Art and design inspiration at SoWa

Boston is a city of summer charms. When the temperature starts to rise, a Sunday afternoon means kayaking on the Charles River, window shopping on Newbury Street, and sprawling out in the Public Garden for a picnic lunch.

However, for Boston’s local design community, the SoWa Open Market remains a summer staple. Every weekend from April 29 – October 29, people gather in the city’s South End in the SoWa Art and Design District. SoWa (derived from “south of Washington”), historically an area of abandoned warehouses, is now home to galleries, artisan shops, and the summer Open Market where 150 local artists, farmers, foodies, crafters, and musicians unite in one of the region’s most vibrant artisan scenes.

Taste from the bazaar of food trucks, sip craft brews and ciders in the Beer Garden, purchase fresh produce from the Farmer’s Market, and pick out beautiful pieces for your home – all while supporting local businesses and artists.

Pretty pieces for your home

This year’s market is curated with artists that showcase everything from handmade jewelry, clothing, and home décor to fragrances, gifts for men, and tourist swag.

Vicki Caira of VPV Photography hosted a booth featuring her and her husband’s beautiful photography taken around the world. The husband-and-wife team has been selling in Boston for four years and this summer, they opened a boutique in Rockport, MA.

According to the duo, their biggest success has come from turning their photography into fine art limited-edition coasters.

Moss & Blue, a Boston-based art studio run by painter Julianne Strom, was another hidden gem among the gathering of vendors.

“There is an interesting balance of new and old in Boston that allows many artists from different walks of life to find success,” Julianne said. “I love feeling like I’m making something new and refreshing that isn’t intimidating or a turn-off.”

You can also shop Julianne’s work on her Etsy page.

Tasty new treats

In addition to artists, there are many local food companies that attend SoWa each weekend. Brand representative of goodMix Foods, Andrew Mcclymont, told us his company originated in Australia and has only recently set up shop in Vermont. He comes to SoWa to share goodMix, a blend of 11 superfoods all chosen for their mineral content and nutritional value.

As for local eats, SoWa boasts a diverse selection of local farmers and produce vendors, as well as a whole area packed with food trucks, all offering a taste of Boston.

Those little things you didn’t know you needed

One of our favorite finds is a vendor after our own heart, a business called The Wander Truck. This mobile boutique run by Laura Sylvester carries home goods, accessories, and jewelry, all sourced from small makers around the U.S.

“I have always been really drawn to the idea of being able to bring the store to the customers, whether that be at a market like SoWa, or a music festival, or someone’s driveway for a party!” – Laura, The Wander Truck

There’s certainly something for everyone at SoWa. And if nothing else, it’s an invigorating place to soak up some of that summer sun and design inspiration.


The little white dress, a summer staple

We chatted with Sara Mueller, a fashion blogger from A Dose of Pretty, to find out how she manages to stay cool during hot summer months.

Photos by @ananewyork

I’m currently living in Miami with my husband and two kids, so I know a bit about this endless summer thing. As a mom of two, lifestyle blogger, and aspiring photographer, staying cool in the summer is not just preferable – it’s necessary. My happy place is when I am with my family, surrounded by pretty things, styling, creating content, taking photos, and traveling. You’ll pretty much find me with my camera everywhere I go. If I had to tell you about three things I can’t live without (aside from my family), it would be my camera, a good cup of coffee or tea, and my love for creativity.

One of my favorite things about Miami living is how it’s al fresco weather all year round, regardless of the heat. Since outdoor entertaining is the norm, I’ve learned that the key to staying cool (besides simply being in the shade) is dressing in light and flowy pieces of clothing. This summer I’m loving this little white dress.

Photos by @ananewyork

Photos by @ananewyork

Photos by @ananewyork

Another thing I love is Parisian style – yes, I’m a Francophile. So of course, I picked Laduree as the place to debut this beautiful Garnet Hill dress. We were in Paris last summer, so being here at Laduree brings back fond memories of our trip.

Photos by @ananewyork

This little number looks great dressed up a bit for an afternoon tea date with a friend, or to jaunt around the town running errands. And since I love my summer whites, I have a feeling this dress will be in constant rotation this season.

What do you have planned for the season?

48 Hours on Martha’s Vineyard

What would you do with 48 hours to spend in the sun and on Martha’s Vineyard? We asked local influencer Annah Todd for her recommendations on how to make the most of your time on the vineyard.

Martha’s Vineyard is one of those rare well-known vacation destinations that not only meets your expectations – it actually exceeds them. To take full advantage of the island itself, you will need a car, and if you can, find your way onto a boat. The travel to Martha’s Vineyard itself is an easy 40-minute ferry ride from Woods Hole or Falmouth, and there are lots of ferry options depending on when and from where you are coming.

Martha's Vineyard

Photography shot by Jack Callahan

I visited Martha’s Vineyard for a weekend at the beginning of June. The weather was perfect for breezy linen tunics and flowy silk dresses – and we even managed to squeeze in some time at the beach! Below are my recommendations for the best Martha’s Vineyard activities. If you can, stay longer than a weekend.

Cliffs and Beaches

Aquinnah, MA

The clay cliffs of Gay Head are striking. Unlike anything I’ve seen on the east coast before, the cliffs are a vibrant terracotta color. They are protected, but you can get a stunning vantage point from the Gay Head Lighthouse.

