Wednesday, November 30, 2016

4 Shops in San Diego

Small Business Saturday spent in North Park


The Saturday after Thanksgiving was — and always is — Small Business Saturday. I was all about it on Instagram in the week leading up to this year's shopping holiday, sharing some of my favorite ways to #shopsmall in Milwaukee. But for me, I was actually shopping small in San Diego's North and South Park neighborhoods this year. 

And let me tell you: It was a blast! It was also like this consumerist monster awoke inside of me. You'll see why. Each of these shops has its own unique vibe that spoke to different sides of my gimme-gimme sensibilities. Luckily, I mostly capped my spending at cards (surprise!) and fridge magnets, of which I'm always in desperate need. It was for the best. 

Casa Artelexia
It's like a rainbow of Frida Kahlo confetti exploded in this shop, which is new to North Park (though there's a first location in Little Italy, the owner told me). I wish I'd had nothing but time to browse and nothing but extra suitcases to cart home the fruits of shopping at Casa Artelexia. I would have jumped at some of the embroidered folky pillows, the colorful linens, hand-painted tea towels, and the many Frida Kahlo holiday ornaments and paper doll books. 



Communal Coffee & Native Poppy
If I lived in North Park and zombies were coming and I knew it was only a matter of time before someone ate my brains, I'd camp out at Communal Coffee/Native Poppy. It's part coffee shop and eatery, part flower shop, part gift shop. I'll get into the eating in a later post – what's important now are the flowers and gifts. The arrangements are everything I ever wanted in a bouquet, and though the gift shop itself is small, it's highly curated. You'll find gorgeous handmade purses, notebooks & cards, tiny clocks, pretty vases, and stacks of enamel pins. The vibe in the shop is the perfect mix of hip & clean and pretty & Pinterest-y. 



Simply Local 
This more rustic haven describes itself as "a merchant marketplace featuring over 55 locally-owned businesses." We didn't spend a ton of time in Simply Local — simply because, again, I just wanted everything and had to walk away sooner than later. One of my favorite finds was this t-shirt by Circles & Squares. The owner (or manager?) was a delight, too — he complimented my red rain jacket, saying "it's just so you!" Here, take my money, sir — happy to oblige! 



Pigment
This place is like floating on a cotton candy cloud through the most whimsical, sherbet-colored magic town. Everything at Pigment is organized by hue, with whimsical goodies artfully displayed in every nook and cranny. The space is sprawling and lofted, packed with everything from unicorn statues to rainbow zebras to feathery pink flamingo ornaments to tiny glittered houses to planters and succulents galore. There's also a wall filled with books, clothes, and décor for the little ones. And cards! Cards everywhere. Is this heaven? 


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