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Provisions St. Louis

A holiday gift guide for procrastinators, Part 1

With just 6 shopping days left until Christmas, these holiday gift suggestions may make your life a little less stressful, especially for those prone to procrastination. Shopping local has many advantages. Walking from shop to shop is the most obvious, but as I put this 2018 list together I realized the added value of meeting and talking to the friendly shop owners in the CWE. They make the experience of finding gifts for everyone on your holiday list a whole lot merrier.

At St. Louis Art Supply, 4532 Olive St., co-proprietor Carson Monetti helped me gather suggestions for kids and adults, though several gifts would be appreciated by any age. Free gift wrapping is available.Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

The shop has a wonderful children’s section for the budding artist. From left: Faber-Castell 64-piece Young Artist’s Essentials comes in a handsome red wooden case, $50; 20 water-based pens by Stabilo, $19; Learn to Paint Set in a zippered plastic bag, $18, sits on Claytoon clay packs, $4 each; and far right, a bucket of 50 Faber-Castell Connector Pens which, when hooked together with enclosed connectors can double as a building set, $19.99. Lower right, assorted stickers, $3 each.Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Clockwise from top: 50 point 88 fineliner pens by Stabilo, $37.50; Kalita coffee decanter, $24.99; dripper, $17.99 (filters, $4.99 not shown); Ethiopia Coffee from Coma Coffee in The Grove, 12 oz. $17.50. (The shop stocks a hand-crank “ceramic-burr” coffee grinder too, $49.99.) A trio of assorted pencil sharpeners, $4.99 each; ever-popular, non-stick Washi Tape, $3.50; Midori polar bear stationery $6.50; 8 matching polar bear envelopes, $5.50.

Far left, an assortment of Ro-biki waxed-covered notebooks to slip inside a jacket pocket, $8. St. Louis Art Supply is the only shop in the U.S. that carries some of these hard-to-find Japanese products.

Check St. Louis Art Supply’s website for hours…. they will be open on Christmas Eve.

Brian Simpson, proprietor of east+west, 387 N. Euclid, was quick to pick out his favorite gifts ideas to share with you, see his selections below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

From left: 2018’s edition of hugely-popular Chup socks from Japan feature Fair Isle patterns, $36; a solid-cast brass key ring from a LA jewelry designer hooks onto jacket or belt loop, $99; two-tone leather card case/wallet from a Portland OR company, $40; a Nashville-based company makes 6 varieties of candles poured in whiskey glasses  in scents such as balsam fir, tobacco & musk, and oak & moss, $44. Top right: In case of an emergency, or for the camping enthusiast, a military grade 10-ounce flask that contains compass, flashlight, 2 shot glasses & a bottle opener, $74; straight out of Copenhagen’s Kinfolk magazine, an assortment of 12 beautiful cards, $22.

By the way, east+west carries Sump Coffee, 12 oz/$16, delivered fresh to the shop weekly.

For more information, head to east+west’s website.

At Provisions STL Ross and Debra Hunter are still flying high about St. Louis and the rousing reception they’ve gotten from the neighborhood. The shop stocks a wide variety of gift items, so the following is just a small sampling of what you will find there.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Top photo: Hook & Albert dopp kit, $115. Canada’s Rockwell Razor’s shaving supplies include Beard & Body Bar, $10; razor, $29, razor stand, $30; AfterShave Balm, $15; Shaving Soap, $15, and Shave Brush, also $15.

Bottom photo left: a selection of hand-blended OLO perfume oils from a self-taught Portland-based perfumer, $45. Right: a cozy hypoallergenic alpaca blanket from Equador, $165; doggie coats, $35 to $45, have been reordered twice since the shop opened 2 months ago.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Left: Provisions STL carries an assortment of wood & inlay board games including backgammon sets in small, $125, and large, $210; domino set, $68; “Shaken” Cocktail Kit, $70; and fleur de lis bottle openers, $12.  Right photo: “Stirred” Cocktail Kit, $70; Everyday flask, $24; Picnic knife, $35; lower left, Bike Snob, $16.95.

For more information visit Provisions STL website.

Left Bank Books 399 N. Euclid, has been publishing “best of” book selections almost daily on Instagram and Facebook, so you might check those sites out for staff suggestions. What’s shown below are gift ideas that caught my eye, augmented by advice from LLB staffer Lauren Wiser.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

From top left: Super Diva RBG Workout Calendar, $14.99; Bibliophile ceramic vase, $24.95, with quote from Louisa May Alcott brings literary charm to any room; acid green readers, $19.95; Ideal Bookshelf canvas shopping bag, $21.00; Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi Simple, $35; Clifford socks, size 0 to 12 & 12 to 24, 4 pr. $12. My First Books include Coco (Chanel) & Marie (Curie), $8.99;  Spike the Left Bank Book cat mug, $12.99.

Visit Left Bank Books website for hours and information.

