Begun in 1985 as a strictly volunteer-based project of the St. Louis Mennonite Fellowship, Plowsharing Crafts grew over the years into a thriving nonprofit with two locations and an expansive inventory of eclectic wares from around the globe. The staff is committed to selling fair-trade art and handcrafts in order to provide much needed income and nurture the businesses of artisans, 70% of whom are women, from more than 45 developing countries around the world. The selection of items ranges from housewares to jewelry and beyond, many of which are made with sustainable and recycled materials or from food grown with sustainable methods.
The Tile Shop—as the name coyly suggests—specializes in tile for every imaginable surface and aesthetic style, making it easy for DIY handypeople to tackle small home projects, such as modernizing an avocado-green and penicillin-pink bathroom floor or re-grouting a small garden grotto. Underscore a kitchen with the appetizing orange of pirita siena ceramic tiles ($2.19 per square foot), then trim the counters in lizett beige ($3.99 each) for a complementary finish. Pick up a honeycomb pattern of hex matte black ($5.29 per square foot)—the quintessential backsplash for a gothy bumblebee—or add a touch of character to a small surface with a deep green verde butterfly mosaic ($11.99 per square foot). With its enormous selection of floor tiles, wall tiles, mosaics, and natural stone, the possibilities are as endless as a drive across Nebraska. The Tile Shop also has a plentiful selection of grout and tools for grouting it all together while grinning groutishly.
Rise early and storm the doors at the 8 a.m. opening to peruse the designer offerings of Laurie Solet, the chic underthings of Jule, the posh footwear of Wish Shoes, and more—all at discounts upwards of 50%. The event is cash only, so arrive fully prepared to fork over a fistful of dollars for Tory Burch "Amy" Resin shoes ($275 before sale), or long-sleeve striped shirts from Mister Guy ($98.50 pre-discount). The Cash & Carry Boutique Warehouse Sale sells designer clothes for women, men, and kids, so bring along any friends or fam who've made the fashion faux pas of wearing the same burlap sack two days in a row.
Launched 5 years ago, Mattress Source has grown from a plucky family-run enterprise to a regional institution, soothing aching backs and brightening up dream times with masterfully engineered mattresses of all makes and types. Models from brands such as Simmons, Corsicana, Restonic, and Spring Air enrich the third of your life spent asleep and the eighth of your life spent practicing trust falls with thick, long-lasting constructions designed to support and relax the body. The inventory promotes deep sleep and good health through a range of mattress types, from the strong, nonsagging innerspring design to the pillowy comfort of sheets of memory foam and latex.
A tall mural with cheerful, stylized images of antique home furnishings and a well-placed arrow points visitors to the cherry-red front door of Little Shop Around the Corner. Inside the charming resale shop, tail-wagging vintage merchandise and upscale antique furniture, art, jewelry, and china await to be adopted by new owners. The merchandise is sourced from donations to the Missouri Botanical Garden, located just around the corner. Garden Emeritus Trustee Evelyn Newman dreamt up the idea for the store, whose proceeds benefit the Garden's research and educational initiatives aimed at preserving botanical life, conserving resources, and combating climate change.