AR Workshop is a boutique DIY studio that offers hands-on, custom home decor classes. Think art class meets wood shop meets Joanna Gaines. The cozy little shop in Robinson is perfect for a girls night out, a relaxing solo date with yourself, family outings, etc. The classes are designed for all skill levels. And for my readers with kiddos, they even offer family-friendly workshops.
While wood projects are AR's core offering, you aren't limited to working with wood. ARW offers all kinds of crafts: wall hangings, trays, seasonal decor, wedding keepsakes, canvas hangings, bags, and even the ever-popular chunky blankets. Browse their Instagram for a quick look.
so how does it work?
Step 1: Register online and pick your project.
Like any class, ARW requires advance registration. Hit up their website, pick a time that works for you, and select the project you want to make. (Note: Make sure you pay attention to the type of class on the schedule. Some workshops are dedicated to specific projects.) Projects range from $40-$70, but the experience comes with a beautiful space, phenomenal instructors, and a personalized piece that is yours to keep.
Step 2: Gather the provisions.
ARW is snack-friendly and offers a BYOB policy. I arrived with wine, cheese, and chocolate. If you do decide to bring wine or any kind of beverages, I would recommend bringing a tumbler. Something like this prevents the chance of spilling on your project and your workspace.
Step 3: Get to work.
When you arrive for your class, you'll grab an apron and jump right in. You'll be assigned a seat where all of the materials for your custom design will be prepared and laid out for you. Each class at ARW provides instructors to help guide you through the project and lend a hand if you run into any problems. You'll sand, stain, assemble, and paint until you have a gorgeous wall hanging, tray, or pillow to take home. Make sure you snap a photo of your creation and tag @arworkshoprobinson.
TRY IT OUT
I really loved my experience at AR Workshop Robinson and I can't speak highly enough of the team.
In partnership with ARW, I'm happy to offer all of you a special Burghologie promo code. Use "BURGH10" at checkout to save $10 on any workshop over $50. (Note: The promo code is case-sensitive. Be sure to use all caps. )
I'd love to hear about your experience. Shoot me a DM on Instagram or hit me up via email at email@example.com. Happy crafting, guys!
I'm always an advocate for shopping small and supporting local businesses when possible. So, this year I decided to put together a shopping guide that highlights some of the amazing businesses, artists, and makers in the Pittsburgh area. There's millions of shopping guides floating around the internet this time of the year, but this one hits close to home. Literally. Shopping local helps out your co-workers, neighbors, family, and friends. It truly helps the local community thrive.
I can't even begin to scratch the surface of all of the great small makers that deserve a shoutout, but here I highlight a few that have caught my attention this year. No matter who you're shopping for or what your budget is, I encourage you to consider shopping small this season.
I have ooo'd and ahhh'd over PGH Candle's hand-poured, soy candles and I can now say with confidence they're one of my favorite local candle businesses. The scents are very unique and the 16 oz. jars have an 80 hour burn time.
On top of smelling incredible, there's some other notable perks. These candles are all-natural and made from 100% soy wax. That means they're clean burning. They don't produce any harmful gases or soot and produce a stronger scent when lit.
PGH Candle is a great option for friends, family, a significant other, a grab bag, secret santa, or pretty much anyone on your list. The boys might even be into scents like "Fresh Coffee Beans" or "Whiskey".
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
PGH Candle products are available for purchase on their website, but their also available at local retailers around Pittsburgh. Check out the list here.
WHAT I'M LOVING:
The 16 oz. Rosemary + Fig candle
Gold School JEWELRY
When it comes to jewelry, gold is my love language. So naturally, Gold School immediately caught my eye when it made it's debut last January. I own a beautiful pair of their tortoise shell earrings and they have easily become my favorite set in my jewelry box. Their earrings are handmade here in Pittsburgh and the brand strives to reinvent looks from the past.
Mom, grandma, girlfriend, BFF, sister, or any lady in your life. Gold School has some simple/minimalistic designs and bolder statement pieces as well.
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
You can shop Gold School's Etsy page or be on the lookout for pop-ups around town. Tip: Sign up for their email list to get 10% off your order.
WHAT I'M LOVING:
These tortoise shell drop earrings have my heart.
OLD SOUL NEW AGE MACRAME
When I stumbled upon Leah's Instagram page a few months ago, my eyes lit up. Outside of just wall hangings, the Old Soul New Age shop offers tons of out-of-the-box makings like earrings, keychains, purses, headbands, and more.
Old Soul New Age is part small business, but also part lifestyle blog. Check out her site for macrame styling tips and local adventures.
