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City Guide

Shopping - Downtown Dexter and Chelsea

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Dexter's compact, pedestrian-friendly downtown is home to a surprisingly diverse collection of specialty shops. For your nest-feathering needs, Boxwood Cottage and Home carries charming rustic furniture, while 3bird is an airy, whitewashed space that offers modern home décor, including Joanna Gaines' popular Magnolia Home Furniture line, as well as casual boho clothing, accessories, and jewelry. You'll find handmade gifts and art by Michigan artists at Artistica Gallery; fine fly rods and adventure apparel at The Painted Trout; and a flavorful range of spice mixes, balsamic vinegars, and infused olive oils at Dexter Spice. Watchtower Comics and Collectibles draws young collectors and gamers with its selection of comics, card and board games, and video games.

Chelsea offers an appealing mix of old village institutions and fresh shops. Merkel Furniture, in business since 1924, offers three floors of fine furniture and carpets, while down the street, the even older Vogel's and Foster's sells traditional and designer clothing and sportswear. Women's clothing stores include the trendy and bohemian Attic Boutique, the upscale resale Moran's Consignment, and the casual Violet & Moss. Go west at Mule Skinner Boots, which carries a wide selection of men's and women's cowboy boots, hats, western wear, and premium leather goods. Next door, Wines on Main is committed to sourcing boutique wines from small vineyards and farms, with daily wine tastings. The Potting Shed features goods from an earlier era-vintage jewelry, linens, and old-fashioned penny candy. Collectors browse Chelsea Antiques, and out northwest of town, vintage takes on bright, sometimes electrified, colors at Darwin's Stained Glass Studio and Antique Slot Machines.

Two Chelsea jewelers-La Jolla Fine Jewelry, and Jewelry Set in Stone-specialize in contemporary custom designs. For gifts and cards, try the cheerful and eclectic Bumble's Dry Goods, the fair-trade Global Marketplace, and the lake- and cabin-themed Twigs. Serendipity Books stocks thousands of new and used titles in a cozy interior reminiscent of a living room. At Kitty Face, a whimsically curated assortment of new and vintage toys enchants children and adults alike, while Just Imagine offers a variety of amusements-toys, children's and adult books, music, and used instruments. Artisan Knitworks cheerfully brags that it has the biggest and best selection of hand-spun, hand-dyed yarns in the Midwest. The Garden Mill aims to meet the needs and satisfy the desires of garden, birding, and nature enthusiasts with both practical supplies and whimsical gifts. The Vintage Barn Boutique creatively upcycles and restores vintage furniture to produce one-of-a-kind modern heirlooms, while La Maison focuses on designing elegant interiors through luxury furniture brands and tasteful décor.

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