Best Unique Store - Best of Lawrence: 2014 - Shopping

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Elizabeth Kennedy/ Journal-World Photo

Best Unique Store

made

737 Massachusetts St.

A trip to made is like stepping into a “real-life” version of crafting websites Etsy and Pinterest, says store owner Matt Richards.

That’s what many enthusiastic customers have told Richards since he and his wife Jennifer opened made in 2011. The store offers a varied inventory of handmade and repurposed goods ranging from home decor to jewelry to specialty food items.

“It all goes back to having things that you won’t find at Wal-Mart or Target,” Richards said. “You’ll find something here that’s made by a real person.”

Made boasts more than 180 vendors “from Brooklyn to California and everywhere in between.” The Richardses routinely attend craft fairs and search online for artists, though these days “we get an enormous amount of people coming to us,” Richards says. The pair receives about 800 to 1,000 inquiries a year.

Despite the all the national attention, made retains a local flair, Richards says.

Many artists are based in Lawrence or the surrounding area. Tote bags and cutting boards emblazoned with the city’s name are just a few of the Lawrence-centric items available for purchase.

“One of the things that makes us tick is we’ve had great support from the community from the start,” Richards said. “People are able to put a face on the shop. If you’re buying a locally made item, you’re supporting people who live in your community.”

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