Thursday, December 25, 2008

Angelo Lambrou's New York City Atelier

One of my good friends, Janet Clayton, had a Christmas tea for a small group friends. It is always a treat to check out her vintage style home. This year I spotted a French chair tucked in a corner, her newest find from Urban Farmhouse. It's a luscious chair that could easily be found in a fashion designer's reminded me to blog about Angelo Lambrou's atelier in the eclectic East Village, New York City.

Mr. Lambrou’s work encompasses deconstructed beaded wear, evening wear and alternative bridal wear. Detail is paramount. He cuts fabric with precision, allowing his signature style to flow softly and elegantly over curves. Each garment is lined with silk chameuse and many hand sewn with Indian and crystal beads. Inspired by his Mediterranean and South African background, he loves worldly, lavish fabrics and is noted for his bias cuts - details like wispy, almost nonexistent shoulder straps and airy, asymmetrical silhouettes have created quite a following.

Clients gush over the hospitality they receive from the friendly designer and staff. Some have reported hugs and a glass of vino in the private salon. Among his list of clients are Goldie Hawn (love her!), Selma Hayek, Alyssa Milano who have been showing up on the red carpet in his fluid and tailored lines. Angelo Lambrou is an emerging star.

He attended the highly competitive Leggats Academy of Fashion in Johannesburg and also studied at St. Martins in London . The NYC atelier opened in 2000. I love the dreamy interior of this cute shop as well as the inviting European facade.

When you have a moment check out Love this blog! - initially I thought her dress was from Angelo, but Didi said she got it in SOHO at Morgane Le Fay. You will love her pics!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Feather Your Nest

Gina Drennon, Founder of Feather Your Nest

Feather Your Nest made the cover of Romantic Homes this year!

I have been collecting fallen nests since I was a little girl. I am fascinated by all the hard work that goes into making those special cozy houses. So, naturally I was delighted when I learned about a cute shop called, Feather Your Nest, located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Gina Drennon, the creator and founder of this enchanting concept is an amazing spirit. Her carefully curated vignettes are whimsical, romantic, jolly, cozy, quaint and unexpected.

Feather Your Nest opened in 2003 in the tourist resort area of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Gina founded the shop as a way to combine her passion for vintage and unique gifts. She has fun with her inventory and does an impeccable job selecting lines that helped her garner a reputation as being the place to go for that perfect gift. The locals are loyal to Gina returning frequently to view her ever-changing offerings. Tourists return year after year to stock up on their favorite finds for their nests.

Gina stays abreast of trends in design and decoration so have fun shopping on her exciting website, which she created and maintains. That is a full time job right there! Gina is also a marketing guru and has been featured in numerous high profile magazines, including the November 2005 issue of In Style as one of “The Best of the Web” and most recently the “Shopkeeping” section of Romantic Homes Magazine.

This shopkeeper works hard! And, she is ALSO a wife to Mike and mother to Avery and Carter.

I had many pics to select from, but stayed pretty much with the holiday theme since I am in the Christmas spirit. Visit her site at to see more pics or visit her photostream at

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Notting Hill Cakes

I love the word boutique. It conjures up images of quaint inns and nooks with luscious merchandise. Being a foodie, it is fun to stumble upon a boutique food store where all the items are displayed like works of art. I ounce found a boutique berry shop in Paris where fresh raspberries and blackberries were the sole focus. The berries were on pedestals and had lovely foliage tucked in around them. Exquisite! Unfortunately, that was pre cute shop blog and I didnt save the contact info. But, I do have a wonderful boutique bakery to share with you. Notting Hill Cakes in Tokyo. The shop is an architect designed space on two floors, which is both modern and welcoming. There is a cafe space and a to go counter. In addition to their cakes, they offer teas, coffees and alcoholic drinks.
All baked goods are prepared on the premises daily using the finest ingredients. The founders are Mark and Sayeh Peterson. Mark opened his first bakery in London in 1990. He brought his same high standards with him to Tokyo. He uses only the very best ingredients such as Madagascar vanilla, 72% cocoa Belgian chocolate and fresh fruits. Everything is baked on the premises by hand in small batches. They have brand identity. Love their logo - is it a sun? A lion? Give up?? It is the view of a cupcake from above. Clever!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cowgirl Creamery

Photo credit dionhinchcliffe
Photo Credit wastrel

Phot Credit - Zanyshani

Sue Conley and Peggy Smith opened Cowgirl Creamery in Pt. Reyes Station, CA. The venture started in an old barn. They created an artisan cheese plant and shop and started producing wonderful cheeses made with organic milk from their neighbor, Straus Family Creamery. Then they opened up another cute cheese shop in San Francisco. They make a select collection of soft and aged cheeses. Today their business includes their original shop, one in San Francisco and Washington DC. They also built a second creamery in Petaluma, CA in 2008.

Why artisan cheese?These ladies believe artisan cheesemaking preserves a rural way of life. That farmstead cheese from small-scale producers always has a story, quite unlike large scale cheese factories. One can name a cheese and identify its cheese maker, the breed of cow, goat or sheep and where it grazed. It is that special! All of the cheesemakers that they work with have great respect for the land and the animals and feel they are the stewards of the farmland and animals. Artisan cheesemaking helps to insure jobs in rural areas, and contribute to protecting farmlands from development.
This is a great story and I encourage you to visit their website and try some of their delicious creations.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Back!

Hello Everyone,
So sorry to have been absent for some time- I injured my arm this summer and it was very difficult to type with the cast. THEN, we lost all communication for two weeks due to Hurricane Ike. We now have power, cleaned up the toppled trees and restored and replaced plant material and other items affected by the strong winds. I will follow up late tonight or tomorrow with a new cute shop for you! Please check back tomorrow. Thank you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sabater Hnos Update

Photo Credit KT
Photo Credit Nancy

Since my last posting, I heard from Martin Sabater, one of the siblings mentioned in my previous post. He was so kind and provided me with additional information about their soap business. They have another cute soap shop in Barcelona, Spain. The pic above is the storefront in Barcelona.

First, there is another sibling, Milagros who is 11, so together there are 4 siblings to carry on the business. They have an additional 15 employees working both in Argentina and Spain to help them with their booming business. All the brothers have gone through an apprenticeship with their father to learn the soap trade.

The history started in 1937 when Grandfather Sebastian Sabater served in the Spanish Army at Palma de Mallorca. It was at this time where he got interested in the distillation of almond oil from Mallorca and creating aromatic compositions. He then decided to open a store at Obispo Maura street, where he commercialized his own compositions. He met his wife there and returned in to Buenos Aires in 1943. He went on to school to study chemistry, mechanics and perfumery. Soon after, he started his first company I.T.A.S.A. (Industrias de tocador y afines sociedad anonima) and was responsible for the creation of all the fragrances for Fulton Products, Argentina. He also designed, constructed and chaired for Watteau, a perfume and cosmetics factory. Meanwhile, one of his other interests, mechanics, led him to design prototype machines capable of producing soap and produced and sold to many large firms such as Unilever, Reckitt & Colman, Procter & Gamble, Haarmann & Reimer, Bayer, IFF, Givaudan, Firmenich, Helena Rubinstein, etc.

During that period he had a son (Martin's Father) who traveled to Grasse (France) and trained at perfumeries, such as Roure Bertrand-Dupont and Manne. He later went on to Holzminden (Germany) for a training in soap making at Dragocco and Haarmann & Reimer. When he returned with all this vast knowledge he and his father devoted time to aromatic composition. Their business created fragrances for different companies until the Grandfather passed away in 1976. After his father's passing, he and his brother created a premium cosmetic line called Vierge that was sold at Harrods and other exclusive shops. International trading issues and illness caused the brothers to dissolve their business.

It wasn't long before the grandchildren decided to follow in their father and grandfather's footsteps. The first grandson, Sebastian, took the semi-abandon machinery and created new soap petals in 1993 and Martin and his Eliana got involved with in the development and marketing of products and produced products for third parties. It was in early 2002 when the grandchildren decided to open their first cute shop at Palermo and work on products solely for their brand as well as products for spas, hotels, museum, airlines throughout the world.

Eliana, decided to move to Spain to introduce their products to that market. During the first year she established a wholesale business at Vidre 1 street (Plaza Real de Barcelona) with very small machinery sent by air cargo. The following year they opened a small plant to handle large business in Spain, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Warsaw and Istanbul. Then 2006, they opened their first store in Spain at the Gothic district in Barcelona. So there you have it! The fabulous entrepreneurial story of Sabater Hnos! A story of passion, design, skill and the love of family tradition.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sabater Hnos (Hermanos) - Buenos Aires

Photo Credit- Marcela

Photo Credit BradleyB

photo credit- Ryan

photo credit- Mari
Located in the cool and trendy Palermo district of Buenos Aires is a 70 year old soap company with a new vibe. Sabater Hnos has been producing wonderful soaps for three generation. Siblings Eliana, Martin, and Sebastian Sabater have revamped the company image, giving it a hip edge. They preserved the traditional manufacturing methods, but updated the scents to include green tea and cedar and created new and funky soap shapes that look like people, animals, grains, confetti and paint chips. The interior of the shop is embellished with retro beakers and other soap making apparatuses as well as pics from the past. The colors of the soaps are beautiful and lively...a soap for everyone. I love how they are displayed in simple cardboard boxes. Pure and simple!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Paxton & Whitfield - Cheesemongers- London

We have those special moments in our lives where everything seems perfect in the world. If we could only freeze that moment so it could be savoured a little longer. One such moment for me was in a cheese shop queue in England. Just ahead of me was a young man who apparently had just finishing horseback riding. He was wearing tan breeches and long black riding boots. I am an equestrian so that was thrilling for me. You don't typically see men in riding attire in the United States. The shop interior was cozy and quaint and at the end of the queue was a vast array of wonderfully compelling cheeses. The moment was so English! Next time you are in London, visit Paxton & Whitfield for a perfect English experience. I cant promise equestrians, however, I can promise a journey into the diverse world of artisan cheese matured on site. There are three charming locations to serve you- Stratford Upon Avon, Bath and London. Each with its own inviting ambiance and English Experience.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Atelier Abigail Ahern - London

Atelier Abigail Ahern, circa 2002, is located in London at 137 Upper Street, Islington, N1. It is a lifestyle shop with an eclectic mix of contemporary and vintage furniture, objects, textiles, handcrafted ceramics, lighting and accessories. Abigail scours the globe for interesting items and has garnered recognition and respect from the design field. She carries glass art from Tunisa, orange blossom and jasmine candles, wool sitting cushions, funky bird tables and animal art and hand thrown textiles. Abigail has a relaxed and approachable decorating style and has worked in Europe, America and the Middle East. Atelier Abigail Ahern also provides wedding registration and consultation. I love her crochet lights available in many fun colors.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ami Loutky - Prague--- strings attached!

Photo Credit Daynoir

Prague is the largest city in the Chech Republic. Everyone loves visiting this beautiful city with its cobblestone streets, 1100 year old castle, historic centre and varied architecture. It is the 6th most visited city in Europe. Something that is unique to Prague is its marionette shops. These loutky (puppet) shops are part of the Chech culture. The puppets are handcarved out of lime wood or linden by artists called authors. The puppet faces are oddly familiar and the jointed bodies are dressed in sartorial delights. Some puppets are made from plaster. Ami is a small company with a couple loutky shops in Prague. Next time you are in Prague, go to a folk or art puppetry company to experience this centuries-old tradition. Chech puppetry is considered the best in the world.

Cute Shops By State

The listings below are shops, unless we note studio.
Studios are by appointment only.

feather your nest - eureka
trina turk - la
soolip- west hollywood
a great place-carmel by the sea
cowboy creamery - san fran
rooms & gardens- santa barbara, santa monica, summerland

joseph stannard antiques - litchfield hills

dc2 design - savannah

vintage pine - chicago
brown's antiques- zionsville

accessoris of old - bethesda
rapunsel's - frankenmuth
l'esprit french antiques - harbor springs
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York

michael devine- kinderhook
purl. nyc
angelo lambrou - nyc
redflower - nyc
meg cohen design - nyc
trina turk - nyc
antony todd - nyc
amai - nyc

moulin bleu - nyc
North Carolina
constance boutique - ashville
North Dakota
granville millinery company studio -granville
urban farmhouse - thornville
mootz run - alexandria
green velvet - granville
the blissful - canton
pistacia vera - german village, columbus
Rhode Island
South Carolina

milostile - charleston
South Dakota

hysteria - alexandria
treat - alexandria
West Virginia

cote jardin antiques
hip and tranquil chick

"Cute" Chicks

Coming Soon!
A section about shop owners and what makes them tick.