals. She also features the work of other jewelry designers, many from around the world, as well as unusual artwork to complement the well designed space. Make sure not to miss the front display windows. They often steal the show!
When I walk into a men’s clothing store and get excited, I know I’ve stumbled onto someplace special. Bobby From Boston is just such a place. Customers are immediately taken by the aesthetic of the shop and all the vintage clothing that has been collected over the years. Fashion superstars like Ralph Loren and Tom Ford have looked to his store for inspiration. Stylists frequent regularly. The space gleams with old world charm and if you come looking for vintage, used or repurposed, you won’t be disappointed.
Emerging artists and small batch food makers and gift producers are the focus of Sofi Madison’s Olives & Grace. This delightful shop is helping to spread the good word about quality and provence of all foodstuffs, body care and accessories. Sustainable gift giving at its best. Sofi can put together a box for you and ship it as a housewarming present, birthday gift, or just about any other occasion. She further extends the sense of community with classes and monthly gatherings for clients and area residents. Once inside, you’ll realize the importance of all the tiny stories that make up the world.
Every Sunday, May through October, the SOWA market celebrates homegrown goodness. The enormous space is filled with a farmer’s market and small batch producers, an indie design market featuring artists and craftspeople and a rotating group of enough food trucks to fill an entire parking lot. Come for a few hours, or spend the day. It’s family and dog friendly fun and showcases what the South End is all about.
View all of my Shopping list in Boston’s South End including information on Follain Skin Care, Patch NYC, Sault Mens Wear, Formaggio Kitchen and Union Park St. on AFAR along with more details of each of the shops listed above.