Category Archives: Retail Locations

Where to Go? What to Eat? Newport, RI

Newport, a gorgeous coastal city located in New England’s Rhode Island, is famous for its vast harbors filled with sailboats and yachts as well as its historic mansions, several of which have been converted into museums. The city has one of the highest concentrations of colonial homes in the nation in its downtown Historic District as well as its Gilded Age mansions, which were summer “cottages” built by mid-19th century wealthy southern planters looking to escape the heat of the south. But Newport has so much more to offer than sailing, mansions, and museums!

Kristen Coates, owner of a an arts and home goods store in Newport, grew up in Newport, RI and—after having lived in Los Angeles and New York for more than 15 years—currently resides in the beautiful city. Kristen shared some of her favorite activities, places to visit, and things to eat with us so your next trip to Newport can be filled with great sights, delicious food, and fun!

Newport RI

Photo by: Christian Harder for The Wall Street Journal Off Duty

Music Festivals
During July and August Newport hosts both the Folk Festival and the Jazz Festival along with the Live Local Music Festival, a grassroots indie arts and music festival started by a local photographer.

Cliff Walk
Cliff Walk is a world famous 3.5-mile walking trail that winds along the coast behind the mansions and gives an outstanding view of the water. This public access trail is unique in that it combines ocean views, stunning architecture, and rugged shorelines.

Newport Art Museum
The Newport Art Museum is a museum and art school located in downtown Newport that features changing exhibitions and art classes year-round. The museum’s exhibitions and collections reflect Rhode Island’s cultural heritage and contemporary art scene by featuring artists with ties to RI.

Redwood Library and Athenaeum
The Redwood Library is the oldest lending library that still occupies its original building in the United States. Designated a national historic landmark in 1962, the building also houses antique sculptures, paintings, furniture, and rare books.

Third & Elm Press
The oldest operating printing press in the country, Third & Elm Press, is also located in Newport. Visitors can view and purchase woodblock prints, limited edition books, and note cards and even watch the process of them being made by artist Ilse Buchert Nesbitt.

What to Eat?

White Horse Tavern
“The White Horse Tavern is a personal favorite come fall with the crackling fireplaces and the stories of haunted dining rooms and the bar!” One of the oldest taverns in the country, established in 1673, this place offers delicious food and drinks in a cosy historic setting.

Thames Street Kitchen
TSK is a wonderful farm-to-table restaurant that focuses on fresh seasonal and local ingredients. “The family that owns this place also owns the epic burger restaurant, Mission, and Winner Winner where they serve—you guessed it—chicken.”

Other Locally Owned Restaurants
Newport has dozens of locally owned restaurants including the Clarke Cooke House as well as Diego’s and Perro Salado (both excellent for Mexican food and margaritas). Stoneacre Brasserie has the best brunch, Pasta Beach for authentic Italian, and newly opened Bar and Board has cheese and charcuterie boards perfect for sharing over delicious wine

Additional Tips

Kristen notes her favorite Newport sights are along the coast and at the beaches. There are coves filled with soft-to-the-touch powdery white sand and waves perfect for surfing. Other beaches have great walking areas full of various flora and fauna. One of the best parts about Newport is being on the water and sailing around the island. There is a reason Newport is famous for it!

“The quality of life and the beauty surrounding the island,” Kristen remarks, “there is no other place like it in the world.”

Where You Should Shop This Weekend in San Francisco

WCC Show Event Etta + Billie BlogWest Coast Craft is happening this weekend in San Francisco. The show features over 250 makers from all across the Western US. You’ll find unique and highly curated items perfecting for gifting others or yourself (hey, we won’t judge). Come by and check out some of the incredible smelling items we’ve cooked up for the winter season.

xo
The Soap Maven

What is your favorite book? Interviews with a few book loving shop owners.

