Shopping Local Made Simple (Really!)

city exchange

Fort Wayne’s local businesses ensure gift-givers need not go far and wide to check everyone off their shopping list. While shopping for others, these great boutiques may even tempt you to pick up a treat or two for yourself.

The Olive Twist

Shop this culinary boutique for high-quality olive oils and vinegars. Visitors to the shop can taste the wide range of flavors at the tasting bar and will be delighted by the finest quality, first-pressed extra virgin olive oils and flavor-infused balsamic vinegars available. In addition to the ultra premium selection of olive oils, the store also offers infused olive oils (think basil, herbs de Provence and chipotle flavors) and specialty oils such as Japanese roasted sesame oil and roasted walnut oil. The vinegar selection includes classic varieties as well as dark and white infused versions that will tantalize tastebuds and up anyone’s kitchen game. The shop also sells olives, pickles and relishes, herbs and spices, soups, sweet treats and more; it even hosts regular cooking classes. Look to The Olive Twist for thoughtful and useful gifts for the gourmands on your list. 6410 W. Jefferson Boulevard, 260.436.3866, theolivetwist.com

Fort Wayne Outfitters & Bike Depot

This specialty shop, located right by the picturesque Wells Street bridge, offers innovative, functional fashion, gear and accessories for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. The shop is on a mission to provide high-quality products that support active lifestyles and encourage lively interactions with the city’s rivers. Shop for outdoor and fitness apparel, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, yoga mats and accessories, bicycles and corresponding lifestyle goods from brands like Patagonia, Prana, Lole, Thule, Hobie, Sorel and more. The store also offers sports equipment rentals and bike repair services. 1004 Cass Street, 260.420.3962, fwoutfitters.com

The City Exchange Shops

Shop this diverse, indie mini-mall in the heart of the city for clothing and goods from local creatives, artisans and makers. The mission of City Exchange is to support fledgling businesses and to help online businesses create a brick and mortar experience. City Exchange shops makes it easier for local businesses to evolve, flourish and survive in rough retail market, said manager Jack Ellsworth. You can feel great about shopping multiple local businesses under one roof. The always fabulous Valontine sells unique and cheeky gifts, accessories and fun unisex tees. Mr. Polymath sells cool accessories for men, like solid cologne in a variety of scents that are long lasting, easy-to-apply and TSA-approved. Women’s clothing store Meli Mei offers fantastic dresses for holiday parties and The Narwhal & The Manatee whips up fun and oh-so-giftable bath products like fizzy cupcakes, soap bars and bubble scoops. Bead Source sells both readymade jewelry and jewelry-making supplies and also takes orders for custom creations. 127 W. Wayne Street, 260.786.5833, the-city-exchange.com

House of Furniture

Locally owned by twin sisters Lisa Schaefer and Lori Hamilton, this popular furniture boutique offers a wide selection of redesigned and new furniture. The store has been offering one-of-a-kind pieces to downtown shoppers for nine years and is proud to feature many local products and makers. The house is also packed with small accent furniture, decor accessories and paintings by local artists, with many giftable items like elegant candles, throw pillows and wall art. Upstairs, shoppers will find two speciality boutiques, also owned by local women. The Hanger Boutique features women’s clothing and accessories, while Redmaster Fusion sells homemade bath and body products. 527 W. Jefferson Boulevard, 260.466.7447, house-of-furniture.net

‘sWonderful Interiors

What started out for Terrence Bartholomew and Dennis Floyd-Bartholomew as a series of yard sales in the 1990s has evolved into one of the city’s most tasteful destinations for home furnishings, design and decor. With a love of fine fabrics, ‘sWonderful has the largest selection of fabrics for the home, both in-stock and by special order, with a focus on custom drapery and bedding as well as wall coverings. The design emporium also offers custom furniture that can be personalized by a full-time upholsterer at the ready. Shop this beautiful design mecca for statement pieces such as a chair carved out of one piece of wood, vintage lighting, artwork or smaller decor accents like their popular poofs (super stylish square bean bags that double as a foot rest or additional seating) upholstered in indoor/outdoor washable fabric. 4110 W. Jefferson Boulevard, 260.426.1986, swonderfulinteriors.houzz.com

The Monogram Shoppe

Founded in 1980 by Sara Keltsch, The Monogram Shoppe has been Fort Wayne’s choice for stationery, as well as gifts for women, men and children for decades. The stationery department features tons of options, stationery for all kind of events, personalized sets, diaries and notepads and much more. The rest of the store is dedicated to some of the most delightful, innovative items available, such as Corkcicle wine and beer chillers and glasses and upside down umbrellas, which happen to be all the rage right now. The shop also offers lots of merchandise geared to college fans and lake lovers as well as many amusing gifts, accessories and toys for children of all ages. 6410 W. Jefferson Boulevard, 260.436.3138, monogramshoppe.com

