I love design shopping on the road. It’s one of the best ways to see unique items I won’t find at home.
I’m always on the lookout for shops that sell stationary, gifts, goods by local artists, or well-curated home goods. Put another way: cool stuff that I don’t have to try on.
It can be challenging to find stores that I want to visit. If only Googling “cool design-y stores” would work!
How to Find Cool Shops When You Travel
Search your favorite crafty bloggers who travel. There are tons of crafty ladies who travel. I visit my favorite blogs and search for a city to see if they have any recommendations. I found Material in London from Kelly Purkey.
Mine the websites of your favorite paper designers. Many paper goods designers will list stores that stock their products. Rifle Paper Co.’s stockist list is a gold mine for this — I used their list to help suss out shops when I had an afternoon to myself in Portland. Sugar Paper also publishes a list.
I love a museum gift shop. Museum gift shops are always so well-curated. There’s nothing wrong with hitting up the shop if you don’t have time for the museum! Modern art and design museums are especially good for this.
Trust the brain at Google Maps. If you find a store you like and search for it on Google Maps in your browser, Google will show you similar shops in the area. It’s not always perfect and works way better with restaurants, but it does help! Note: I’ve only seen this work on a desktop browser, not on the mobile version of Maps.
If all else fails, Google it. Sometimes I’ll search “paper store” or “stationary store” just to see what I get. That’s how I found this great paper tour of Paris by Damask Love.
Do you have any tried and true secrets for finding good shops? Please share!