See all the Best of Atlanta 2021 winners
Custom hats: BM Franklin & Co.
Ralph Lauren alumnus Brandon Franklin learned to make hats using vintage tools under the tutelage of a master craftsman in New York City. Today, he offers tailor-made and ready-to-wear hats for men and women at his store in Buckhead Village. Its walls are lined with colorful displays of liners, ribbons, and knickknacks to inspire, and you can attend workshops upstairs to watch or participate in the hat-making process.
New place to score Atlanta loot: Atlanta City Champion
“Rep yo city,” as Lil Jon and East Side Boyz command it, with a purchase from City Champion Atlanta, located inside the Atlanta Dairies complex in Reynoldstown. The gift shop, where displays resemble high school trophy cases, has a selection of ATL-themed merchandise including t-shirts, pennants, and mugs.
Ethical fashion brand: Bombchel factory
At the Bombchel Factory, boldly printed fabrics from West Africa have been transformed into elegant clothing and wearable art by an all-female staff of Ebola and abuse survivors in Liberia; then retailed by refugees – now Bombchel employees – living in Atlanta. Bamboo decor accents and a Palava hut complement the mainland a bit on the second floor of Ponce City Market.
Cute Date and Night Outfits: Monkee
Founded in 1995 in Wilmington, North Carolina, this women’s boutique opened its first two franchises in Georgia this year, in Avalon and the Peachtree Battle Mall. Independent, each store is intentionally small and personal, with girls’ brands like Atlanta’s Tyler Böe, LaRoque, and Crosby by Mollie Burch, as well as a well-curated shoe selection.
Home decoration: Huff Harrington
Ann Huff and Meg Harrington opened their art gallery in 2006, followed by a home furnishings store in 2011. Now, they’ve combined the two into a chic three-story space at the Galleries of Peachtree Hills. The first floor is filled with jewelry from designers like Erin Gray, S. Carter Designs, and Julie Vos; household items, including Atlanta-exclusive Tina Frey tableware; and gifts, which currently means a lot of chunky knitwear and fur-trimmed vests. The second floor is the art gallery and the upper level houses a design studio.
New independent bookstore: Virginia Highland Books
A sandwich board on the sidewalk says, “Come in and smell the books. Inside, the pewter ceiling tiles, worn wooden floors, strewn rugs and antique tables indeed capture that magical, multisensory bookstore essence. Don’t expect 20 copies of the latest bestseller, but there is a wide range of titles with helpful staff recommendations. Visit the lower level to see the staircase, the risers of which are painted with the names of famous authors (in a Courier-like font that is sure to delight true bibliophiles).
New affordable furniture: CB2
This fall, Atlanta welcomed Crate & Barrel’s cheaper sibling to the Westside space formerly occupied by Bungalow Classic. We’ve been fans since they left Midtown in 2015, but now we can sit on that $ 899 sofa before we buy.
Brick and Mortar Turned Pop-ups: The Commerce Village
Under the “Support Is a Verb” banner, Village Market ATL started out as a series of skillfully curated pop-ups and market events (like Black Friday at the Georgia Freight Depot) that provided space for artisans and creatives. black people to sell their wares without worrying about operational overheads. This year, they refined their traveling concept and established themselves in the Ponce City Market, selling everything from sports hobbies to accessories from the hands of about 25 local black entrepreneurs at a time.
Tropical plants: Tropical Express ATL
Part plant shop, part hanging (who knew that mindful stretching and candle-making amid rare tropical flora was a vibe in its own right?), Tropical Express ATL at the Goat Farm Arts Center offers parents plants a chance to create a peaceful ambience in their own spaces. The plants are lovingly cared for and delivered with detailed instructions on how to keep the life force flowing.
Home accessories: Intriguing objects Bobo
Bobo becomes more and more curious. Indeed, there is an enchanting quality, through the looking glass to this place, which was once a wholesale supplier but has now opened a factory retail store. Technically, it offers furniture, accessories and gifts to outfit your home. But you never know what random thing you’ll become obsessed with here – maybe a tramp art bird cage, a studded leather trunk studded with someone else’s initials, or a candle smelling like a chore coat? Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Oasis Furniture: Classic Bungalow
This Westside mainstay has moved to Trabert Avenue, where he is helping anchor a new stretch of stores, including future Seed Factory and Kolo Collection locations. The space is more serene than ever, with its selection of textured furniture in neutral tones, Clay McLaurin fabrics and handmade accessories. A tent-shaped back room is covered with a wide strip of ticking and filled with tropical finds like rattan furniture and sweetgrass baskets.
