It’s the last weekend before Christmas, and if you’re like me, you’ve only got a few things left on your list. But chances are, your last-minute gifts are going to be purchased in stores, rather than online. Personally, I think that brings an added measure of joy.
I’ve gotten to know a lot of shop owners and managers since I started creating A YEAR IN THE CITY. They are outgoing people who really care about their customers. If you venture out this weekend, please stop by and give them a friendly hello. And to Abby, Angela, Michelle, Gail, Stephanie, Jaynelle, Anne, Peggy, Claudia, Patty, Emily, Susan, Holland, Julie, Cory, Kelly, Mary Beth, Sarah, and Mary (x3), my grateful thanks for all you do to support the city… and A YEAR IN THE CITY!
And thanks to all you shoppers for your support of my products! You’ll find A YEAR IN THE CITY – and so much more – at these St. Louis locations! For your convenience, here’s an “at-a-glance” of each.
Abigail’s Gift Boutique – South Hampton has always been a haven for small businesses, and Abigail’s fits right in. Abby offers lots of kitchen and bar ware, funny/snarky gifts (including a hysterical collection of socks) and a big beautiful children’s area.
ArtMart – For as long as I’ve been practicing art, Artmart has been there to inspire me AND to remind me of all that’s waiting to be discovered. This store caters to painters, sculptors, draftsmen, doodlers… you name it. But they also double – OK, triple – as a gift shop and frame shop. Even if you don’t think of yourself as an artist, plan a nice long visit. I allow a full hour every time I go!
Book House – Where do I start? That’s what you’ll say when you walk into Book House in Maplewood. Floor-to-ceiling shelves on the main level are accessed by sliding ladder. A large stairway near the entrance is lined with books. Rare first editions and collectibles are displayed at the front of the store. No matter what you’re looking for, Michelle and her staff can help you find it!
Bowed Farms – Though it’s a little off the beaten path (east and north of the West End), Bowood has become a well-known secret among St. Louisans. Per its name, its main business is plants, and they are fabulous. It is also home to Café Osage, where you can enjoy “garden-infused” menu items for breakfast or lunch.
City Museum – There is so much to see at City Museum, it’s easy to miss their gift shop. Don’t. Tucked right behind the ticket counter, the gift shop carries eclectic gifts, knick knacks, and tees, so you can take part of this rich experience back home with you. In addition to the main shop, the museum also sells shoelaces and necklaces woven on vintage machines on the second floor.
Dog town Gallery – Cute story about this one. My father-in-law, Frank Muhm, sold his memoir (entitled Passage to2838) to owner Jaynelle Haynes. Unbeknownst to me, he also sold Jaynelle on my calendar when it was first printed. Thanks to both of them, I have a presence in the friendly Dogtown area. Jaynelle’s gallery is proud of its Irish roots and is located – fittingly – next to Seamus McDaniel’s on Tamm.
Down by the Station – I had long been a customer of Down by the Station before I approached the owners in 2017, and I still consider it a great honor to have my calendar in their shop. DBTS carries beautiful jewelry, accessories, home goods, barware, and stationery items, as well as a sweet array of gifts for kids in the caboose. Part of the great walkable Kirkwood shopping experience, DBTS is a must-visit.
Dunaway Books – Like a good book, Dunaway is waiting to be discovered. Three stories of stories draw in readers of all ages for hours at a time. I am personally intrigued by the library-like lower level, where you can find stacks of sheet music for all instruments. Because Dunaway is part of the South Grand shopping district, you’ll lots of cool places to eat after you browse!
Lamp Mansion – Anyone who has toured, dined, or slept at Lemp Mansion seems to have a story to tell. But it’s not all about the ghosts. You’ll also find lots of history, amazing food…and A YEAR IN THE CITY at the back of the house.
Main Street Books – A hot spot of St. Charles Main Street, this indie book store caters to readers of all ages and interests. Looking for a banned book? Check here first. Main Street also has a wonderful children’s/young adult section upstairs.
Missouri History Museum – Architecturally speaking, Missouri History has one of the most inviting shops I’ve seen. If you enter the museum from the south, the shop seems to spill out into the entryway, as though pretending to be a gallery. And, in a way, it is. I have found real treasures there, including a beautiful St Louis Cardinals tie for my son-in-law and books on Missouri for my father-in-law. The shop, like the museum, will surprise you. You can’t imagine how much there is to love about this big beautiful state of ours!
Novel Neighbor – The word curious comes to mind when I step into the Novel Neighbor in Webster. This seemingly tiny shop is actually “long on story” with a back room and kids’ room that will delight all. The next-door events center and bathroom have earned this shop some well-deserved press, but it is their books and gifts that keep readers coming back.
Sign of the Arrow – I’ve always been amazed at the cross-section of people who buy A YEAR IN THE CITY. And, when I say that, I think first of Sign of the Arrow, which is a needlepoint business. But the thing that continually draws me to this shop is its charitable focus. Since the shop was founded 50 years ago, it has donated all of its proceeds to charity.
Stone Soup Galleries – Making the best of underutilized space, Stone Soup operates out of Chesterfield Mall. From its bright, beautiful space at the foot of the Chesterfield Cine elevators, you’ll find the work of local artisans, including milliners, woodworkers, glass artists, print makers, and jewelers. Check it out before or after the show.
Subterranean Books – Subterranean is a jewel of the Loop with regular events and signings that draw diners and movie-goers along this iconic stretch of Delmar. Alex, Gena, Griffin, Kelly, Sarah B, Sarah T…and Teddy the dog are super-knowledgeable about good reads and store inventory. Subterranean was one of the first shops to carry A YEAR IN THE CITY.
Union Studio – When Union Studio started carrying A YEAR IN THE CITY, its owner and manager took time to get to know me. They do the same with their customers. They understand the people who shop their store and always look for products that will delight them. Union Studio is all local, featuring the work of painters, metalsmiths, leatherworkers, and clothing designers. And through the shop’s Warm Welcome project, artists are given an opportunity to give back to the community. You simply won’t find a more personal and civic-minded shopping experience anywhere.
Urban Matter – I had the pleasure of selling my wares at the South Grand Fall Fest this past summer, just a block away from Urban Matter’s new digs. Owner Mary has a great eye for unique gifts, and she’s a master of staging. An absolutely beautiful shopping experience and a great new addition to South Grand.
Washington University Bookstore – Geared toward students of all ages – including perpetual “students of life” – Wash U’s bookstore has a wonderful vibe to it. Beyond branded apparel, you’ll find trendy gifts and great new titles to please everyone on your list. Parking is a challenge, but it’s well worth the walk around and through this gorgeous campus.
Thanks again to all of these retailers for their help in getting the word out about A YEAR IN THE CITY. And to all of you reading this, Happy Shopping to all… and to all a good night!