Your sister, BFF, girlfriend, or anyone that would appreciate something handmade.
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
You can shop Leah's Etsy page here.
WHAT I'M LOVING:
I recently bought these pumpkin covers, but heading into the holiday season I'm eyeing up these keychains (stocking stuffers) and these little ornaments for my tree.
If you've been following along for awhile now or you know me personally, it shouldn't come as a shock that Pittsburgh Popcorn Co. made the list.
Between visiting friends and family and holiday parties, there's always a need for good host/hostess gifts this time of the year. Pittsburgh Popcorn is a great option because it's so easy. There's no mess, no clean-up, and everyone loves a good snack.
The party/dinner host or the office crew.
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
They have 8 locations around Pittsburgh or you can place an order online.
WHAT I'M LOVING:
I'm a popcorn fanatic and I honestly can say I love all of PPC's flavors. To keep it festive, I recommend going for the Chunky Chocolate Caramel.
from the field pgh
If you're looking for a more personal gift this year, From the Field PGH is a great option. You'll find lots of cute Pittsburgh-centric, holiday, or special occasion wooden signs. Each sign is unique and most can be customized with coordinates, names, zipcodes, etc. The shop's mission is to create things that "celebrate memories in your life", so these handmade items would make a great gift for those celebrating a milestone.
The diehard Pittsburgher, the newlyweds, the teacher, or the new mom.
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
You can shop the Etsy page here or keep an eye on their Facebook page for upcoming pop-ups, workshops, and events.
WHAT I'M LOVING:
I have my eye on this mason jar vase.
It's no secret that Pittsburgh winters can be brutal, so you can't go wrong gifting some winter weather gear. SLPmade has a great collection of beautiful, handmade beanies, as well as tassel earrings, scarves, and keychains. There's a large variety of colors and designs. (Like hearts, plaid, stripes, etc.) Plus, you can even choose what kind of pom you'd like on top. The poms are removable and interchangeable.
There's no doubt these these hats are some of the coziest around. They're thick, high-quality, and stylish.
Sister, BFF, sister-in-law, or cousin.
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
You can shop the Etsy page here.
WHAT I'M LOVING:
I have an obsession with mustard tones this year, so this hat is at the top of my Christmas list!
She Papery offers a small collection of hand-lettered goods like stickers, sweatshirts, mugs, ornaments, and pins; all with the mission to "love and spread love". The stickers and pins make great options for stocking stuffers.
Any lady in your life.
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
You can shop one of two ways: You can browse products on the website here, or you can request a custom order with names or dates.
MORE LOCAL businesses TO CONSIDER:
1. If you're on the hunt for clothes, check out some of these Pittsburgh boutiques.
2. If you're shopping for a beauty guru, check out Una Biologicals.
3. If greenery is on the list, snag a plant from City Grows or Synthesis.
4. Need some cute (or funny) holiday cards? Kards Unlimited or WildCard is the move.
5. Not sure what you're looking for? The Farmer's Daughter and love, Pittsburgh are great little gift shops that offer a wide variety of gifts.
6. Got a coffee addict on your hands? The Coffee Passport is a really great gift option.
7. Trying to figure out something for a DIYer? A gift card to Board & Brush or The Candle Lab is a great idea.
8. Everyone has a boozy friend. A bottle of cider from Threadbare or a bottle of wine from Narcisi Winery checks that box.
OUT OF THE BOX
Aside from just material gifts, I'm also a huge advocate for gifting "experiences". Here's a few quick ideas:
A GIFT FOR YOU
Head to the Burghologie Instagram on Monday, December 2nd to enter to win goodies from PGH Candle, Gold School, Old Soul New Age Macrame, Pittsburgh Popcorn, From The Field PGH, SLPmade, and She Papery. In total, the giveaway package is worth over $190! Keep it all for yourself or share the wealth as gifts for friends and family. I'll see you over on the 'gram on Monday!
The Candle Lab is a spacious DIY candle workshop off of Butler Street in Lawrenceville. Here you have the chance to experiment with over 120 different scents and watch as a custom, natural, soy candle comes to life. Candles are the main game at TCL, but they also offer options like fragrance oils, sprays, body lotions, salt scrubs, and more.
Here's a rundown of the full experience:
Last summer on a trip to Nashville, I stumbled upon Amelia’s Flower Truck and fell in love with the concept. What's not to love about fresh flowers, retro vibes, and a great photo opp?
After my encounter with Amelia’s, I vividly remember thinking I wish something like this existed back at home.” Fast forward about a year and that wish came true. I could not be more excited to introduce you to Victoria's Mobile Flower Shop, the very first mobile flower shop to hit the streets of Pittsburgh.
