Friday, December 20, 2019

Taos Shopping Guide for Hipsters, Top Twelve Shops in Taos, Best Stores in Taos, The Heart of Taos, Millennial Shopping Guide to Taos, Twelve Cool Shops in Taos, Twelve Shops in Taos for Creative Types, Shopping in the Taos Historic District, Shopping in Downtown Taos

Whether you’re on vacation, or shopping locally in Taos, how do you know what to buy? What exactly should you bring back home with you from your shopping excursion. These shops have your memories of Taos at hand. Unique, individualistic gifts to soothe your soul until you return to Taos once again. Outside of the many art galleries in Taos these are the most creative shops among us, (some actually are art galleries with a bit extra). 

Vintage Tourism Sign

Criteria for being added to this list is such: range of merchandise, is there a ‘classic’ souvenir available, price point needs to be from $10. or less and up, is there hand crafted merchandise available, craftsmanship in general, is the merchandise well displayed and well curated, avoidance of mostly 'factory made' merchandise, do the shop-owners show they care, are they located in the 'heart' of Taos. Try being a tourist in your own town, all of these store owners will treat you like you belong here! 

Opening hours tend to be 10-5 in Taos

These businesses are all within walking distance from each other in the Taos Historic District.

Taos has the worst directional signage, don't be afraid to ask if you've taken a wrong turn.

Bryans Gallery 10-5 Daily 121 Kit Carson Road 575-758-9407 
Store owner Bryan Steger has been in business since 1982. With so many years in business, he’s doing things right. Paintings and sculptures by Hopi artist Gregory Lomayesva fill this shop with color and wonder. Bryans carries one of the best selections of Zuni Fetish carvings and a Native American jewelry selection unrivaled in Taos.
Works by Gregory Lomayesva

Turquoise and silver cuff bracelets

*Hot Tip: Check out the cases along the right side wall full of bargain vintage silver and turquoise jewelry, prices start at $39.99, you’re sure to find a treasure.

The Ranch at Taos 10-5 Daily 119 Kit Carson Road 325-647-
Considered mostly an art gallery go for the hand made jewelry. Ask
owner Lanna Smith to show you what she has in stock, you’ll want
to buy it all, affordable and southwestern with a twist.
Rosa Kilgore Jewelry

A lot going on at the Ranch a tiny space that makes an impression

*Hot Tip: The handmade locally crafted jewelry IS what this store is all about, buy someone you love a pendant necklace.

Two Graces 10-5 Daily 105 Barela Lane, Taos 575-758-4101
There are many antique shops, curio shops, vintage shops and thrift shops, this is not any of those. Two Graces is a shoppers experience in its own world. The tag line here is Art, Books and Curios but it’s an explorers paradise. Interested in art in Taos, this place has it covered. Want to learn more about the southwest and what you’re looking at, they’ve got it covered. Need a little retail therapy, if you can’t find something unique and wonderful here, then you aren’t actually looking. Holly Sievers & Robert Cafazzo showcase the things they love here in their Taos shop, recently located to this location just off Kit Carson Road.
Interior view of Two Graces new space

pre-1970's Vintage Hopi Kachina Dolls (at far right is a contemporary 'old style' doll)

*Hot Tip: The best collection of vintage Hopi & Zuni Kachina dolls in Taos. Cafazzo also specializes in restoring these and other wooden objects.

Black Diamond Curio 12-5 Wednesday - Sunday 111 Paseo del Pueblo Norte 575-224-1844
This place oozes ‘Hipster’ vibes, almost disconcerting, you’ll be surprised by the range of items in the shop from carefully selected vintage jewelry to lotions and salves by our favorite New Mexico maker Los Poblanos. 
Everything looks lovely 'Framed' 

Los Poblanos products and much more

*Hot Tip: The ‘Taos’ logo on t-shirts and hats inspired by 70’s dico-era script is a must have.

Chokola Bean to Bar 11-6 Daily 100-198 Juan Largo Lane 575-779-6163 
This award winning chocolate shop is the Taos destination you’ve been looking for. A variety of Whipped and Hot Chocolates will make you swoon. During summer months the rich chocolate ice cream selection will make you feel like a kid again. Deborah Vincent and Javier Abad are always working in ‘the factory’, where you can see them grinding beans and tempering chocolate right in plain sight. 
The most beautiful blackboard in Taos with bags of Cacao Beans waiting to be turned into chocolate

A selection of Chocolate Cream Mousse and candy bars in artists designed packaging

*Hot Tip: The package designs on their bar chocolates are by local Taos artists,  ask about the occasional signed editions by Larry Bell.

Reneux Consignment Boutique 10-5 Daily 126 Camino de Santa Fe (Southwest corner of Taos Plaza) 575-758-4460 
You want a consignment clothing store to be selective and that’s exactly what you get with Shelia Ross and her Reneux Boutique. The selection of denim jeans and jackets put this shop on my hipster list for women’s clothing stores in Taos. If you’re in need of something fancy to wear and don’t want to break the budget, shop here. Looking for something to wear anytime, shop here. My only regret is that she doesn’t carry menswear. 
Denim Jackets and Jeans

Jewelry and handbags

*Hot Tip: Check out the selection of vintage costume and southwest jewelry, bling, bling.

