Town Talk Features

Love Local

craft alliance center of art and design
Shoppers who want to find unique items and support local artisans need look no further than Craft Alliance Center of Art and Design. The nonprofit has grown exponentially since it started as a cooperative gallery in 1964. It offers exhibitions, classes in craft techniques, artist residences and free community programs. Its Delmar gallery offers a wide selection of products, ranging from jewelry and housewares to purses and scarves, and it’s all handmade by artists. “Your gift shopping goes a lot further with us,” says gallery manager Miriam Wiegand. “You’re supporting the individual artist who made the piece, as well as our community outreach programs.” The nonprofit’s programs help individuals of all ages get involved with making crafts. Wiegand recommends visiting the gallery during the holiday season. “Our annual window display of handblown glass orbs is a sight to see,” she says. Gallery associates are on hand to help you pick the best gifts, and there’s even complimentary gift wrapping. (pictured above)

mister guy men’s & mister guy women’s
Established in 1962, Mister Guy once had 16 locations across the Midwest and in the South. Husband and wife team Terry and Carla Felumb opened the first St. Louis location, and in 1992, they bought out all shares in the company. Today, the couple operates a men’s and women’s shop, both on Clayton Road. Mister Guy Men’s features the only boutiques for the Peter Millar Crown and Collection lines in the Midwest. Its knowledgeable stylists can help you achieve the perfect look, and there’s complimentary tailoring on most items. The same services are offered at Mister Guy Women’s, which also regularly hosts exclusive trunk shows. “Our customers really get the VIP shopping experience,” says Sarah Rhim, manager of marketing for both stores. Both curate a collection of clothing and accessories to help customers build quality wardrobes. Rhim is grateful for their loyal following. “St. Louisans have great taste and high expectations,” she says. “They come back to us because we offer specialized services and great products.”

k. hall studio
K. Hall Studio started with just two lines of candles and seven employees when it was founded in 1998. As the company approaches its 20th anniversary, it has expanded to five lines of home fragrance and personal care products: Barr-Co., K. Hall Designs, The King Collection, Simpatico and U.S. Apothecary. They are sold in more than 2,500 retailers throughout the United States, including Pottery Barn, Anthropologie and Nordstrom. K. Hall Studio has two company-owned stores in St. Louis, along with two other locations in Chicago and Newport Beach, California. Along with the retail locations, K. Hall Studio has a factory in St. Louis, where 90 percent of its products are produced locally. The company is happy to call St. Louis and the Midwest home, embracing the quality of employees the city attracts and the logistical ease of being centrally located.

wilson lighting
Located near the intersection of Clayton Road and Brentwood Boulevard, Wilson Lighting is more than just a lighting store. It features a wide selection of lighting and home decor from around the world, according to vice president Brian Wilson. “We carefully source our products, so we feature a truly unique collection of goods,” he says. A majority of the products Wilson Lighting displays in its showroom are in stock, which Wilson says is unusual. This allows customers to take items home the same day they are purchased. The family-owned chain also has stores in Kansas and Florida, but Wilson says being in St. Louis offers a unique benefit. While its primary business is working with new construction, he explains that it has experienced an increased demand for updating older homes. “There is a large number of majestic older homes here,” he says. “The rich history of St. Louis is very impressive.”

wacoal outlet
Wacoal got its start in 1949 in Japan, a long way from the Wacoal Outlet open now at Taubman Prestige Outlets in Chesterfield. The local store uses the brand’s 78 years of experience to its full advantage. Wacoal offers quality material, superior fit and beautiful design that sets its intimate wear apart from other brands, according to senior manager of retail Rhonda Allen. “Once a woman wears Wacoal, it’s hard to wear anything else,” she says. The outlet allows customers to find their favorite styles for a great price, and it offers complimentary fittings, an important service since seven out of 10 women wear the wrong size, according to Allen. The outlet strives to serve local women in other ways, too. This fall, it partnered with the Siteman Mammography Van to offer appointments at the store. “Wacoal has always helped women look and feel their best,” Allen says.

rusted chandelier
Rusted Chandelier is the combined effort of three very creative women. Interior designer Carol Temple, artist Diann Bosworth and floral designer Patti Porter opened the shop together five and half years ago. While some businesses falter under competing visions, Rusted Chandelier has found harmony and balance. In fact, Porter finds their different styles a bonus. “It’s been a really fun venture, and it works well because we have our own aesthetics,” she says. The result is a unique, creative mix of home decor, including florals, hand-painted furniture and fashion accessories. “I like to say we’re 10 degrees off,” Porter explains. “It’s not the status quo; you won’t see these products everywhere.” She loves the unique charm of the store’s Kirkwood location. “It’s very walkable and friendly, almost likeMayberry,” she jokes. That friendlessness carries into the shop where, above the cash register, is the store’s motto: “Quality is our product. Friendship is our business.”

glenn betz jewelers
Glenn Betz Jewelers has been at its location on Manchester Road in Des Peres for 12 years, but the company has more than 50 years of experience in St. Louis. After decades moonlighting and working for others, Glenn Betz struck out on his own in 1965 and founded his namesake company. His son, Craig, is now the owner. “There’s immeasurable value in dealing with a truly family-owned and locally operated jewelry store,” Craig Betz says. Glenn Betz has a full-service shop on premises that includes loose gemstones, a custom design service, bridal jewelry, watches and gifts. The professional staff has more than 100 years of combined experience. “We are committed to integrity, quality of design, craftsmanship and superior customer service,” Betz says. As for the appeal and benefits of operating the store in St. Louis, he has a simple but impactful answer: “It’s home.”