The truck made its official debut at GRLPWR’S Self Love Sunday Fest and I am stoked to say I was the first official customer. Here's a closer look:
Local resident Victoria Miess came up with the idea to create a mobile flower shop this past February. And with some help from family and friends, she brought that idea to life in just four short months. Now in their first month of business, they're hitting all of the go-to spots bringing a little flower power to the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.
Before you venture out to hunt down some flowers, there's a few things to note. First, Victoria’s stock is priced per bloom. That means it's a build-your-own concept. Type, colors, greenery, bouquet size; the choice is all yours. Your options range from simple varieties like baby's breath and eucalyptus to a more exotic species like peonies and protea.
Victoria also plays a large part in supporting local farms. Most of the blooms you'll find on the truck are sourced from the greater Pittsburgh area. If you're on the hunt for that straight-from-the-farm bouquet, be sure to keep an eye out for a "local" label on the truck's flower buckets. Hat tip to Piscarcik Flowers, Cherry Valley Organics, and more for helping Victoria bring some joy to our local community.
Once you've picked your variety, Victoria will personally cut, wrap, and tie your bouquet. Cash and cards are accepted. If you happen to snap a few photos, but sure to tag @victoriasmobileflowershop on IG and use the hashtag "#IMustHaveVictorias" to let them know you stopped by.
Pro Tip from Victoria herself: "When you get home only place your blooms in about an inch of water. Every three days, cut off the submerged portion of the stems at an angle. This method will help keep your flowers fresh longer."
Now and through the summer, you’ll be able to catch Victoria at some of your favorite Pittsburgh stops. Check out their upcoming schedule and of course throw them a follow on Instagram and Facebook. You're going to want in on the flower inspo.
Recently, I had the chance to stop in and check out Board & Brush— a DIY wood sign workshop that opened its doors this past year just north of Pittsburgh.
I had a truly awesome experience. Here's what you need to know:
How it works
B&B workshops are about three hours long and during that time, a team of instructors guide you through a step-by-step process. From sanding to staining to assembling to painting, the project is totally in your hands.
Before I continue, I should preface this post by saying that Board & Brush is for everyone. It doesn't require you to be a master woodworker or the next Picasso. It's very manageable for all ages and skill levels. The B&B team is super friendly and more than happy to help out if you run into any problems.
During the booking process and prior to arriving at the studio, you're required to choose your project online. Selecting your project in advance gives the team time to create your stencil.
There are hundreds of project designs to choose from. There's something to fit every taste and need.
Note: Even though the designs listed online only show one stain and one paint color, the possibilities are pretty much endless. You can customize your board with a variety of different stains and paint colors. You also have the choice to decide just how "rustic" you want your board to look.
Here's a quick look at the workshop phases:
1. Distress (Create the rustic/worn appearance)
2. Sand (Eliminate loose pieces)
3. Stain (To your color liking)
5. Place stencil/paint/peel (Your custom design)
6. Sand and wax (Finishing touches)
7. Attach hardware (For hanging)
8. VOILA! (Admire it)
Even though my three hours in the studio flew by fast, I found it to be very therapeutic. It was a really awesome afternoon and I left feeling accomplished and relaxed.
what to know
-Board & Brush is located in Gibsonia, so from the city you're looking at a 30-ish minute drive.
-The studio is BYOB. Feel free to bring your own beverages and snacks.
-The booking process is simple and "Pick Your Project" classes cost around $65.
GET AFTER IT
Head to the B&B calendar to book your class online. And while you're at it, give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram. They organize regular giveaways. You just might get the chance to check it out for free.
There's something about a local boutique that just makes shopping so much more fun. Whether it's the neighborhood, the decor, the one-of-a-kind finds, or the warm welcomes, it's a special experience. With that said, I'm excited to say that I've teamed up with my friend, Meredith Kearns of The Look by Meredith, to co-create a guide to Pittsburgh's best boutique shopping spots.
From eccentric boho chic finds to unique business casual pieces, here are our top ten picks:
1. Lynn & Barrett | @lynnandbarrett
Lynn & Barrett is a small clothing boutique owned by a mother/daughter team. The Pittsburgh-based location is tucked away in the quaint little neighborhood of Crafton; with the original location based in Wintersville, Ohio. L&B is a go-to for casual looks and unique accessories at an affordable price. The shop is small, but we promise you'll feel right at home! The family-owned vibes really carry through the business.