Etta + Billie Book Lover Pride and Prejudice Wine

I’m an avid book lover and have been since I was a child. I used to read in the car (thank goodness, otherwise I would have never survived the multi hour trips up and down the California and Oregon Coast with my family each summer), at the library before school and later, during my commute in San Francisco. This included reading while walking (I only ran into someone once in five years, I swear). I love getting lost in a book, letting my imagination run wild creating scenes and characters described within the it’s pages (I still prefer the real thing). After I quit my day job, it was difficult find time for reading, unless I was stuck on a plane or on a random bus ride. I didn’t realize how negatively this shift in my daily habit impacted me until I happened upon this blog post. From that day on, I decided that I could carve out time for my beloved books. I started with 15 minutes a day and worked my way up to almost an hour. Pure bliss.

Reading is magic to me. Each story has a various interpretations, it can pierce your heart, paint a smile on your face or make you exhausted. Each story sets a tone, exposing and bringing up different emotions depending on your own life experiences and the lives you live through reading. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way about reading, so I decided to reach out to some of our favorite retailers to find out a bit about the books they love. Read on.

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Karen Templer of Fringe Supply Co.

Karen Templer is the mind behind the beautiful online shop Fringe Supply Co. A fine anthology of beautiful knits she’s made, tools, accessories as well as magazines to satisfy yarn-hungry fans. Each piece from her line is carefully selected to represent her love for quality knitting from concept to fruition.

Fringe Supply Co.

What is your favorite book?

It’s too hard of a question — Gilead, Any Human Heart, The Book of Ebenezer le Page, the list goes on. (I seem to have a thing for the reflections of old men.) The most fun I can recall having with a book was reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog in a curtained daybed on a beach in Mexico a few years ago. Somehow it was the perfect book for that moment.

Which character you would like to have dinner with?

I think someone who would not only amuse me but who would also cook the meal, so maybe the hilarious misanthrope from The Epicure’s Lament.

What was your favorite book as a child?

My favorite was a book on Greek mythology that I checked out from my school library an untold number of times. It was very large format but not very thick and had lost its dustjacket, so it was just this big flat book covered in light grey book cloth. As I remember it, it had an abbreviated version of each of the major gods/myths — like a paragraph long or so — with a black-and-white illustration. I’ve been trying to figure out for years what it was so I could track down a copy. I’d love to see it again, and own it.

 

Karen books (2)

Have you ever liked a movie more than the book? If so, what was it?

I know this has happened a few times but I can’t think of an example! Often I’ll just skip a book with the intention of seeing the inevitable movie instead — it it’s more about the plot than the writing, or if I don’t care enough to spend precious reading time with it but will grant it 90 minutes of viewing time.

What book is on your must read list right now?

I don’t really keep a list these days like I used to, but sort of drift from one thing to the next. I’m almost to the end of The Woman in White, which I’ve actually been listening to for what feels like a year, so it will probably be something pithy and contemporary.

Book or Kindle?

I’ve read almost exclusively on my iPhone since 2008, and since moving to Nashville and having a daily commute (as well as spending many hours a week walking) I’ve been listening to audiobooks more than anything. But lately I’ve been really longing for printed books. Maybe the real joy of that Hedgehog book in Mexico was that it was an actual book.

 

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From left to right : Jessie, Kate & Sara. Photo by Sarah Jurado Photography

Jessie and Kate were inspired to create E. Smith Mercantile to honor the values of their great grandparents. Creating a space where craftsmanship and community are intimately connected. Each item in the shop is carefully curated, modeled after the mercantile’s of the early 20th century which served as meeting spaces as well as a place to for everyday essentials.

E. Smith Mercantile

What is your favorite book?

My favorite book is The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. My favorite book currently is The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s a combo of everything I love reading about; history, horticulture, adventure, sex, human behavior…

Which character you would like to have dinner with?

I would have dinner with Morgan le Faye. I think the Christians scape goated her, she was a maligned character. I want the real story!

What was your favorite book as a child?

As a child I loved all the Dr Seuss books. His imagination, word pay, and silliness were great fun.

 

Summer breaks (1)

Have you ever liked a movie more than the book? If so, what was it?

I never like a movie more than a book, nothing is better than your own imagination. In your own mind there are not limitations.

