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When you think of Indianapolis, it’s likely that race cars and sports are the first things that come to mind. There are more than enough museums and attractions to keep any family occupied for days. But you may be surprised at what all the Indy – and, indie – scene has to offer when it comes to shopping!
Shopping in Indianapolis offers so much more than a generic label of the city, slapped on something mass-produced and calling it a “souvenir”. We have some of the most creative artisans and marketing-savvy entrepreneurs that don’t need to peddle their wares on a street corner. They have eclectic boutiques in cultural districts downtown, midtown and around town, that make shopping in Indy not just another errand to run, but a perfect reason for a staycation all on its own.
Yes, we have malls, like any other city. But let’s talk instead about some of the independents, those that have an eye for what’s hot, what’s fun, and what catches the eye of tourists and locals alike. I polled a few of my fellow Indy Geek Girls to help me with why they like these stores (none of the shops mentioned paid to be included – truly we’re just sharing our favorite local shops around Indy!).
I’ve organized these by area of town: North, East, South, West and Downtown.
- Books & Brews – 9402 Uptown Dr., Indianapolis (N). From Michelle at Mums Chasing Lilies: “Books & Brews is a unique used book store, cozy and a lot of fun! One of our favorite places to sip a local craft brew & listen live music. They even have game & movie nights for the entire family. Did I mention the lifetime membership to their mug club? Check it out!”
- Gallery 116 – 8597 E. 116th St., Fishers (N). From Liz at Eternal Lizdom: “I love supporting a variety of local artists and I know I will always find something new – from whimsical pieces for my garden to a meaningful cross for my living room to finding the perfect piece of jewelry for my mother-in-law!”
- Best of What’s Around – 230 S. Main St., Fortville (E). From Jenny at Fortville Mama: “It’s is a must-visit shop featuring vintage treasures and handcrafted décor items perfect for any home.”
- byTavi – 2650 Fairview Place, Greenwood (S). From Cherie at Queen of Free: “byTavi is a non-profit boutique in Greenwood that helps equip women around the world with practical economic skills and works toward freeing women from human trafficking. The bags and clothes literally save lives. Does it get any better than that?”
- JenDaisy – 1279 N. Emerson Ave., Greenwood (S). From Cherie at Queen of Free: “JenDaisy is my shopping happy place. With jewelry from my favorite local designer The Lemondime, new and fun fashion and of course great sales on a regular basis … I love to stop in whenever I get the chance.”
- Fleurs de Beausoleil – 8024 Main St., Coatesville (W). From Crystal at MomforLess: “Fleurs de Beausoleil has gorgeous arrangements and gifts, and the staff are the nicest people in the world.”
- Seize the Night Designs – 50 W. Marion St., Danville (W) Fun fact: Nominated for Martha Stewart American Made award. From Crystal at MomforLess: “Seize the Night has truly original items that you can’t find anywhere else. They also do custom orders if you don’t find the perfect gift.”
- Global Gifts – 446 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis (D), 1300 E. 86th St., Indianapolis (N) and two other locations. From me here at Chaos Is Bliss: Global Gifts is a locally owned nonprofit organization full of fair trade textiles, jewelry, food gifts, home decor, toys and oodles more. Your purchase supports fair wages, gender equality, and safe and dignified working conditions.
- Homespun – 869 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis (D). From Amy at 4th Frog Blog: “Homespun gives Indiana artisans and entrepreneurs a chance to grow and share their dreams. It’s like Etsy in real life.”
- Indy Reads Books – 911 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis (D). From Katy at Indy With Kids: “Indy Reads carries previously loved books ready to be passed on to a new voracious reader. The store is more than a bookstore, it’s a hub of community activity — you’ll stumble upon chess clubs, books clubs, writing groups, tutoring and reading dogs (Paws to Read) in tucked away corners. The proceeds benefit adult literacy programs in Indianapolis. Don’t miss the rainbow of children’s books, available for purchase for only $1.”
- Mass Ave Toys – 409 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis (D). From Katie at Katie Unscripted: “I love Mass Ave Toys because they have toys you never see anywhere else. And they LOVE kids – you don’t see many boutique stores that love having children inside them.”
