Our Secret Sources for Uniquely Inspired Home and Craft Goods
If there's one question that Martha and her team of editors get a lot, it's about where they finds the unique materials featured in projects featured on The Martha Stewart Show and in Martha Stewart Living magazine over the years. Many items and materials used in Martha's projects come from local retailers in the New York area, close to her Bedford estate and Perry Street residence. But there are a few places where Martha has been known to share the source for materials used in everyday life, delicious recipes, and spectacular crafts. Here are our go-to sources for decorative items, stationary, spices, and other embellishments, which you can shop online too.
Wondering where Martha finds her favorite sweets? That would be Hammond's Candies, which was first opened in the 1920s in Denver, Colorado. Their intricate candies were used to adorn Martha's set for many years, alongside dried fruits and gift baskets from Bella Viva Orchards in California. Other edible favorites on Martha's list include snacks from an open-air marketplace called Bazzini Nuts—which sells fresh produce and baked goods in addition to organic nut varieties—and Cowgirl Creamery, a charming purveyor of artisanal cheeses in San Francisco.
If you've spent years admiring Martha's many holiday decorations, you'd be interested to know that she finds her most striking holiday décor from D. Blumchen and Company, which is known for its European-inspired ornaments. They produce their own items but also pull pieces from marketplaces in Europe, often traveling to Germany to conduct research. Look for everything from Easter decorations to Christmas stockings.
From candles to well-made accessories and faux bois décor, there are many more under-the-radar items that Martha and the Living editors love. Read on to shop a few, and if you're looking for a way to purchase items inspired directly by Martha's real homes, learn more about her new lifestyle collections here.
Since 1937, Morris "Moishe" Cohen and his family have run the business of Economy Candy selling more than 2,000 varieties of candy, chocolate, gift baskets, dried fruit, nuts, and more. "Shopping here is like—you guessed it—being kid in candy store," says Living food and entertaining director Sarah Carey. "It has every treat you can dream of, including gummy fruit slices and licorice windmills, and sells jelly beans and M&M's by color."
CW Pencil Enterprise
This boutique was founded in the fall of 2014 by Caroline Weaver, an amateur pencil collector, who appreciated them for their functionality, beauty, and history. Today, CW Pencil Enterprise on Orchard Street in New York City curates a quality selection of custom pencils from around the globe. "I always looked forward to school-supply shopping when I was a kid," says Living home editor Lorna Aragon. "Visiting this pencil store, which has a rainbow of options, is equally satisfying for a grown-up."
Our collective efforts to change the day (that is, make a positive impact at home and on the world at large) are largely made with one mission in mind: to reduce our dependence on plastic. Max and Lily, founders of the shop The Wild Minimalist, opened their online shop after transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle themselves. "I love that its products (linen bags, stainless steel lunch boxes, wooden brushes, and more) are made out of high-quality, sustainable materials, and they're beautiful too," says Living creative director Abbey Kuster-Prokell.
The boutique SOS Chefs in the East Village of New York City has been providing gourmet spices, oils, and hard-to-find ingredients for Martha's food editors in the test kitchen for years. "This specialty site is great for hard-to-find, exotic items like urfa chiles and black cocoa powder, or for discovering new ingredients, such as tonka beans and smoked soy sauce," says Living senior food editor Lauryn Tyrell.
Makr Leather and Canvas Accessories
This studio pays utmost attention and respect to the simple details in a full line of leather and canvas-based accessories. Their "weekender" bag is free of any hardware and can help keep all of your work and crafting essentials organized, and Makr's creations can stand up to any amount of travel.
Love to paint? Woodworks' site is for you—it has an immense inventory, complete with wooden beads, boxes, and even toy bowling pins. They're all unfinished, so you can easily paint them with your favorite colors. Visit the site to purchase a gift and then customize it anyway you'd like. Check out more of our wooden crafts here.
Pewabic Pottery is Martha's secret source for beautiful handmade pottery and tiles. A century-old pottery purveyor founded by Michigan artist Mary Stratton at the height of the Arts and Crafts movement in 1903, Pewabic Pottery is nationally renowned for its hundreds of gifts, tile, and pottery in unique glazes. Every Pewabic tile is stamped on the back with the trademark "Pewabic Detroit" logo and the year it was pressed. Tiles frequently bear the stamp of the individual staff artist who pressed the tile.
Over the holidays, you'll be searching high and low for fresh ingredients to make or embellish wreaths—this site has nearly every variety of dried grass you could use in your projects. Outside of making wreathes, you could also place these dried florals and grasses in a vase, or tie them onto a gift, or around a napkin as a placeholder. One Living editor notes that the site's selection of pinecones is rather impressive, too.
L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates
This New Hampshire-based chocolatier has earned a loyal following for its sweet mouse-shaped truffles. It also bakes up batches of holiday-themed confections throughout the year—like at Halloween, when you can purchase pumpkin-spiced ghosts for your little goblins. There are five retail locations spread out across Boston, Chicago, New York, and New Hampshire, but you can order chocolates online, too.
Bell'ochio is a specialty shop offering antiques and curiosities, as well as rare merchandise produced by historic ateliers. For 19 years, Bell'occhio has focused on the beautiful, from its selection of merchandise to its presentation, and no parcel leaves without the shop's snappy signature gift wrapping.
Frog Hollow Farm
Hammond's Candies, started in 1920 by Carl T. Hammond, remains loyal to its original recipe techniques and its first Colorado location. Making its sweets in small batches, which are hand-pulled and hand-twisted, Hammond's Candies were used to dress the Martha Show television sets for many years. You can now shop their most popular products online.
D. Blumchen and Company
D. Blumchen and Company, Martha's secret source for antique- and vintage-inspired holiday decorations and crafting supplies, was founded in 1985 by Beatrice Boyce and her daughters Diane and Deborah, whom all share a love for European holiday decorations. Shop the store's online catalog for the most festive decorations for Halloween to Easter and everything in between. They not only produce their own items, but also import many from Europe and often travel to Germany to research and shop for antique trims and decorations.
If you're on the hunt for unique textiles to use in sewing projects, Auntie Oti is a great source. Shop for colorful imported Indian textiles and have them delivered to your door. Lungi are big cotton sarongs and they're perfect for picnic blankets and comfy sitting on the go since they roll up nice and small.
Bella Viva Orchards
Bella Viva Orchards specializes in exquisite, often hard-to-find fruit, grown right on the premises in their sustainable orchards. The website, bellaviva.com, is beautifully designed and features an extensive collection of fruit, nut, and chocolate confections that you can purchase online.
Edible Gardens L.A.
San Antonio's Studio Cortes, run by third-generation artisan Carlos Cortes, produces exquisite faux bois, or fake wood, pieces in the form of one-of-a-kind concrete sculpture. Faux bois sculptures, planters, benches, bird baths, and other pieces from Studio Cortes add a decorative, rustic touch to any setting.
Bazzini Nuts reflects a European open-air marketplace, selling farmstead-fresh produce, artisan baked goods, and other great organic and specialty groceries. Martha enjoys a selection of whole nuts, including pistachios, pecans, and walnuts from Bazzini Nuts. They're perfect for any cooking or baking needs, or for just cracking as a snack with aperitifs.
Magic Cabin is a mail-order catalog and an online store featuring imaginative children's toys. Martha has showcased Magic Cabin's tree trunk fairy home set, as well as pirate ships, log cabins, woodland tents, and cable-car systems, over the years.