MADE Art Boutique

Whether you're new to Phoenix or just delving into the city's art world, MADE is the place to start. On the corner of Fifth and Roosevelt streets in a converted bungalow, the shop spotlights locally crafted functional art pieces that are lovely to look at and serve a purpose. The 700-square-foot space is packed with ceramic wares from Danielle Wood and Jeff May, jewelry by Alex Ozers, and delightfully plush animals from Sighfoo. Be sure to spend a few minutes eyeing the wall above the fireplace. Dubbed the "Mantle at MADE," it serves as a showcase of local artists' work, having presented pieces from notable creatives including Space Boy Robot and Alexandra Bowers.

On a summertime First Friday, we stumbled into Unexpected Art Gallery just off Grand Avenue to find a fashion show with original dance choreography that was inspired by meditation, crystals, and lasers, which shot from projectors to create the rectangular runway. Turns out, such out-there fare is fairly standard for the open warehouse-style space, which does nothing if not live up to its name. Besides hosting events and exhibitions, the space serves as a store where shoppers will find oddball works of art and a rotating selection of objects for sale. Pop in on a First or Third Friday and expect the, well, you know.

For style with street-art sensibility, no shop delivers quite like the Bee's Knees. Located off 16th Street in the same complex as Julia Fournier's the Hive, the resale boutique stocks paper-thin tees and coveted band shirts along with day dresses, knick-knacks, small home goods, and locally crafted accessories — all with a side of art. Besides the lure of its exterior mural works, Bee's Knees' big draw is its tiny prices. Keep an eye on its Facebook page for alerts about discount days when items go for just $5.

Nothing screams lack of imagination more than a generic coffee mug. There's no such thing at the ASU Ceramics Research Center and Brickyard Gallery, which is part of ASU Art Museum but located in the heart of Mill Avenue's retail hub. Their coffee cups, including Danielle Wood creations bearing coral-shaped polyps painted with ethereal pastel colors, are actually small works of art. The center has an ever-changing selection of functional and decorative ceramic works perfect for gift-giving or feathering your own nest, from rough-hewn vessels carved with deep textures by Patricia Sannit to polished, perfectly symmetrical, nature-infused works by Farraday Newsome. You can shop while supporting local artists, who actually need to sell their works to pay for all those niceties like housing and food. And you won't have to pay a thing to hang around and explore the center's impressive collection or latest exhibition.

Best Place to Buy Native American Music/Craft Supplies/Ephemera

Drumbeat Indian Arts

Blink and you'll miss it. Glance and you'll think it's closed. Yet inside the low, brown, adobe complex beyond the sign declaring "DRUMBEAT" in all-black caps is a little look at the Valley's often-overlooked Native culture. A wooden door opens to a tight space packed with crafting materials ranging from bird feet behind glass and dyed canary-yellow feathers to a color wheel of tiny Japanese seed beads packed into tubes. Venture toward the back for selections of releases from Canyon Records, hard-to-find cassette tapes, and shelves of Pendleton serapes, pillows, and Chief Joseph blankets in a dizzying spectrum of teals, purples, and fuchsias.

Bead World

They've got beads up the wall at Bead World Phoenix, the colorful shop for beads and beading materials at the northwest corner of 16th Street and Bethany Home Road. With a motto like "She who dies with the most beads wins," we know these people take this bead thing seriously. Shoppers find beads ranging from Swarovski crystals and freshwater pearls to wood, copper, Czech glass, and African Trade beads. You'll also see beading materials for stringing, tools, and tubes, plus jewelry-making kits for Chimera and meditation bracelets, and TierraCast jewelry. Big spenders can take advantage of wholesale and volume discounts. Bead World itself also hosts classes on bracelet- and necklace-making, and special events like a Traditional Bead Party, or "Plan Your Own Adventure" bead parties – where you rent the classroom space and shop tools for up to seven beaders. Bead World opens at 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and is closed on Sunday.

More than simply a store with yards (and yards and, okay, still more yards) of yarn, Tempe Yarn & Fiber serves as a community hub for crafters. Tempe Yarn is home to classes for beginners new to the needle game and aspiring crochet pros, as well as courses on weaving with a loom, using crafting website Ravelry, and how to spin your own yarn on a freaking Sleeping Beauty-style spinning wheel. Stuck on a project that's going nowhere? Pop in on Wednesday afternoons for free help. And while you're at it, scope out the shop's locally dyed yarns, array of needles and tools, and patterns aplenty.

Arizona Art Supply

For more than 60 years, Arizona Art Supply has been the Valley's go-to resource for everything from high-end drafting and drawing materials to kids' art easels and crayons. Founded by hardware store owners back in 1950, the shop offers up all sorts of tools an artist — whether aspiring, professional, or somewhere in between — might need for such projects as framing, oil pastel sketching, or simply organizing that growing collection of Prismacolor markers. Wanna try your hand at printmaking or sculpture? There's a book for that. Need a black pen? You'll find so many varieties your head might explode. But do your best to keep it together; there's art to be made.

Donning vintage garb is one thing, but actually working with vintage equipment is quite another. That's exactly what happens inside Hazel & Violet, founded by longtime friends Nancy Hill and Beverly Wolfe. The small custom letterpress printing shop, located inside the historic Bragg's Pie Factory, has five letterpress printers — including two built during the 1920s. Hazel & Violet has mastered the fine art of mixing century-old technology with contemporary digital tools to create masterpieces ranging from humble coasters to super-slick posters — although the letterpress actually specializes in wedding invitations, announcements, and letterhead. Hazel & Violet is even happy to share the letterpress love through tours and workshops that give the rest of us a chance to make a good impression ourselves.

The Melrose District in central Phoenix did in fact say yes to the dress when the boutique Cleo & Clementine opened in 2012. Monique Sandoval is the owner and dressmaker — a combination of designer, seamstress, and overall creative type — who, along with her small team, produces unique wedding, prom, and special-occasion gowns. Sandoval learned to sew from her grandmother, borrowed her aunt's sewing machine growing up, and even participated in family projects like reupholstering the couch as a kid. Sandoval first started the more young-woman focused OUMA line, and later developed Cleo & Clementine. The gowns are designed in-house — the fabric handpicked, hand-dyed, and hand-stitched — and range in color from beige, cream, and white to soft pinks and blues, gold sequins, and solid black — some of which have been featured in Rock N Roll Bride and New Times.

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