Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
While the Back Bay boasts world class shopping, we also love to poke around our city's distinct neighborhoods for stores with flavor and finesse. We've asked some local gurus to offer hidden gems so you can try out boutiques beyond the usual suspects. Make room in your retail repertoire for these beloved spots.
Silvana Costa founded Wicked Peacock, an online marketplace for distinctive accessory and jewelry designers when she realized Etsy wasn't the best platform for highly skilled, trend-driven artisan work. By taking on the photography, writing, and marketing of each designer's work, Silvana curates and develops each brand within the bigger Wicked Peacock aesthetic.
Her venture represents creatives from New England and beyond, including well-known indie jewelers like Sophie Hughes, Rachel Pfeffer, and Mikinora. Silvana has spent endless hours shopping antiques and trinkets for her own jewelry line, so when she shares her favorite spot for hunting random items, we listen.
Dare I say: I'm not brand loyal. Chanel, All Saints, TJ's, Flock, Good, Salvation Army, or my neighbor's trash pile are all fair game in my book. If I love something, I do so regardless of where it's from. Since I was in high school and Urban Outfitters basement actually sold used clothes, I could always spot the diamond in the rough, which is why I LOVE to go antiquing. Rust, pshaw! Dilapidated, a matter of perspective! There's something about the dig that's sends thrills through my body, and surges when I find something someone else overlooked.
This said, I was PSYCHED to find The White Elephant Shop in downtown Essex, MA. Their motto: "Got junk? We Buy It All!" Filled with the treasures of yesteryear, be prepared to get your hands dirty. Nothing is curated, so you really have to use your imagination. Don't go with anything in mind, but chances are they'll have it. And be sure to talk shop with the owner, a seasoned digger brimming with stories.