This is the first article in a series I will be doing called “Window Shopping”. I’ll select a particular shopping area in Portland and introduce you to some of my favorite haunts. For a such a small city, Portland has an amazing collection of wonderful little boutiques and gift shops with clever, thoughtful and genuinely original handcrafted pieces that make shopping a delight.
No “fudge and T-shirt shops” allowed, as a dear friend of mine refers to the run-of-the-mill souvenir places. These shops are the real deal…carefully curated collections of fun, clever and one of a kind gifts for a gracious hostess, wedding or engagement, anniversary or birthday party or when you just need to treat yourself to a little retail therapy and a laugh.
Our first boutique in the series is a wonderful little spot called Abacus, located just above the Old Port area on 44 Exchange Street. If you are looking for a truly unique and whacky gift or souvenir of your visit to Portland, Maine, look no further than Abacus.
This fun and funky little boutique and gallery, with its two floors of exposed brick and stone walls, has a wide variety of whimsical hand-crafted jewelry, home products and gift items to choose from. From high-end jewelry to modestly priced items, there is something for everyone. Photo giglee prints and calendars by Dana Heacock capture the summer in Maine spirit perfectly and are a perennial favorite with locals and those “from away”. Jewelry, travel bags, scarves, purses, quirky metal sculptures and Spiritiles and much more will enchant and delight visitors of all ages…even those who hate to shop.
Pop in to Abacus the next time you are in town for an entertaining and fascinating look at some unusual Maine-made products. You can also visit them online for a sneak preview but the store is best experienced in person. Be sure to bring a friend along - preferably one with a great sense of humor - as you’ll want to share a laugh or two over some of the more unusual items. Enjoy!
Abacus stores are also located in Freeport, Ogunquit, Kennebunkport and Boothbay Harbor.