2019-02-24 02:52:31

Archive for the ‘Store spotlight’ Category

Store Spotlight: Constellation & Co.

Sara McNally, letterpress extraordinaire, is the owner of Constellation & Co. in Seattle’s historic Fishermen’s Terminal. She runs her own stationery company, producing witty and beautiful cards, along with supporting other small businesses. Her shop is full of her own card creations, and products from friends! Sara has a passion for cards and stationery which can be found within the shop walls, and with her other ventures of Card Club and Snail Mail Superstar. We love that she has found a way to turn her passions into meaningful relationships with customers and clients!Q: Who are the owners/operators and when did your store open? / what inspired you to open?
A: Constellation & Co. is owned and operated by me, Sara McNally! I started designing greeting cards in 2009. I bought my first printing press and formally founded Constellation & Co. in 2011. I opened a brick & mortar stationery and gift store in 2014. I wanted a space to connect with our community, show off my beautiful printing presses, and curate a selection of beautiful and fun gift items for our customers!


Q: How would you describe your store aesthetic?/ What’s a fun or interesting store fact?
A: We’re located at the Seattle Fishermen’s Terminal, so we try to keep things on a local and nautical theme. Our biggest weekend every year is the Fishermen’s Fall Festival, a great community event that raises money for the families of fishermen who have been lost at sea. I’ve served on the board for the event and designed the poster for the past 4 years.

Q: If there is one thing someone “must do” when they visit your area, what would you recommend?
A: The coolest place in our neighborhood is Discovery Park. It’s a 534 acre nature park. It’s the largest city park in Seattle, and a place of breathtaking majesty! Situated on Magnolia Bluff overlooking Puget Sound, Discovery Park offers a spectacular view of both the Cascade and the Olympic Mountain ranges. It has two miles of protected tidal beaches as well as open meadow lands, dramatic sea cliffs, forest groves, active sand dunes, thickets and streams. It’s epic.

Q: What instagram accounts do you follow that you most enjoy?
A: I love: @poorlydrawnlines @morganharpernichols @calliopepaperie @designcrush @edelweiss_post @kristen_ley

Q: What’s next for you/your store? Any upcoming sales/events?
We’re always have something fun on the horizon! The Fishermen’s Fall Festival and the shop’s 4th birthday is coming up on September 15th, we’re planning a customer appreciation event in October, and then it’s full steam ahead to the holidays!

Find Constellation & Co. at:

1900 West Nickerson Street
Suite 101
Seattle, WA 98119

+Follow them @constellationco

Posted on September 13th, 2018 by Maptote

Store Spotlight: Shout and About

Tamara Houghten is the shopkeeper behind LA-based gift shop, Shout and About. She had always dreamed of opening a retail shop and was finally able to make her dream a reality in 2015 when she found herself at a loss finding a good local spot for affordable, well designed gifts. Her main objective when opening the shop was to really embrace the setting of Echo Park, a neighborhood that is so dear to her heart, and to create an energetic, and inviting space.

Q: How would you describe your store aesthetic?/ What’s a fun or interesting store fact?
A: The first word I would use to describe Shout and About is without a doubt, fun! We never shy away from color or pattern and I think it’s hard for anyone not to feel happy after a stroll through our tiny, urban oasis. It’s a reflection of my love for design and supporting independent brands & designers. The shop is also full of lots of plants that are all also for sale, which, fun fact, are all provided by my wonderful sister-in-law who owns the California native plant nursery, Artemisia Collective!

Q: If there is one thing someone “must do” when they visit your area, what would you recommend?
A: Take a stroll around the Echo Park Lake where you can hop into one of the swan paddle boats, grab a fresh, hot churro, and people watch from your picnic blanket on the grass! The Echo Park Lake is just down the road from us & underwent a massive renovation in 2013. It’s well worth a visit and is an amazing LA landmark!

Q: What instagram accounts do you follow that you most enjoy?
A: Some of my absolute favorite Instagram accounts are those of local bloggers with incredible, fun style, such as @ohjoy, @sfgirlbybay, and @studiodiy. I also love utilizing Instagram as a platform to find new products & brands, so am constantly on the hunt for fun new accounts!

