What is Ideal?

Ideal is a carefully curated shop composed of unique, design-conscious gifts and accessories. The objects we choose are creative, authentic, and refined. They are inspired by the vision of talented artists and designers from around the world.

Our store was formed with our own ideal in mind: that shopping should always be a personal and thoughtful experience.

Enjoy our blog and please come visit our shop in beautiful, downtown Bellingham. If you can't make it in, we take orders over the phone - just call (360-752-5522) or e-mail info@anidealshop.com.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Downtown Art Walk - Tonight, November 5 - 20% off Alchemy Goods!

Tonight we are spotlighting Alchemy Goods as our featured designer during Downtown Art Walk. Enjoy 20% off all Alchemy Goods designs from 6-9pm!

This wonderful company, based in Seattle, has been a shop favorite since we opened and we're thrilled to feature a number of new designs that were just released this week.

Alchemy Goods practices "upcycling" in creating their designs, taking discarded materials such as bicycle inner tubes and car seat belts and transforming them into highly functional products such as bags, wallets, and belts. The company got its start when the founder's bag was stolen and he began a search for the perfect messenger bag. Disappointed in what he found, he made his own. Friends loved it so he made more...and the rest is history. The bags are practically indestructible, waterproof, and just look really cool.

Here are a few of the newest designs from Eli and company at Alchemy:

The Pine is a smaller-sized messenger bag, distilled down to its essential functions. A zippered outside pocket holds your cell phone and it protected from the elements by a rain flap. Inside, there's enough room for your commute or day trip supplies. 68% upcycled materials.

Pine Bag, $110
The Mercer is a sweet little shoulder bag with a slightly retro look. Slip an iPad into the inside sleeve and zip your valuables into the large interior zippered pocket. Outside pockets accommodate a cell phone, journal or other accessories. 75% upcycled materials.
Mercer Bag, $120

The Westlake laptop bag cradles your computer inside layers of inner tube and foam. It features a shoulder strap and briefcase handle for easy transport. Elastic straps and a wraparound zipper allow you to quickly open the case and your laptop at the same time. 68% upcycled materials.

Westlake Laptop Bag, $75

The Elliot dopp kit is a sophisticated travel companion for carrying essential grooming tools. Exterior is constructed from truck inner tube, so any spills can be quickly cleaned up. The zipper features a shiny bicycle valve zipper pull. 92% upcycled materials.

Elliot Dopp Kit, $35

The Ad Bag is tote made from recycled advertising banners with seatbelt straps. 95% upcycled materials.

Ad Bag, $37

The Schrader bicycle valve, while being an excellent device to maintain your tire pressure, doubles remarkably well as a zipper pull. $8.00 for a set of two!

Zipper Pulls, $8.00 for two

We also have our usual selection of the Haversack, Pike, Union, and Magnolia bags, as well as Georgetown, Franklin, Night Out wallets and belts! Stop by to see us tonight - we'll be open until 9pm.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Shipments This Week - Chilewich and Marimekko

With more and more new things arriving daily, it's hard to choose what to write about! Today we'll focus on two of our major designers with an eye toward holiday entertaining: Sandy Chilewich and Marimekko.

From Chilewich, we have new placemats in Kono, Mini-Basketweave, and Croc patterns in woven vinyl, as well as the circular Dahlia pattern in pressed vinyl.

Kono, a new dimensional over-and-under weave, grabs the eye thanks to the heft and light-reflectivity of the yarns used in its construction:
Kono Placemats, $15 each

Croc features a reptile-inspired pattern. Woven on a jacquard loom, the two-tone design is reversible:
Croc Placemats, $15 each

Pressed Dahlia, the latest of Chilewich’s “pressed” technique, features a lace-like openwork that works beautifully as a placemat or charger.

Dahlia Placemats, $8 each

We also have the Pressed Cubic runner, which incidentally was recently selected by Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel as a garment textile during Paris Fashion Week.
Pressed Cubic Runner (14 x 72"), $28

Just for fun, here's that Chanel dress...

Also just in is Sandy's iconic Ray Tray, first introduced in 1997. The design, which features a metal frame covered with stretch netting, incorporates a simple, inventive mechanism to hold the fabric in a concave plane. Machine washable and breatheable, this piece is an ingenious solution to displaying and storing produce on your countertop.
Chilewich Ray Tray, $125
We received another shipment from Marimekko this week as well, with some lovely patterns for holiday entertaining. This white Lumimarja pattern tray is beautiful loaded with appetizers and drinks or festive votive candles.
Lumimarja Tray (18"diam.), $74
Tea towels are a quick way to add a splash of color to your kitchen and Marimekko is known for their vibrant patterns. We have two patterns in for holiday - the Lumimarja and the Kantaleen Kutsu, a limited edition linen towel. Pair tea towels with a cookie cutter and tray or mugs for a thoughtful holiday gift.

Lumimarja Tea Towels, set of two - $25

Kantaleen Kutsu Linen Tea Towel - $19
Gingerbread Cutter, $6.75

Kantaleen Kutsu Tray (10.75 x 8"), $28

Keep in mind as well that Marimekko patterns are meant to be mixed and matched. You'll find that new patterns pair very well with classics, such as the Unikko poppy pattern or the Pirput Parput polka dot pattern. We are well stocked with lots of different options, so stop by to experiment.

We also received several new bags, which are always a treat from Marimekko. For example, this Tilkka bag features a wonderful raindrop-motif pattern for fall/winter and is generously sized. As always, Marimekko bags are made to last of superior quality, washable cotton.
Tilkka Bag, $125

Finally, for those upcoming rainy days, we have lots of cheery umbrellas ($42 each).

Don't forget that Friday, November 5 (that's tomorrow!)  is Downtown Art Walk. We will be open until 9pm, featuring 20% off all designs from Alchemy Goods. A new shipment has arrived and we'll be unveiling several of their newest designs. More details tomorrow!