Handmade items always have a special quality about them. But add in beautiful materials, vibrant colors, and chic metallics, and you’ve got a dream come true for many. That’s exactly how I’d describe the handmade accessories brand, (r-ki-tekt). Designed and crafted by local artisan Kel Cadet, (r-ki-tekt) is truly a unique line of goods. The brand came about after Kel graduated from SCAD right here in Atlanta. “I have always been interested in designing and creating fashion accessories,” she says. “Shortly after I birthed my daughter in 2008, I went through a period of not knowing who I was from a stylistic perspective. I also didn’t have the time to primp like I once did. I decided to create dual functioning accessories (brooch/hair combs).” And (r-ki-tekt) was born. From colorful jewelry to card carriers, hair accessories and custom measure velvet belts, (r-ki-tekt) has the accessories sect covered. Kel says she prefers not to “put limitations on the materials I use to produce the accessories. I definitely feel more fulfilled when there is a hint of the unexpected.” She has even used plumbing hardware in a previous collection. In addition to family life and the necessity to provide, being born and raised in Atlanta has also had an impact on (r-ki-tekt) and the direction the brand has taken. “I am so excited to be apart of this growing and thriving hub. From working with the Indie Craft Experience to attending events held by CAMP to sponsoring workshops like The BrandMarket Workshop and to simply hanging out with other like-minded creatives, I can feel the pot brewing and bubbling over for the creative community in Atlanta. There is only greatness ahead,” Kel excitedly shares. And she’s right. The creatives in Atlanta are just getting started. With more and more festivals, craft shows and get-togethers arising every year, there’s always something to look forward to. Stay tuned to Groupon Atlanta’s Style & Beauty City Guide to keep you updated on all those events, as well as more Local Crafters. Shop (r-ki-tekt) online at Kel’s Etsy shoppe and at Shop SCAD in Savannah & Baba Souk in Canada. Kel says she also plans to expand to more brick & mortars in 2014, so keep a look out for these festive accessories around Atlanta. Photos by Johnny Cheng Photography.Read More
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Big box chain stores have made it easy to find cheap, affordable, and trendy clothes. Just like every large city, Atlanta has no shortage of Forever 21s, H&Ms, and Targets. It’s great except that it means if you find a great deal on a cute dress at H&M, chances are so have hundreds of other women. If you want something more unique, the city is brimming with cute clothing boutiques. Decatur, Virginia Highland, and Buckhead have some great, independently-owned boutiques where you can find one-of-a-kind pieces. But uniqueness usually means a big price tag. So where do you go in Atlanta for the most affordable, non-chain store finds? Read on the for some local favorites: Clothing Warehouse: This vintage shop in the Little Five Points neighborhood is so popular that the owners have opened up other locations throughout the southeast. If the word vintage makes you think of giant bins piled high with grubby, used clothes, then you will be amazed by Clothing Warehouse. The store is open, clean, and merchandised better than most boutiques. You can find super soft t-shirts, denim jackets, and dresses all for under $50. The store also carries a lot of new accessories like sunglasses and giant gold hoop earrings for super cheap. It’s a bit off topic, but if you have a bit more cash, this location has one of the largest collections of used cowboy boots in the city. Rag-O-Rama: Similar to Clothing Warehouse in the sense that it’s a secondhand store, but for a younger set. You’re not going to find anything that would work in a business-casual setting here, but the prices are cheap. You can find an H&M shirt from the previous season for $10 or less. Rag-O-Rama is also the place to go for statement necklaces and scarves. Skip the cheap sunglasses and costume-y items in the front and head to the accessories on the left side of the store past the register. Fab’rik: At first glance this boutique looks expensive, but almost every piece of clothing is under $100 - many under $50. You’ll find silk blouses, flowy summer dresses, and affordable footwear. The shop has an online store, but it’s worth going in person for the great customer service. There’s always someone at the shop willing to help you find the perfect outfit and it doesn’t hurt that you’re always offered a chilled beverage while you’re shopping. Fab’rik usually hosts fun in-store events throughout the year including semi annual sales. Inman Park Dry Goods: One of the newest boutiques in Atlanta and well-worth a visit. Not everything in the shop is cheap, but you can find plenty of affordable, well-curated pieces like structured vegan purses, patterned leggings, colorful scarves, and locally-made jewelry. Dry Goods also carries a cute selection of notecards and housewares that you won’t find anywhere else in town. If that doesn’t entice you, stop by to visit the store’s mascot, Puma, the owner’s french bulldog. Boutique Warehouse Sale: If all else fails, you can always count on the city-wide, semi-annual Atlanta boutique warehouse sale. Local favorites like Boogaloos Boutique, Squash Blossom, Sandpiper, and Meringue come together for a weekend and sell their end-of-the-season items at dirt-cheap prices. Dates and locations vary every season so just make sure you’re on the mailing lists of your favorite boutiques to get updates. Happy shopping - and saving!Read More
Well-regarded in Atlanta as the most desirable neighborhood of the city, Virginia Highland is a quaint, but lively area of Atlanta. This neighborhood is located just north and slightly east of Atlanta’s city center, with its heart on the corner of Virginia Avenue and North Highland Avenue. Here, you will find a wide selection of gift shops, high-end boutiques, delectable cafes and highly respected restaurants. Although every shop is worth a stop, there are a few places that must be highlighted. Paper Source This beautiful store has locations all over the U.S., but is certainly a favorite in Virginia Highland. The vibrant and colorful store is immediately aesthetically appealing with intricate detailing in the window displays. A step inside the door transports one to the colorful world of endless possibilities. Paper Source truly utilizes the multiple uses of paper to create stunning stationary, gifts, fun crafts and more. Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Company The name really says it all. Cacao focuses on one thing: the universally loved chocolate. From truffles (over 20 flavors of it!) to confections, this Atlanta Chocolate Co. takes the cake in the sweet treats department. Not only is their chocolate made from locally grown cacao beans to create the freshest, most deliciously enticing chocolate, but they also clearly put care in the packaging and presentation of their goods. Everything about Cacao’s chocolate is truly divine, making them the perfect delectable gift. Dakota J’s This cute store proudly boasts their title as Virginia Highland’s longest standing boutique. Since 1997, Dakota J’s has been selling stylish clothing, cute gifts and locally handcrafted jewelry. With a little bit of everything and not a lot of anything, this eclectic boutique offers something unique for each of their myriad of customers. From baby clothes to coffee mugs, Dakota J’s is your one stop shop in Virginia Highland. 310 Rosemont When looking for an upscale, perfectly curated boutique in Virginia Highland, look no further than 310 Rosemont. This contemporary boutique offers high quality clothing, premium denim and remarkable customer service. Carrying well-known brands alongside independent labels, 310 Rosemont offers the best selection for your outfit styling needs. Head down the street to check out 310 Rosemont’s daughter boutique, Winter Wren. This fun and vibrant store is Virginia Highland’s newest boutique and offers a special Free People shop and a trendy selection of designer goods. Virginia Highland certainly offers a wonderful selection of shopping destinations. This charming neighborhood is the perfect place to spend a day full of laughter and fun with loved ones. Take a stroll down the welcoming streets and enjoy the beautiful weather Atlanta brings year round. All Photos by: Johnny Cheng PhotographyRead More