Choice Designs

“p1″>This stylish company has been providing clients with expert interior design and decor for some time, but in the past few years, it has emerged as one of the area’s most popular retail shops “focused on turning luxury into reality with comfort and function in mind,” said Kristen King, a member of the talented Choice Designs team. The store, which also has an online presence, stocks uncommon furniture, decor and gifts as well as textiles, including a selection of toss pillows and throw blankets by the ever-popular Magnolia Home. With barware, botanicals, planters and vessels, sweet trinket dishes, entertaining accents, and even glamorous, studded pet bowls, Choice Designs has an abundance of stylish goods in store. 3223 Carroll Road, 260.490.6393, choicedesigns.com

The FIND

“p1″>Along with the opening of The Ash Brokerage building, The FIND burst onto the #DTFW scene with chic goods for women, men and children in the summer of 2016. With a growing fan base, the store recently moved into a much larger space. Packed with top notch, unique goods that customers would more likely find in larger cities mixed with favorite local makers, The FIND shoppers will enjoy the casual yet sophisticated environment. “We want to be our customer’s go-to stop for hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, gifts for women, men and children and holiday party dressing,” said owner Melani Wilson. Shop gorgeous robes and pajamas, candles, a seriously wide array of jewelry, unbelievably cozy sweaters, blankets and socks for both men and women by Barefoot Dreams, as well as tea and coffee goods, cookbooks and Vosges chocolates. And for those who have trouble deciding, “Gift certificates always fit,” said Wilson. 133 W. Wayne Street, 260.203.3498, thefindfw.com

The Hedge

Founded by Julie Wall as Hedgehog Press, the creative studio has blossomed into a boutique workshop called The Hedge. With a love for the outdoors, the health of the environment and the city’s artistic community, the shop is stocked with high-quality, unique pieces, limited edition prints, locally-made goods, vintage finds and natural wonders. The boutique also accepts custom orders and hosts a variety of classes and workshops. Shop cool paper goods, trophies with a twist and bar accessories like drink markers, coasters and more. Don’t miss the beautiful butterfly earrings, crafted from real butterfly wings that were ethically collected and preserved in plastic coating to show the difference in design from front to back. 1016 Broadway, 260.387.5237, thehedgefw.com

Fancy & Staple

This truly unique shopping destination is part store, part art gallery and part community space, thanks to regular parties, events and art shows. With tons of fun and funky items lining the shelves and tables, it’s Fancy & Staple’s mission to bring smaller, independent lines to Fort Wayne, support local artisans, promote shop small/shop local and make downtown Fort Wayne a better place to live, work and play, explained owner Taber Olinger. Shop the sweet selection of gifts for baby and child, quirky home decor and bar items and a selection of thoughtful greeting cards that are awesome enough to be framed. With fragrances, Paddywax candles, a profusion of awesome air plants, cool enamel pins by Rifle Paper Co. and the ever-popular tee shirt emblazoned with The Future Is Female, as well as some of the most enchanting holiday decorations to be had, Fancy & Staple has gifts galore. 1111 Broadway, 260.422.2710, fancyandstaplefw.com

Opal & Ruby Gift Emporium

It says it all in the name: Opal & Ruby is a gift emporium with clever and considerate gifts, from classic to trendy, as well as home decor and accessories. The trendy shop was started by Kristin Packnett and her sister, Kelli. Top holiday gifts this year include the perennial favorite Thymes Frasier Fir home fragrance collection (including candles, aromatic sprays and even car fresheners), Lizzy James jewelry and Coton Colors collectable ornaments and platters. Opal & Ruby loves the magic of Christmas and is once again the proud sponsor of the Festival of Trees Santa Land at the Embassy Theatre. The store also hosts many special holiday shopping events and open houses, and while gift wrapping is always free, Opal & Ruby makes sure holiday gifts get an extra, festive flourish. 5215 Illinois Road, 260.444.2019, opalandruby.com

Sugar Love Boutique

“p1″>This family owned business features trendy and affordable fashions for all ages. “We believe shopping should be fun. We travel to many different markets throughout the year to find the most amazing pieces to bring back to Fort Wayne,” said the company. Shoppers can mix and match a bevy of beautiful bracelets at the bracelet bar, shop the extensive selection of graphic tees, dresses, kimonos and leggings and pick up gifts for the home including inspirational signs, candles and tech accessories. 918 Woodland Plaza Run, 260.267.9601, sugarloveboutique.com