Annah Todd on Martha's Vineyard

Photography shot by Jack Callahan

For an even better view, I recommend walking down to Moshup Beach.  Moshup Beach is public so depending on the time of year you visit, parking may or may not be an issue, so consider the time of day and season. The cliffs and beach are located on the most western point of the island, resulting in an unbelievable sunset.

Annah Todd on Martha's Vineyard

Photography shot by Jack Callahan

Chappaquiddick Island

Chappaquiddick, MA

Rent bikes and take them on the small Chappy Ferry, to Chappaquiddick from Edgartown.

It’ll cost you $6/person round-trip and the ferry ride takes about five minutes. The ferry’s slogan is endearing and fitting: “Back and forth between two worlds – 527 feet apart.” Almost 1,000 acres of land is preserved on Chappaquiddick Island by The Trustees of Reservations, and the island truly feels like an entirely different place than the bustling streets of Edgartown. While you cannot really go wrong with anything on Chappaquiddick Island, East Beach (otherwise known as Leland Beach) in the Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge is my absolute favorite. With salt marshes, 14 miles of trails, and seven miles of remote beach, I highly recommend packing a snack and enjoying the isolated and peaceful excursion.

Annah Todd on Martha's Vineyard

Photography shot by Jack Callahan

Ice House Pond

West Tisbury, MA 02568

I would never have found this swimming spot if an old friend who summers on the Vineyard hadn’t told me about it. He described it as “unusual and difficult to get to,” so naturally, I knew we had to check it out. Ice House Pond is a secluded pond inside Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission preserve and it’s a well-worth trek off the beaten path. When you arrive, parking is extremely limited (only four spots). Since there is no beach at the swimming hole, it’s a destination more reserved for adventure seekers than families, but there is a perch where you can slip into the crystal clear freshwater and enjoy a long swim. The pond’s name comes from its industrial past: the Vineyard Ice Company, from 1908 to 1953, ran an ice-harvesting operation out of the pond.

Annah Todd on Martha's Vineyard

Photography shot by Gretchen Powers

Back Door Donuts

5 Post Office Square, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

I was hesitant to try Back Door Donuts, I will admit. Everyone told me to go, and frankly, I’m more of an ice cream kind of girl rather than donut. However, I acquiesced and found myself waiting in a 40-person line one evening, and boy, was it worth it. Open only at night (7:30 PM – 1 AM), the donuts were incredible. The kind woman working behind the counter recommended the apple fritter but after seeing the magnitude (they are approximately the size of a football), I opted for the classic chocolate glaze. Worth every bite.

Behind the Bookstore

46 Main St, Edgartown, MA 02539

While I cannot vouch for Behind the Bookstore’s food offerings, I can tell you that their espresso drinks are fantastic. We went right when they opened, around 7 AM, and ordered cortados and sat under the tent. The sun was so bright and the foliage around the tent was so lush, it had a very ethereal feeling to it.

Annah Todd on Martha's Vineyard

Photography shot by Jack Callahan

SURF SITE TIN TYPE: Joni Sternbach book signing at the Garnet Hill summer store

Joni Sternbach book signing at the Garnet Hill summer storeSurf’s up in Bridgehampton, where we had a strong showing for Brooklyn photographer Joni Sternbach’s book signing. We love her newly published, eye-catching book, SURF SITE TIN TYPE. She used an old-fashioned photography process called tintype and a large-format camera. Sternbach traveled the globe for more than ten years taking portraits of surfers on some of the best beaches for riding waves. Some of the photos were taken on the beach in nearby Montauk.

We were thrilled that she stopped by our summer store to discuss her process and sign copies of her gorgeous new book. Congrats, Joni!
Joni Sternbach book signing at the Garnet Hill summer store
Joni signed books and spoke to guests in the courtyard of the Garnet Hill summer store.
Joni Sternbach book - SURF SITE TIN TYPE
Her beautiful tintype portraits catch the spirit of sun, surf, and summer.
Joni Sternbach book signing at the Garnet Hill summer store
Joni, surrounded by loving friends and fans, celebrated her work Hamptons style.

For more on SURF SITE TIN TYPE and the art of Joni Sternbach, visit the artist’s website. To check out our Bridgehampton store, take a video tour or stop by. We are open every day from 10 to 6. There’s so much going on at the store — for the latest events and to watch the video, visit us on Tumblr.

Week 1: Off to Camp!

Personalized Camp Tote

Get ready, get set — pack! From adventure-ready designs bursting with style and personality to accessories that (literally) have her name on them, our top picks for camp are ready to accompany her every adventure.

Personalized Camp Tote
Great for hauling her beach, pool, and shower essentials

Kids' Personalized Camp Tote by Clarabelle & the Hen

 

One-Piece and Rashguard Set
For her to splash (and stay protected) in the sun

Girls' One-Piece and Rashguard Set by Snapper Rock

 

Keen Whisper Sandals
A colorful, rugged style for her most active days

Kids' Keen Whisper Sandals

 

Green Cotton Essentials
Sporty pieces to mix and match for everyday play

Green Cotton Somersalt Tank, Easy Scooter, & Wide-Leg Pants

 

From party crafts to fun recipes, get inspired with our kids’ 6 Weeks of Summer Adventure board on Pinterest.