Shop Tours, Shopping + Products, Small Business

Lucky Shops

August 1, 2008

Obviously I’m a girl who loves a good retail experience. I mean, just look at this roundup of shops both domestic and international. It’s a bit obsessive I know. I think that as much as I love the online world, walking into a beautifully arranged store can be a tad bit more satisfying than the virtual shopping experience. This sounds funny coming out of my mouth as 80% of everything I purchase now is online and I author a blog with most items I write about being solely available on the web. I must admit that I find online shopping more convenient though (for the most part) and usually I find fun perks like discounts or free shipping. I’m divided on this one. I love my retail shopping trips but online stores have a lot to offer a girl like me who isn’t based in the heart of a big city.

Lucky ShopsOoga Booga in LA.

What about you? Do you shop online more than in-store or vice versa (or equally)? What are the benefits of each?

Have you noticed the City Guide section over on the Lucky magazine website? It’s brilliant. My shops section once lived in the right column of this blog and was called City Guide too. Now it’s called Shops and is located directly above this post (yellow tab). I love how Lucky editors hand pick stores from all over the world (mostly fashion and accessories – no home decor but still) and feature a boutique of the week complete with a photo of the owner.

I’ve dreamed of doing this for decor8 when it comes to home design and gift boutiques and I have store tours on the blog from time to time… It would be wonderful to somehow make this a regular feature here but I’m still trying to figure out how and if shops would participate. I’ve had store tours on decor8 since February 2006 but I’d like to step it up a notch and turn it into a more regular feature.

As a reader, are you interested in this?

Especially now since the economy here has taken a hit and people are shopping less frequently, I want to help these shops ride the tide through this period until things change. I’m seeing more and more little stores closing up shop, on the web and in local towns, and it saddens me because not only is the dream of one little store owner over, but what about all those who once had products there? While I’m not encouraging debt or shopping for the sake of buying, I am encouraging everyone to consider how they are spending their money and if quality can start to replace quantity a little more often… Buy one item that you really love for $50 from a small boutique instead of 5 items for $10 each that you merely like from a major retailer. Less stuff, more of what you love, that’s the way to go in this economy but really it’s a good rule of thumb to follow no matter how strong (or not) the local economy is. Wouldn’t you rather have a few good friends than ten that you can’t depend on? Same goes when you shop. And of course, inexpensive things can be of good quality, just because something expensive has a shocking price tag does not make it better. I have a table lamp that I spent $375 on. I also have one that I spent $100 on and another I won on eBay for $30. Do you know that the best of three lamps in terms of quality is the $30 one? The pricey version looks pretty but that’s about it, I’ve already had problems with the socket cup and the harp snapped off!

When it comes to stores, I’d love a photo of the owner, a mini interview, and of course photos of their boutique so we can see all of the goodness. Of course, they’d need to have a website. And I’d like to take it a layer deeper and get insider’s tips on display ideas, how items are sourced, and why the business was started in the first place.

Lucky ShopsMaeve Riley boutique in San Diego.

So I’m putting the idea out there to see if any store owners are reading and if so, would you like to be featured here on decor8? I can develop a special section dedicated to shop owners that would look somewhat like how I’ve organized Faves. Below each image I’d list the shop name and city.

If you are a shop owner and are interested in participating, please contact me using this form. Depending on how many submissions I get and of course, the quality of the images sent, I may try to run one at least once every few weeks. Image quality is the most important to me and of course, the store needs to carry items for the home and/or gifts (no kids, fashion, art galleries, jewelry). So if you’d like to share your shop, no matter where you are located in the word, click here and tell me more. Those who have brick and mortar locations who are also online are preferred but those without will still be considered.

Readers: To view past store tours featured on decor8 click here.

If you have a moment today please visit the Lucky City Guides for a wonderful fashion fix and don’t miss their Boutique of the Week. Great stuff over there.

(images from lucky magazine)


  • Reply deb August 3, 2008 at 11:21 am

    As a small shop keeper- thank you for this post.

    debs last blog post: a day of summer

  • Reply Simone August 3, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Personally I prefer to buy from a beautiful shop with friendly staff, even better if the products are New Zealand (home country) made. I would love a directory of wonderful shops just for convenience, to use when deciding where to go when shopping overseas. Knowing, also, where to source obscure items would be wonderful.

    Soooo FAB idea. :) The downturn in the economy effects me only a little as i try to keep life simple anyways… sourcing beautiful things is still on the agenda.

    Simones last blog post: Welcome to my world

  • Reply Lindsay August 3, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    I really appreciated your comments about buying less by buying quality. As small sustainable design producers, not shopowners, this affects us, as you pointed out. We sell most of our stuff online rather than in boutiques, though we do have some small retailers and we sympathize with them. We’ve been trying to make the argument for careful, quality buying for years but it’s always a struggle competing with the big cheap producers,. People need to vote with their cash. Thanks for encouraging this kind of thinking!

  • Reply paperNstitch August 4, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    I absolutely LOVE all the shops that Lucky is featuring right now. There is not a one on there that I don’t adore.

    paperNstitchs last blog post: Modern Quilts

  • Reply julie August 4, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    I love this idea. Although I regularly check the websites of major retailers, I love to shop in beautiful, independently-owned, small boutiques. Situated between the Bay Area and Sacramento and Napa Wine Country, there is no lack to special, small stores I love to make the rounds at. They curate- like museums- so not only are you getting a product that is not everywhere, but you are also going home with a different appreciation of their displays.

  • Reply Angelia August 5, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    As an independent shop owner, I love to idea of seeing what others are doing in different locations. They offer such uniqueness that big stores can not provide.
    By the way, love the new blog design, been away and just now checking.

    Angelias last blog post: Quilt and Mixed Media Show

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