San Antonio Specialty Shopping - Boutiques and Other
The specialty stores below are well known by San Antonio locals as unique popular retail establishments for shoppers seeking high-end items and unparalleled service. For specialty items, the San Antonio visitor or resident will find personalized service, quality apparel or other distinctive items by visiting any of the stores listed here.
Julian Gold opened in San Antonio in 1945 as a place where women could find the best designer clothes and accessories. It has become a San Antonio institution. The clothing you find at Julian Gold is similar to what you can find at Nieman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue. However, setting Julian Gold apart from other stores is the very personal service, quaint location in Olmos Park, and some designs that are done specifically for Julian Gold and not sold to the other large department stores. They carry clothing, shoes, jewelry and cosmetics. In addition, they have an exquisite bridal salon. Shopping at Julian Gold is a very pleasant experience that can not be duplicated in other stores I've seen.
Memory Lane is a gift store located at 5800 Broadway. It is one of my favorite stores. They specialize in monogrammed and engraved items. Whenever I need a gift, and have no ideas in mine, Memory Lane is the place to go. Their merchandise is inventive, attractive and very well priced. The delightful staff is more than helpful in recommending gifts as well as monogram colors and style. I love to give and receive gifts from this extraordinary store.
Hanley Wood is located at 5611 Broadway. This beautifully appointed store carries exquisite items for the home. They have an extensive inventory of fine china, crystal, silver flatware and serve ware. Whenever looking for any items necessary to entertaining, I head straight to Hanley Wood. I also love their pewter and Texas oriented products. In addition, Hanley Wood has a lovely baby department. I can always find elegant gifts for little ones at this splendid store.
Sunset Ridge Hardware
Sunset Ridge Hardware is an Ace Hardware store with an added sense of decor and house wares. Carrying all of the common hardware and tool needs, Sunset Ridge Hardware also carries products from Smith and Hawken. The store is just up the breezeway from La Fonda in the Sunset Ridge shopping center. The selection in this store is what makes it so unique and inviting. The layout is such that the products found in a hardware store are along two walls (right and back) and the remainder of the store is reserved for kitchen appliances, kitchenware and house wares. The cutlery and knives to be found in Sunset Ridge Hardware is one of the best I've seen with all of the finest cutting and carving knives made by the best manufacturers. Other items include a generous selection of aprons, kitchen linens and dishes available with college logos from Texas A&M, Texas Tech and the University of Texas. The Sunset Ridge Hardware store is a specialty store not to be missed if gift shopping for anyone.
Artisans Alley is the shopping center for mothers and daughters. This shopping center is off the beaten path because it's not too heavily advertised and not necessarily known all over San Antonio. More for the upscale shopper, Artisans Alley is a cluster of specialty shops on the city's north side in Hill Country Village on Bitters Road between Highway 281 and Blanco Road. Buying from a store in Artisans Alley supports the local economy as stores are owned by local San Antonio residents.
Artisans Alley used to primarily be a small antique mall when it first opened in 1975 and has grown extensively since then into a unique and fascinating shopping center at the base of the Texas Hill Country. Artisans Alley is an uncommon shopping center boasting many different specialty stores including a shop for cheerleader items. The store frontage does this shopping center no justice as stores go to the back of the property, which is more than twice as long as it is wide. Driving down the side of Artisans Alley to the parking lot, you'll spot the tea room which has long been frequented by area residents. Each store is independently owned and operated by people offering special products in a very defined niche. It's extremely easy to find and because it's in a growing part of San Antonio, traffic can be a bit testy but the trip to Artisans Alley is definitely worth the trip. Browsing through the stores will keep shoppers busy for hours on end. Artisans Alley is a maze of specialty shopping options like kitchenware, pottery, jewelry, sewing supplies, and antiques. Unlike a specialty store in a large mall, Artisans Alley is a specialty mall with rare and exceptional items not to be found in any other San Antonio shopping venue.
Garden-ville is the authority in organic gardening. The owners and staff of Gardenville have been learning, studying and experimenting with organic nutrients and plant fertilization since the mid 1950's. Visiting Gardenville is an enjoyable and educational experience for garden minded shoppers looking for natural and organic soil and plant products. Gardenville has always been known to have the finest organic gardening products in San Antonio and central Texas. The approach that they take is all natural and organic. They don't use any materials other than those provided by mother nature. Throughout the operation's history, Garden-ville has been instrumental in the advancement of organic soil mixing, soil testing, composting and natural fertilizer creation. This is all evident when visiting their location off Evans Road on San Antonio's northeast side. Gardenville is nationally recognized as a pioneer in the research and development of organic gardening products. The hands-on approach that Gardenville takes with their customers is one based on knowledge. For instance, if you are seeking advice from a Garden-Ville employee about what to buy, chances are that very employee has spent time using and/or researching the products that you are looking for. They offer soil testing to better recommend products for your situation. The service is very personalized at Gardenville and the products are of the highest quality made right there at their location. The composting and soil mixing goes on in the back and you can see it if walking around the Gardenville yard. If you seek advice on organic gardening, organic herbicides or pesticides then you need to pay a visit to Garden-Ville for personalized service from a staff that enjoys organic gardening and has the extensive knowledge to share with customers and friends. Garden-Ville is an organic gardeners dream!