Grafton is a little North Dakota prairie town with a thriving retail scene. It’s great to see a small town support independent, locally owned businesses.
I knew from the window display that I’d love Luscious Boutique — you can read my post about it here — but at first glance, I wasn’t sure if the other shops in town would have anything for me.
I totally underestimated the shop owners’ commitment to unique products and stellar service. My sister Brynn and I took a stroll through the Griggs Avenue neighborhood to show you some of our favorite shops.
The Squire Shop is a throwback to the classic small town department store. Owner Rita Amiot features a variety of women’s clothing from activewear to cocktail dresses, petite to plus size. Men’s clothing is available too, and the selection includes a big and tall section and a tuxedo rental shop.
The window display was geared more towards women of a certain age, but Brynn and I both found things we loved.
I gravitated towards the vintage-inspired costume jewelry, Silver Jeans and beautifully cut cashmere sweaters while my sister fell for a chunky knit scarf and a mod little tweed jacket.
The store takes full service to a whole new level, offering in-house charge accounts, free gift wrap, special orders, a full alternations department and a sales staff that keeps patrons’ sizes and preferences on file for a sort of combination personal shopper/Santa’s helper service.
We also checked out Mary’s Ladies Fashions, a Grafton staple since 1985. The former jewelry store space is long and narrow and full of unique gifts, accessories and women’s clothing.
They have free gift wrap and charge accounts as well. They also let their customers take out items on approval to see if they work in their closets. That’s the kind of service I can envision a stylish Grafton girl taking advantage of in, oh, 1962 – but in 2012? Fabulous.
Practical purchases like warm sweaters and pretty underthings were on our shopping list, but, as usual, we were distracted by sparkles. I can never resist a display of cocktail rings.
The owner, Mary English, also stocks two little rooms in back with seasonal gift items. The photo above shows lots of cute cooking gear, but they’ve just made the switch to Christmas. In warmer weather you’ll find lake cabin decor and gardening items.
And Mary also carries beautiful and useful baby gifts for customers on their way to baptisms and baby showers.
We finished our day at Henry’s Countrypolitan, a shop with lovely window displays that called out to me, since I was still in the throes of my home decorating addiction.
Owner Jean Anne Ill stocks a variety of gifts and a carefully considered collection of furniture and home decor items in a warm and elegant environment.
And they sell fantastic little gourmet chocolates too! We each had a truffle, which is really just the thing after a long day of shopping, don’t you think?
The Squire Shop
519 Hill Ave, Grafton, ND
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Mary’s Ladies Fashions
615 Hill Avenue, Grafton, ND
Monday-Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
507 Hill Avenue, Grafton, ND
Sunday and Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Friday: 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.