Connie Matisse is a Co-Founder, CMO and CCO of East Fork Pottery, an Asheville-based DTC manufacturer of ceramic dinnerware. She shares with us her five favorite stores from around the country.
Maybe you've see #TheMug and wanted to own it immediately, only to find it it was sold out. Or perhaps you are a Molly Baz groupie and if Molly uses the Breakfast Bowls, well, then you obviously need to use them too. If you were wondering what sort of brand could inspire this sort of passion around ceramics, look no further than East Fork Pottery.
Connie and her team have created a brand that feels both inherently local and totally accessible at the same time. All of East Fork's pottery is designed and made in the United States and sold at prices that are affordable to people of all ages.
East Fork has been at the forefront of many trends both aesthetically and through its innovative business practices since its founding so we were excited to hear from Connie about her favorite stores across the country. Check our her picks below!
1. NO. 6 STORE
"I've been shopping at No 6 for ten years—just gonna say it, long before #cloglife rolled in like a hurricane over #momnation. I love every single piece of clothing they put on the racks. I love how small it is. I love walking in wearing sweatpants and walking out in a whole new look. I love when the dressing rooms are full and women just start disrobing and playing dress-up in the middle of the sales floor. I love that it feels like I'm shopping in my cooler friend's closet. If I had to choose one store to get my wardrobe top to toe (dream life!) it'd be No 6."
2. SID + ANNE MASHBURN
"Sid + Anne set a bar for customer service that I've never seen anyone else come close to grasping. Pretty sure I heard that they have a full-time psychologist on staff who does empathy assessments on every member of their sales team. It's super inspiring to walk into their flagship store in West Side Provisions and see Sid and Anne themselves boppin' around helping customers, talking to their team, and looking impeccable. They give me an alcoholic beverage every time I walk in and don't hesitate to offer even if it's 11:00 am. I'm into that."
3. TORTOISE GENERAL STORE
"Some of my most treasured possessions come from everyone's' favorite Abbot Kinney pot shop. I always find something I want to bring home, even when I'm very sure there's nothing I need. Very cool that you get to walk through that sweet little patio before getting into the new(er) craft section in the back."
"Ok, again with the wine, but really, it works. All stores should give their customers wine if they care to make a sale. I love going to this store because the sales team always tells me I look cute/they love my outfit when I walk in. I'm a sucker for a compliment. They always make me (a 30-something mom of two who lives in North Carolina and works 95 hours a week) feel very chic and cool BEFORE I buy something. It's so important in retail to make your customers feel like they BELONG in your store. Every item of clothing I've ever purchased at LCD makes me feel instantly cooler than I am."
5. IDYLWILDE FARMS
"Gimme a grocery store with 14 types of butter! We go to this grocery store when we visit my mother-in-law in rural Massachusetts. The store is packed floor to ceiling with equal parts basics and specialty grocery items. The wine selection is way better than it needs to be, there's cheese from 5 species of dairy animals, the best snacks, and friendly teenagers packing your haul into recycled cardboard boxes."
BONUS: EAST FORK ASHEVILLE
We would be totally remiss if we didn't highlight East Fork's own beautifully designed stores in this feature. If you find yourself in Asheville or Atlanta make sure to stop in to check out their incredible ceramicware in person. You might even get lucky and run into Connie while there. If you do, try not to be too starstruck that you forget why you were there in the first place!
If you don't already, follow us on Instagram @theretailsafari as we highlight some of our favorite brands and concepts and take you with us on our retail safaris in NYC and beyond.