When Valere Rene became ill a few years ago and was unable to continue working at her job with a busy dental practice, the family income was affected. When school was about to begin for her two daughters that fall, she found she was unable to provide the usual shopping trip to purchase teenage-girl-approved bags for them to carry. As a solution, Valere did what many other women have done in recent years – she turned to DIY.
What began as a casual idea to make a couple of bags has now, with her family’s help and the support of an investor, become a successful business for Valere and a shop full of bags and jewelry made on the premises by seamstresses she employs. Her designs can be purchased off-the-rack, or customized to customers’ specifications.
Downtown Rogers is full of shops like Valere’s run by small business owners who turned a passion into a source of income. Part of the charm of downtown is the eclectic mix of retail options available for anyone who takes a stroll down Walnut and adjoining streets. No matter who you are shopping for this holiday season – our town can provide you with great gift options.
Here’s a quick list of some of the variety you can find in downtown Rogers:
Blackbird Wool and The Rabbit’s Lair both offer classes and supplies for the needlecrafter in your life. Blackbird Wool specializes in teaching you how to make a latch-hook rug, but also offers gift items and wool for sale for other handmade projects. The Rabbit’s Lair has everything you need, from thread to fabric, to make quilts and sewing projects.
The Women’s Pavilion and Wisteria Lane are women’s boutiques that offer beautiful clothing and accessories that you won’t find at the national chains. The Women’s Pavilion is also a wig boutique, and is the perfect place to shop for gifts for someone who is challenged with hair loss due to illness. Wisteria Lane also carries hand-picked collectibles and décor pieces for your home.
Poor Richard’s Art Gallery is the one-stop-shopping spot if you are interested in giving handmade art and fine crafts for Christmas this year. They carry pottery by Jim Young, who we recently featured on the blog, and dozens of other makers from around the region.
The Imaginarium is a new shop on Walnut that carries décor and accessory items that are unique to downtown Rogers. Items with a fantasy theme like fairies and “Steampunk” pieces for your library shelves, as well as tie-dyed shirts and incense can be found here.
The Rusty Chair and Vintage Antiques offer something for the vintage-lover in your life. They offer everything from fine antique furniture, to art, to primitive and industrial pieces. Just walking through these stores is an adventure.
Bathe is the recent rebranding of the business you may know as The Bath Junkie. They have opened a new store on Walnut that makes you feels like you’re walking into a luxury spa retreat. In addition to the make-it-yourself lotions and shower gel, they also sell personal bath accessories like plush terrycloth robes.
Trolley Line Book Shop is the place to go to find something special for your literary friend. Shelves from floor to ceiling are lined with vintage, used and some out of print books. There is definitely something for everyone in this (big) little shop.
Also new to Rogers, but not to Northwest Arkansas, is the floral shop called Pigmint. They specialize in floral designs and fresh cut flowers that are unique and memorable, from the bloom to the bow, and also offer gift items in their shops. Their floral design classes have become popular and fill up quickly when they’re scheduled.
Mark your calendar!
Shopping in Rogers is always a treat, but November 29th will provide a little something special. Downtown Rogers merchants will be participating in “Small Business Saturday”, a national promotion originally created by American Express to support their retailers that has grown into a national “shop local” movement. The spirit of supporting local shop owners and artisans in our own community is definitely worth an afternoon spent in one of the prettiest downtown areas in Northwest Arkansas, don’t you think?
Participating businesses will host extended hours, open houses and specials all day long for shoppers who want to avoid the craziness at the local malls and big box stores. The event encourages shoppers to support local small businesses as a way to boost the local economy and invigorate the downtown neighborhood. See you there!