Small Shops, Great Finds

This Christmas, Shop Local

text by Fiona Clarke

Buying from a locally owned business is a good idea. Not only is parking easier and the crowds more manageable, but independent stores often carry unique items that you’re not likely to find at a national chain. Plus, when you shop local, you’re investing in our community and acknowledging the retailers who are working to make the Valley a one-of-a-kind place to live. Here are five local shops described in detail, plus a sidebar of others, where you’re bound to find the perfect presents you’ve been hoping for. Store hours vary, so best to check before venturing out.

Bungalow Furniture & Accessories

Bungalow, located near the Scottsdale Airpark, is known for its casual, comfortable, relaxed style. The wide variety of wares are displayed in some 25 ever-changing vignettes that help the customer to envision the items in their home. The furniture offerings include upholstered sofas, chairs and ottomans; dining, bedside, side and end tables, cabinets, rugs, lighting, mirrors and linens. Accessories from accent pillows and throws, to framed artwork complement each setting. Fashion, design, architecture, art, travel and cookbooks from the notable publishing houses of Rizzoli, teNeues, Abrahms, Taschen and Assouline are everywhere. There is a wide assortment of fragrant candles and diffusers, serving dishes, precious boxes of every size, shape and material, vases, urns, glassware, soaps, woven baskets and unique objets. A jewelry case holds stylish, high-end earrings, bracelets and necklaces, many with precious stones and finishes.

Interior designer Caroline Tyler DeCesare, ASID came up with the idea of opening Design*Lab in the same downtown Mesa building as her studio. She saw it as a place to offer the public many of the unique décor items she comes across while designing interiors. Along with furniture, the store offers a dazzling array of home accessories such as accent pillows in varying hues and patterns, framed art, hand-woven rugs, floor and table lamps and serving ware. There are gift items including jewelry and design coffee table books. There’s a corner devoted to paper goods: stationery, notepads, gift tags and wrapping paper. For those on your list who deserve to be pampered, there are body scrubs, facial masques, scent diffusers, bath salts and glass jars filled with pastel-colored French soaps. In the kids’ nook you’ll find stuffed animals, picture books, playful chalk markers, whimsical stickers and giant erasers. There’s even an antique vitrine loaded with bulk candy including huge gumballs, M&Ms and malted-milk balls.

If you’re mad for all things midcentury modern, you likely are already familiar with For The People. Located on Central, just north of Camelback, owners Chad Campbell and Shawn Silberblatt selected Uptown Phoenix as home base. The store has a tantalizing assortment of high-quality, modern-themed merchandise – some from local craftspeople, some from small makers throughout the U.S. and some from international lines.”You won’t find pieces that are sold in big box stores here,” says Silberblatt. “Many of the goods come from brands that previously were either not available in Phoenix or were hard to find.” Taschen Books, Tom Dixon housewares, jewelry by local talent Heidi Abrahamson, metal sculptures from the estate of Al Beadle, Finell vessels, iittala bowls and platters, Ferrone glassware and hand-poured candles from Skeem Design are just some of treasures available.

Launched five years ago by interior designer Matthew Boland, Main Dish has quickly become the go-to resource for all things tabletop. Nestled on Marshall Way in Old Town, Scottsdale, it is part store and part showroom. Customers can expect a warm welcome from brand ambassador Jennifer Davis as they peruse an array of unique items for the home, including cut-crystal vases, pitchers and bowls, sumptuous cashmere throws, Italian-crafted leather baskets, serving trays, unique throw pillows, bar accessories and fine linens. The showroom at the back of the shop is dedicated to an artful display of over 73 lines of dinnerware, flatware and stemware.Well-known luxury brands such as Hermès, Royal Limoges and Bernardaud, as well as little-known names from ateliers in Italy and France, are showcased. “We offer everything from casual, everyday dinnerware to holiday and formal pieces and everything in between,” explains Boland. As an extra perk, your purchases will be beautifully gift-wrapped, ready for giving.

Phoenix Art Museum Store

Shopping for holiday presents at the Museum Store will score you two gold stars; firstly, you are sure to find unique gifts and, secondly, the proceeds from your purchases will help support Phoenix Art Museum. As expected, there is a comprehensive selection of books for every art enthusiast as well as editions related to current and past exhibitions. A distinctive grouping of home décor items include bowls, serving dishes, vases and furnishings from the esteemed design firms of Alessi, iittala, Issey Miyake and Hermann Miller. Decorative pieces showcase local artists such as Nick Bernard’s ceramic orbs and Tom Philabaum’s hand-blown glass bowl. For others on your list, consider the design-themed jewelry, scarves, totes, neckties, placemats, pens, socks and T-shirts. For the young’uns, the children’s section is well-stocked with art books, toys, puzzles, dolls and paints. Need stocking stuffers? Be sure to check out the clever assortment of items by the register.


Camelback Flowershop

Fresh flowers, plants and succulents, gift box collections, candles, crystals, framed art, garden tools, baskets, vases, toys, puzzles, vessels, pottery and goodies.

Desert Botanical Garden, Garden Store

Items include gardening books and accessories, posters and prints, food baskets, home accessories, watercolor art, vintage botanicals and other signature gifts.

Found By Domestic Bliss  480.733.6863

A large selection of vintage furniture, home accessories and gift items.

Heard Museum, The Store

Authentic Indian jewelry, pottery, basketry, paintings, sculpture, rugs, katsina dolls and weavings are available for purchase.

The Linen Tree

European linens, handcrafted decor, and bed, bath and home products.

Phoenix Zoo, Desert Marketplace

One-of-a-kind souvenirs include clothing for kids and adults, hats, jewelry, toys, books and stuffed animals.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Store

Items include books, jewelry, textiles, limited-edition prints, toys, CDs and home accessories.


Women’s clothing, shoes and accessories by independent designers, jewelry, fashion, art and design books and home accessories.

Valerieanne of Scottsdale  480.946.8772

Fine linens, towels, bath and home accessories.

The Willows

Furniture, home decor and casual apparel, all with a country-French feel.