Nineteen local boutiques, galleries, designer studios and sweet shops are participating in the 7th Annual Holiday Shopping Stroll in the North End on Friday, December 6, 6-11 pm. Explore neighborhood stores to find unique gifts for loved ones. The retail venues are diverse and personalized, and make an effort to sell distinct items.
“If you live in the neighborhood or Boston, you want to support local businesses. A lot of us carry products that are made locally,” says Marian Klausner, Chief Mover and Shaker of Shake the Tree. “I think small businesses help neighborhoods thrive. We give back to a lot of neighborhoods.”
Cocoanuts is a specialty food shop that has gift baskets filled with treats from local bakers. At ACQUIRE, a vintage and modern boutique, you can find special polar bear and other ornaments. Shake the Tree is a dainty shop with feminine pieces like vases, perfumes, French Bulldog sweatshirts, and even a hedgehog sculpture. Exhale Spa is a mind/body spa that sells fitness apparel, skin care products, candles, and jewelry.
“We’re really trying to make it a one-stop-shop for guests,” says Samantha Steinhage, Assistant Director of Exhale Spa. “It’s perfect for the fitness fanatic on your shopping list or the girl who’s looking for something pretty.”
The independently owned stores offer a personal level of service when you visit, and enjoy getting to know their customers.
“We know our clients. Everything is edited down for you,” says Mike Boyle, Sales at ACQUIRE. “It’s really fun. A lot of people come who have never been to the North End before.”
Store owners suggest browsing from one side of the North End to the other for a more organized experienced – either beginning at the Christmas tree on Cross St. or near the Fairmont Battery Wharf. The businesses are partnering with the North End Beautification Committee, who hosts the tree lighting, for the Holiday Stroll.
“The Holiday Stroll is a great night to see all this, experience it, and enjoy it,” says Tara Shea, Owner of Cocoanuts. “All stores are staying open late. It’s a lot of fun. There’s a festive mood.”
Pick up a “passport” at any of the participating stores, and have it stamped at all the venues to be entered to win a gift basket. It is a holiday scavenger hunt to find everything on your wish list, nibble on refreshments, and find great deals on items.
Participating businesses include: A Matter of Face, ACQUIRE, Cocoanuts, Ensemble, Exhale Spa, Fairmont Battery Wharf, Heart and Sole, in-jean-ius, LIT Boutique, Lulu’s Sweet Shoppe, North Bennet Street School, Officina 189, Savas Studios, Sedurre, Shake the Tree, SOL Optics Sunglass Boutique, The Wine Bottega, and Twilight.