January Street Smarts: A quickie guide to a few new shops on Main Street Nashua

If you yearn for a non-mall, charming-downtown shopping experience, head for the great shops in Nashua.

1.“This is not a fluff and buff shop,” explains owner Brie Hetherington of Skin (182 Main St.), a new beauty and skincare boutique. Hetherington teamed with Rachel Holmes of Charlé Aiden Salon to bring in makeup lines by Napolean Perdis and Visual Results, plus organic soaps and baby skincare products. The makeup-artist lines and the esthetic services are result-driven and more clinical than you might find at a spa. The shop uses nurses for some procedures including the I.P.L. intense light therapy that rejuvenates collagen, minimizes wrinkles and reduces rosacea and brown spots. ($200 and up) (603) 595-7546

2.Have a favorite saying or image? The folks at the Tee Shirt Bodega (83 Main St.) will put it in print so you can wear it proudly on your chest. Owner Tyler Gauthier and his partners formerly had connections with Life is Good and decided to go it on their own with single-color print on soft cotton tees as their trademark shirt. In the stores (another location is in Manchester) you find tees with local references like area zip codes, “Nashua,” “Manchester” and for wry globe-trotters, “Earth.” Of course, the biggest seller is “Live Free or Die” ($18). Shirts also come in “burnout” and “destroyed” styles with grinded necklines for that vintage look. (603) 880-4688, www.teeshirtbodega.com

3.Soothe your inner engineer with a visit to New England Railroad (140 Main St.), a model train shop. Owner Peter Dersarkisian carries trains and accessories for gauges H, HO, S, O and G.
O remains a popular gauge for nostalgic reasons and because it is a good size for displaying detail and runs well on a track, he says. Train sets start at $135 and up — up being the key word here since, as Peter says, “It’s all about the details.” He carries quality accessories that make a layout look like the real thing, complete with working actions. He admits many railroaders are in their 50s, but young families are getting into models with the Polar Express and Thomas the Tank trains. (603) 791-0080

4. From elegant beaded bags by Mary Francis ($199) to funky New Hampshire License plate purses, you will find a functional fashion statement at Handbag Boutique. Owner Carolyn Mortarello recently moved the shop up Main Street to this new location (115 1/2 Main St.). Along with the bags, Mortarello stocks seasonal accessories, flannel pajamas, Jimmy Crystal reading glasses, some jewelry and kids’ bags and backpacks. Tired of being optimistic? “Out of Wine,” Life is Crap” tees are in stock, too. The nylon watering can bag pictured here is $18 and just the thing for gardening fans. (603) 880-4100, www.thehandbagboutique.com

5. Sugar Snaps owner Isis Latham will help you find the perfect mix and match ensemble (111 Main St.). Little Travis or Cordelia need not look like any others in nursery school. For toddlers and babies choose from colorful and tasteful patterned rompers, sweaters and dresses. Latham offers European and European-style clothing that lends itself to layering and is stain resistant and washable, even the silks and wools — quality clothing that can be passed down. Sizes range from layette to 16 for boys and girls. Shown here: hat ($29), dress ($26) and pant ($24) perfect for the spring runway. (603) 879-9690

6. Feeling chic and feminine? Find your prescription at the hip Tallulah Rose (87 Main St.), with female clothing in sizes 0 to 12. Owner Joy Charbonneau stocks dressy and casual clothing with a youthful attitude. You will find ruffled and jewel-bedecked dresses for nights on the town and People’s Liberation and Raven Denim brand jeans for everyday style. (603) 883-7467