Santa Fe is the City Different in the Land of Enchantment, so it’s right to assume shopping here will be unique and different, too! Residents and visitors both will immediately see that our fashion ethos has a creative, eclectic, and slightly funky feel to it. Here are nine boutiques, resale shops, and alternative shopping options that are worth visiting to get the full Santa Fe vibe!
Laurie Lenfestey, owner/designer of this incredibly wonderful shop on Canyon Road arrived in Santa Fe in the 1990s and made an immediate creative impact. She brought the love of coastal living to our high desert town. The artistic collage creations she made for her children evolved into charming jewelry fashioned after her eccentric aunt who allowed Laurie to repurpose old costume, gold, silver, and beaded jewelry. Bittersweet Designs is a meeting of the East and the West: classic with a twist, perfectly imperfect creations that invite you to question who you are . . . a spiritual nod to your soul. All the jewelry is designed and made by hand in Santa Fe with love. Bittersweet jewelry designs are sold all over the world from the shop in Santa Fe that is home base. There you can find every design from Laurie’s collections, a plethora of creative options! The ambiance takes you away to a vintage jewelry shop in Paris by the Seine or a saltwater weathered beach house near the ocean. Every piece of jewelry “belongs to someone out there,” says Laurie. “You have to visit us or the website to find your piece.” Customers can also work with Laurie and her creative right-hand design coordinator, Cheng, to redesign and repurpose a piece they already own. Add baroque pearls, charms, and semiprecious stones that create an organic and timeless feel to your memorable jewelry. So, whether you purchase a displayed finished piece or have something designed by the Bittersweet creative team, you will have a lasting memory from Santa Fe.
If you are looking for understated elegance completely divorced from the southwestern genre, this shop is your dream come true! Founded by Irina Ross 11 years ago, Cicada Collection is known for seasonless, ageless basics that are simply luxurious. Minimalist and classic styles with a distinctive modern sensibility are offered in a mostly black palette with metamorphic neutrals such as greige taupe and shades of white. This shop has attracted a special clientele of modern, sophisticated women who insist on looking good in a subtle yet assertive way. Styles created by international designers from Europe, New York, Los Angeles, and Asia adorn the racks. Discover slow cashmere (a washed process) and hand-washed silks from Copenhagen design wonder Private 0204, contemporary elegance from Black Crane in Los Angeles (by way of Japan), master tailor creations by Yohi Yamamoto of Tokyo and Paris, balanced fashion and function by Canadian designer Marie Saint Pierre, or modern casual from German designer Katharina Hovman. You can also find pieces by Venetian jewelry designer Maria Calderara and alternative leather creations from Danielle Basta. Edgy pants and dresses that make a statement but are easy to wear are a mainstay. Menswear-style button-down shirts with asymmetric hems paired with a draping long cardigan sweater coat that take you from work to dinner, and on to the opera are all must haves. Cicada clearly offers styles that entice the fashion conscious for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
EARTHFIRE GEMS GALLERY
Be sure to allow some time for a visit to this iconic shop that has been in downtown Santa Fe for over 37 years. Thomas Forrest Broadley, owner and GIA-trained gemologist, presents a wildly eclectic worldwide collection of gemstones, minerals, fossils, natural beads, and gold and silver jewelry, as well as contemporary and vintage pieces to tempt every customer who ventures in. Friendly staff greets you and their knowledge of the vast collection is exceptional. Check out the spectacular collection of rare Italian red coral. There is something for everyone here from semiprecious gemstone jewelry styles to fantastic fossil pieces that will become a design asset in your home. Earthfire Gems buys estate jewelry as well and sells the truly unusual to many repeat clients who visit annually. This is a destination shopping spot for both visitors and locals, who can enjoy a locals’ discount.
“Curiosa embodies my love for nature, poetry, and ephemera,” says Shawna Tatom of her lovely store that is artfully displayed using antique books and natural specimens that will entice and inspire you. When you enter this tiny shop off Guadalupe Street in the Railyard district, you feel transported into the literary pages of a 19th century novel featuring botanical and bird motifs, carefully selected vintage style jewelry, and delightful accessories. Shawna is deeply sentimental, so the jewelry offerings are detailed, delicate, and feminine. You will find vintage and French-inspired designs by La Vie Parisienne, hand-carved birds, feathers, and natural specimens by Aviologie reflecting the Victorian love of collecting the curious and candles by L’Apothecaire with an Old-World botanical vibe. This shop is another unique environment inviting the customer to discover something that will create a lasting memory.
