Left to right: San Pellegrino Aranciata, Rega DOP Whole Peeled Tomatoes, L’Isola D’Oro Italian Tuna in Oil.
I found Italian import store DITALIA right after finding My Boulangerie, which is great because culinary tourism is the only tourism I’ll be doing in the near future. Unlike My Boulangerie, DITALIA doesn’t sell any oven-ready breads like focaccia or grissini (*sniff*), but it has almost everything else, including wine, espresso, truffles, plum tomatoes, oil-packed tuna, and tiramisu. Definitely one to bookmark.
Left to right: Lavender honey drops, almond croissants, Parisian macarons.
I’m thrilled that I found My Boulangerie, an online shop featuring many hard-to-find French pastries and sweets. I’ve seen several nice French import stores online (The Frenchy Bee on eBay, for example), but I’ve never seen a catalog as comprehensive as My Boulangerie–they’ve got macarons, calissons, chestnut spread, and brioches. They even sell French chewing gum (Hollywood brand).
My favorite items, however, are the croissants: they sell four kinds (plain, chocolate, almond, and apple) prepared and frozen for home use. To eat, you just thaw them and allow the dough to rise overnight, then bake them in the morning. Yum!
From left to right: Hammerpress Test Print Journal, $8.00; Mushroom Shelves, $60-75.00; Wall Art with Hooks, $32.00; Cast Iron Bird Paperweight, $50.00.
Another excellent store is The Curiosity Shoppe. The blog-loved (bloved?) Shoppe features an eclectic mix of well-designed, affordable objects, like the four above.
The owners also have an inspiring blog called Smarts & Crafts. Most store blogs are done as an afterthought, and thus tend to be crap; Smarts & Crafts is, by contrast, quite savvy and interesting.
My absolute favorite post is this one on recycled card catalogs (source of image below). Such a great idea.
From left to right: Wool Khangai Tie Hat, $70.00; Myth & Ritual Multi-Stitch Trench, $240.00; Wren Recycled Leather Handbag, $235.00.
Another store for the web shopping guide is Beklina, a sustainable fashion boutique. Every product is made of organic, sustainable, or recycled materials, without descending into hippy chic cliches.
Above are three favorite finds. The Stewart+Brown hat uses wool from nomadic Mongolian herders, the Myth & Ritual trench is produced in the U.S. and is sweatshop free, and the bag features recycled leather (other colors & styles available). Beklina also has Rosy Naylor’s much-blogged-about hats, both on sale (1, 2).
Left to right: Black Edwardian Umbrella, £19.00; Seven Rings, £189.00; Espresso Cups & Saucers (set of 4), £18.00; Bird Nest Key Holder, £18.00; Rope Door Stop, £30.00; Pearl Hangers, £3.95.
OK, so I’m breaking my “must offer U.S. delivery” rule for one store: Plümo. Based in the UK, Plümo may or may not offer international delivery; that said, whoever owns Plümo has exquisite taste.
Take the sample buys above. Normally, I pick one to three photos for a store profile, but in this case I couldn’t choose less than these six. The yellow mugs give me the warm fuzzies, the umbrella is gorgeous and doubles as a weapon, and that rope knot is the Platonic ideal of a door stop. The other three finds successfully mix beauty and wit. Just wonderful.
Left to right: Cherry Lollies, $5.00; Groetsch Wood Hair Comb, $21.00; 2 Ribbed Ceramic Cups, $28.00.
New York-based Kiosk sells imports from a rotating list of countries (the current featured country is Germany; past countries include Sweden & Mexico). The owners look for products that are
“humble, straight forward and beautiful for their
simplicity and directness; […] products designed not around one personality but the result of local aesthetics and needs.” (Link)
Above are three favorite finds; check out Kiosk’s full inventory here.
About the post title: We’ve created a new category called “Web Shopping Guide” to help you find the best online shopping. We’ll introduce stores in individual posts, then organize our finds in a directory. If you want to recommend a store, do so in comments or email us at shesabetty AT gmail DOT com. Stores must offer U.S. delivery.
YTBA, or Yet To Be Announced, is an excellent showcase for up-and-coming Australian designers. The site features about 25 new design labels, each with a special section devoted to them, complete with biography.
Of the many cool finds, I particularly liked these Of Cabbages & Kings rib cage earrings, $50.00. The black are my favorite, but they’re also available in white, red stripe, & denim. They manage to be both edgy & pretty, a neat trick.
[Note: The site doesn’t discuss international shipping, but they were featured on Daily Candy’s Everywhere section, so I’m hopeful…]
I’m really impressed with Hapaculture, a store with unique products for great prices. Below are two jewelry finds; Hapaculture also has a wide variety of items for your home, self, and family (i.e. this fantastic collection of Totoro dolls). Check them out.
Coral Rose Pin by Jody Lyons, left, $60.00.