When ceramics artist Michele O’Hana opened LOCAL, her Lenox, Massachusetts, boutique in 2010, she wanted it to be a shop-front studio for her work and a place where her artisan friends could sell their crafts to discerning shoppers. But in less than a year’s time, LOCAL has represented upwards of 40 craftspeople and blossomed into one of the area’s little gems, where you can find gorgeous home goods, fashion, and accessories all made within a 60-mile radius of the tiny Berkshire town.
O’Hana insists that the products she carries be of the highest possible quality and where’d-you-get-that? unique, and she also offers a range of prices. “I really do have something for everyone,” she says of the airy, super-organized store. “You can buy $4 beeswax candles here, but you can also get $9,000 handmade silver candlesticks. The wider the variety of crafts, the better.”
Among the hand-stamped stationery, mixed-media artwork, photography, hand-knit scarves, leather handbags, and many cases of jewelry (from found-object redesigns to original fine jewelry in sterling silver and gold), O’Hana’s own work stands out. Originally from Ireland, she’s been making porcelain bowls, plates, platters, cups, and vases for more than 20 years, all in her inimitable, elegant but slightly askew style. O’Hana does all the work herself—from mixing the clay to glazing and firing—in her studio at the back of the store. Although her pieces are gorgeous, she says, “My work is multifunctional. I want it to be used every day. It’s not to be kept in the cupboard for Sunday dinner.” We’re more than happy to oblige.