{PLACES: a day in Almonte }

Oh Monday. I know it’s kinda a gloomy rainy day but I think it makes it that much easier to just buckle down and get things done & organized for the week. You don’t feel so guilty about not taking a walk at lunch and can finally wear those cute rain boots you told yourself you just must have.

What did you get up to for the weekend? With my new flexible schedule I took the opportunity to go visit my good friend & creative co-conspirator, Emily and her new fabulous shop Hello Yellow up in beautiful Almonte, Ontario for a few days.

via Almonte.com

I’ve known Emily since I was 19 and have been going up to Almonte just as long. So let’s just say that’s over 10 years. Sometimes when I visit, people forget that I’m not actually coming ‘home’ for the weekend, it just feels that way. It really is a beautiful town (just outside of Ottawa) oozing with charm, a bustling art & music community and lots of proud Senator fans. Almonte’s historic claim to fame is being the childhood home of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball. Sorry American friends, but that’s a fact. Yes, the beloved North American sport has it origins in the land of the maple leaf and it’s something this town loves to remind its visitors of. Afterall, without Naismith, college students from both sides of the border would be without things like the NCAA basketball tournament to spice up their sports calendar. College basketball has really become something of a phenomenon over the past century with many of its fans looking towards free college basketball picks to place bets on some of the most hyped games and get an additional kick out of each game’s results. Those that do this can be grateful to Naismith for having the idea and, likewise, grateful to the town for birthing this sports legend. Now the world has access to this beloved sport. From fans who love to watch it to those who love to bet on the outcome, there are now even places that teach fans how to bet on this sport and others. You can learn how to bet on sports in Florida and around the world from the comfort of your home, too, especially if you’re interested in basketball.

Mill Street is at the heart of the town. It’s a small street packed with great shopping and interesting finds housed in beautiful historic buildings. This includes Emily’s newest retail venture, her great shop Hello Yellow. I have a special attachment to the project since I designed the logo and it was the first time I got to see it in person. I think it suits Emily & the shop’s personality just perfectly.

You can’t miss the shop when walking down Main Street with it’s cheerful yellow door & decor. Here’s a great shot of Emily and her windows full of balloons for her big grand opening back in July.

photo by Amy Eaton

A close up of the logo I created. It’s cheerfully handmade, just like the merchandise.

And sometimes if you’re lucky you may get to meet Hello Yellow’s special little greeter (and photo bomber), Emily’s sweet daughter and mini-me Clementine.
The shop is filled with cheerfully handmade goods carefully chosen & curated by Emily. So everything you see is lovingly handmade by someone either locally or at the very least in North America. Think of it like a real life Etsy shop. This really was a natural evolution for Emily as she’s already a co-creator of the successful Handmade Harvest bi-annual craft show (next one is Nov 3 & 4!) so now she’s offering great handmade goods all year.
Yes, Hello Yellow is fabulous and I hope you’re already planning a weekend getaway. But there are some other great shops you should visit if you’re in Almonte. One of which should be Crush Marketplace. If you’re looking for a pair of super stylish but (of course) comfy shoes, this is your place. Crush carries Fly London and other great brands of unique footwear. They also have a ton of great home decor, gifts, jewelry & fashion accessories. It’s really a one-stop-shop. One of those “one gift for you, one gift for me” type of place.
My third recommendation that you must check out is Tin Barn Market. If you have a passion for cool & perfectly curated vintage, up-cycled, salvaged goods or looking for that perfect little pop of vintage in your space, this is the place. The owners have an amazing eye for vintage and have collected a store full of treasures that are styled perfectly to inspire you. The inventory (and the store layout) is always changing so it’s a true treasure hunt and new experience every time. You really never know what you will find.
So there’s a just a little taste of my weekend in Almonte. By no means is this all! There’s other great shops and I haven’t even mentioned the art galleries, restaurants, river walk, or all the friendly people you’re sure to come across. There are also some great festivals that take place if you wanted to plan a weekend around that. And there just so happens to be a charming boutique Inn right on the river for you to enjoy the view and rest your head at night.
So when are you going to Almonte?

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