Q: What’s next for you/your store? Any upcoming sales/events?
A: Just this week the store was revamped for summer and is full of so many new & old favorites! We recently started carrying the work of one of my favorite LA inspirations, Earth + Element, and her beautiful pieces can currently be seen all throughout the shop. Pottery is one of my personal favorite categories we carry and is something we are continually getting more of as of late, including lots of incredible pieces from Morocco soon!

Find Shout and About at:

1547 Echo Park Avenue
Los Angeles, CA

+Follow them @shout.and.about

Posted on August 7th, 2018 by Maptote

Store Spotlight: Awesome Brooklyn

Awesome is brought to you by Vanessa Raptopoulos and her daughter, Athena who spends almost as much time at Awesome as Vanessa does. Awesome is also brought to you by our biggest supporter, the husband, Miles, who you may see out on Flatbush promoting Awesome. It has been Vanessa’s dream for the past 15 years to own her own store and she finally found a location in the best neighborhood to complete her vision. In November of 2017 Awesome opened its doors to the community. Since then, it has been met with lots of that Brooklyn love we hear so much about.

Q: How would you describe your store aesthetic?/ What’s a fun or interesting store fact?
A: What we do here is we try and cultivate enough AWESOME gifts that when you shop our site or enter our doors you think WOW! This place is Awesome! My (mom, sister, husband etc) would love this!

Q: If there is one thing someone “must do” when they visit your area, what would you recommend?
A: We border Prospect Park and so everyone must go play in the park either before or after shopping at Awesome. We also have lots of delish restaurants and bars in the area that you should try if you are here for the first time. Some of our favorites include RISBO, Silver Rice, Midwood Flats, Zurilee and Blessings.

Q: What instagram accounts do you follow that you most enjoy?
A: We love following our customers because we love them. In addition to our Awesome customers, we also love following our vendors – The Found is one of our favorites. Stores like Caliope in the Boston area are also a favorite and of course we love following our local politicians like Diana Richardson to see what she’s up to.

Q: What’s next for you/your store? Any upcoming sales/events?
A: We are always having Awesome events. At the end of July we will be having a street fair/festival that will be right in front of the store with music, games, bouncy houses etc. That’s July 22nd! But our most fun events are when we do pop up shops with local vendors. Breukelen Rub often stops by with free treats so you can sample their spectacular rubs.

Find Awesome Brooklyn at:

617 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225

+Follow them @awesomebrooklyn

Posted on July 19th, 2018 by Maptote

Store Spotlight: State & Third

State&ThirdCard_front_2Just opened earlier this year, State & Third has found a thriving market for products by local to national artisans and designers in Columbus, Ohio. We love to be in such good company! Owner Becky Brisker curates her shop with lifestyle, gift, and home items for the conscious consumer with style. Read more below about State & Third and what Columbus has to offer.

Q: How would you describe your store aesthetic?
A: Curated eclectic. I have approximately 40 vendors that I have hand selected from across the US. – everything has a very ‘handmade’ feel and customers really respond to the home grown stories, and the look and feel of the space.

StoreFrontQ: What’s a fun or interesting store fact?
A: I worked in the same building 19 years ago when I took my first retail job at Tommy Hilfiger in Columbus City Center mall at the age of 16. Now my career has come full circle and I’m back exactly where I started – but in my own store.

Becky-storeQ: What was your inspiration/motivation to open your store?
AI came from corporate retail design. A lot of the vendors in the shop were companies or people that I looked to for inspiration as a designer. As I saw corporate retail go through many changes, I saw a niche market for independent designers and handmade product expand and flourish. As a country, I truly believe we’re changing as consumers and becoming more aware of who, what and where we buy from. The rest was just great timing.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMT_3 Q: If there is one thing someone “must do” when they visit your area, what would you recommend?
A: Take our new CBUS circulator. You will get to see some of the best of Downtown Columbus, German Village and The Short North – hopping on and off where you like. And, it’s absolutely free!