2. No. 14 | @no14boutique
When it comes to Pittsburgh boutiques, No. 14 is a true gem. Nestled on Butler Street in Lawrenceville, this bright and airy little shop is stocked with everything you need to keep your look fresh all year round. Inside you'll find a super-friendly and fun staff, a seasonal clothing collection, unique jewelry, and even some custom-made hair accessories. Whether you splurge on some new looks or just happen to sneak a selfie with the infamous pink knight, there's a 100% chance you'll leave this boutique looking good and feeling good. Plus, a trip to No. 14 may result in croissants. The shop just happens to be neighbors with La Gourmandine Bakery.
3. Pavement | @shop_pavement_pgh
Pavement, another Butler Street staple, is a boho chic dream. Whether it's the unique accessories and fun apparel or the enormous plants and wallpaper patterns, you'll instantly feel a little "cooler", a little "calmer", and little more "collected" when you step in the door. The shop's collection is hand-picked and most of the clothing is even made here in the US. Some of Pavement's go-to brands are Stateside, Chaser, and Three Dots. With a cozy boutique like this, you might just want to kick back and stay awhile.
4. Whiskey Moon Boutique | @whiskeymoonboutique
Heading to a different corner of the city, Whiskey Moon Boutique in Southside is another great place to shop. This East Carson store is owned by another mother/daughter duo and offers a wide range of apparel, accessories, home goods, and even a variety of beauty products. The shop's collection covers everything from hoodies to night out essentials. Just recently, they've also thrown an activewear line into the mix.
5. Apricot Lane | @aprictlanepittsburgh
Apricot Lane is a newcomer to Pittsburgh's boutique shopping scene. Although AL is technically a national franchise, each location is locally-owned and managed. You can find this cute, extra-feminine shop on Walnut Street in Shadyside. Their collection offers a mixture of casual and formal looks along with accessories and gifts. Make a day of your trip to Walnut Street and grab a coffee at Jitter's or stop in for brunch at Cafe Moulin.
6. Lex & Lynne | @lexandlynne
Located in Sewickley, Lex & Lynne is a staple for dreamy, chic, and resort wear pieces. This high-end boutique is known for its refined womenswear, lifestyle pieces, and their recently added custom sweater line— full of cozy knits handcrafted in Mexico. If accessories are more your thing, they also carry their own line of handmade jewelry. Before you hit the beach or jet set off to your summer escape, make a stop at Lex & Lynne to stock up on styles.
7. Peter Lawrence | @peterlawrencepgh
Peter Lawrence is a new downtown boutique that offers an array of professional and casual clothing. This women’s-focused boutique is the sister store of Heinz Healey’s, a longstanding local men’s clothing store. Peter Lawrence provides customers with a mix of contemporary and traditional pieces from lines such as Jon Josef, Joseph Ribkoff, and Alberto Makali. On the upper mezzanine, the boutique offers an array of shoes, scarves, and purses, including a few of the popular Rebecca Minkoff bags. It's a great spot to freshen up your 9-5 look.
8. Boutique La Passerelle | @bout_blp
Another well-known downtown women’s store, Boutique La Passerelle offers designs hand-picked from Portugal and France. Twice a year, the owner and manager travel abroad to scope out the latest trends and bring those finds back to Pittsburgh. Boutique La Passerelle only stocks one of each size (for each piece). Knowing it's truly rare, you can wear that buy with confidence. This downtown pick is the place to go for fun, fresh fashion that you won’t find in a normal department store.
9. Make & Matter | @shopmakeandmatter
True to its name, Make & Matter specializes in ethically-made clothing, accessories, jewelry, and gift items. Their Butler Street shop hosts a rotating group of designers every two months. Some of those makers have even found a more long-term home and are now permanent staples in the shop. Rebekah, one of the boutique's founders, really upholds the essence of Make + Matter with her zero waste clothing line, Flux Bene. Each item is made of up-cycled garments and second market materials. Whether you're shopping for yourself or treating someone else, we guarantee any item you buy from Make & Matter will be sure to impress.
10. Kristi Boutique | @kristiboutique15215
This Aspinwall shop lives by the tagline "Authentic Style for Authentic Women." The owner carefully curates a collection that includes everything from jeans and sweaters to handbags and accessories. The coolest thing about this boutique is their loyalty program. For every dollar you spend, you gain two "Kristi points". After reaching 2,000 points, you receive a $20 gift card. That's a pretty awesome perk. If you're on the hunt for some professional styling advice or just looking to refresh your wardrobe, Kristi Boutique is your spot.
As you can see, Pittsburgh is actually much more stylish than you might think. It's certainly not Milan, but we've got a little something going on and it's only up from here. If you have an event coming up and could use some styling help, contact Meredith at firstname.lastname@example.org. She's truly talented!
