Monday, July 25, 2011

stellar shop(s), viroqua edition: pomegranate & tulips

Okay, first off, with names like Pomegranate and Tulips, how could these shops be any less than stellar? It's simply not possible. I'm convinced.

By the time we made it to these two shops we had already indulged in crepes, taken in the wonders of the Public Market, and found Ms. JohnaLee a wedding dress. Realizing there were two more jawdroppingly hip stores mere feet away was just icing on the cake.

209 S. Main Street
Viroqua, WI 54665

Pomegranate is a tiny boutique run by a crafty, friendly woman named Angie Benetto, who makes over 90% of what is sold inside.

Crazy Daze sidewalk sales on the day we happen to be in Viroqua? Lucky us.

The shop featured handstiched and handstamped aprons, totes and tapestries with no lack of embellishment. An orgy of cascading ruffles.

  Love that the owner's signature stamp reps Viroqua so proudly. 

JohnaLee took a shine to one of these aprons (shown above) and almost bought it. She didn't have cash on hand so the owner told her she could just take it and bring the cash back after she got it at KwikTrip. How's that for trusting? The owner was utterly unconcerned. Small town openness and trust, so incredible to me these days. Ultimately JL didn't end up buying it, but the sentiment was quite astonishing nonetheless.

Charming onesies. Adore the hangers.

Sadly, the owner of Pomegranate didn't have an etsy shop. This distressed me greatly. I hope my fervent urgings to get one up and running convinced her a bit!

207 S. Main Street
Viroqua, WI 54665

Tulips is located directly next to Pomegranate, and I must say, the shops go hand-in-hand. Painted avocado green, these outdoor sale tables were covered in vintage tablecloths. I knew this store would be a favorite from first sight.

Tulips has a facebook page and a flickr account if you're interested. 

  .... I now have a reason to collect miscellaneous pretty old cans.

The inside of Tulips was bright, airy and cheerful. Obviously the owners are also women who have a hard time sticking to one color palette. Um, I can relate.

This will probably come as no surprise to anyone, but I have been seeking a small discarded card catalog such as this for a long time. I get insanely jealous when I see anyone else that has one in their possession. I'm a thrifter and a future librarian, so owning a small repurposed card catalog is just necessary.

Succulents, matryoshka dolls, journals. Bold citrusy yellow paint.

The owners sold both clothing that they created as well as vintage textiles: tablecloths, dish towels, there may even have been some sheets in there. All were lovely. I bought a small dish towel.

Bright colors, small treasures.

 ... I cannot resist a table full of tchotchkes!

Bold, chunky jewelry.

 In the back of Tulips there was a small craft studio area. The owners sold fabric, embroidery floss, and other miscellaneous crafty things. It's possible that they have mini courses at Tulips on occasion, though I didn't ask the owner.

All the stellar shops I have thus far featured with the exception of the antique stores have been small creative businesses owned and operated by women. I can't say enough about how much I admire what they are doing. I cannot imagine what it must be like to pour your creative energy into a shop, not knowing if you will make enough money to keep it running. I imagine it gets disheartening pretty fast, but who knows? I am seriously considering starting up an etsy shop at some point in the future, maybe 6 months out, after I am settled in Bloomington. Lately I've been missing having a creative outlet, as my sewing machine cord is packed away somewhere and there just isn't much room in my shared space to create. I feel the creative itch.

Oh, and tangentially related: Neil and I are moving to Bloomington in less than a month. I'm leaving La Crosse in three weeks. Life is about to get crazy.

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