Emiley’s Haute Cottage

Located in a sweet carriage house tucked away in the heart of downtown, this local shop offers uncommon gifts, home decor and furniture not found in big box stores. You’ll find candles poured into glass hobnob jars, jelly jars, galvanized rib containers and coffee-rubbed jars embellished with birds cut out of tin. The shop also carries lots of holiday decor and gifts, including beautiful ornaments such as glittered birds and galvanized steel snowflakes. Owner Emiley Roman also handcrafts her own line of jewelry, sold exclusively in her shop. The store is only open on Saturdays from 11 am – 4 pm unless otherwise noted on Facebook. 515 W. Wayne Street, facebook.com/EmileysHauteCottage

Mercantile on Main

This popular vintage boutique is known for authentic, well-curated vintage finds such as eclectic furniture and accessories for the home. From glassware, vintage aluminum utensils and decanters to pottery, vases and planters, Mercantile on Main offers rare goodies at a variety of price points. Owner Pam Michel specializes in lighting repair and brings unique, vintage lamps and lighting fixtures back to life. Upstairs, shoppers will find vintage clothing in great condition, as well as vintage earrings, necklaces, brooches and bracelets inside the shop within the shop, Spry Fashion. The shop also sells American Spoon fruit preserves and butters, with flavors like ginger pear, blueberry lime and sour cherry, which make for wonderful hostess gifts. 1753 W. Main Street, 260.420.5656, mercantilefw.com

Idlehour Boutique

“p1″>With a beautiful blend of fitness and fashion, Idlehour Boutique is a lifestyle shop that believes “comfort can have style, and style can be comfortable,” said owner Annie Henry. Along with partner Tresa Muessling, the duo features luxury activewear that moves seamlessly from studio to street with style and ease. The store also offers gifts beyond activewear that include stationery and accessories, as well as beauty and wellness products curated from local makers and gathered from the owners’ travels. Popular picks from the store include skincare by FoxSea Skin, leather jewelry by Dashing & Dapper, headbands, scarves and jewelry by Emily Kai and a signature essential oil fragrance by Bespoke, all local brands owned by women. Additional gifts include popular blanket scarves, stemless wine sippy cups and Voluspa candles and diffusers. 526 W. Jefferson Boulevard, 260.420.1000, idlehourboutique.com

Lace & Arrow

This contemporary and modern boutique features a highly-curated assortment of home goods and women’s apparel, jewelry and shoes. Located next to Parkview Field at The Harrison, the shop stocks unique items and gifts not found everywhere. With a cool selection of on-trend clothing for fashionistas, the boutique also stocks Ban.do’s cheeky goods, lighthearted graphic tees and Quay sunnies. Lace & Arrow’s owner, Heather Swager, takes pride in listening to her customers’ wants and needs and loves to provide a well-rounded shopping experience. Favorite holiday gifts this season are Gorjana’s range of feminine, timeless jewelry and Beauty Counter’s comprehensive line of clean, natural cosmetics. 301 W. Jefferson Boulevard, 260.449.9090, laceandarrow.com

The Perfect Pear

Within a 1940s house on the city’s north side, design and decor boutique The Perfect Pear is full of life. The eclectic assortment of goods includes Dash & Albert floor coverings, Nora Fleming serving pieces, Votivo candles, Caldrea cleaning products and Company C. fine linens and rugs. The shop also features lighting, furniture, botanicals, frames and artwork. The house is stocked with gifts for home and hostess and the helpful and friendly owners, Lisa and Teresa, love to assist clients while expressing their love of design. 8414 Coldwater Road, 260.490.9540, theperfectpearfw.com

Christopher James Menswear

Founded over 20 years ago, Christopher James is Fort Wayne’s premier destination for dapper men. With an excellent selection of brands known for their fine quality, the store offers casual clothing, made-to-measure suits and formalwear and everything in between. This is the store to pick up something for the stylish men on every holiday gift list, and it’ll even beautifully package it up for you. Shop brands like Cole Haan, Hickey Freeman, Art of Shaving, Psycho Bunny and Southern Tide, to name a few. Christopher James also offers services like wardrobe consulting, closet auditing/editing and more. And if you’re still at a loss, a gift card is always the perfect fit. 6410 W. Jefferson Boulevard, 260.436.4788, cjmenswear.com

Jophiel

Renowned for its sophisticated aesthetic and personal styling, professional women of Fort Wayne have shopped Jophiel for decades. With well-respected American and European brands, the boutique offers clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry and excellent styling advice, all under the direction of owner Julie Eckert Clancy. The impressively-sized store is merchandized by departments for ease of shopping and includes such brands as Eileen Fisher, White & Warren, Magaschoni, Carmen Marc Valvo and Wolford. For elegant gift giving, check out the glittering cases of costume jewelry that will dazzle and delight those who love to unwrap small boxes. You know what they say about the best gifts… 6410 W. Jefferson Boulevard, 260.436.8338, jophiel.com

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