Shopping in Laconia
From The Studio
photo by susan laughlin
For some, Laconia is just another in a series of towns necessary to drive through to get to Weirs Beach and the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. But for locals and smart shoppers (as well our biker guests) Laconia offers some great shops, catering to all personalities and budgets. Whether you’re on two wheels or four, you might want to warn your brake pedal it’s going to get stepped on.
Take a stroll down memory lane at the Laconia Antique Center (formerly JJ Newberry’s and Bloom’s Store, 601 Main St.), where you’ll find two floors of vendors offering treasures that are clean and not junk. Look for cameras, radios, old hats, Fiestaware, Lionel trains and anything you can imagine to collect. Check out the old soda fountain, which continues in full operation today as The Downtown Deli.
Get a shoeshine, repair, or pick up a comfy pair of American-made shoes (Aurora and Scandic — both last forever) at Daub’s Cobbler Shop (612 Main St.) where the front door swings open all day long. Give Uggs new life, a purse a new zipper or a belt an antique buckle; this little shop percolates. The “Complete Shoe Repair Kit” makes a great Father’s Day gift. The owner’s son, 13-year old Nate, offers shoeshines in front of the store until the shift change at the police department, where he has more followers than Steven Tyler.
If you grew up in Laconia and have an appreciation for music, you might have Greenlaw’s Music & Audio (633 Main St.) to thank. For 60 years this landmark has been putting instruments in the hands of young people, offering guitars, keyboards, drums, band instruments, sheet music and more. Now offering home movie theater kits and more. Look for the Bose portable speaker SoundLink Mini Bluetooth for a terrific Father’s Day gift ($199).
Vintage décor from the Laconia Antique Center
by susan laughlin
Stop in to The Studio (50 Canal St.) and leave with a new BFF. Owner Melissa McCarthy is a laugh a minute. Part artist, performer and general super funky retailer, McCarthy offers artsy items that offer laugh-out-loud moments. The mantra mugs are sentimental, the tin piggy banks are great and the party supply section too much (yes, you do need to wear a crown). Look for art displays, an occasional trunk show and even live music on occasion.
Looking to relax and maybe pamper the inner you? Stop by Wild Women’s Studio (70 Church St.), where you’ll feel the stress slip out of your body. This store caters to those who seek calmness. You’ll find lovely music, energy crystals, incense, Chakra mist sprays, healing lavender balls and more. The infinity lights are amazing — ask for a demonstration. Workshops are throughout the year on all topics in the rear of the store overlooking the Winnipesaukee River. Namaste.
Stuck on a graduation gift? Look no further than All My Life Jeweler (639 Main St.), a family-owned jewelry store that treats all customers with respect. Have your jewelry cleaned while you browse the freshwater pearls, the RSB American-made watches and, of course, all the gems. Want to re-purpose an old piece of jewelry? This family of jewelers delights in creating new art from the old. Oh, by the way, this year’s rage in engagement rings includes a fairly large, round diamond with halo setting. Gulp.
Shops of Vintage Row
Within downtown is where you’ll find the The Shops of Vintage Row — thanks to four women shop owners with a passion for revitalizing all that is great about Laconia.
Curiosity & Co. (110 Beacon St. West) is an antique and vintage shop full of home decorating inspiration. Look for shabby chic, soaps, jewelry, vintage lace, colored glass, bottles, old hats, quilts and more. The shop specializes in re-purposing old furniture with milk paint, which sells before the paint dries. Milk paint supplies and classes in using milk paint are available.
Chase Island Designs (110 Beacon St. West) is where you’ll find owner/artist Kris trying to keep up the demand. Her specialty is high-quality, beautifully made toss pillows, totes and home accents for sophisticated homes and lake houses. All designs are original and hand silkscreened onto cotton and linen fabric. Look for lobsters, starfish, pinecones and anything coastal- or lake-themed.
New England Porch Rockers (2 Pleasant St.) is where you’ll find a miracle worker. Owner Jeanne specializes in bringing old authentic caned and woven chairs back to life. If you don’t have a rocker, she stocks a whole wall of rocking and plain chairs just waiting to be caned or woven; you can even take a class from her and learn to do it yourself. They’re now partnering with a NH-based company to offer wood finishing. These chairs are museum-worthy and make a great Father’s Day gift.
Willow & Sage Vintage Boutique (108 Beacon St. West) is like walking into a vintage movie set — everything has its place. You’ll find lots of odd-shaped bottles, delicate teacups — some filled with scented candles, old lace, costume jewelry and so much more. Look deep, each display area is arranged with inspiration, and new and unique ways of taking something old and making it new.