Local lacquer: Candy x Paintings
With shades like ‘Grady Baby’ and ‘Gresham Park’, Candy x Paints is unmistakably a local brand. The vegan nail polish company is the creation of Atlanta native Shardae Layfield. Besides being cruelty-free, the colors are vibrant and hold great, what more could you ask for?
New electric bicycle store: Pedego Electric Bikes
Sure, e-bike retail options have mushroomed, but none have a location as primo as Glenwood Park’s Pedego, which opened this year, just steps from the BeltLine. Pedego’s 20 best-selling models start at $ 1,895 and range from comfortable city cars to legitimate off-road beasts.
Gift for the person with everything: Lucite cubes at Kimberly McDonald’s
New York designer Kimberly McDonald is known for her jewelry made from agate, geodes and other natural stones. But, more recently, she launched her lifestyle brand of luxury clothing and home items, opening a boutique in Buckhead Village last year. Its geode pattern wallpaper, malachite print sneakers and stone vases are enchanting, but we were especially won over by Lucite cubes encrusted with floating geodes (from $ 200). McDonald’s uses space rock technology from NASA to create these little beauties, the perfect curiosity for the person with everything.
New Resale Designer: The True
The popular fashion retailer, who started online 10 years ago, opened his first physical Atlanta store in Buckhead Village this summer. Expect a nice variety of carefully authenticated designer brands, from Chanel and Gucci to handbags and accessories.
Fabric shop: Mixed fabrics
The fabric selection at this light-drenched, BIPOC-owned and women’s boutique on Memorial Drive is designed for the trendy DIY types, with bold and colorful florals, animal prints and a great selection of fabrics. for men. Downstairs, the store runs monthly classes and workshops where you can learn how to sew your own jumpsuit, tie, or scarf.
New jewelry store: Don Purcell
Purcell’s retail pedigree includes the role of general manager of Jeffrey Kalinsky’s stores in Atlanta and New York. This fall he started his own business, a jewelry store in Buckhead Village. The colorful, modern space features showcases full of pieces from upscale designers like Eva Fehren, Irene Neuwirth, and Melissa Kaye (an Atlanta exclusive). Ashley Longshore’s colorful pop art, Judith Lieber’s sparkling bags, and paper wigs from Georgia’s own Paper-Cut-Project add drama to the mix. 404-239-4350
Art for all: FreeMarket Gallery
Galleries can be intimidating, but this casual 4,750 square foot space has been designed to suit all budgets, with rooms ranging from $ 100 to over $ 5,000. As the owners also run the print shop at the Ponce City Market, there are always limited editions on hand, like Peter Ferrari’s recent Sparrow Scene release ($ 100). Rotating exhibitions showcase local artists such as Ferrari, Adelaide Tai and Tanner Wilson.
Team work: Village supply
Last year, Jazlin Pitts and Kia Perry teamed up with Jamestown to launch HerMarket in Buckhead Village, monthly sidewalk markets for women-owned startups. Now, the duo (who had previously partnered with the Lola women’s club / coworking spot) have moved into a permanent space at the center, presenting various products ranging from leather goods to technology and beauty products.
Record store: Background music
Moods Music, aka Little 5 Soul and Soul Village, has been the coolest record store in town for two decades – a trusted source in Little Five Points for rare vinyl finds, from neo-soul to acid jazz. His latest flex, in the walkway next door, is a build owner Darryl Harris has dreamed of for some time now: a handy locker for books, clothing, candles, and home decor.
The houseplant trend remains in full bloom, and one corner of Atlanta is particularly teeming with shops offering unique botanical treasures. Paradiso plant store, located inside the Atlanta Dairies in Reynoldstown, sells an Instagram-worthy range of greenery, including hard-to-find carnivorous plants. Just a few blocks from Cabbagetown, pick up handmade planters and unusual orchids at Flora / Fauna. In Glenwood Park, Goat town factory design offers houseplants as lush statement pieces (don’t worry, they’ll provide that huge ficus), while the Victorian atlanta, a plant / coffee shop in east Atlanta, has an entire room of rare succulents and cacti. —Jennifer Rainey Marquez
This article appears in our December 2021 issue.