Well, it’s that time of year again.
It’s exactly one week till Christmas and suddenly it’s all hitting you: you bought the exact same tea set for Aunt Martha last year; cousin Roy has four kids now, not three; you’ve run out of gift ideas for the in-laws, and they don’t even own a computer, so iTunes gift cards are out.
Before you run to a supercenter or dime-a-dozen coffee shop, remember that your local Fayetteville stores have got you covered this year.
Many downtown spots are full swing in the “Downtown Countdown,” with almost 40 downtown businesses offering nearly a 10 percent discount through Dec. 25. From antiques to clothes to toys to jewelry, downtown Fayetteville is offering a vast array of local options this Christmas season, and we’ve featured just a few below. A full list of participating stores can be found at the downtown countdown’s Facebook event page.
The French Quarter
Location: 11 N. Block Ave.
A pillar on Block Avenue for more than 20 years, The French Quarter is full of antiques and accessories that remind owners Chris Bronson and Storm Carr of their journeys throughout France.
Either Bronson or Carr are always nearby to point you in the right direction if you’re looking for that perfect 18th century French-styled lamp for Aunt Martha, and their trusty pups will greet you with plenty of holiday cheer at the door.
Himalayan Mountain Shop
Location: 100 W. Center Street #105
Specialty: Hand-crafted warm and fuzzies from Nepal
Stepping into this shop, located just up Block Avenue from The French Quarter, feels like stepping into another world. Shop owner, Lama Thinley, originally from Bhutan, a small country in the Himalayan Mountains, brings handcrafted treasures from mountains a world away right to your own downtown Fayetteville.
Staple items include wool jackets and head wraps, shoes, backpacks, incense, prayer flags, singing bowls, jewelry, purses, etc, and of course a warm smile from Lama Thinley.
The Mustache: Goods & Wears
Location: 15 S. Block Ave. #105
Specialty: Everything you didn’t know you wanted till you saw it
Brian and Ashley Bailey struck a chord when they opened The Mustache on the Fayetteville Square just a few short years ago. Their shop’s trinkets – ranging from a bacon ornament to mustache Band-Aids – are perfect for that eccentric uncle or good-humored best friend.
The fashionable clothes, shoes and of course the Mustache tshirts, are perfect for just about everyone else. Brian Bailey (a.k.a. Mr. Mustache) said The Mustache fills a void in Northwest Arkansas for the young, trendy professional, while celebrating its Ozark roots. With the recent expansion to Bentonville and plethora of Mustache tshirts around town, it seems NWA agrees.
Location: 15 S. Block Ave. #102
Specialty: Onesies galore (and other kids stuff)
Terra Tots, originally the brainchild of Bernice Hembree, has been a stomping ground for Fayetteville mothers and fathers since 2007. Though the shop has since switched hands, it’s remained a vibrant source of natural, organic products for Fayetteville’s cutest babies.
The shop specializes in cloth diapers and also offers an array of adorable onesies, games, books and toys; so you can rest assured you’ll have every new nephew and niece spoiled rotten this Christmas.
Location: 824 N. College Ave.
Speciality: Vintage clothing, accessories
The Grey Dog vintage boutique had humble beginnings when it opened its doors in 2010. Those doors happened to be to a renovated 1973 Airstream trailer known as the Lucy Pearl. Two years later Grey Dog moved to its brick-and-mortar location on College Avenue, but it retains the same intimate feel.
Here you can find a dress or pair of shoes to fit any era with style. Grey Dog is an expert of “modernizing vintage,” saying, “…even a minor update of the hemline or pairing it with a new staple, is a way to bring an item back to life without diminishing the integrity of the design.” Friends of thrifting, fabulous people, take note.
Location: 205 W. Dickson Street
Speciality: Books…and chai lattes
By now you’re probably hungry from all your local shopping, so grab a gyro from Nomad’s Natural Plate (conveniently parked in Nightbird’s parking lot) and an iced chai latte from Nightbird before hitting the books.
Nightbird Books has a wide selection of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books, along with an array of collector’s items and local authors. Plus if you realize you forgot some folks on your Christmas card list, Nightbird has a beautiful collection of unique cards and stationary.
Location: 19 S. Block Ave.
Speciality: Boutique-y clothing and accessories
Since 2009, Riffraff has been bringing “southern charm meets uptown chic” to Fayetteville. Filled with cute, stylish trinkets, dresses, purses, jewelry etc., this can be a one-stop shop for just about every 20-year-old girl you know.
The boutique also launched a online shopping site last year, which has gained huge popularity in and outside of Arkansas. You can avoid your family or friend’s yearly “returns pile” by picking up them up a Riffraff giftcard of having them pick a perfect New Year’s dress online.
Flying Possum Leather
Location: 33 N. Block Ave.
Speciality: Leather, good conversation
Thinking of buying your dad his 20th tie for Christmas? Don’t. Buy him a lovely leather belt from Flying Possum instead. And store owner Bob Walker won’t let you sneak by without striking up a wonderful conversation, so be prepared to chat while shopping here.
Flying Possum, a staple of Fayetteville, has had its share of heartbreak when a fire damaged its original location on Dickson and claimed the life of its founder, Bruce Walker. Bruce’s brother, Bob, moved from California to Fayetteville to keep the shop going. This little shop is a testament to family and hope…rather appropriate things to be reminded of this time of year.
David Adams Fine Jewelry
Location: 100 W. Center Street
Speciality: One-of-a-kind gems (quite literally)
David Adams boosts the credentials of being trained in the art of jewelry making by Italian master Orlando Feriozzi. He’s long held this spot on West Center Street across from the square, establishing a tradition of fine jewelry in platinum, gold, and silver.
Every creation in the store is one-of-a-kind, and custom designs are always welcome (but shoot for Valentine’s Day there, not Christmas; you’ve only got a week to work with here). Watches, rings, necklaces, earrings, even polished Swiss Army knives, here everything that glitters may very well be gold.