Six Hand Hat Company 11-7 Wednesday - Sunday 133 North Taos Plaza 575-751-3186
If you choose to walk by this shop without going in to explore, that’s a big mistake. Peer in the windows, there’s more than the finest hand made hats made by Mikel Robinson right there on site. Rows of those little cactus and succulents that are on everyone’s radar right now, cases and tables stocked with items such as metal ‘findings’, turquoise nuggets and framed reliquary imagery.
The best sign in Taos

A tiny display inside Six Hand Hats
*Hot Tip: Purchase a few of the best bandanas and dish towels that you’ll find anywhere in Taos.

Jones Walker Of Taos 10-6 Daily 127 Bent Street 575-758-7965
Hands down two of the sweetest shop owners in Taos. Max Jones (the painter) & Tony Walker (front of house) curate a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Showcasing local art they love and vintage finds that pull this shop together with tastefully articulated rooms.
Entryway to Jones-Walker featuring Taos blue accents

Max Jones paintings and products on display

*Hot Tip: Buy it when you see it is mandatory here, one minute they’ve just gotten something new in, the next minute it’s been purchased. 

The Underground Taos 10-5:30 Daily 107b Bent Street 575-770-
A hip menswear shop is the last thing you’d expect to find in Taos,
New Mexico, yet here it sits smack dab in the middle of town.
Simply the best selected of current trends in Men’s fashion, along 
with the coolest T-Shirts available in Taos. Owner Stuart Brown
completes the picture with his lovely British accent and enthusiasm
for what he does. 
Stuart Brown proud Taos Shop-owner

The Hippest t-shirts

*Hot Tip: Ladies invited, just please try not to swoon too much over the proprietor, (he’s married).

Dwellings Revisited 10:30-5:30 Daily 107 Bent Street 575-758
With an overwhelming amount of businesses in Taos that come and
go on a regular basis, Dwellings has been the standard bearer of 
how to get it right. More than a souvenir shop, there’s regional and 
international Folk Art along with useful items for your home decor.
Cam Martin shares her knowledge of a broad range of merchandise 
in this eclectic Taos shop. 
Dwellings displays are ever changing

Folk Art from around the world

*Hot Tip: Cam’s been in business for over 30 years, for this sort of longevity she must be doing something right.

Taos Blue 9-5 Daily 101 Bent Street 575-758-3561
Another of the shop owners who have been in business seemingly forever, Sue Westbrook changes things up as the seasons sway. Local contemporary craftsmanship at it’s finest. Here’s where you’ll find artist made pottery that will make your table settings sparkle. Featuring sculpture, mixed media assemblage and glass artworks. Simply the best window displays in Taos, they’ll mesmerize and draw you in to shop.
Leather Bound Journals and jewelry cases

Vintage style cushioned stand for the end of your bed

*Hot Tip: Try to resist asking what the actual color Taos blue is. Oh, alright go ahead and ask, after all she’s the expert.

A Taos bench

Consider this list as a Walking Guide, it is quite walkable within a few hours of your time. There are many other shops along the route here, if you see someplace that looks intriguing take a look and see what they too have to offer. These are primarily the types of shops which we seek out when visiting other cities & towns when on vacation. Enjoy the list, it's not a competition. If you have disagreements or wonder why your favorite merchant isn't on the list, try creating your own. It's not all that easy, it's actually quite a lot of work for a non-monetary thing to do, but I encourage you to do so.
Most but not all of these shops are owned by the proprietors themselves, you'll find them running their own shops on a day to day basis, seven days a week. These owners purchase, curate,  stay ahead of trends and make many of the items you'll find displayed and arranged impeccably. Hip shops in Taos are an unexpected treat. You may not have realized or expected to find such wonderful places to enjoy in a town catering to tourism of the southwest region of the U.S., but they do exist. Take the time to explore an unexpected aspect of a village full of artists and creators. Some people may think of Taos as quaint and arty, it even appears to have not kept up with the times in some aspects, this list will prove otherwise. Taos may not be the hippest place in the world but there are local businesses here that make inroads towards surprising you on just how cool it can be. Explore them all and tell them we (Two Graces) sent you.

Feather your nest from any of these lovely Taos shops

*Please note: With these shops being operated by their owners there will be discrepancies in regular hours. If you find a shop closed during stated operating hours, try to take the time to go back and see them. If you find yourself running late and truly want to visit a particular store, please call them, most will try to accommodate your visit, even if it's after posted hours.

**As per business websites, these may give a sampling of what the store carries, not necessarily a complete inventory. Expect many happy surprises once you do actually visit these brick and mortar stores.

***My experience is that far too many people who actually live here don’t shop and explore Taos. Neither do the 'marketing' people staff, Chamber of Commerce or Visitors Center staff, who are supposed to be knowledgeable about what exists here.

****Disclaimer, Two Graces is my partners and my own shop. This list was created by me and is of my own opinion. No one has paid me to include any of the stores listed here.

*****While putting the new updated list together I walked to each of these
stores in the Taos Historic District. If you were to start with the first shop
listed here and follow them in order of appearance on the list you can cover
all of them in a few hours with time for a lunch break.

******Lastly I will admit that this article has been edited and updated from a
previous one which was posted 2 years ago and which I absently deleted
(senior moment) and have not been able to retrieve. The previous article
had close to 5,000 views doing that two year time frame.

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