If given the choice, and let’s face it it is almost always a choice, I will drive several towns away to avoid the crowds at the mall. The lights, the smells, the cranky people are an affront to my general well being and completely destroy any pleasure that shopping gives me. So I will stroll through a town (Wellesley, Davis Square, Belmont Center, Huron Village, New Canaan (CT), Bronxville (NY) where I can shop small boutiques, enjoy a great cup of coffee, shop a bit more and grab lunch with a friend at a favorite chef-run restaurant. And online, I definitely feel the same way. I like a well curated shop virtual, real, or brick and mortar but totally accessible online too. The convenience of a superstore online like Amazon.com is great too and often small business sell through Amazon, but my first choice is somewhere like this…
So here are a few of my favorite sites. I like nice things, but I do have a boundaries when it comes to budget, so I like to peruse the sale first. I’ve also noticed that some of the best deals can be found if you look for it on a site that doesn’t specialize in that particular thing. For example; great toy deals on a site that primarily sells clothes or great furniture/lighting deal on a site that primarily sells children’s toys, or women’s clothing.
Garnet Hill: Primarily: women’s clothing, accessories, jewelry, linens. Also sells: girls’ clothing, shoes, toys, house wares
Duluth Trading Co.: Primarily: outdoorsy clothing for men and women. Also sells: retro toys, cool gear, and that one thing for the person in the family who is impossible to buy for.
Uncommon Goods: Gifts of all sorts, trinkets, toys, tools, and gear.
Kaufmann Mercantile: Beautiful everything for just about anyone. This is on the pricier side, but you definitely get what you pay for. The shop is divided into accessories, office, grooming & beauty, tools & outdoors, home, kitchen, grocery and garden.
Gather Here: This is one of my homes away from home so I actually don’t shop online, but for those of you who are not lucky enough to live nearby, Gather Here has a great selection of fabric and more. Ever since Gather Here opened I have been lucky enough to be on Santa’s nice list so I have been getting a gift card here for all my knitting and sewing classes and stash.
Schoolhouse Electric and Supply: Home, office, lighting and fixtures. Browse the sale section for gifts, and odds and ends.
Local Root: This is another neighborhood spot, so I shop here in person, but they have a great selection of tools and equipment for the kitchen. There are stocking stuffers and “major gifts” and there is everything in between. Perfect for your favorite chef.
Best Made Company: I love this site for the unexpected. From flag patches as stocking stuffers, to books, enamel signs and tools. Worth a browse whether you’re done shopping or not.
Reside: Mid-century modern from table to table top. Buy someone special that one piece they’re missing. Finish a room for the holidays, or wrap up a gorgeous pottery tea set for the family.
Formaggio Kitchen: Send a basket, subscribe someone to a cheese CSA, pick up some sweets from the old country, or chocolates from here. Order the Panettone for Christmas morning, or some amazing pasta and olive oil for Christmas dinner.
Soluna Garden Farms: Delicious and unique spice blends, salts, and teas. Gorgeous wooden carved tea strainers.
Karma Coffee: My favorite coffee compulsively roasted to perfection.
Eat Boutique: Perfectly curated delectable delights. That’s all! Actually no, it isn’t…check out the blog for some jaw dropping food porn and inspiring recipes.
And for when you do get out of your pyjama and head outdoor here are some great spots to shop in Cambridge’s Huron Village. For the host, children, fashion fabulous, the hard to please, foodies and those who are at home in the kitchen, your home, and for the teachers and community members that keep you going.