Q: What blogs/magazines do you follow?
A: Stylesight/WGSN, Birchbox blog, Free People blog , Bazaar, InStyle, Capital Style and Columbus Monthly

Q: What’s next for you/your store? Any upcoming sales/events?
A: We are in the process of freshening the space now. When I opened in February I literally just moved in with product. I’m planning lots of great vendor events for the holidays and hopefully some collaborations with other downtown Columbus retailers, galleries and restaurants.

Posted on September 25th, 2014 by Maptote

Store Spotlight: SAULT New England


Today’s Store Spotlight takes a little jaunt over to  South End in Boston to peek inside SAULT New England! Owner Philip Saul curates a great selection of vintage and classic lifestyle and gifts items that blur the line between want and need (just look at those displays!). We also recently worked with Philip to create an exclusive custom New England Maptote for his shop! Read on to hear more about SAULT and what the South End has to offer:

Q: Who are the owners/operators and when did your store open?
A: I’m the owner, Philip Saul. It still feels odd saying that. The shop opened in the fall of 2011 so its coming up on 3 years.


Q: How would you describe your store aesthetic?
A: The aesthetic for SAULT New England is classic but not stuffy. Its casual and a bit rumpled. We don’t take life so serious, after all its retail. The shop is a good mix of clothing, accessories, personal care and a curated gift assortment. I like to keep the store evolving with new displays, new art, new fixtures. What you see the shop looking like in the summer is not what you will find at holiday.

SAULTNE2-blogQ: What was your inspiration/motivation to open your store?
A: I’m a very visual and creative person: inspiration comes from everywhere. The hardware store, a found piece of furniture, a old book cover, or even a trip somewhere in New England. I guess my motivation is making a the space work and look good. I’m most content when I’m merchandising the product and creating a window or merchandising the floor. Its very satisfying when it all comes together to make a cohesive statement.. Oh and customers buy it!

SaultNE-blogQ: If there is one thing someone “must do” when they visit your area, what would you recommend?
A: Boston is a tourist city for sure! Its filled with so much history and great neighborhoods. Its a walking city so be prepared. My favorite neighborhood to visit is the South End, It’s where SAULT is located and where I live so I’m a bit biased. It has some of the best independent shops in the city and its packed with amazing restaurants.


Q: What blogs/magazines do you follow?
A: I don’t have a ton of time on my hands. I find Instagram to be a great outlet to look for inspiration and I follow blogs like Selectism, Esquire… the usual. When I do have time to page through a magazine its usually Elle Decor, GQ, and Details.

Q: What’s next for you/your store? Any upcoming sales/events?
A: I’m really looking forward to getting our on-line shop up and running. Its been a daunting task but feel its the right direction for us to grow the business and get the SAULT brand accessible everyone who cant make it into the shop. The on-line shop will be a more edited collection of our seasons best products.

*Photos in this post provided by Emil Cohen

Posted on August 27th, 2014 by Maptote

Store Spotlight: Lockwood

lockwood-logo2_blogOur very first Store Spotlight (back in 2011) featured SITE, Mackenzi Farquer’s original shop in Astoria. Now that SITE has moved and grown into Lockwood, we had to get a glimpse inside her wonderful new store! We also recently worked with Mackenzi to create a custom Astoria Maptote sold exclusively at her shop. If you love Astoria, her shop is a must! Lockwood also hosts great events in their indoor workshop space and backyard patio. Read more below:

Q: Who are the owners/operators and when did your store open?
A: Just me- Mackenzi Farquer. I opened September, 2013. This store is an extension of my first shop, SITE, that I had for a little over 6 years. When our lease was up we fell in love with a space just a few blocks closer to the ‘main drag’ here in Astoria and I had to jump at the chance for a fresh start and bigger store. Lockwood is about 4 times the size of SITE!

SofaPillows-blogQ: How would you describe your store aesthetic?
A: Lockwood is a curated lifestyle store. I love black & white, gold accents, worn wood, and classic design. These are the elements I think about when stocking the shop. You can find a little bit of everything here: candles, women’s clothing, greeting cards galore, tabletop, coffee, organic peanut butters, tribal throw rugs, notebooks, and a large kids section. Just to name a few things…

AstoriaMaptote-blogQ: What’s a fun or interesting store fact?
A: Lockwood is an old Astoria street name. The minute I saw the name on a list I knew it was my new store name.