E. Smith Mercantile
208 1st Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98104

206.641.7250
Open: 7 days a week, Mon-Sat 10am + Sun 12pm

Etta + Billie Interview: Why I love all things natural

I was recently interviewed by the fabulous crew over at Makers Market (online retailer focusing on well crafted American Made goods). Get a little insight into my natural philosophy…

Makers Market_Etta + Billie_Handcrafted Soap

Alana Rivera of ETTA + BILLIE (shop her products here)

“I think there is no way to truly mimic what mother nature has created and the only way to feed our skin is to choose ingredients that come from natural sources.”

When we scroll through your instagram feed we get hungry. Why is it
important that the things we put on our skin should be good enough to
eat? Do you use any preservatives? Could we really eat your products if
we wanted to?

I think it’s important to be as conscious of what we put on our bodies as we are of what we put into our bodies. While synthetic ingredients can be effective, I think there is no way to truly mimic what mother nature has created and the only way to feed our skin is to choose ingredients that come from natural sources. These ingredients have been used for years to nourish and heal. Residue from all the products we use, will eventually end up in our water system and choosing natural ingredients helps reduce the harmful impact on wildlife and plant-life. I do not use preservatives in any of my products with the exception of the lotion, it is a aqueous based formula that needs a preservative to maintain it’s integrity. I suppose you could eat the products, but I wouldn’t recommend it, they taste terrible!

What are your favorite California plants to work with?  Do you get any
of your herbal ingredients locally?

Read on over at the Makers Market Blog.

Retail Spotlight: West County Herb Co. in Occidental, CA

west_county_herb_store_sonoma county_etta + billie_apothecary  
After a lifetime of loving to be around plants and studying herbalism and also noticing how many talented herbalists and diversity of plant life Northern California held, Lisa Kurtz opened West County Herb Company  in 2008 to celebrate and support the plants that grow here and the people who are crafting beautiful products. West County Herb Company carries locally grown bulk herbs and locally made herbal products, soaps, candles, etc. They also carry medicine-making supplies, oils, bees’ wax, salts and glassware for those who are wanting to do some creating of their own.
Lisa wanted the shop to be a place where people felt comfortable to come in, smell the wonderful aroma of herbs, ask questions, look through our reference library, sip some tea and feel comforted and soothed by the surroundings and the herbs themselves. She wanted to create a place that invited you to slow down and be in your body and discover ways to enhance the feeling of wellness and connection that is within us when we take time to notice.
The first Monday of the Month at 6:00 there is a free lecture given by a guest speaker at an event space adjacent to West County Herb Company. Some of the most well-respected herbalists in the area (and beyond) have generously given their time to these wonderful talks. The space also hosts other classes and events.
Read on to find out a few of Lisa’s favorite things.west_county_herb_store_sonoma county_etta + billie
1. What is your favorite color? I really like them all, but my eyes really miss green when I don’t see it.
2. What is your favorite smell? my herb shop
3. What is your favorite beverage? There are many, but I have to go with water
4. What would you choose as your last meal? Oysters and champagne
5. What is your favorite thing to cook? Nettle and spring onion omelet
6. What is your favorite dessert? blackberry pie
7. What is the furthest place you’ve traveled? Prague
8. Three destinations on your bucket list: Turkey, Japan, and Iceland (although I want to go to so many more)
9. What is your favorite book? The one I’m reading now: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
10. What is your favorite Etta + Billie product? At the moment I am using the Peppermint Lime Soap and LOVING it, but I feel that way about whatever Etta + Billie product I am using at the moment.- Yeah we’re so happy to hear that!
You can find out more about West County Herb Co. by following them on facebook!
West County Herb Co.
3641 Main
Occidental, CA 95465Open: Saturday and Sunday, from 11-5, and by appointment.

