Country Velador Talks Good Design, Small Business, and Shopping in Scottsdale with Laurie Notaro for this Year's Shine

Once a year, New Times puts the spotlight on Scottsdale in SHINE, our annual pocket guide. As usual, the 2012 edition includes all the best spots to drink, dine, party, and get a culture fix. But this time around, we're really all about the merchandise. So break out your piggy bank and get ready for a little retail therapy.

Country Velador is the pastry chef at Cowboy Ciao and the co-owner of Super Chunk Sweets & Treats with her husband Sergio.

This week, author and Phoenix New Times contributor Laurie Notaro caught up with Velador to talk about her shopping habits for this year's Shine ...

See also: - Shine: Your Pocket Guide to Scottsdale Including Interviews with Creatives by Laurie Notaro - Mixologist Richie Moe Talks Shopping Strategies and Confessions with Laurie Notaro for this Year's Shine

What kind of shopper are you? Strategic, for sure. Some call it frugal (like my husband), I call it strategic. I'm always looking for pieces to go in my house. When my husband and I bought our 1948 ranch, we said we had to LOVE everything we put in it, just as much as we love our house. If we didn't absolutely love it, we weren't going to buy it.

What is your biggest weakness -- are you a sucker for sales, a certain silhouette, functionality, or something else? I am absolutely a sucker for good design. When something is made well, has been thought through, and is functional, that's great design to me.

What store/boutique/designer makes you hyperventilate? There are a lot of them, but the latest is Tracey Reinberg of Kismet Tile (which we are putting in our kitchen) and Barbara Bestor of Bestor Architecture

Describe you hallmark score, your Hall of Fame purchase. The 1950s blue Italian glass chandelier we have hanging over our dining room table that we bought at Modern Lighting in Phoenix. Definitely serendipitous because we just went in to check out the store. My husband and I bought it, looked at each other, and we each said, "Merry Christmas!"

What is the one purchase you can say embodies you the best? My Mandarina Duck purses. Simple, straightforward, functional, a little pizazz without the drama.

What is the one object/piece you think everyone should have at least one of? If you work a lot on your feet like I do, Danskos, for sure!

How regularly do you cull? Very rarely. In my 20s I used to wear a lot of vintage clothing that I bought at antique and thrift stores. It's all stored in boxes in my closet now. I'll never ever get rid of them.

Best place in Scottsdale to shop? Scottsdale Marketplace (at Scottsdale and Lincoln) and Urban Table Larder/Jam, which also holds a farmers market on Thursday nights that is full of really cool stuff (6938 E 1st St., where we also sell products from our candy company, Super Chunk Sweets & Treats).

Closing remarks: Shop at small businesses; adopt from a rescue group or the pound; go to farmers markets and meet the people that are making the products you can buy; when you travel, take an extra day off so you can relax when you get home; appreciate the people around you, while they are still there; eat more dessert.

Laurie Notaro is the author of several books, including the New York Times' best-seller The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club and It Looked Different on the Model. Catch up with her on her website.

See more Scottsdale food highlights and must-sees in the "Eat" section of this year's Shine.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton