I’M BARELY PAST the threshold of the Mom & Pop Shoppe, a teensy yellow-brick emporium devoted to chic self-care-slash-planet-care goods, and already I can feel my shoulders dropping. It could be the incense-y scent wafting through the door as I pull it open, or the ethereal glow emanating from the space, what with all the natural light pouring through the windows and reflecting off the gilded pressed-tin ceiling overhead. Whatever the reason, I’m starting to feel pretty blissed out. I let out an audible sigh as all my budgetary inhibitions begin to melt away like the wax of so many $34 beeswax candles. This is not going to end well for my wallet, I think, given my serious weakness for right-living products with the word “organic” on the packaging.
“Mom” and “Pop,” aka Sadie McDonald and her sig-other, Bill Harris, are waiting for me. Tall, fit, tan and good-looking, the couple are a walking advertisement for the products they sell. I spy a jar of something called “Beauty Dust” behind Bill as I shake his hand, and I drop the product into my mental shopping cart.To distract myself from the siren song of meditation guides and cruelty-free footwear, I ask Sadie and Bill how they got here. For his part, Bill, a Texas native, decided to settle in his college town of Fayetteville after a decade-long stint in Southern California. He had family in Jonesboro and had decided, as so many do, that living in SoCal was just too damn expensive. As for Sadie, after earning her master’s degree in sociology seven years ago, she’d decided to leave her home state of Louisiana for greener (and hillier) pastures. While they were both busy with their individual pursuits—Sadie teaches yoga at Trail Side Yoga, and Bill owns The Path, a skateboard shop on Dickson Street—they opened the shop in April of 2016 as a joint endeavor.
“It’s just such a perfect location for a retail space,” Sadie says of the store, which was built back in the 1940s and has housed Carter’s Radiator Shop, a bike shop, the Fayetteville Flyer and a thrift store or two. “It’s got character, so much natural light, is near the square and has a parking lot out front.”
Back when they decided to open the shop, the couple had just finished a spate of traveling throughout California, New Mexico and Colorado, where they’d connected with several makers and artisans who’d gotten them thinking about how their own purchases impact society and the planet. Opening a shop, Bill and Sadie reasoned, would allow them to support these artisans they’d discovered, while at the same time giving themselves and their neighbors an opportunity to make more eco-friendly, socially conscious decisions.
And indeed, each product on display in the shop aligns with the couple’s worldview, from that scarf made from scraps of fashion-industry waste to the incense and soap made by indigenous Americans. Bill and Sadie handpick each item during their sojourns: to California, New Mexico and the like, as well as farther-flung locales such as Puerto Rico and Central America.
“The folks behind the items we sell are such a cool group of people,” Bill says. “Now with the shop, we get to evolve with them. And they inspire us. It’s really fun to be around a person who lights up and is passionate about what they do.”
Yes it is, I think, as I fully lean into the tranquility of the space and ask questions that have been gnawing at me all morning: Can I get that Revolve Ceramic Earth-in Canteen in charcoal, and do you have those leather slides in a 6?
1. Moon Juice herbal supplements The power, brain, spirit and beauty dust that we all need right now. $35
2. The Meditation Bath Bundle Kit from Incausa Incense, palo santo stick and soap handcrafted by indigenous Americans. $22
3. Fineasslines cards Why not send a laugh? $5
4. Imogene + Willie jeans We no longer have to go all the way to Nashville to try on our favorite American-made denim. $278
5. Revolve Ceramic Earth-in Canteen For H2O that’s free of that we’re-destroying-the-planet-and-starving-all-the-polar-bears taste. $34
6. CA Makes handmade bun pins Perfect for topknots, too! $40
7. Boys Smells candle We went for the fruity one with notes of oakmoss. $29
8. Mohinders leather slides Be eco-friendly, and look super-cute doing it. $160
9. Late Sunday Afternoon ascot Heads up: Ascots are the new pocket square. $60