small, local, independent, brick-and-mortar

That’s where I’ll be doing my holiday shopping this year. I’m lucky to live in a part of the country that still has many one-location, independent, locally-owned shops — enough that I rarely set foot in a mall. It’s important to me that I support fellow small business owners, interact with people who live and work nearby, and contribute to my local economy.

Here are some of my favorite shops that I’ll be visiting in the next few weeks. Hope you give them a chance too!

Roslindale Village

handmade slippers from Joanne Rossman

Jamaica Plain

  • Boing! JP’s Toy Shop – Toys, games, puzzles… in short, everything a kid could want.
  • Fire Opal – Truly gorgeous handmade jewelry, clothing, ceramics and art. Trust me, you will drool.
  • On Centre – Fun, gifty, and some smarty-pants kind of stuff.
Peacock tile by Xenia Taler from Fire Opal


  • Brookline Booksmith – My favorite bookstore of all time! They’ve expanded their gift shop — you can find something for everyone here.
  • Mint Julep – Women’s clothing and accessories from US and European designers. Orla Kiely, anyone?
  • Henry Bears Park – A really great selection of toys and games for all ages.


  • Helena’s – Simply perfect women’s clothing boutique. Think Anthropologie, but better quality, better prices, and a staff who knows their stuff. (So it’s not exactly Cambridge, but it’s just up Mass Ave. And as far as I’m concerned, anything on that side of the river is Cambridge)
  • Nomad – For that eclectic globe-trotting look. Clothing, jewelry, home décor and folk art from around the world.
  • Abodeon – Mid-century modern furniture and home accessories. They were around before mid-century became the new black.
  • Porter Square Books – Another awesome local bookstore. Stop at their little café for a snackytizer and coffee.

Any local gems from your part of the world that you’d like to share?

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