If you fancy jewelry, crafts, vintage, and antiques consider making trips to these shops:
1) Fancy That: Belmont Mass
This shop is for the true jewelry lover. A small space filled with some of the most unique jewelry from all over the world, you will find: trays of moonstone rings in every size and variation, real amber jewelry, a wide variety of native american selections, sterling silver galore, designer pieces (although usually not the type of designers one would find Tiffanys), hand-carved jade brooches, vintage bangle bracelets, chains, every gemstone imaginable, a detailed inlaid floral pin from the 50s, and THOUSANDS of other unique and breathtaking pieces. The customer service is unparalleled to any place you will ever venture–the owner is extremely knowledgeable and friendly. The prices are very fair and you can also find a small but wonderful variety of vintage and antique home decor. Leave yourself plenty of time to explore the well displayed treasures.
2) Playtime: Arlington, Mass
A small business, long-standing craft shop that fills 2 floors you can find ANY craft supply you need or desire. Leave yourself at least an hour to browse through every isle, nook and cranny–although you could spend hours. Playtime has party supplies, teacher supplies, an endless variety of beads (including vintage–and the beads are actually “new old stock” as the shop has been around that long; I’m giving away all of my secrets here!), ribbon, faux flowers, journals, canvases, professional artist paints, frames, stamps, handmade paper, small gifts, glue, crayola brand supplies, stickers, tiny pom-poms and sequins and THOUSANDS of other craft supplies.
3) Cider Mill & Oh My Gosh Antiques: Sterling, Mass
An actual old mill you will find hundreds of vendors under one roof selling THOUSANDS of vintage, antique, and handmade items. You can find handmade scrabble tile necklaces or garlands, vintage salt and pepper shakers, vintage books, Antiques galore, vintage jewelry and clothes, almost any item you collect, kitsch items, handmade pottery and candles, small plants in a variety of vases and pots, shells, vintage dollhouse furniture and home decor……leave yourself several hours if you want to explore every vendor’s offering. There is also a small bead shop and yarn store in the mill.
One of the best parts of these 3 shops? You are supporting small business and handmade artists!
I have been going to Playtime and Fancy That throughout my childhood and to this day, and in all the places I’ve lived and traveled I have never found selections and the joy of browsing and shopping as I have in these shops. My wedding ring is from Fancy That, along with many of my most treasured pieces of jewelry and my bead collection started at Play Time. I discovered the Cider Mill a few years ago and have made many trips there since–always worth the drive to central Mass!
My writings did not do these 3 shops justice–you must adventure there yourself to experience the magic!