- Silver in the City – 434 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis (D) and newly opened at 111 W. Main St., Carmel (N) – From Sarah of The Sally Collage: “I love Silver in the City! They have a beautiful array of silver jewelry: rings, earrings, belt buckles, etc, as well as fun Indiana and Indianapolis t-shirts, totes and pillows. I love their home goods section too–always colorful and interesting. It’s also a great place to find a fun gag gift or sassy fridge magnet!”
- Stout’s Footwear – 318 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis (D). From me, here at Chaos Is Bliss: I remember coming to Stout’s as a child, because I had narrow feet and my mom had trouble finding my “church shoes” in a AA width anywhere else. I was fascinated with the Baldwin Flyer conveyor system (see photo), on which your brand new shoes would travel, wrapped in brown Kraft paper from the back of the house right to checkout. It’s apparently still functioning today. You need to pop in here just to say you’ve been to the oldest shoe store in the U.S.. And I’m sure their styles are current, and not circa 1886.
Planning a summer vacation? Here are frugal tips on traveling to more than 50 cities across the U.S.!
A – D
Phoenix, Arizona — Saving For Someday
Fresno, California — Living A Frugal Life
Orange County, California — More With Less Today
San Diego, California — Southern Cali Saver
Denver, Colorado — Bargain Blessings
Washington, District of Columbia — Kidventurous
F – I
Disney World, Florida — The Happy Housewife
Jacksonville, Florida — Saving The Family Money
Orlando, Florida — Coupon Mamacita
Southwest Florida — Chaos Is Bliss
St Augustine, Florida — Simply St. Augustine
Tallahasse, Florida — SwagGrabber
Tampa Bay, Florida — LaToyaEdwards.net
Atlanta, Georgia — Pretty Frugal Diva
Dahlonega, Georgia — Kathys Cluttered Mind
Savannah, Georgia — This Mommy Saves Money
Aurora/Chicago, Illinois — A Savings WOW!
Chicago, Illinois — Entertaining Chicago
Indianapolis, Indiana [shopping] — Chaos Is Bliss
Indianapolis, Indiana — Chaos Is Bliss
K – P
Lexington, Kentucky — Homeschool Village
Louisville, Kentucky — The Kennedy Adventures
Northern Kentucky, Kentucky — Simply Sherryl
Carroll County, Maryland — Looking at life CreativLEI
Boston, Massachusetts — Maven of Savin
Battle Creek, Michigan — Pichea Place
Grand Rapids, Michigan — Give Me Neither
Metro Detroit, Michigan — Saving Dollars and Sense
Kansas City Area, Missouri/Kansas — Redefined Mom
St. Louis, Missouri — Chaos Is Bliss
Omaha, Nebraska — Family Fun in Omaha
Central, New Jersey — Our Good Life
Cincinnati, Ohio — Adventure Mom
Cleveland, Ohio — Kosher on a Budget
Columbus, Ohio — Cleverly Simple
Dayton, Ohio — Savings Lifestyle
Mansfield & Richland County, Ohio — The Traveling Praters
Miami County, Ohio — Something 2 Offer
Northeast, Ohio — Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring
Portland, Oregon — Frugal Living NW
Harrisburg/Central, PA — Family Balance Sheet
Erie, Pennsylvania — Growing Kids Ministry
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Moms Need To Know
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — The Coupon High
R – W
Arlington, Texas — Grocery Shop For FREE
Fort Worth, Texas — Coupons and Freebies Mom
Houston, Texas — Melissa’s Bargains
Katy, Texas — Moms Confession
San Antonio, Texas — How to Homeschool My Child
Tyler, Texas — iLoveMy5Kids
Charlottesville, Virgina — How to Have it All
Norfolk, Virgina — The Talking Suitcase
Richmond, Virgina — Vacation Maybe
Seattle, Washington — Thrifty NW Mom
Tacoma/South Puget Sound, Washington — Queen Bee Coupons
Oshkosh, Wisconsin — A Little Bit of This and That