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Provisions St. Louis

On Reopening: An interview with Provisions St. Louis’ Debra & Ross Hunter

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Wolfum Studio Provisions St. Louis Debra and Ross Hunter

Last week I stopped in to visit Provisions St. Louis‘ Debra and Ross Hunter to find out what the reaction has been to their reopening earlier this summer. The Hunters moved from Sonoma CA to the CWE and opened the shop at 228 N. Euclid in the fall of 2018.  I was also following up on a “q & a” I sent to learn more about what they were up to during the shut down (see below).

Debra reported that after being sequestered for so long customers said they were delighted to be doing something that felt familiar and normal, in fact “I would say they seem absolutely cheerful,” she continued—which is exactly how I have always felt when visiting the shop.Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Wolfum Studio Provisions St. Louis Debra and Ross Hunter  Following are a couple of items that caught my eye the other day:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Wolfum Studio Provisions St. Louis Debra and Ross Hunter

This might be the time to add backgammon to your repertoire as you spend more time at home, especially one as handsome as the handmade sets in Baltic birch created by Wolfum Studio above, $125 to $250. The L. A. based design studio also makes striking wooden trays in bold, contemporary patterns that Debra said have been popular gift items since the shop first opened.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Wolfum Studio Provisions St. Louis Debra and Ross Hunter  A Brooklyn-based company adds leather straps and other finishes to great-looking market bags, $48 and $68. It was good to learn that these bags provide a source of income to the women in India who weave them.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Wolfum Studio Provisions St. Louis Debra and Ross Hunter

The q & a follows:
1. What date did you close the shop due to the stay-at-home orders?
We closed the store on March 16th and reopened around Memorial Day.
2. Retail is tough enough, but then to lose the momentum you had created since opening in the fall of 2018 must have been a terrific challenge. How did you both survive that?
We had been mentally preparing for a couple of weeks and felt the most important aspect would be to stay positive and pass on that positivity through our social media.
And as luck would have it, we had been watching the trajectory of the virus and its ramifications since January, so we began to dial back our spring orders. Many, many businesses order months in advance, we prefer to be more flexible —offering a curated selection that is of the moment and relative to our customers.
3. Were you doing business online?  
We were not, but with the closure, we were able to take the time to develop an e-commerce website. We are truly a brick and mortar Main Street store where the sharing of conversations and experiences is the core of our business. However, it was always a goal to have a website where people could familiarize themselves with what we carry, who we are, and what we’re about.
4. How did you spend your time while you were home? I ran into Ross at Straub’s at least once, so I gather you both like to cook. Was there something you tackled during that time that you had been putting off? 
Well, the website development was omnipresent but we did ALOT of cooking—but in all fairness, we’re always doing a lot of cooking—everything from fresh falafel & pita bread to carnitas & homemade tortillas.
5. And finally, do you have any second thoughts about moving to St. Louis from wine country and opening a business here with all the challenges we face?
Not at all! There are challenges everywhere; we feel very at home here and love being a part of the St Louis and CWE community.
Speaking for many who have discovered Provisions St. Louis…we’re so glad they have put down roots here too.
Provisions St. Louis, 228 N. Euclid, Tues. through Sat. 11 to 6ish, Sun. Noon to 5ish.

What the world needs now…

is love sweet love, and here are some ideas from neighborhood shops that might wrap that up for you.

From The Silver Lady:

Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Mary Ann's Tearoom Left Bank Books Holliday Enchanting Embellishments

From left, a garnet-studded sterling silver bracelet $179, red glass heart charm $20, sterling silver heart necklace, $162, and far right, garnet and black-lipped oyster shell earrings $108.

Middle row: garnet ring with 5 stones $60, white glass heart charm, $20, drop earrings with 3 different-sized garnets $68, striking Alunite mineral $20.

Top row: round garnet ring $100, diamond-shaped garnet ring $60, and filigree earrings with marquis-shaped garnets $60.

The Silver Lady, 4736 McPherson, (314) 367-7587, Wed.-Fri. 12 to 5:30, Sat. 11 to 6, Sun. 12 to 4. Closed Mon. & Tues.

