My “Window Shopping” series continues with a focus on color and whimsy at 101 Exchange Street in Portland, Maine with a wonderful little shop called Folly 101. As the name implies, this is a truly fun destination to explore.
From clever kitchen gadgets and colorful towels, to precious hand blown glass bottles, beautiful woven baskets and one-of-a-kind costume jewelry, Folly 101 provides a wide variety of quirky and entertaining household items, books and gift ideas for everyone on your list.
Shopping in this thoughtfully designed store is akin to treasure hunting and the key to the hunt at Folly 101 is in the way the store is styled. Each table, corner cabinet or display space has a clever color story; earth tones and soft, soothing creams at one, rich French blue and crisp white at another.
But here’s the kicker…the centerpiece of each color story is a picture book that not only suggests a wonderful read, it also sets the tone for the color palette. It begs the question, did they choose the book first and style around it or did they select the book to coordinate with the merchandise? It’s a tough call but a very clever way to present everyday items in a fun and entertainingly new light.
The store is bright and cheery with classic exposed brick walls and beams that reflect the northern New England architecture of this Old Port section of Portland. The natural light coming in the large front windows reflects off the glow of the newly refinished wood floors adding an upscale country store feeling to the space. The high ceilings contribute to a sense of spaciousness yet the abundantly stacked table displays evoke a coziness and warmth that is rare in retail spaces today. You’ll generally find the owner, Ingrid Vigeland, or the friendly store manager, Emily ready to assist you with gift ideas or information on the beautiful products.
The price points run the gamut as well so you’re sure to find something that meets your budget. In fact, there are so many desirable yet practical items, that you’ll find yourself picking out treasure after treasure. Happy hunting!
101 Exchange Street, Portland
Mon-Sat, Open 10:30-5