Hello, Great.ly!

One of my favorite things about my job is scouting for independent artists and designers. I try to buy from small businesses as much as I can, not to mention include them in my writing.

This was one of the reasons I was so happy to discover Great.ly – a platform for independent designers to showcase their work and for "tastemakers" to curate that work into online boutiques. Think Etsy meets KEEP meets Pinterest.

I spent some time a few weekends back working on my boutique, and I'm pleased as punch to show off a few of my favorite finds with you lovely folks today:

It's important to note that while all of the pieces are sold by independent designers, many (if not all) are also completely handmade, making them that much more unique and special. Now the only trick is to stop myself from buying everything in my own boutique.

Boutique Bucket List: Part II

Take II on Boutique Bucket List, a feature where I choose a few of the stores that I would visit on my dream boutique road trip.

Aside from longstanding favorites like Need Supply Co. and Amelia, there are an endless list of boutiques that I'm desperate to see in person rather than just shop online.  Part I of the Boutique Bucket List included Sydney's Girl & Graaf, New York's The Apartment (brick & mortar shop of The Line), LA's Poketo, and Paris's The Broken Arm. Here are the rest of my faves:

WESTERLIND - Nobody but nobody does outdoor gear like New York's Westerlind, which is self-described as a place where "technical gear and apparel meet a style-minded boutique". Dream. Westerlind has curated a collection of cozy sweaters, wool blankets, and snuggly slippers that somehow all make perfect sense sitting next to something like an axe. P.S. - I also profiled Westerlind for KEEP a few months back! At this point, I might be at certified stalker level. 

Favorite Westerlind finds: Samuji Kamu Sweater ($299) + Military Wool Blanket ($184.50)



TENOVERSIX - TENOVERSIX is one of the original cool-girl shops and, aside from the killer store decor, offers the must lust-worthy shoes, accessories, and beauty products ever from designers like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Clare Vivier, Rodin, Want Les Essentiels, and tons more. Also, the owner is the wife of Jason Schwartzman. If that doesn't convince you that TENOVERSIX is the best store ever, nothing will. 

Favorite TENOVERSIX finds: 3.1 Phillip Kim Quinn Loafers (now $487) + Lizzie Fortunato Jewels Safari Clutch ($339)



BROOK FARM GENERAL STORE - I kick myself on a daily basis for not visiting Brooklyn-based Brook Farm General Store when I lived in Greenpoint. Featuring a well-curated selection of home, cooking, and lifestyle goods, BFGS (we're that close) is basically a small town country store right smack in the middle of NYC's trendiest neighborhood. It doesn't get better than that.

Favorite Brook Farm finds: Waxed Canvas Book Bag ($108) + Enamel Butter Pot ($45) 

Boutique Bucket List: Part I

If you're like me, you're obsessed with independent boutiques. Ordering a gift for someone is an absolute treat because it means I get to searching, usually online, for something from one of my favorite stores.

The thing is, a lot of these online boutiques exist live and in person, I've just never had the chance to visit. I have a dream of going on a boutique road trip one day where I'll casually (somehow) drive across the globe; energetically popping into all of my dream stores, befriending the owners, stocking up on fancy L:a Bruket candles, and Instagramming as I go.

In the meantime, I'll be dreaming behind a laptop if you need me. Here's my boutique bucket list for that one-day trip: 

GIRL & GRAAF - A super sweet Sydney-based  store that epitomizes all-things Aussie (in my mind, at least). Girl & Graaf is clean, bright, airy, warm and friendly, and stocks brands like Sugar Paper and Uashmama. P.S. - A few months ago, I profiled Girl & Graaf for KEEP.com!

Favorite Girl & Graaf finds: Lemon Tree & Mandarin Bench Spray (Bondi Wash, $20AUS) + a classic Panama Hat ($299 AUS). 



THE APARTMENTThe Apartment appears to be a fully stocked New York City apartment, complete with clothing, accessories, furniture, dishware, and more. The catch? It's really more or less a showroom for the online version of the retailer called The Line. The Apartment allows you to see the items in person and imagine them in your (less fabulous) home, and also to meet the designers and learn about their inspiration. Color me SO jealous.

Favorite The Line finds:  Fritz Hansen Nesting Tables ($2,197) + Pallas Mercure Jacket ($2,350)



POKETOThis is my online go-to shop for all things fun, gifty, and colorful. The shop opened it's brick and mortar outpost in Downtown LA's Arts District and was born out of the idea of "art for your everyday" - taking it off the gallery walls and into your everyday life. It's also run by an adorable husband and wife team who I'd like to hang out with.

Favorite finds: Linen Coated Trays ($18) + Pattern Pens ($4.50)



THE BROKEN ARMOf course a concept shop in Paris came up with the coolest store name of all time. Of course it also doubles as a cafe, is located in the Marais, and features designers like Kenzo and Carven. I HAVE to get to this store one day, even if I will be sweaty, awkward, and afraid of looking lame the entire time I'm there.


Coming up soon, part II of my boutique bucket list. Stay tuned, gang!