Fall is here, haha, not really..

In the crazy world of Fasion, FALL  season starts in June. Yes, June.

Just as the summer sun is dazzling, the air is thick with humidity and I’m drinking chilled Rosé, our autumn deliveries of cozy knit sweaters, heavy weight coats, bell sleeve tops and long pants start arriving. We unpack the boxes and stack everything in the back, not daring to bring most of it out till late August!

In July, however we stock “Transition” – beautiful clothing that you can wear now but will carry into fall…sleeveless dresses, light weight  or off the shoulder tops in neutrals, blacks or autumn tones!

Big thanks to Ashley and Maddie, Shake staffers for modeling and to Shaker Deanna for being our resident photographer❤️

Also, a big shout out to our Salem Street neighbor, Salmagundi, the best Hat Shop in Boston! We love collaborating with them for photo shoots – this is Emily, one of the chief hatters…

 

 

 

Mid-Summer Re-do!

A huge part of owning a small shop is keeping the displays fresh and exciting! Merchandising is probably my favorite thing to do, and a full store re-do easily takes 6-8 hours!

When I am at design trade shows, I try to imagine future display areas, picking themes, based on color, season, and motifs. I place orders from different vendors to curate how the displays will come together. Then, months later, when the inventory finally arrives, the actual setting up begins. Every few weeks, we move every single item to its perfect spot, often times changing mid-way if the look isn’t right.

Back in college, I took lots of classes at the Museum School, mostly drawing, and for years before I had the shop, I missed the flow of visual creativity in my work and home life. Doing the displays feels like a moving in-the-moment creative meditation where each piece falls into its rightful place. I’m so grateful that doing this counts as “work” because it honestly just feels like “play!”

Rifle Paper Art Prints

Confession – I am totally obsessed with Rifle Design! Anna Bond, owner and designer, creates beautiful illustrations, often focused on botanical themes! The illustrations are then printed as posters, journals, memo pads, recipe boxes, greeting cards, calendars and planners! They even make wallpaper, which, by the way,  I am dying to buy for our house (available only through Hygge and West, yes, look them up!)

We just met with them to re-order and now have a ton of their newest journals and Art Prints in stock!

Summer Entertaining!

When it’s quiet or rainy outside, I often find myself flipping though our collection of recipe books, planning and imagining summer brunches, BBQs, farm fresh dinners and cocktail/appetizer parties! For me, planning the menu and setting everything up on Shake’s platters and trays is half the fun!

This summer I’ve been really into a more natural tablescape, using rough cut mango wood bark plates or Bamboo trays from  Be Home, a small company committed to designing with sustainable resources.

Below are my two favorite cookbooks this summer! Volante Farm is a local farm, based in Needham, MA, and this is their very first book of recipes! Gather is simply beautiful and inspiring!

Belly Butter

We love supporting small independently owned small-batch local businesses! For over ten years we have been selling  lavender/peppermint Momma’s Belly Butter, made in Newburyport, Mass, by the Plum Island Soap Company! Using all natural ingredients and essential oils, the belly butters make great gifts for moms-to-be!

Oooh La La – Our favorite Fragrances!

Fragrances brighten your mood and can complete an outfit. I have a small collection of love bottles on my dresser and I vary my choices daily, depending on season, the hour, where I am heading and what I’m wearing ! I tend to like dark, woodsy and complex notes, but I know so many others love garden florals, citrus fruits or vanilla coconut tones. Shake stocks perfumes in all of these fragrance categories from a number of different makers but TOKYO MILK, made by Colorado-based Margot Elena is one of my most favorite collections! Here are few winners:

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Part of the original collection, DEAD SEXY has become a Shake staple, with notes of exotic wood, white orchid and deep vanilla!

Introduced in 2016, the “Tokyo Milk Light” collection includes three fragrances including AND SOUL which is an amazing and complex blend of oolong tea, bamboo reed, and white musk!

The NEWEST collection to  release for Spring 2017 is called “Neptune + the Mermaid” and includes ANTHEMOESS No. 84 which is a blend of jasmine, salted grapefruit, honeysuckle and sandalwood!

Top Selling BULLETPROOF is an essential key fragrance in the “Tokyo Milk Dark” collection, with notes of smoked tea, coconut milk, crushed cedar and ebony!

Enjoy! xoxox, M

Cocktail Bitters + Shrubs Tasting with The Hudson Standard – Sat. 6/10 from 1-3pm

You’re invited….

Spend the afternoon wandering through the historic North End neighborhood and Boston waterfront and stop into Shake on Saturday, June 10th(1-3) for our Cocktail Bitters + Shrubs Tasting with THE HUDSON STANDARD!

Based in upstate NY, Hudson Standard creates small-batch handcrafted bitters and syrups to flavor cocktails and sparkling waters. They partner with local farms to
source fruits and herbs!

We will be sampling:

*concord grape, rhubarb,
+ apple coriander shrubs

*ginger, spruce shoot
+ masala bitters

RAISE YOUR GLASS!