HERITAGE BY HAND
Nestled in the beautiful Sena Plaza off Palace Avenue is a special shop that embraces handmade creations of global importance. It is a tribute to the many cultures cherished by locals and visitors to New Mexico. Heritage By Hand specializes in offering contemporary handmade clothing, textiles, design, and home goods made by master artisans in Latin America and abroad. With a focus on beauty and sustainability, the shop supports artisan partners maintaining deep-rooted cultural heritage practices. Try an impeccably soft poncho from the Aymara alpaca weavers of northern Chile or check out the totes by innovative Mexico City designers creating nearly carbon-neutral accessories from cactus leather. Whimsical wool felt animals, raw cotton knotted necklaces, and earrings are among the one-of-a-kind collector items. Founder Heidi McKinnon is always available to answer questions and guide you through the cultural experience her shop offers.
REAL DEAL COLLECTION
Santa Fe is known for world-class opera and art markets, but how about Louis Vuitton? Just a few blocks off the Plaza there is a little boutique offering luxury designer bags, shoes, and accessories from big brands such as Balenciaga, Chanel, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and more! Founded by an authenticator in 2006, this resale shop is dedicated to assisting collectors acquire and recycle luxury goods. Silver Tiffany bracelets, Jimmy Choo shoes, and a Louis Vuitton wallet or backpack paired with a stunning Hermes signature silk scarf are just a few of the treasures ready for you to pick up. The knowledgeable team is busy buying, selling, and trading daily, so make sure you stop in! Refined consignment has stood the test of time and the Real Deal Collection is so on trend you will not be disappointed!
ART I FACT CONSIGNMENT BOUTIQUE
The resale culture is big in Santa Fe and one shop that stands out is Art i Fact, “A consignment clothier for people of style.” Partner team Jennifer Rowland and Michael Gullberg carefully curate and offer styles for women and men (yes, there is a selective “Men’s Bar”). A little bit fancy, a little bit funky, and always eclectic, this shop has distinctive pieces with an edgy, urban designer vibe offering brands from Rundholz to Zara. The owners and staff are terrific at assisting you find the perfect style that makes you feel your best. The showroom shop is well organized and bright, making shopping a pleasure. Santa Feans rate this resale shop as one of the best, so if you are seeking something truly special, make sure to stop in!
RESOURCEFUL SANTA FE
The ultimate treasure hunting experience starts here! Resourceful Santa Fe is a project of the Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival, providing a way to connect the dots between too much stuff and too much scarcity. This creative reuse center is a carefully sourced thrift store with real thrift store prices. It is an art supply store, a treasure seeker’s paradise, a source for artists to discover materials and for shoppers to find recycled gifts and unlikely finds! Resourceful Santa Fe is a local nonprofit with the mission to divert material from the waste stream by collecting and redistributing discarded items to artists, educators, the community, and visitors for reuse and repurposing. The supply of treasures from household goods, costume jewelry, clothing, and building supplies (think metal shingles and ceramic tiles) to antiques and art décor is endless. The open-air industrial style shop is open every Tuesday and by appointment. Founder Sarah Pierpont brings years of experience in the recycling industry to her eclectic shop space and is amazed by the stuff we accumulate. She has liberated the materialistic side of that stuff as it finds new homes to be reused or repurposed, ultimately keeping less out of landfill.
Paloma, the owner of Hyperclash, is a wonderfully creative woman with the energy and insight to know what turns heads and attracts an adventurous customer! Located in the Baca Street district amongst other funky artists’ shops and creative outfits, she offers a variety and cleverness unlike any other shop in Santa Fe. Find Bonkers clothing and accessories for the ultimate maximalist lifestyle while supporting creative artist-made design and upcycled styles. You can also find games, toys, and lifestyle gifts for everyone. Don’t miss this fun shop with a little wackiness and creative quirkiness to cherish!
Enjoy visiting and shopping at a few or all these unique and slightly quirky spots in our enchanted City Different. Discovering memorable treasures of fashion, gifts, and jewelry is endless here in Santa Fe!
FIND THESE FUN SANTA FE SHOPS HERE:
Art i Fact Consignment Boutique
Owners: Jennifer Rowland & Michael Gullberg
930 Baca St.
Owner/Designer: Laurie Lenfestey
667 Canyon Rd.
Owner: Irina Ross
221 Galisteo Street
Owner: Shawna Tatom
328 S. Guadalupe St., Suite F
FB @ curiosasantafe
Earthfire Gems Gallery
Owner/Gemologist: Thomas Forrest Broadley
121 Galisteo St.
505-982-8750 or 1-800-467-6503
Heritage By Hand
Founder: Heidi McKinnon
125 Palace Ave.
Sena Plaza #33
Owner: Paloma McCauley
926 Baca St. #1
Real Deal Collection
Owner/Curators: Corey and Duskin
223 West San Francisco St.
Resourceful Santa Fe
Owner/Curator: Sarah Pierpont
2879-A Industrial Rd.
Written by Kitty Ault, Style Consultant
~ KASTYLE -STYLE CONSULTING FOR HOW YOU LIVE
To learn more about Kitty Ault, visit her website at kastylesantafe.com