Shopping has never been more interesting than it is at Shake the Tree. This unique boutique features a little bit of this and a lot of that, from beautifully scented candles and rich hand lotions to a collection of perfume from various designers. Hand-milled soaps and silk scarves stand out for their uniqueness, while wool hats, locally-made jewelry, contemporary dresses and leather wallets and handbags are also available, each set perfectly on a beautiful display inside the sunny shop. Gift ideas include Sriracha cookbooks for home chefs, leather totes for the modern fashionista and even stuffed animals for youngsters. Shake the Tree also hosts monthly cocktail parties featuring some of the designers, with food from area North End restaurants.
In more than 1,112 stores worldwide, Edible Arrangements' expert fruit florists arrange pieces of premium fruit in stunning displays for all occasions. Customers can customize their order to suit any occasion, receiving chocolate-dipped fruit such as pineapples, granny-smith apples, grapes, and juicy Albion strawberries that, unlike the sodas found in most mummies' crypts, don't contain any preservatives. Staffers can dip fruit in gourmet semisweet chocolate, white chocolate, or their own special peanut-butter-and-chocolate blend. For birthdays and anniversaries, chocolate wielders can personalize gift baskets with gifts such as plush teddy bears and mylar balloons.
Spotless New England?honored as the Best House Cleaner in 2014 by Boston Magazine?prides itself on its meticulous staff and its all-natural cleaning products. Put the two together and you have cleaners scouring every nook and cranny of a home with family- and pet-safe cleaning products. The crews uproot dirt in all its forms and leave surfaces from the kitchen sink to the bathtub shiny. Their cleaning itinerary is extensive and promises that cleaners make all the necessary stops: bedrooms, kitchen, underneath dolls' fingernails. And, they do so with deliberate tools chosen for their safety, including microfiber cloths, HEPA vacuums, and Method-brand green cleaning supplies. Spotless also offers commercial cleaning and landscaping services; owner Nick Dennis is a respected member of Boston's non-profit community who's done work with The Young Leaders Council of Fenway Health and the Governor?s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth.
Featured several times in the Boston Globe, Neena's Lighting equips abodes with illumination apparatus. In the kitchen, mash a passel of potatoes with the satin or polished-aluminum base of a Pablo Pardo Sophie table lamp before filtering frappes through its frosted polycarbonate diffuser ($90). Or, teach kindergarteners the sleepiest letter of the alphabet by displaying the Koncept Z-Bar LED desk lamp prominently in homes ($165). Bowling-pin shaped Tiella Cha-Cha pendant lights come in three colors to confuse wayward bowling balls rolling around living rooms ($96).
Enjoying a chilled beverage no longer means enduring a watered-down finish with Top Shelf Living's drink products. The purveyor of earthen barware, cookware, and tabletop products—including soapstone coasters and slate pizza stones—can outfit shoppers with washable drops that cool libations without melting into water. Sets of whiskey rocks keep adult beverages chilled for up to 45 minutes, and metal wine drops ensure customers can enjoy cooled glasses of pinot grigio with their meal without having to dine in their supermarket's walk-in freezer.
As the owner of Harvard Art & Frame, Tony Tisei carries on what the original owners started in 1938. He's been manning the old Boston shop for the past four decades, overseeing the staff as it crafts custom frames using acid-free materials. After the artisans help clients select mattes and frames from hundreds of options, including products from Omega Moulding, they encase pieces ranging from maps, prints, and paintings to antique 3-D objects. They also restore old photographs so you can always look fondly upon the scowling face of Great-Grandpa Earl.