Here in lil’ Rhody, we know small. We love small. On #SmallBusinessSaturday, it’s time to shop small in the smallest state. From Tiverton to Wickford, we’ve rounded up some must-stops for #SmallBizSat (or #CyberMonday.) Get your shop on.
Away from mall maddening crowds, quaint historic Tiverton Four Corners offers its fair share of artisan shops and galleries — more than we can fit here; it’s well worth the stroll around the neighborhood.
Newcomer Groundswell now takes up two of those four corners with a sprawling three-building campus. If you have hobby-gardeners, plant-lovers and home decor aficionados on your list, start at Groundswell Garden + Home in the historic Arnold Smith House. Centuries-old floorboards creek underfoot and plants are tucked into every corner. Think glass terrariums filled with mossy greens, handmade ceramics, stone garden animals, potted plants, pewter picnic-ware, water cans, bird houses, trowels, and garden shears.
The latest addition: Groundswell Table + Provisions sits across the street. There you can find boutique home decor, from glassware to barware, aromatic salts to kitchen utensils, unique cookbooks to bold table settings. Don’t shop ‘til you drop: refuel at abutting Groundswell Cafe + Bakery. Perhaps pan bagnat with olive tapenade; jambon-beurre with ham and butter, a croque monsieur — and snag some sweet-treat stocking-stuffers. Info on all three here.
Next door, Salt offers clothing, jewelry and gifts, perhaps especially suited for the Ocean State beach-lover on your list. Think seagull earring studs, beach bags thick enough for bonfire wood, and more. 3845 Main Road, Tiverton. 401-816-0901.
Since 1982, Courtyards has offered whimsy in all forms. With a nearby pond and waterfall, it’s got Old World appeal in spades: ceramics, artisan pottery, jewelry, sculptures of glass, metal, stone, wood, tiles. The beauty here is in the eclectic curation. 3980 Main Road, Tiverton. 401-624-8682.
Meanwhile, waterfront Wickford Village boasts a charming downtown made for strolling, browsing and shop-popping. Different Drummer offers handmade pottery, cut-paper barn stars, locally made jewelry and glassworks, and the like. 15 West Main St., Wickford. 401-294-4867. Details here.
Harbor View Artisans, a Rhode Island artists co-op, has something for everyone: think locally made hand-knit Merino wool neck warmers and mittens, ocean-inspired resin-art dinnerware and stemless wine glasses, jewelry, pottery, French rolling pins, soy candles. 61 Brown St., Wickford. 401-662-3372. Details here.
Green Ink, an eclectic-stylish women’s boutique — think Habitat, Escape, Dansko — for clothing, curated jewelry, and accessories. 89 Brown St., Wickford. 401-294-6266. Details here.
For the adventurer on your list, find stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, snowshoes, doggie gear, outdoor clothing — think Patagonia, Prana, Olukai — and more at The Kayak Centre. 70 Brown St., Wickford. 401-295-4400.
Before you go: Alma Juice Bar + Market. Think smoothies, cider donuts, cardamom lattes, croissant sandwiches, cold-pressed juice, and local goods for stocking-stuffers. #CaliforniaVibes. 2 Main St., Wickford. 401-294-4750.
For a similar downtown vibe, explore Westerly. You’ll find boutique and unique shops within walking distance. Savoy Bookshop & Cafe is the kind of cozy and curated shop booklovers could spend hours in. 10 Canal St., Westerly. 401-213-3901. Details here.
Westerly Gifts offers locally-made and unique Rhody items, from homemade candles that smell like Westerly, to soy wax candles, jigsaw puzzles, Rhody tees, and retro toys like pet rocks, or “the world’s smallest” Hungry Hungry Hippo, Pictionary, or, how’s this for a challenge — the world’s smallest Operation. 53 High St., Westerly. 401-688-6336.
Over in PVD: Frog & Toad. This iconic Hope Street shop oozes Ocean State. From home a PVD DVD shirt billed as “one of our dumbest, and perhaps greatest designs” (once you see it you can’t unsee it) to a Slice of Rhode Island cutting board, to a “Cranston 4 Life” toddler T-shirt, the Rhode Island humor and whimsy is on-point and off the chart. 795 Hope St. and 713 Westminster, Providence. 401-831-3434. Details here.
Another popular spot: Craftland. A veritable brick-and-mortar Etsy, it brims with Rhody-made wares: jewelry, cards, bags, Rhody candles (yes, there’s one that smells like coffee milk), proud-to-be-from-Rhody clothing for even the littlest Rhode Islanders (this “Providence, weird since 1636″ onesie, for example) even non-Rhody-centric goods. 212 Westminster St., 401-272-4285.
Nearby: sister stores Queen of Hearts & Modern Love for women’s clothing, jewelry, soaps, crystals, and the like. You’ll also find home goods, cookbooks, colored pencils, and unique toys, like wooden puzzles. 222 Westminster St, Providence. 401-421-1471.
Don’t leave the district without scoping out Symposium Books. Their new-release table is on-point, and you might find gems in the used-stacks. For vinyl lovers on your list (and we all know at least one) check their record wall. 240 Westminster St. 401-273-7900. Details here.
Barrington Books is another book lovers must-stop — curated adult, middle-reader, and kids books, games, puzzles, toys, vinyl, turntables, and stocking-stuffers. 184 County Road, Barrington. 401-245-7925.
Santa bringing a bike this year? Support two local businesses at once at Dash Bicycle + Nitro Bar. Caffeinate and refuel (French toast bread pudding, anyone?) before shopping for the star of any Christmas morning: the bicycle under the tree. 228 Broadway, Providence. 401-453-3274