AG Jeans, 36 Maryland Plaza, has great-looking gift ideas, and the staff is immensely helpful with their suggestions on what to wear out on the town.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Since I visited last Thursday, the shop has started its semi-annual 30% off sale, so what’s listed here are pre-sale prices. A viscose slip dress in “duck canvas” (the color),”$228, is paired with a black lyocell & spandex turtleneck, $98. The slipdress is also available in navy and burgundy. Right: black razor back knit top, $74; “the Jodi crop” in super stretch sateen, $188, and right, “Farrah skinny ankle pant,” $188.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

For men: Left, black “Kane Shearling Coat,” $1348; “The Sin’s Crew” in true black, $168; “Tallis” pant in multi-plaid Merlot, $198. Right: “Jaren Hoodie” in deep lolden, $268, and “Everett Pant” in cognac, $178.

Refer to  AG Jeans website for hours and more information about current sale.

Not only will you find a great selection of jewelry at The Silver Lady, 4736 McPherson Ave., you’ll also get a healthy dose of humor from proprietor Lori Shifter who’s been in the jewelry business for over 30 years.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Above, a long dramatic silver necklace, $472, with matching earrings, $82.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized  The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Left Bank Books east+weststl AG Jeans

Top left: A stunning Meterioite necklace, $312, and matching bracelet, $300. (Meterioite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the earth’s surface.) Top right: Show-stopping Stichtite, Prehnite & Peridot necklace, $1269, with matching bracelet, $259.

Bottom photograph: This charming bracelet contains real miniature flowers, $60; matching drop earrings, $28.

Visit The Silver Lady website for hours and more information.

Next up: Part II of this year’s Holiday shopping guide.

From Sonoma to the CWE: Meet the proprietors of Provisions St. Louis

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  Visitor Assembly Provisions St. Louis Debra and Ross Hunter

Debra and Ross Hunter endured the October 2017 wildfires in northern California wine country, so when Thursday’s snowfall caused a snafu in St. Louis it was a mere inconvenience compared to what they have been through. My impression is that nothing would have prevented them from opening the doors on Friday to their new shop, Provisions St. Louis at 228 N. Euclid. When I stopped in for a preview on Wednesday there were still boxes to unpack and shelves to stock with a wide assortment of gift items, apothecary—men’s and women’s skincare and grooming items, scents, personal and home accessories, and art books.

The couple’s former shop in Sonoma County, Provisions 707 (named after the area code), was not destroyed by the wildfires, but business evaporated when the shop’s customer-base was displaced because of them. It was obvious to these seasoned retailers that it would take years to rebuild their business.

Last March, when a former customer invited them to visit Kansas City where she had moved her graphic design business, they decided to add St. Louis to their itinerary. They enjoyed Kansas City but St. Louis won them over. During their short time here they fell in love with the architecture, the parks, an obvious appreciation for the arts, and the people they met.

When their host at a B&B in U. City suggested they go to Brasserie for dinner, they wandered around the neighborhood afterwards. “This is it,” they said to each other. The Central West End was “so European and appealing.” The Hunters added that they really missed living in a city after once living in San Francisco.

They returned to Sonoma, fixed up their house which they sold right away, and returned to St. Louis where they moved into an apartment on Lindell.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  Visitor Assembly Provisions St. Louis Debra and Ross Hunter

When the Hunters learned that the shop space on Euclid where Fauxgerty had been located (between Insomnia Cookies and Lemon Spalon) was available, they snapped it up. (Fauxgerty’s lease was up, and they are now selling their products online.)

Over the years the Hunters have gotten to know the makers of the products they carry, most of whom are based in the U.S. There were boxes everywhere the day I visited so what I’ve photograph is just a small sampling of what is available today. There is a large selection of wooden game sets and trays, as well as handsome Hook & Albert bags, see photo above. Debra remarked that the shelves looked a little “mancentric” Wednesday, but there was still much merchandise to unpack.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  Visitor Assembly Provisions St. Louis Debra and Ross Hunter

Among the wonderful items that caught my eye were the brightly patterned dog coats and cookie jars, above.  Display cases (not photographed) hold Randolph Engineering eyeglasses from Maine, beautiful Il Bussetto leather goods from Italy, Bexor wallets from Texas, and handsome watches from Timex.

A complete list of merchandise (jewelry by A Blonde and her Bag, for instance) can be found on Provisions St. Louis new website, created by CWE-based Visitor Assembly.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  Visitor Assembly Provisions St. Louis Debra and Ross Hunter

Just a few of the really interesting art books you’ll find at Provisions St. Louis.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  Visitor Assembly Provisions St. Louis Debra and Ross Hunter

A section of the store is devoted to men’s skincare and grooming products.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  Visitor Assembly Provisions St. Louis Debra and Ross Hunter

And small-batch organic skin care products for women that are unique to St. Louis.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  Visitor Assembly Provisions St. Louis Debra and Ross Hunter

In an email message the Hunters added: “Our guiding force is that the shop be an inviting place with great ambience involving music, conversations, a mutually shared experience, and great service, which everyone deserves.”

“Everything we carry here has a story,” Ross said. Perhaps the biggest story comes from the proprietors of Provisions St. Louis themselves. Stop in soon and welcome the Hunters to their new city and this wonderful neighborhood.

Provisions St. Louis, 228 N. Euclid is open every day but Monday from 11 to 7ish. “We don’t know anyone here,” Debra said, “so though we will have regular shop hours, we will probably be here most of the time anyway.”