At Bowood Farms’ HollidayNicki's Central West End Guide For Children Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Mary Ann's Tearoom Left Bank Books Holliday Enchanting Embellishments

Clockwise from lower left: “Appointed” lined notebooks $24, Valentine’s cards $5.50, each, peach-hued tutu $52, heart-shaped  suitcase, $16 (larger version $18, not shown), meri meri hair clips, bobby pins, and barrettes, $10-$12, and Valentine’s stickers, $8.

Holliday, 4600 Olive St., (314) 454-5858, Mon. -Thurs. 10 to 4, Fri. – Sat, 10 to 6, Sun. 10 to 4.

At Mary Ann’s Tearoom and Enchanting Embellishments:

Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Mary Ann's Tearoom Left Bank Books Holliday Enchanting Embellishments

Valentine’s High Tea, 11 to 3, $38.50, includes non-alcoholic beverages and 3 courses: scones with Devonshire Cream, mini-tea sandwiches, and mini-cheesecakes, assorted macrons, and fresh strawberries. Reservations required, (314) 361-5303.

Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Mary Ann's Tearoom Left Bank Books Holliday Enchanting Embellishments

At Enchanting Embellishments, from left: pink cowgirl boots, size 11, $100, old-fashioned “Be Mine Valentine” $14, and quilted “Love” purse $110. On table, rhinestone bracelet, $115, drop earrings, $54.95,

Enchanting Embellishments, 4732 McPherson, Tues. – Sun. 10 to 5, closed Mon.

At The Vino Gallery,

Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Mary Ann's Tearoom Left Bank Books Holliday Enchanting Embellishments

The Vino Gallery’s Proprietor Alex Head suggests a bottle of Collet Champagne Brut Rose, $44, as the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. Purchase in store or online via Drink Dispatch, where you’ll get a 10% discount using code DRINKNEW.

The Vino Gallery, 4701 McPherson, Tues. – Weds. 1 to 6, Thurs.1 to 9, Fri. & Sat. 1 to 10. Closed Sun. & Mon.

At Provisions St. Louis:

Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Mary Ann's Tearoom Left Bank Books Holliday Enchanting Embellishments

Back row: The Wisdom of Wonder Woman, $14.95 (a super heroine who stands for strength, wisdom, justice & love), I Love You Because, $14.99, a fill in the blank book that includes “an awkward moment I love.”

Middle row: Love, long stick matches, $12, Lubin’s Jardin Rouge Eau de Perfume, $130. Other scents from Lubin Paris include Black Jade, created for Marie Antoinette, and Gin Fizz that had Grace Kelly as its muse. Ben’s Tray’s Nine of Hearts, $56, is far right.

Bottom row:  Ben’s Tray’s Heart You, $76, Louis Sherry chocolate truffles packaged in an enameled tin keepsake box, $35, The Red Book of Good Luck, $14.95.

Provisions St. Louis, 228 N. Euclid, Tues. to Sat. 11 to 7ish, Sun. 12 to 5.

At Left Bank Books:

Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Mary Ann's Tearoom Left Bank Books Holliday Enchanting Embellishments

photo courtesy of Shane Mullen

Bottom row: Candy Club “I Love You S’More” $5.99, 642 Things About You (That I Love) $9.95, Truth or Dare for Couples, $8.95, a fill in the blanks book Things I Love About Us, $10.

Second row: Happy Valentine’s Day Love, Mad Libs $9.99, I Love you in a Gay Way greeting card $5, Left Bank Books mug $12.99, Spike’s Blend Tea by Traveling Tea $9.50, Paint Chip Poetry $19.95.

Back row: Love Poems, $14.99, Cookies & Cocktails $19.99, I Love You More Than Chocolate chocolate card, $9, Mix-Tape Potluck Cookbook by Questlove, $29.99.

Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid, (314) 367-6731, Mon. – Sat. 10 to 10, Sun. 11 to 6.

At St. Louis Art Supply:Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Mary Ann's Tearoom Left Bank Books Holliday Enchanting Embellishments  St. Louis Art Supply Proprietor Carson Monetti suggested Midori stationery as a fun way to create your own Valentine cards. Each set includes 8 sheets of lined paper, 4 patterned envelopes, and 4 animal sticker sealers, $8.Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady St. Louis Art Supply Provisions St. Louis Mary Ann's Tearoom Left Bank Books Holliday Enchanting Embellishments

St. Louis Art Supply, 4582 Olive St., Tues. – Fri. 8 to 7, Sat. & Sun. 9 to 7.

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.