Birthday Gratitude!

Just a BIG THANK YOU to all of our wonderful customers, my amazing staff, and my incredibe family who have supported me for the last 23 years!

Opened in the late Spring of 1994, we have started out as an etsy-like handmade craft gallery in Brookline Village and then moved into the North End in 2004, just as the Greenway was rolling out. We dropped the “gallery” concept and evolved into our current aesthetic and mix of clothing, jewelry, home goods, apothecary, small-batch edible treats, baby gifts, and global cookbooks!

I moved the shop three times, re-designed the shop displays a gazillion times, made a ton of neighborhood friends, watched my dedicated staff grow from college students to 30-something professionals and parents, witnessed ever-changing style trends and survived the ups and downs of a volatile economy. Yes,  it’s been a long haul and I am so grateful for the kick-ass moment I had in ’94 to jump head first into owning this business!

Xoxo, m

 

New Botanical Soaps

One of my favorite things to do is to find new makers and invite them into the shop. Our most recent discovery is KEATS, based in Ohio, which handcrafts small batch organic soap and skincare, using gorgeous essential oils. We love their sweet packaging and believe they will make beautiful gifts for your friends and treats for yourselves!

handmade soaps

Spring🌱🌱🌱

It’s really and truly SPRING! We are so happy to be putting out all of our beautiful spring collections, which have been hiding in our back room, waiting for winter to thaw and delicate blossoms to start peeping through the soil! We are loving denim, off the shoulders, bold florals, ruffles and rompers! here are a few of our favorites!

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Patterns and Textures

Confession – I wear mostly solid black, all day, every day. However, summer comes rolling in, my winter mood mood brightens and my eye lovingly gazes at bright florals, soft pastel paisleys and multi-colored pom poms. The store transitions from neutral palettes to a festival of summer brights and patterns!

A year ago, we traveled through northern India and I was struck by the neon bright embellished saris, head scarves and sparkly gold jewelry that women wore. Interestingly, jewelry became a common language and an easy way to begin to cross cultural barriers. I always wear long dangly earrings and thin gold necklaces and upon arriving in small rural desert towns (that few Americans visit and no English is spoken), I often found myself surrounded by crowds of women and children, reaching out and touching my jewelry. I loved their intricate textured earrings, rows of delicate bangles and colorful scarves and I would reach back, smiling and nodding, in that universal connection that women can make.

So, a little inspiration kicks in and Shake now has a summer stock full of beautifully pattererned dress, tops and scarves and jewelry with tassels and beads! Here are just a few faves,

xoxo, M

 

 

Meal Planning with Shake’s Cookbooks!

Sundays come rolling round and weekly meal planning begins. When I am super organized (which does not happen as often as I wish!) I literally get my morning coffee, gather my favorite recipe books, plan out meals and draft a shopping list? I bring breakfast and lunch to work every day so planning for leftovers is key!

Infusing things is my newest obsession…flavoring vodka by adding toasted rosemary or fresh cucumber, making simple sugar or honey syrups with ginger, lime zest, and cinnamon …all great ideas to boost flavors in homemade cocktails or sparkly waters!

Host a Spring Gathering

Well, Spring has finally come knocking on our door and, after months of dreary, grey and raw cold, New Englanders can take a deep breath and enjoy the warmth and sunshine! Since everyone pretty much hibernates through the winter, I always feel like I want to host an April gathering, re-connecting with friends who we haven’t seen in ages. This calls for pulling out our favorite seasonal cookbooks, collecting white ceramic platters, marble cutting boards, special small gold  dishes, artichoke candles and setting a beautifully landscaped table!

“Forest Feast Gatherings”  has beautiful vegetarian focused menus and decor suggestions! This weekend, I’m hoping to use their “Cocktail Party” menu featuring rose spritzers, kumquat gimlet punch, avocado-tahini crostinis, truffled cucumber rounds and spicy chocolate almonds!

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Galentine’s Day❤❤❤

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and it is one of my favorite holidays. Whether you are partnered or single, to me, it is a day that is simply filled with gratitude for the love of the people who are most special in our lives. Yes, it has been over-commercialized, but behind that, is the simple call to action to tell people you love how much you appreciate them. And…chocolate plus flowers helps😊

Shop Re-Design!

New displays
New displays

January is always a time for goal setting and new beginnings. For the last two years I have imagined re-doing the shop displays but was hesitant to take the leap. After our super busy holiday season, I decided to just go for it and we installed new display tables and constructed a wonderful pipe and flange wall system that gives us so much more organized space!  Stop by and check it out!

Snow Days

Snow days
Snow days

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Yes it’s freezing and snowing outside but our beloved bloggers take one for the team! Hats off to Katie Salerno(📷) and Kate (Prep of Boston) for modeling new pieces from Splendid and Misa Los Angeles!  Piping hot chocolate is well deserved💕