Wolf Hill Home and Garden Center's retail roots stretch back to 1978, when the family-owned operation blossomed from seed to store in Gloucester. Since those first years, the center has expanded to a second location in Ipswich and continues to beautify terraces and terrains around the Boston area with high-quality plants, flowers, and decorative accents. Organic and synthetic products weave their vibrant vines around both stores, including natural and silk arrangements, which can be designed elegantly for formal occasions or outfitted with sweatpants for casual get-togethers. In addition to its thriving supply of landscaping products, Wolf Hill Home and Garden Center adjusts its inventory according to the seasons, such as patio furniture during spring months and firewood, fireplace accessories, and holiday decorations during winter months.
The employees at Unique Furnishings Boston shepherd patrons through 10,000 square feet of antique, new, and preowned furniture and appliances encapsulating the evolving tastes from the 1950s to today. Staffers habitually refresh their inventory—which ranges from traditional, American-made furnishings to eclectic masterpieces—with new additions, such as a vintage armoire with an artfully framed mirror. Unique Furnishings Boston embraces a philosophy of sustainability by buying or trading quality used items before owners relocate or completely refurbish apartments due to a newly prescribed diet of entirely edible furniture.
Jewelry made from twigs. Surrealist birdhouses. Old bike parts retrofitted into robot statues. These items are just a taste of the unique goods popping up on––and flying off of––Magpie's shelves. But don’t fret—there’s plenty more where they came from. Indeed, impermanence is part of the charm at Magpie, an eclectic bazaar of indie and locally made crafts that are as aesthetically beautiful as they are stunningly unique. What began as a booth at the annual Bazaar Bizarre craft fair transformed into a brick-and-mortar shop when Magpie’s owners recognized the public’s taste for one-of-a-kind items that weren’t manufactured in a factory or built by creepy elves. So they tapped local artists and crafters and filled their shelves with quirky, handmade, and entirely original items that run the gamut from hand-bound journals, to t-shirts, to Queen Bee vinyl handbags. A true champion of local artists, Magpie not only sells artists’ work, but also displays it on its walls, and the shop hosts a regular artist-of-the-month promotion to help promote some of their favorite local designers.
Offering stylish, high-quality home furnishings and custom creations, Ethan Allen has been gussying up lackluster living spaces for more than 70 years. Saunter through the showroom or work with one of the interior-design pros to choose the right look for your abode. The Hyde loveseat, available in an array of fabrics ($1,699), is a comfy two-cushioner for dastardly duos or doctors with split personalities. Make an anachronistic statement by stacking a sleek, modern American Artisan SmartWall ($3,734) with 8-tracks and kinescope films, or downsize and try the Maison square accent table ($219). The accessories area is stocked with light-emitting devices, such as the contempo table lamp ($84), as well as worthy components for pillow-igloo projects. For hands-free shopping, free shipping is available for certain items and local delivery is available if you live within a 50-mile radius of the store.
One of the East Coast's best-known members-only wholesale retailers, BJ’s Inc. serves more than six million members in 201 clubs as far west as Ohio. Within these sprawling locations, savvy shoppers knock out most of their errands in a single stop. In the same visit, members can stock up on economy-sized groceries—including USDA choice meats, farm-fresh produce, and everyday essentials—grab name-brand electronics, and even plan a vacation through BJ's Travel. Each service makes up a single part of the club's well-rounded retail experience, but simplifying shopping isn't BJ's only goal; in 2012 alone, the company donated more than $3.2 million to charitable organizations.
Peter's Classic Cleaners wields more than 45 years of experience to launder and dry-clean clothing and accessories using environmentally friendly old-fashioned processes free of harsh chemicals. The staff specialize in cleaning valuable items, including wedding gowns and leather, and can wash, dry, and fold quotidian attire ($1.99/lb.). Jackets ($8+) stand straighter, and pants ($5.50) release grass stains or hard-won telephone-pole splinters after a thorough degriming. Patrons can drop off blouses ($3+) and dresses ($10+) for laundering and shirts or polos to be hand pressed ($3.50+). Once clothes are freshened, clients are encouraged to wear them all at once before falling asleep on a just-cleaned king-size comforter ($25).