Over the past couple of weeks, we stopped into a few Lawrenceville boutiques to spark some inspiration for this guide. Be sure to check out some pics in the gallery below.
Are you a Harry Potter fan? A lover of all things Christmas? If the answer to either question is yes, you're going to want to keep reading. Pitt's Cathedral of Learning is pretty much Pittsburgh's very own Hogwarts and it's an absolute must-see during the holiday season. The high ceilings and castle-like vibes are dreamy any time of the year, but the Christmas trees and garland really make it a sight to see when December rolls around.
Aside from the the fact that the architecture of the building is gorgeous, The Cathedral is also home to over 30 Nationality Rooms that celebrate cultures from all over the world— everything from Chinese to Polish.
Each holiday season these rooms are decorated based on each country's traditions. It's really interesting to see how celebrations differ across the globe.
The Nationality Rooms will be decorated through January 12th so you have plenty of time to plan your visit. However, it would be a smart move to check out the hours before you head to Oakland. The university is closed from Christmas Eve to New Year's Day (12/24-12/1). In terms of tours, you have two options: a guided tour or a tape tour. The guided tour is led by an official tour guide and the tape tour is self-guided.
The tour only costs $4 per person and it very well may be the best $4 you spend all year.
While you're in Oakland, you might also want to check out the holiday display at Phipp's Conservatory, the light display in Schenley Plaza, or even grab a bite at The Porch. Their pizzas are delicious.
The cookie tour is a free event that goes down every December. It encourages Pittsburghers and guests to shop local and explore the Lawrenceville neighborhood.
Over 45 participating businesses along Butler Street and Penn Avenue open their doors for this special shopping event to dish out free cookies, feature their goods, and spread some holiday cheer. Pick up a map at one of the stops or scope out your route online in advance here. You'll see a gingerbread man in the windows of all the cookie tour stops.
Speaking of cookies... if you come across a cookie that tickles your fancy, you can collect cookie recipe cards at all of the participating stops.
Tips: While the cookie tour has it’s own hours, businesses may still stick to their normal schedule. If there’s a shop you’re dying to check out, I would check out their regular hours before you plan your day. Also, Lawrenceville isn’t exactly known to be a parking paradise. Ride sharing is encouraged.
There’s so many awesome small businesses in Lawrenceville. This is your chance to explore and snag some unique gifts while you're at it. Happy holidays and happy shopping!
There's really something special about Christmas in the Burgh. From community events to holly jolly dive bars, here's what's on my agenda this season.
1. Taste of lawrenceville: Miracle on 41st street
What could be better than food, brews, Christmas trees, and Santa Claus? Miracle on 41st Street is going down in Lawrenceville on December 2nd and it's a great way to ring in the holiday season.
2. joy of cookies tour
This year I've decided that every gift I purchase will be from a Pittsburgh-based shop. The Joy of Cookies Tour is the perfect opportunity to cross everyone off my list.
3. nationality rooms
I might be slightly biased because I'm a proud Pitt grad, but the Cathedral of Learning Nationality Rooms are an absolute must-see during the holidays.
4. butterwood bake consortium
The Butterwood Bake Consortium is a dessert cafe that sells cake and pie by the slice... and rumor has it sipping chocolate! Cake and hot chocolate... enough said.
Because it's important.
6. The Hip hop nutcracker at benedum center
I have such an appreciation for art of dance, so I was excited to see The Hip Hop Nutcracker was coming to Pittsburgh. Tickets are purchased!
7. bob's garage
Bob's Garage is a dive bar, but it's a dive bar that's decked out in Christmas decorations. Every inch. It's worth stopping in.
What else should I add to my list this year? Drop me a comment below!
The Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse is a local nonprofit dedicated to promoting creativity and encouraging conservation through reuse. I think that's a pretty amazing (and important) mission.
When you walk through their doors in Point Breeze, you'll find a cozy little shop stuffed to the brim with every kind of craft supply you could imagine; everything from yarn and fabric to old trophies and cassette tapes. The room is packed with unique treasures and trinkets.
So where does it come from? It comes from those junk drawers and storage closets and basements and garages. All of PCCR's inventory comes from donations from individuals, families, companies, organizations, etc. I left with a small little stash of yarn, paper, old photographs, vintage camera film, maps, scrabble tiles, and more... for less than $15.00.
The shop itself shares a building with Construction Junction, another nonprofit that recycles construction materials. If you're ever in need of an obscure-colored toilet, this is your spot.
The possibilities for the creative community are pretty much endless. Work your magic.