Today Pop.Bop.Shop. turns nine. Nine! I remember the decision to start this blog so clearly. It was December 2008 and I was about eight months into my first job in public relations. I was doing a lot of writing at work, but mostly about medical devices and I was looking for a more creative outlet. I decided that my New Year's resolution for 2009 would be to start and maintain a blog for a full year. Here is my very first post on January 4, 2009.
I laugh every time I re-read that post. In so many ways I am still committed to exactly what I laid out in that first, ever-so-brief post. But then I notice things like . . . the post had no photos, no links to anything and beyond basic formatting. The asterisks kill me!
Over the years, we've celebrated each new year together:
- 1st birthday
- 2nd birthday
- 3rd birthday
- 4th birthday (Golden birthday - 4 on the 4th!)
- 5th birthday
- 6th birthday
- 7th birthday (Lucky #7)
- 8th birthday
I am so grateful to you, my readers, for continuing to follow allow, leaving great comments and making superb recommendations. Thanks to your suggestions I've discovered wonderful books, addicting TV shows, delicious restaurants, cozy hotels and inns and so much more.
As you know, for the last few years I have been chronicling my New Year's resolutions here on the blog. Though I haven't yet published my 2018 list (that's coming up!) I wanted share one of my resolutions for this year, which is to feature more businesses founded and run by women. Today, in honor of Pop.Bop.Shop. turning nine, I am thrilled to highlight nine businesses owned by powerhouse females.
1. Crompton Collective
If you've been following Pop.Bop.Shop. for a long time, you already know I am obsessed with Crompton Collective in Worcester, MA. This treasure trove of handmade products and antiques was started by Amy Lynn Chase, who wanted to revitalize her childhood neighborhood.
While I love hunting through the stalls for the perfect card, birthday gift or awards show party decor, what I really admire most about Crompton Collective is that it gives other women an opportunity to expand their businesses.
In addition to the Crompton Collective, Amy has also helped established a farmer's market, promote the businesses that are upstairs in the same building (BirchTree Bread Company, Seed to Stem) and has even turned part of their space into a wedding venue called the White Room. She is the driving force behind the new energy in this area.
The next time you're looking for a special gift or a new piece of furniture, make the trip to the Crompton Collective. Pro tip: be sure to hit up Armsby Abbey in Worcester for the greatest mac and cheese on earth before or after you shop.
2. Greentail Table
It's no secret that I love to entertain. For every occasion I challenge myself to use new decor, create special meals or cocktails and set the most festive mood possible. Over the past year I've been able to do that with ease thanks to Linda De Valpine's beautifully curated shop, Greentail Table in Newton, MA.
After a long career in buying and merchandising, Linda developed an eye for what's truly special. Her entire store is filled with gorgeous serving pieces, paper goods, cards and more.
If you host an annual celebration of any kind, make time to zip over to Greentail Table to stock up on items that will surely make the event memorable. Linda is constantly adding new items, especially for big holidays.
3. Koko Bakery
Also in Newton, MA, Koko Bakery is owned and operated by chef Nobuko Maruyama. The bakery name is a mashup of her name and her dog's name (Kuroko). She says, "I loves that it sounds just like the baking ingredient cocoa."
Koko Bakery makes the lightest, most heavenly tasting donuts.
Their chocolate croissants are equally addicting. So many layers of flaky, buttery goodness.
The bakery is located on California Street in Newton, just a few blocks from Watertown Square. It's not in a high traffic area (for cars or on foot) so please support them if you can! Your taste buds will thank you.
4. Gus & Ruby Letterpress
I first discovered Gus & Ruby Letterpress through my cousin, who was using them to create the save-the-date cards for her wedding back in 2009. The business is co-owned by Samantha Finigan and Whitney Swaffield. The shop is named after their two dogs (sensing a theme, here?). You can read more about their all-female team here.
Gus & Ruby began with a shop in downtown Portsmouth, NH and then expanded to an e-commerce presence. Since I don't always have time to drive up to Portsmouth, I love the option of ordering online. In 2017 they opened a second shop in Portland, ME. These ladies are on fire!
If you're looking for a special wedding card or gift, a beautiful baby shower present or something charming to add to your home, Gus & Ruby is the place. Plus, who wouldn't want to stroll through Portsmouth or Portland on a warm, New England day?
5. Posh + Prep
I am still obsessed with this Real Housewives card.
And this is my favorite print of all time.
I love following along on Julie's Instagram account as she shares all the custom creations she designs for weddings - envelopes, escort cards, table numbers - you name it, she can make it happen.
Recently, Julie also co-founded a calligraphy workshop called Sip & Script. I am dying to attend one of these!
6. Verrier Handcrafted
In our mostly digital world, I still have a love affair with snail mail. My favorite card company is called Verrier Handcrafted and it's run by a mother and daughter, Jude and Ashleigh Verrier. Read about their all-female team here.
I first discovered these cards at Chelsea Market in New York City. I was drawn to the fashion illustrations, jazzed up with a tasteful amount of glitter. Soon after, I learned that Mint Julep (in Cambridge and Brookline) also carries their cards - bonus!
I have given this wedding card numerous times.
My sister gave me one of their cards when she asked me to be her Maid of Honor. I still have it.
I just learned that they also make phone cases. I wanted to include two or three examples here of my favorites and all of sudden I had flagged six of them. Check out all the fabulous options here.
A girl can never have enough jewelry and designer Lexie Broytman has created a line of bracelets you won't be able to resist.
Lexie got her love of jewelry from her mother and grandmother (just like me) and the company is named after her grandmother, Eva.
Each EvaDane bracelet is handmade, and is a combination of semi-precious stones and a single charm. Here is my bracelet, a gold Libra charm with black onyx:
Black onyx is known for strength, absorbing and transforming negative energy and wise decision making. Who doesn't need a little more of that?
8. A Ruby
I've profiled A Ruby a few times here on the blog and that's because I can't get enough of their flattering, feminine basics. The clothes are so functional, but also things you can't wait to put on.
The brand was founded by Avra Myers, one of the co-founders of Club Monaco. She makes clothes specifically designed for women's bodies.
I have been eyeing this cotton fleece moto jacket for two years.
It's so refreshing to shop for clothes from a brand for women, by women.
9. Nantucket Kids
Last, but not least, is Nantucket Kids. I was introduced to founder Andrea Romito last summer and I was immediately impressed by her desire to bring back the classic, preppy, New England styles of decades past. As someone who shops for a lot of kiddos, I am always looking for clothes that will help them stand out from the pack.
These two outfits are my absolute favorites:
I can't think of anything better than teaching my little cousins to feel beautiful and confident when they get dressed.
In addition to running Nantucket Kids, Andrea is also a mom to twin girls. #SuperWoman
And there you have it! Nine incredible companies led by fearless females.
Now, what would a birthday celebration be without a gift? In honor of Pop.Bop.Shop.'s 9th birthday, I am giving away a $100 dollar Visa gift card to one lucky reader. I hope you'll use it to support one of these fantastic businesses, or another brand you love and adore.
To enter to win, simply leave a comment below telling me about your favorite female-owned business.
This giveaway will be open until Sunday, January 7, 2018 at 11:59pm ET. The winner will be notified via email on Monday, January 8, 2018.
Who run the world? GIRLS.