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
There’s nothing better than finding that perfect item and paying close to nothing for it - even if it’s been used before. Sifting through piles of clothes and cracked china is part of the fun when it comes to shopping second-hand stores. Atlanta has no shortage of thrift stores. The city has everything from grungy, warehouse stores to curated, second-hand shops. Here are the ones worth visiting: Second Life is located in downtown Avondale Estates in a huge, yet very well organized, 5,000 square foot building. It sells housewares and clothes and the owners recently opened up a second furniture store across the parking lot. Stop by the main store and stock up on glassware and great everyday dishes. If you’re looking for a classic coffee table or quirky couch, head across the parking lot to the secondary store. Bonus: a portion of every purchase benefits homeless dogs and cats. Last Chance Thrift has four locations in Atlanta and no thrift store list would be complete without a mention of LC. This chain of stores is the “grungy, warehouse stores” I mentioned at the beginning of this article. LC is the type of store you visit again and again and then finally find the perfect white, porcelain cat that you’ve been looking for your mantle. Or if you’re looking for giant t-shirts to make t-shirt scarves during a crafternoon project, LC is the place for you. The prices are the lowest you’ll find anywhere. Take a drive out to the suburbs and mine the Goodwill at Northlake. True story: my sister bought a Bottega Veneta purse at this location for $1.50. Enough said. In the same vein, you can also find some decent designer items at the Goodwill on Roswell Road. Finders Keepers is by far the best second-hand shop(s) in Atlanta. There are four locations each with a different focus: fashions, boutique, menswear, and furnishings. These aren’t thrift stores, they’re second-hand stores, which means the prices aren’t the lowest in town. Nevertheless, you’ll still find great deals in these well-curated stores. The fashion shop carries brands like Banana Republic and J. Crew while the boutique in Decatur has designer items by the likes of Roberto Cavalli and Derek Lam. The furnishing shop carries a mix of traditional and mid-century items and rotates its inventory regularly. Lucky Exchange has been an Atlanta favorite second-hand shop for years. It’s located in Midtown in a tiny storefront right next to Papis. The inventory is well organized and refreshed frequently. The men’s section has army surplus shirts and brands like Original Penguin. The women’s section has plenty of fun, vintage-y party dresses and funky jewelry. Head to the back of the store for the clearance and sales items first. Honorable Mention: Rag-o-Rama and Buffalo Exchange offer secondhand clothing for the Urban Outfitters set. The prices are reasonable, but more expensive than thrift stores and Lucky Exchange.Read More