Retail Spotlight: Park and Pond in San Francisco

Park and Pond-Shop-San Francisco-LocalPark and Pond opened in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood in August 2011. Founded by Bay Area natives and sisters, Jessica (pictured below) and Abbey Herman, Park and Pond is the source for awesome, creative, useful, and well-designed goods such as jewelry, stationery, gifts, home items, art, and bath and body products that have been produced within 100 miles of San Francisco. The store has been named the Best Place to Pick up a Hostess Gift and Best Homegoods by Bay Area A-List for three consecutive years!!! Pretty fantastic. Owner Jessica Herman, shares a few of her favorite things below.Park and Pond-Jessica-Shop-San Francisco-Local

1. What is your favorite color?
My favorite color has always been green. Followed closely by black.

2. Go to cocktail or beverage?
Go to cocktail is a dirty vodka martini.

3. Favorite dessert?
Favorite dessert is anything with chocolate!

4. Furthest place you’ve traveled?
Furthest place I’ve traveled would be to Cape Town, South Africa. And I absolutely loved it, and would definitely go back!

5.Three Destinations/Experiences on your bucket list? Japan, Cuba, and Burma

6. Favorite Etta + Billie product?
Favorite Etta + Billie product right now is the grapefruit cardamom body oil, but we just got the Vendetta IPA soap in, and it smells absolutely amazing!

Park and Pond-Etta-Billie-Soaps-Shop-San FranciscoFind out more about Park and Pond!
website: www.ParkandPond.com
instagram: parkandpond
facebook: www.facebook.com/parkandpond
pinterest: www.pinterest.com/parkandpondsf
twitter: www.twitter.com/ParkandPond

Park and Pond
1422 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133
OPEN: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 7pm & Sunday 12 – 5pm

 

 

Retailer Spotlight: The Flora Cultural Society

  The Flora Cultural Society Oakland ShopAnna Campbell runs the stunning The Floral Cultural Society in Old Town Oakland. Not does Anna produce beautiful arrangements, she also raises flowers and hosts workshop at her flower farm located in an abandoned parking lot in downtown Oakland. Pretty rad, right? The shop has a collection of beautiful handcrafted plant based goods. In Anna’s words -““Rewilding your life” can be as simple as a few fresh cut flowers or a lovely Etta & Billie soap”. We couldn’t agree more! Please read Anna’s interview and be sure to stop by the shop.
etta billie the flora cultural society oakland

1. What is your favorite color?
I’m obsessed with color, always have been and could never pick one as a favorite although if you had to pigeonhole me I’m always drawn to mustard yellow

2. Favorite smell?
I have three: lily of the valley, freshly mown grass and rain on sidewalks

3. Go to cocktail or beverage?
I’m a tea girl, can’t get enough of the stuff.

4. What would you choose as your last meal?
Fish tacos from Tamarindo.

5. Favorite thing to cook?
Paella

6. Favorite dessert?
Lemon curd and shortbread

7. Furthest place you’ve traveled?
As a mental traveler, Cuba but in real life I’m a homebody and actually not a very adventurous traveler, I love my house.

8. Three Destinations/Experiences on your bucket list?
I would love to have a chance to name colors (I have no idea for what it just sounds fun), go to Cuba, and as silly as it sounds build a tree house somewhere in the middle of a field just like I had when I was little.

9. Favorite memory with your grandmother/grandparents?
My grandpa handing me his chapstick whenever he saw me. I don’t think I ever had chapped lips it was just his way of showing me he cared and he wasn’t much of a talker at all. The other favorite memory is picking plums with him in their backyard. I really miss my grandpa.

10. Favorite book?
Camus “The Plague”

The Flora Cultural Society Oakland Boutique Find out more about Flora Cultural Society!
instagram: http://instagram.com/floraculturalsociety
blog:http://floraculturalsociety.com/blog/

FLORA CULTURAL SOCIETY
461A 9th StreetOakland, CA 94607
OPEN: Tuesday-Saturday 12:00-6:00 pm

Store Spotlight: Lilify

Lilify Monterey California Shopping Lifestyle StoreHanni and Jesse are the team behind the well curated boutique Lilify, located in the beautiful California coastal town of Monterey. You’ll find hand crafted items, vintage and other one-of-a-kind treasures there. Plus, they are home to coffee roaster, Bright Coffee. Coffee + shopping = my idea of heaven. When not running the Lilify boutique, you can find Hanni creating incredible natural and sophisticated floral arrangements. Check out the amazing images on their site. Find out more about a few of Hanni’s favorite things below. Lilify boutique Monterey California Shopping Destination

