A fresh addition to Dignowity Hill, Chica Verde wants you to “add a little green to your life” in the form of artfully potted plants and all-around “porch and patio vibes.” Formerly a refrigerated storage facility for an adjacent restaurant, the tiny shop opened this past summer to a warm welcome from the surrounding community and recently got a colorful makeover thanks to an exterior mural created by artist Jason Willome. With a background that runs the gamut from marketing and public relations to owning an El Paso toy store and working alongside interior designer D’Ette Cole at neighboring Good Goods, proprietor Valerie Reynolds has filled Chica Verde with old-school saddle blankets ($25), hammocks, assorted found objects, and wares crafted by area Etsy vendors. As for Reynolds’ specialty, “awesomely potted” succulents ($16-$40) sprout from vintage camping cups, ’70s-era ceramics, spicy peanut tins and other vessels she picks up in the fields of Warrenton and environs during Round Top Antiques Week.
Chica Verde, 914 Nolan St., (915) 490-9579, chicaverde.net.
Choice Goods Tucked in the back of Brick in the Blue Star Arts Complex, Choice Goods Gallery champions San Anto’s eclectic art scene through a colorful mixture of wares created by proprietor Robert Tatum and an array of like-minded artists. A California native based in Southtown since 1992, Tatum has left his witty, irreverent mark on businesses across the city in the form of murals and signs often featuring animals (his “OK Monkey” at The Luxury is a neighborhood favorite). Although anchored by prints, T-shirts and bags emblazoned with Tatum’s signature birds, dogs, kitties, squirrels and hybrid beasties, a big part of the fun at Choice Goods is discovering the work of local creatives like sci-fi illustrator Mike Fisher and fiber artist/designer Michele Morrill. Shoppers with slightly deeper pockets shouldn’t miss Choice Goods’ new fine art offshoot Showdown Gallery, located at 103 Blue Star.
Choice Goods, 108 Blue Star (entrance in alley behind Brick), (210) 858-2361, tatumoriginals.com.
Fiesta on Main Although it functions as a one-stop shop for all your Fiesta needs — cascarones, garlands, flower crowns, papel picado and confetti by the bagful — Fiesta on Main is a year-round operation that bustles with activity at the drop of just about any celebration. In recent months, the white-columned shop has transitioned seamlessly from Halloween witches and Día de los Muertos calaveras to Trump and Clinton pinãtas perched on the porch between a gang of Thanksgiving turkeys. Christmas and New Year’s fanfare is unsurprisingly waiting in the wings. But as any regular will tell you, party supplies and holiday decor are merely the bread and butter at this distinctly San Antonio operation. Founded as an outlet for Mexican artisans to sell their wares, Fiesta on Main stocks its racks and shelves with an abundance of smartly priced giftables suitable for seasoned locals and sure to charm any of the out-of-towners on your yuletide list. Standing out among the many items we’d be happy to unwrap: colorful lotería T-shirts ($10), itty-bitty folk art figurines (starting at just $2.50 — ideal stocking stuffers), Mexican dresses and guayaberas ($22-$110 depending on the amount of embroidery), and talavera ceramic kitchenware (the $19 spoon rest and $25 teapot both caught our eye).
What’s more, Fiesta on Main offers a wide array of bags — ranging from grocery totes emblazoned with Frida Kahlo to tapestry-covered weekenders — that could easily spare you the hassle of gift-wrapping.
Fiesta on Main, 20125 N. Main Ave., (210) 738-1188, alamofiesta.com.
Good Goods Walking into D’Ette Cole’s Dignowity Hill emporium Good Goods offers an odd sensory rush of entering an expertly designed environment. Wall arrangements are Instagram-worthy to say the least, mid-century furniture groupings appear ready to host a retro cocktail party, and everything else looks “curated,” yet in the least stuffy sense of the word. Opened in the summer of 2015, the shop exemplifies the eclectic taste of Cole — an artist and interior designer who co-founded Uncommon Objects in Austin and Clutter in Warrenton — along with a few collaborators who “infuse goods” sourced throughout Texas and on travels to Europe and India. A pleasant surprise for such a special space, much of what Good Goods sells is priced within the realm of the reasonable. Walking us through the shop on a recent afternoon, Cole pointed out chunky jade bangles ($40), Kenyan river amber necklaces ($30) and strands of African sand-cast beads ($28-$48) as examples of her taste in jewelry. “I shop for what I like,” she told us. Perhaps the shop’s biggest wow factor, however, is the way Cole repurposes and reconfigures objects and collections in ways that spark the imagination — dozens of wicker baskets form a conglomerate tableau on one wall and framed vintage bingo cards ($18 each) are hung on another with art gallery precision. Save the date: On Sunday, December 11 (3-6pm), Good Goods teams up with neighboring Chica Verde for a holiday fundraiser with food, refreshments, live music and 20 percent of all sales benefiting the Dignowity Hill Animal Welfare Association.
Good Goods, 904 Nolan St., (210) 229-0663, goodgoodstx.com.