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February 4 - 7, 2018
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Industry Insights

5 Beautiful Stores Revitalizing Retail on Main Street


From Mt. Vernon, Washington to Ojai, California, Main Streets across America are beginning to see revival. Rural and small towns, once vacant storefronts fill up again; antique stores now sit next to gluten-free bakeries, quilting shops are next to food co-ops, and craft breweries are located next community coffee shops serving organic coffee.

Today, 80% of our population is urban, but roughly 80% of our urban areas are actually small towns. America boasts approximately 27,000 small towns and villages that are home to more than 30 million people. According to author Ann B. Daigle, an urban planner and development expert, “Small town America is on the verge of a Renaissance led by new types of entrepreneurial pioneers wanting to make a real place for their lives and livelihoods.”

At the heart of the revival of Main Street are retailers opening shops and/or changing their current shops to match customers’ tastes. Here are five West Coast shops that serve as expert examples of shops designed to delight local and visiting shoppers. Their merchandise mixes are so well done that you could not help but shop them.

The Edit – Whidbey Island (Langley), Washington

The Edit is an upscale shop located on Whidbey Island. Founded by architect and artist David Price and his wife Christine, their shop is a hybrid art gallery and retail store. The expertly curated space features a variety of gifts, tableware, kitchen accessories, jewelry and apparel from 60 local and international designers. All the designers and products they carry aim to be unique and not easily found elsewhere. “We wanted to do something that no one else was —  carrying well-crafted goods with longevity works for our shoppers,” said Christine. What’s best, they ship anywhere in the U.S. for free! {{Their Facebook}}

Joyworks – Snohomish, Washington

Joyworks is part women’s clothing boutique and part furniture store. Located in historic Snohomish Antique Row, just steps from the famous Snohomish Bakery off 1st and Union, this store changed it’s business model to cater to the high volume of area tourists. In the boutique area (which they’ve also built into a full e-commerce business), affordably priced, on-trend women’s apparel and accessories fly off the shelves purchased by small town loving, music festival going millennials. In the home decor areas, locally made art, chalk painted furniture, and commercially produced housewares are designed to pair by color themes and current #MyHomeVibe trends. Looking for a sign that talks about your love of shiplap, antique furniture, and chickens? You’ll find it here. {{Their Facebook}}

In The Field – Ojai, California

In The Field is an amazing lifestyle journey created by the proprietress, Bianca and her husband Channon Roe. Bianca, a former runway model, converted an old thrift store that was housed in an old Spanish mission style business into one of the best stores in this new weekend destination spot just one hour south of Santa Barbara. They have dedicated areas for men’s, women’s and children’s goods and the collections change seasonally so that visitors always have a reason to come back. What we love most is how they have all sorts of home decor (pillows, linens, tableware) with one-of-a-kind vintage housewares selected by Channon (a well-known design trade professional). Their apothecary is also something to take note of. {{Their Instagram}}

Keven Craft Rituals – Eugene, Oregon

Keven is a unique apothecary shop & art gallery located in the Whitaker area that carries their own custom products as well as local artisans. Originally founded in Brooklyn, NY, the company sells organic, artisanal, small batch, unisex, luxury skincare products that are handmade from raw ingredients and therapeutic grade essential oils. They support the local Eugene artist’s community by providing space for local makers at a reasonable rate, while offering rentable office and meeting space for local groups, part-time businesses, and other local professionals. When you visit, make sure you stop at The Wandering Goat for espresso and the best taco in the world at Tacovore. If you want to carry their products, contact them for wholesale opportunities as they sell their product line internationally. {{Their Facebook}}

Perry + Carlson – Mt. Vernon, Washington

Perry and Carlson is an art-inspired retail shop featuring a soulful line of products, including modern furniture, handmade goods for the home, gifts, and curated vintage. Like The Edit, the founders, Trina and Tristan, have an extensive background in art and architecture. After selling their Seattle home, they bought a building in downtown Mt. Vernon (an area with a massive community development plan) and converted it into their live and workspace. In it, you will find unique jewelry created by local area artisans, bags and small pouches sewn by a Chanel seamstress and Tristan’s own conceptual artwork. Both founders are committed to bringing alternative ways to work and live for artists to resource rich areas just outside Seattle. {{Their Facebook}}

Whether you’re a new or current shop owner, we hope that these five examples inspire you to think of news ways to use your physical spaces, update your product mix, change your distribution models and encourage you to explore your relationship with e-commerce. For more inspiration, follow NY NOW® on Instagram or Facebook, and during the summer market, use #NYNOW to tag what you’re bringing into your stores!

Photos: Macala Wright (In The Field, Perry & Carlson, Joyworks) | The Edit | Keven Craft Rituals | Company Instagrams Accounts