Best Indigenous-Made Goods 2023 | Native Art Market | Goods & Services | Phoenix

We always looked forward to visits to the Native Art Market held at Scottsdale Pavillions, so we were thrilled when a permanent outpost opened in Old Town Scottsdale back in 2021. Now, any day we choose, we can browse the creations of hundreds of Indigenous makers. Southwestern coffee, beaded bracelets, sand art, hand-carved pottery, soaps made with local ingredients: It's all here. The website shows only a fraction of what the space has to offer, so a visit is in order to get the best shopping experience. If you prefer the open-air market experience, Native Art Market still holds them weekends November through March.

Talk about a hidden gem. Tucked away in a thoroughly nondescript office building is the Afri-Soul Marketplace, a small store that carries beautiful items from across the African continent. Just down a hallway from the also-wonderful Grassrootz Bookstore & Juice Bar, Afri-Soul carries clothing, jewelry and other accessories, beauty and personal care products, and art from a number of vendors. We left after a recent visit carrying a bright, fun bracelet made of paper beads, a sturdy yet stylish cloth hand fan and a handpainted giraffe-print belt. And we suspect we'll eventually pick up that handwoven basket and bright cotton dress we can't stop thinking about. Prices at Afri-Soul Marketplace are exceptionally reasonable, and anytime you go, you're sure to find a gift — or something for yourself — you can't find anywhere else in town.

"Shop local" is a popular buzz phrase these days, and with good reason: When you buy from an Arizona business, significantly more of the store's revenue stays in-state to bolster the economy. Practical Art in Central Phoenix has been exemplifying the phrase for 15 years, selling the work of some of the city's best artists, including Ann Morton, Janel Garza, Carrie Marill, Christopher Jagmin, Jon Arvizu and dozens more in the form of paintings, prints, jewelry, T-shirts, ceramics, sculptures and kitchenware. If you can't get enough of Practical Art's merchandise, you can join its Art Club, where a moderate fee gets you one new item per month, plus exclusive offers and invitations to special events.

We know a lot of professional artists. We ourselves are amateur — dare we say terrible — artists. But the thing about Blick Art Supplies in Tempe is that it welcomes customers of all skill levels in with equal amounts of enthusiasm. Whether your medium is paint, clay or pencil, Blick's got the goods to get your latest creation started off right. A trip to the store inspires daydreams about what could be accomplished with the rows and rows of materials, and if you can't find what you need, it's probably available on Blick's website. We may not have much artistic talent, but at least with Blick, we're well-equipped.

Fantasia Crystals underwent a big change this year: After more than 30 years at its location on Seventh Street, it moved to bigger digs in North Phoenix. Now, there's more room for its extensive collection of New Age goods, including books, herbs, tarot decks, crystals, jewelry, incense and more. What haven't changed are the thoughtful customer service and depth of knowledge displayed by the staff nor the lineup of interesting classes like Candle Magick 101, Protection Magic and Divination Basics. If you're interested in witchcraft, herbology, New Age philosophy, spiritualism and the like, Fantasia Crystals is the place to go.

In our age of online shopping, you technically don't have to leave your house to get your lingerie, adult toys and other sexy little things. But there's a lot to be said for seeing an item in person before purchasing it, as well as for getting expert advice. You can do those things at the four Valley locations of Groove, a locally owned chain of adult shops. The decor is a bit different in each one. The West Valley location has an "Alice in Wonderland" theme, while the Arcadia outpost has more of a street art feel. What's the same at all Groove locations is a comprehensive selection of lingerie, swimwear and dancewear; condoms and lube; and sex toys and accessories of all kinds.

Grace Perry has a knack for opening must-visit destinations around Phoenix. The former singer of the metal band Landmine Marathon owns Gracie's Tax Bar, a hip downtown watering hole, and more recently, she debuted Peaches, a self-described "intimate wellness boutique." Looking more top-shelf than trashy, Peaches carries items like a pair of leather wrist cuffs in millennial pink, "Support Your Local Sex Shop" T-shirts, sleek high-end vibrators, massage oil candles and way more. The comfortable atmosphere and titillating merchandise make for fun browsing during a night out at the Pemberton nightlife hub, but if you don't feel like carrying that bottle of lube around on a Saturday night, you can get what you want off Peaches' online store.

When you can buy vibrators at Ulta Beauty and warming lube at Target, you know that certain types of adult products have gone mainstream. But what if your tastes (and corresponding shopping needs) run toward the, ahem, kinky? When it comes to shopping for the hardcore stuff, Smokin' Lingerie is like an X-rated gymnastics competition, with events including the "Detained Soft Body Chastity Cage," the "Pleasure Fister Textured Fisting Glove" and the "Manus Intruder" (if you don't know what that is, maybe don't Google it). The store has plenty of other goods for all sorts of vices, from plain old fuzzy handcuffs to marijuana-smoking supplies, but it stands out for its truly impressive selection of far-out kink equipment.

In a local vaping marketplace largely cluttered with skeevy smoke shops and convenience stores selling weak-ass disposables, Blue Dragon is a breath of fresh air. Each of its three Valley locations are spacious, brightly lit and clean, meaning it doesn't feel like you're slumming it when buying vaping gear and supplies. They're also quite well-stocked, equipped with glass cases filled with hardware like mods and tanks, dozens of quality vape pens and an entire wall of delicious e-juice selections. (Some of the prices are also cheaper than at other retailers or even online.) Best of all, the staff aren't dicks, which allows you to satisfy your nicotine fix as painlessly as possible. In other words, it's never a drag shopping at Blue Dragon.

We carried as much Daiso merch as we could back from California the last time we were there, but we never stopped wishing that metro Phoenix could have its own outpost of the beloved Japanese discount location. Well, our wish was granted this past spring, when Daiso opened its first Arizona store next to the 99 Ranch Market Asian grocery store. Now, we stop in regularly to see what's new and pick up cute stuff for the kitchen, holiday decor, craft supplies, Sanrio characters goods and so much more. Most of what's there is under the $5 mark, so while most of the items are winners, you don't have much invested if those bento box picks don't work out for you.

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