Q: What was your inspiration/motivation to open your store?
A: Astoria is rapidly changing and I knew my old 400 sq. ft. space just couldn’t keep up with neighborhood demand. I spent YEARS thinking about growing, moving, or just generally expanding the business. I was in a local beer & cheese shop one day when the owner told me about a space that had just gone on the market and I was meeting with the broker less than 24 hours later. The rest is Lockwood history.

cheese-beer-blogQ: If there is one thing someone “must do” when they visit your area, what would you recommend?
A: There isn’t just one thing! I also run a popular neighborhood blog, We Heart Astoria, so I’m full of “must dos.” My short list would include brunch at Vesta, grilled cheese at The Queens Kickshaw, Museum of the Moving Image, or an afternoon at Bohemian Beer Garden.

Q: What blogs/magazines do you follow?
A: Style By Emily Henderson, Making It Lovely, I Suwannee, Oh Joy, and about a million others! I avidly read NY Magazine and Domino when it comes out in actual print form. The online version is dead to me.

Q: What’s next for you/your store? Any upcoming sales/events?
A: We’re opening the backyard and hosting The Secret Garden, a pop-up coffee shop! We’ll have plants, classes, treats and so much more. We’re totally beyond excited about it.SecretGardenBackground-blog

Posted on May 30th, 2014 by Maptote

Store Spotlight – NuBe Green


Domestically sourced, environmentally conscious, creatively curated: NuBe Green is a one-stop-shop for quality gift items that reflect not only a sense of style, but also a sense of responsibility as a consumer. We are delighted to have our products on their shelves and wanted to give you a peek inside their shop in Seattle!

Q: Who are the owners/operators and when did your store open?
A: Ruth True opened NuBe Green in 2009.

NUBE_MAPTOTE007NUBE_MAPTOTE009Q: How would you describe your store aesthetic?
A: We’re focused on creating a space for unique, handcrafted pieces that showcase the artistry and innovation of small-scale producers. Our offering ranges from one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry, to handcrafted bags and accessories (like Maptote’s!), to beautifully designed furniture made from salvaged materials. The one thing all of our products have in common is that they’re made and sourced in the USA.

NUBE_MAPTOTE002Q: What’s a fun or interesting store fact?
A: Our founder, Ruth, has an eye for the eclectic and a penchant for unique vintage items. A year or so ago she realized that many of the items she’d been picking up at antique stores and estate sales would work great for private events, so she opened a spinoff of NuBe Green called NuBe Rentals that offers unique items like dish sets, cutlery, bud vases, and candelabras for rent at special occasions.

NUBE_MAPTOTE004Q: What was your inspiration/motivation to open your store?
A: The values that inspired NuBe’s creation have always been important to Ruth, but it wasn’t until a two-week visit to China, where she saw some of the negative effects of offshore production, that she was moved to open a business that was truly invested in U.S manufacturing and more sustainable living.
Since then, we at NuBe Green have tried to share the stories behind our products in order to inform and inspire people about about the importance of mindful consuming. As Ruth has said, “The most important thing to me is that NuBe sparks conversation–conversation about thoughtful, responsible consumption most of all, but also about challenging the paradigm of globalization by supporting local and domestic producers.”

Q: If there is one thing someone “must do” when they visit your area, what would you recommend?
A: We are located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, which is known for its trendy shops and restaurants, its colorful citizens, and its own brand of Pacific Northwest flair. Be sure to stop by Oddfellows Café + Bar for a few local beers, then browse the books at Elliot Bay Bookstore before heading over to Neumos to catch a show.

Q: What blogs/magazines do you follow?
A: At the moment, we are loving the e-newsletters we get from Best Made. Also, Smitten Kitchen inspires a lot of food related daydreams, and we always enjoy reading Seattle Magazine every month.

NUBE_MAPTOTE008Q: What’s next for you/your store? Any upcoming sales/events?
A: We have a few promotions in mind, but generally we try not to bombard people with “Sale, Sale, Sale!” messaging. This year we plan to get even more involved with local events and organizations that align with our core values of local production and mindful consuming.

As we enter our 5th year, we’ll continue to grapple with challenging questions: how do small retailers stay relevant and successful in the age of online giants like Amazon.com? Will brick and mortar stores survive? If not, what impact will that have on our communities? We invite everyone to participate in these important discussions with us.

Posted on April 24th, 2014 by Maptote

Store Spotlight – Urban Attitude


Meet our newest stockist in Australia: Urban Attitude! This Melbourne gift store has it all, from well-designed to wacky-fun, they have the coolest items for any occasion. Our Maptotes just hit their floors and even got a sweet window display! Get to know Urban Attitude with our Q & A below:

Q: Who are the owners/operators and when did your store open?
A: Ben & Morris Bardas. First store opened in 2006 in St Kilda. Since then we’ve grown to 5 stores in iconic Melbourne locations.

owners-blogQ: How would you describe your store aesthetic?
A: Quirky and cool, yet minimalist. Some of our products are pretty bright and crazy so we prefer to have a simple store aesthetic to let the product speak for itself.

stores-blogQ: What’s a fun or interesting store fact?
A: Our Fitzroy store use to be a post office

Q: What was your inspiration/motivation to open your store?
A: There were no cool gift store Melbourne and we wanted to open a store that had the best choice of crazy, weird and quirky products.


Q: If there is one thing someone “must do” when they visit your area, what would you recommend?
A: We’ve got 5 stores so here’s a few of the best things to do in Melbourne: visit the St Kilda beach, explore the streets of Fitzroy, check out the shops on Chapel street.

Q: What blogs/magazines do you follow?
A: The Fancy (cause they have cool stuff) and TimeOut Melbourne for cool stuff to do around Melbourne.

Q: What’s next for you/your store? Any upcoming sales/events?
A: Opening more new stores in Australia.

Posted on March 20th, 2014 by Maptote

Store Spotlight – Cameron Marks Boutique

cameronmarks_logo-blogCameron Marks is a finely curated boutique of fashion and accessories located in beautiful Santa Cruz, CA. We recently created a custom Santa Cruz Maptote for their store and loved working with owner Vanessa Ambrose. Whether you are looking for the next trend or a timeless piece, Cameron Marks is the place to find it! Read more about Vanessa and the boutique below:

Q: Who are the owners/operators and when did your store open?

A: My name is Vanessa Ambrose and I opened Cameron Marks in 2005… A self-described designer, art, and fashion junkie… I moved from my hometown in Australia to Santa Cruz, CA in 1998 after a backpacking trip across Europe and through Morocco. After almost ten years, Cameron Marks has now grown to include an eclectic gift store, as well as a finely curated designer clothing boutique.

CM2pic1-blogQ: How would you describe your store aesthetic?

A: Both Cameron Marks Boutiques are housed in a converted Brussels sprout packing factory, which makes for a striking contrast! I love mixing all things modern, minimal, contemporary, and timeless. In both stores, we carry a little bit of somethin’ for everyone… Over the years, we have been able to piece together some really incredible collections that make for a unique and distinct point of view.

IMG_7910-2-blogQ: Tell us about your city/neighborhood. Why do you love it?

A: Santa Cruz is an amazing little surfer town with tons of history. It’s slowly growing to become quite a ‘hip’ place to live — with great cafes, gorgeous parks, and a budding restaurant scene. We are located on the West Side of Santa Cruz, right near the ocean. It’s a wonderfully tight-nit town with laid back friendly people.

Q: What blogs/magazines do you follow?

A: Here at Cameron Marks, we are always reading tons of blogs! It’s important to us that we are on top of all the trends… Emmas DesignBlogg, based in Sweden, is at the top of my list for interior inspiration with a cool Scandinavian spin. I also like The Satorialist, Refinery29, Garance Dore, and The Penny Rose (a great local fashion blog!). As far as magazines, I love the Australian fashion magazine Russh, as well as Darling Magazine. A flawlessly printed publication with wonderfully written articles… I love the mag so much, we now stock Darling at Cameron Marks.

cameronmarks_4-blogQ: What’s next for you/your store? Any upcoming sales/events?

