Put it on Paper

his past spring the two hundred block of State Street underwent some changes with new stores opening: Little Luxuries, Anthology and Epoch. Of the three, only Anthology is brand new (the other two are relocations)—and a haven for crafters and gift givers alike.

As we roll into gift-giving season, a stop at Anthology will yield some neat finds: journals, picture frames, jewelry, stationery and wrapping paper to cover the wonderful surprises inside.

“Anthology means a gathering of flowers or a collection or body of work,” says Laura Komai, co-owner of the store with sister Sachi. “So here we brought together a number of artists and their work.”

Combined, the sisters partake in drawing, quilting, paper art and photography. Anthology’s focus on the indie craft scene—a genre that incorporates recycled objects into handmade, creative pieces like jewelry, clothing and paper goods—reflects the do-it-yourself aspect mixed in with local and green elements.

“It’s no longer macramé planters. People here are pretty familiar with the Craftaculars and Etsy.com,” says Laura, referring to the thrice-yearly craft event and popular craft website.

Laura and Sachi worked in retail together for a number of years and always knew they wanted to open their own place.

“We worked so well together at Little Luxuries—we just knew that we’d balance each other out. We both have an artistic eye, are creative and love to do our own projects,” Laura adds.

More importantly, Laura and Sachi like encouraging people’s inner artists with their drop-in craft activities like “button for a buck” as well as bookmaking, photo collages and card-making parties.

“It’s like everyday art-making. People kind of dismiss their creative abilities early on,” says Sachi. “With the products we have, it’s like having the ingredients to do your own thing. I love that.”

So do your own thing, stop by and find something you love, or love to make, at Anthology.

Price range: $1–$375 Owner’s Picks: Button bracelets, $12; twinkling watercolors, $2 each; necktie necklaces, $16. Editor’s Picks: Martha Stewart craft supplies, $2.95–$5.25; decorative papers, $3.75/sheet; bottle cap magnets, $3 each. Verdict: Anthology’s an alternative to the big-box stores not only in their unique, (mostly) locally made merchandise but also in their craft party classes and personal, friendly owners who greet every customer and encourage their inner artiste.

218 State St. 204-2644. http://anthology.typepad.com

Shayna Miller is associate and style editor of Madison Magazine. * Read Miller’s Window Shopping blog »