  1. What is your favorite color? Black
  2. Favorite smell? Rosemary
  3. Go to cocktail or beverage? Rose
  4. What would you choose as your last meal? Salmon with asparagus (prepared any way) served with Rose
  5. Favorite thing to cook? Salmon with asparagus (prepared any way) served with Rose
  6. Favorite dessert? Rose
  7. Furthest place you’ve traveled? South Africa is probably the furthest geographically, but southern Guyana was the ruralist.

Floral Design Monterey California at Lilify

Follow Lilify!

instagram: lilifydesigns

facebook: lilify

pinterest: lilify

blog: lilify.com

Lilify
281 Lighthouse Avenue
Monterey, California 93940

Open: Mon – Sat: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm and Sun: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Retailer Interview: Egg & Dart

Egg-and-Dart-Etta-Billie-Display
Painter Chris Wyllie and designer Kristen Coates collaborate to bring you Egg & Dart, an eclectic collection of art and home decor. Their flagship store is located at Bowen’s Wharf in Newport, Rhode Island or you can find them online at egganddart.bigcartel.com. Both shops are filled with a carefully curated selection of local art, handmade objects, fine linens, table decor, gifts, books, apothecary and seasonal greenery arrangements. What’s not to love about that? Read Kristen’s interview below!
1. What is your favorite color?
I got back and forth between favorite colors. Gold, grey, white, blue, white, grey, blue, gold. Lately I have been in a big black and white phase, but as I am putting the pieces together for our store, we are getting all sorts of sandy beachy palettes of gold, grey, white, blue with some hints of black.
2. Favorite smell?
My favorite smell is my dog. I have 9 month old Cavalier King Charles, Sofia Banana, that pretty much rules my life right now.  Her fur smells of cinnamon and hints of almond and the beach.  So treats and salt water basically.  Traditionally I am drawn to espresso in the morning, tuberose and lilac throughout the day and then rose and patchouli in the evenings. I love when people can pick up on scents in my home and more often than not, when someone comes in my store they say “It smells delicious in here”.
3. Go to cocktail or beverage?
We keep a couple of bottles of cava on hand for impromptu cocktails along with bitters and some sugar. A bit of sugar in a glass, a dash or two of bitters and top with champagne.  If there are roses in the garden I add a few petals for garnish or a slice of strawberry or even nasturtium just for the color. I don’t drink a lot of alcohol, but when I do drink, I like it to be pretty. I think guests appreciate the special touches.
4. Favorite thing to cook?
I grew up as a vegetarian that did not like cooked vegetables. In the last year or two as I have transitioned out of living in NYC full time, I have taken to visiting farms near our home in Newport and going to the farmer’s markets as much as I can and have fallen in love with cooking vegetables and experimenting with different flavors.  While in LA this winter, we were very much in love with Summerland.is – they deliver local famer’s market items to your door! I love a thick, baked cherry tomato sauce over polenta cakes, or soup with butternut squash, caramelized onions, an apple and a little white wine and grilled radicchio, I could eat it every day.  I don’t know if it is tastes changing or actually paying attention to food and cooking that makes it all seem better now, maybe a combination.
5. Favorite book?
Daily Rituals is a series of short essays on how writers, artists, filmmakers, composers, poets, musicians, novelists and the like go through their day. The book details each person’s work ethic, alcohol consumption, eating habits and sleep (or lack there of) patterns. Maya Angelou works from a hotel before heading home to make dinner for her husband and makes sure she has time to unwind her brain before dinner is ready.  I find this type of information to be fascinating and inspiring.
egg-and-dart-art
Follow the team behind Egg & Dart!
blog:
my blogs vary in states of neglect…
Egg & Dart
57 America’s Cup Avenue at Bowen’s Wharf
Newport, Rhode Island
Open
Mon – Thu: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm