Some people loathe shopping. I know, it’s weird, but these individuals walk among us. Whether you despise browsing stores for the right outfit/gift or enjoy it and treat it like a sport, you should know who’s deemed the best of the best. Your marching orders are to visit these sacred places, as the community has spoken and deemed them worthy of your time, money and fascination.
Let’s start with the gift shop mecca, Rebel Reclaimed. I know firsthand how adorable the owners are and how the shop is packed out with all kinds of amazing finds — pillows, cards, vases, jewelry, wall art, drinkware and novelties. They’ve won the city over with their wit, charm and humorous coffee mugs, and when someone buys you Rebel goods you never let that person out of your life, you hear?!
The Eastown shop has been awarded bragging rights for winning first place in both the gift shop and home décor categories. Another fine contender, The Found Cottage, is a place to peruse gathered goods found and new. It’s no surprise this place is becoming a destination for large furniture, artwork and home goods you can’t find anyplace else. In a nutshell: women be shopping (and they’re coming here in droves).
If we’re talking clothing, we’re happy to see Slate become a big deal. The men’s clothing and accessories store debuted this past November and it’s apparent Grand Rapids has opened its arms and wallets to this much-needed retail space for men. The downtown shop quickly jumped into a top three mention, along with powerhouse clothing names like A.K. Rikk’s, who found votes in the women’s clothing category as well. Looking to women’s clothing, Lee & Birch is quickly gaining favor, and its new location in Rockford is likely helping with visibility. Personally, I’m betting many votes were cast just for the jewelry alone.
With all this talk of shopping, funds could be running low. If you’re needing a deal on brand-name, gently used clothing, everyone agrees Conscious Collective is doing it right. Maybe it’s the fact that the shop carries plus-sizes, or it could be the handmade artisan gifts peppered among the awesome second-hand scores. There’s many wonderful thrift/consignment stores in the area and to be lauded with top honors is a huge accomplishment. Muscling its way to the top has got to feel good for a small shop built from the clothing off your back. Keep showing the rest of them how to hustle.
GIFT SHOP: Pink Lemonade
In my second life, I come back and work at Pink Lemonade and they pay me in STUFF — super cute stuff soaked in sass like mugs that say “Miss Fancy Pants.” Wade through the cards, candles, journals and clothing for little ones and you’ll also spot a lot of girl-power gifts (which is why I’m a huge fan). If you love pink, laughing is your favorite, and you have gifts to buy (you always do!) then you’ll see why this place has my heart. Also, word on the street is that a second location is opening in Kalamazoo in the fall. Plus, the store carries the ultra fabulous ban.do line, so... 703 Bagley Ave., East Grand Rapids —by Missy Black
THRIFT/CONSIGNMENT: Rosa’s Closet
Here’s an upscale resale boutique with an eye for statement pieces. From skirts and tops to shoes and jewelry, every piece is hand-picked for world style domination. The store’s strong suit seems to be luxury pieces such as Italian leather loafers and deeply discounted Rag & Bone blazers, along with formal attire like cocktail party dresses or beaded and lace gowns. I’m repeatedly dazzled by Rosa’s handbag selection and the surprise Kate Spade pieces. The shop even offers the chance to host private parties (imagine me raising my hand enthusiastically). 2141 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids —by Missy Black