5 Reasons Urban Matter Is One of The Most Unique Shops in STL

By ALIVE Staff
In Culture

*Sponsored Post

We love shopping small and local in our city, and when we head out to find something for ourselves, our family or our friends, Urban Matter is always one of our first stops. If you have to ask why, you probably haven’t stopped by the modern-day general store. But don’t worry. We can give you the lowdown on UM in just five steps.

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 1) The Experience

The owners of Urban Matter, Amy Schafer and Mary Hennesy, have created something that is so much more than a retail shop in their Dutchtown neighborhood. Schafer and Hennesy, who live above their shop and also craft products for it, are literally inviting guests and customers to relax and feel at home. These owners care just as much about creating a warm and inviting environment as they care about the merchandise they offer.  Customer Kathleen Witeck sums it up perfectly: “The welcoming atmosphere draws you in and the ever-changing selection keeps you coming back!”

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2) The Goods

Urban Matter has an incredible amount of carefully curated artisan home goods, decor, apparel and furnishings displayed in this  stylish shop—and the vast majority of it is thoughtfully selected from local and regional makers. Looking for a unique gift? UM’s got it: Try a tie from Lonesome Traveler, a piece of jewelry from Fable & Lore or Jenny Walker’s newest collection or a custom hand-sewn bag or dopp kit by co-owner Amy Schafer. Need a new focal point in your entryway? The pendant lamps by Collab pair incredibly well with the custom light kits Urban Matter creates and offers to customers.

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A custom-made Urban Matter bag—designed by Hennesy and crafted by Schafer using fabric from Enamel.

3) The Connections

If you know Schafer or Hennesy, you’re already on the fast track to learning about most of the innovative makers in our city. Or, just take a tour of the shop, and you’ll see their beautiful wares. Angela Malchinno from Enamel (and creator of the fabric used in the above bag) was once a customer, but now is a friend, vendor and collaborator. Friend-customer-vendor Amber Butler, who co-owns The Beer Lodge with husband Jason, can only say kind words about the shop’s atmosphere: “This place is a home for so many talented artists. When you step into Urban Matter, there is this creative vibe that flows from every corner.”

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Earrings, necklace and bracelet by Beach Bones Jewelery

4) The Opportunities

You might think owning your own business and being an artist would be enough to keep Schafer and Hennesy busy, but they’ve got even more up their sleeves. They’re taking advantage of their unique space in Dutchtown to organize and host pop-up events throughout the year in collaboration with local makers and small businesses.

Their next pop-up will be with Robert Baker of Tinker Dicker & Doc, a brand that features handmade candles and a men’s apothecary line—think beard oils. The event takes place Saturday, March 12 from 11am-3pm. For more information on Urban Matter’s events, visit the shop’s Facebook page.

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5) The Space

Currently, the Urban Matter back room serves double duty as Schafer’s workshop and extra room for merchandise. But with the addition of an espresso machine and some major in-progress renovations to expand their shop and production area, the pair will be creating a space for makers and neighbors to have a meeting, throw a party, create or just relax.

Their location also features a versatile outdoor space for hosted events, pop-ups, collaborations and parties. On Sunday, May 1, UM will be taking advantage of the summer weather and this space with a flower-arranging workshop led by Snapdragon Studio from 12-3pm. SeedGeeks will be on hand as the featured maker and will bring an assortment of the items they produce—from soap and seeds, to lip balms and honey.

This post has been brought to you in part by the mentioned business. All photos have been provided by our partners unless otherwise noted. Thank you for supporting the companies that keep ALIVE growing.

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