Friday, December 16, 2011

Smith and Chang General Goods

My love affair with Smith and Chang General Goods (230 Pavonia Avenue, Jersey City) began with a classic Hollywood meet cute. Billy and I were on our way to Brooklyn to visit my sister and brother-in-law, and as we drove towards the Holland Tunnel I caught sight of a new store and yelled, "Stop the car!" He had barely applied the brakes when I swung my car door open in a mad dash for what I knew would be the shop of my dreams. It remains, to this day, one of my favorite stores of all time.

I've always loved the concept of a General Store. They remind me of my childhood trips to Oldwick, New Jersey—the town where my parents grew up—where we frequently returned to visit my grandparents' farm. Every time I step foot into the Oldwick General Store, with its creaky wide-plank floors and small town vibe, I'm instantly transported to the magic of my most beloved childhood memories. Smith and Chang brings me back to this very sacred place in my heart.

Alex Chang and Sawyer Smith have impeccable taste. Their store combines vintage American pieces with everyday essentials for the home. It's decidedly Colonial modern in feel, evident in the mix of brand new Lodge Cast Iron Cookware and antique brass furniture hardware and accessories. The space is beautiful—full of sunshine and propped to perfection. Many of my favorite belongings have come from their store: old tack boxes which I use in my kitchen to house cutlery and napkins; old yellowware bowls that I use for cooking; an old wooden towel rack; soaps, candles, and my favorite feather-topped pen.

Like all good stores, you leave with so much more than anything you could actually buy. I always walk out the door bursting with inspiration and a sense of community. Their new website captures the essence of the store, and what's even better is that you can shop online! There's something here for everyone on your list, so shop local, hunt for treasure, and be inspired.

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