A: At Cameron Marks, we are all about expanding and growing! We are hoping to launch an online store within the next few months… We are also in the beginning stages of preparing for our annual ‘Indian Summer’ party. Every September, we throw a massive bash in the courtyard where our stores reside…..Everyone’s invited…. xx.

Posted on March 6th, 2014 by Maptote

Store Spotlight: The Library Shop (San Diego)

SD-Library-Shop-headerThe Library Shop is a fun and inspired gift shop located in the brand new San Diego Central Library. The shop is a non-profit owned by the San Diego Public Library Foundation and the Friends of the San Diego Library, so all proceeds go to benefit the entire library system. We recently worked with store Manager and Buyer, Erin Zlotnik, to create a custom Maptote of the Libraries of San Diego for the shop. See below for a little peek inside the store and to learn about some of Erin’s favorite things about San Diego!

SD-Library-Shop-erinQ: How would you describe your store aesthetic?

A: The store is a cross between a museum store and a funky local boutique. I want it to feel warm and inviting to the library’s guests. I try to support local artisans whenever possible, so we stock a lot of San Diego-made items as well as things I find through curated sites like Scoutmob.

Q: Why do you love your city or neighborhood?

A: I love where the new San Diego library is located. We’re right in the heart of the East Village, which is an urban neighborhood just east of the Gaslamp quarter, next to Petco Park. It feels like new restaurants are opening all the time, and the streets are full of young people and their dogs. It’s a lively, walkable neighborhood and there are no other gift stores nearby.

Q: When not in your store, where is the next most likely place you’d be?

A: When not in my store, I can probably be found either lounging with a book at Coronado Beach, or wandering the 30th and University corridor in North Park, home to many of my favorite restaurants, bars, boutiques and coffee shops.

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant in your city/neighborhood? 

A: My favorite restaurant in San Diego? That’s so hard! The food scene here is really good these days. For pizza, I love Blind Lady Ale House. For a date with my husband, I always love the outdoor patio at Jayne’s Gastropub. And for coffee, I’m partial to the pour-over brew at Roast Coach, which has a little stand near the library downtown.

SD-Library-Shop-foodQ: If there is one thing someone “must do” when they visit your area, what would you recommend?

A: Must-do’s in San Diego include hiking Torrey Pines cliffs in La Jolla, walking the beach in Coronado and ending with a drink at the Hotel del Coronado, taking the San Diego Zoo Skyfari over Balboa Park, and maybe a trip to one of our many up-and-coming breweries for a beer tasting!

Q: What was the inspiration/motivation to open the store?

A: The inspiration for opening our store came from the excitement over opening such a stunning new library downtown. Our community waited for this to be built for many years, and there was a definite thought that tourists might want to take home something special from their visit. I was hired just a few months before opening and I immediately saw the potential to make the space a really beautiful shop in a neighborhood that seemed ready for it. The fact that we give back to the library just makes it even more rewarding.

Q: What’s next for you/your store? Any upcoming sales/events? 

A: We just had a big promotion for Small Business Saturday, which was really successful. I love that people are excited about the “shop local” movement! Next up will be getting through the holidays, and then we’ll turn our focus to spring events. We have some great non-conventional author events in the works, as well as some craft days and much more. Since we’re brand new, we’re trying to think outside the box and try things that haven’t been done before, especially at a library!

Q: What blogs/magazines do you follow?

A: I don’t read as many blogs as I used to before I took this job, but I enjoy Simple Lovely, Sprouted Kitchen, Sweetfineday and 101 Cookbooks. I also love Thug Kitchen, though I read it more for the laughs than the recipes! For magazines, I stick to the basics: Sunset, Bon Appetit and Kinfolk.

Q: Where do you find all of your products?

A: I find my products in a variety of ways: through sales reps with great small lines and through Etsy and Scoutmob. I also meet local vendors around town who sell in the shop. And then there are lines I find when I’m out shopping in other places. If I love something enough to bring it home, it’s a fair assumption some of my customers will love it, too.

Posted on January 21st, 2014 by Maptote