1. Threads of Mackinac
Newly opened on the island this year, Threads of Mackinac brings fresh designs with a touch of old school to the shopping experience on Mackinac. The designs, most of which don an image that pays homage to the rich history of horses that inhabit the island, paired with a tasteful color palette, instantly transport the wearer and viewer to the beautiful landscape that is Mackinac Island. You aren’t just wearing another t-shirt, you’re wearing part of the island and every design seen within the store has been created by the talented team at Threads. Threads of Mackinac believes that every visitor, “should have the opportunity to take home a memory of their vibrant experience as a Wearable Postcard.” Luckily, Threads has an array of different clothing that you can bring home, from comfy sweatshirts and sherpas, to long/short-sleeve t’s, hats, and other accessories. Threads is located on Astor St. between Market and Main Street if you’re looking to stop in to the brick n’ mortar location, or you can shop conveniently online.
2. Little Luxuries of Mackinac
Little Luxuries of Mackinac is located on the vivacious Main Street, busy with bikes and horse-drawn carriages, right next to the Lilac Tree Hotel, sits Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island gift shop that is filled to the brim with all sorts of made-in-Michigan goodies that you won’t want to miss. Ever since they opened in 2009, this gift shop has been considered the go-to place for all items Michigan made. In fact, the shop carries items hand-crafted by more than 200 artists and 75% of the items you’ll find are made-in-Michigan. Nobody else does it like Little Luxuries, from Fat Toad Farm Caramel, a decadent caramel made with a a hint of goat cheese, to Bee’s Wrap, a reusable, organic alternative to plastic wrap for food storage, you truly can find whatever your heart desires in this little honey hole. Seriously, anything, for your home, kitchen, bath & body, candles, paper, food, jewelry. It would be hard to walk out of Little Luxuries empty handed. As if they didn’t already have enough, you can also fill your days on the island by attending one of their special events showcasing new finds by talented artists and designers. Recent events included a class on essential oils and DIY sugar scrubs, Michigan beer sampling from two local breweries (Saugatuck Brewing & Arbor Brewing), coffee sampling, and local artist meet and greets. Little Luxuries is open from May to October.
Everybody loves to receives cards, whether it’s for a birthday, a thank you, wedding, or just saying hey to someone you haven’t seen a while. At Poppin’s, they have cards for all of the standard occasions and more, picking out just one will prove to be a challenge. This little shop opened up on Main Street in 2013 and has been an essential Mackinac stop ever since. Like Little Luxuries, many of the items for sale inside of Poppin’s are designed, created, and shipped from small, independent companies which puts that extra bit of uniqueness in with a majority of their products. The Poppin’s touch if you will. The best thing about Poppin’s cards is that many of them don’t need an occasion. They’re meant to be sent just to say hey and let somebody know you’re thinking of them. Additionally, the creators of Poppin’s agreed this gesture of just saying “Hello” through a card would be a nice break from the slew of impersonal messages that get thrown around online in today’s world. Of course cards aren’t the only thing that line the walls of Poppin’s. Stop by and you can also browse their mixture of handcrafted gifts, paper goods, and home dècor. Also, if you decide to pop in (no pun intended), and Kate, the shop owner is there, ask her about the origin of the name Poppin’s.
In 2012, Flagship opened its doors as one of the only garden stores on the island. They’re mainly known for their custom island flags, hence the name, and are the only store on the island that offer the unique product. Along with flags, wind chimes that are handcrafted by the Amish and shipped in from Indiana are big sellers as well. Why wouldn’t they be? They come with a lifetime warranty. Even better, this family owned and operated store has a sister store that opened up last year named My Front Porch. My Front Porch, though similar to Flagship, is more of a home décor store. You can’t get custom flags made here but you can get some of their very popular lilac trees that come in an assortment of five different colors (available at both stores). Unfortunately, both of the stores currently only sell three of the five colors because of the sale boom that happened right before the famous Lilac Festival took place in June. As of right now the three colors they currently carry are sensations (purple with white tips), white, and congo (deep bluish-purple).