As part of my summer resolution to get up off my posterior and explore more of Worcester, I visited the Crompton Collective last week. Having heard rave reviews of the place, I couldn’t help but have high expectations, which I’ve learnt in life is never a good thing as you’re bound to be let down (I’ve made it a goal to pepper my writing with profound life advice). Happily, the Crompton Collective is one of those rare gems that never fail to fulfill your expectations.
Officially described as a curated boutique marketplace, the Crompton Collective features the crafts of local artists in Worcester and New England as well as a choice selection of antiques and vintage collectibles. The space was surprisingly large and was tastefully arranged with all sorts of interesting trinkets, knick-knacks and odds & ends. The Crompton Collective is THE place to come and collect pieces to decorate a brand new, bare space or find that one bric-a-brac to complete your room. I was amazed by the sheer variety of items available, from handcrafted jewelry and homemade soy milk candles to antique furniture and vinyl records. The wares of the local artists were especially diverse. They included toys, baby clothes, glass, pottery, art, cards, stationary, accessories, illustrations, T-shirts, even skateboards! I was fascinated by the vintage stand-up globe, the miniature antique chairs complete with plush cushions, the old typewriter hearkening back to the 1900s, and the antique gramophone. The spendthrift in me was determined to wreak havoc in the store and my wallet. After a good part of two hours spent whittling my list of “essential items” down from twelve to four, I decided to walk away with a charming paisley cushion, a wall hanging (very cool, lace stretched over an embroidery hoop) and a teal colored memory box fashioned like a treasure chest. My room looks all the better for it. But more on the Crompton Collective (as this article is not devoted to my shopping habits and good taste). They feature 81 vendors and are said to sell 5,000 items any given month, which speaks for the variety and the success of the store.
The building itself has a great deal of history to its name, complementing the character of the marketplace. It was built in 1860 by George Crompton, an inventor who is most famous for his patent of the Crompton Loom, which was invented in Worcester. This invention helped his textile business flourish, transforming Worcester from an idyllic New England town to an industrial hub. Fittingly, the Crompton Collective celebrates this history by its focus on vintage goods and local products, and is boosting the local economy and culture as a result. Amy Chase, the genius behind the Crompton Collective, has long been an avid fan of thrift stores, yard sales and vintage retailing. Incidentally, she is Boston’s first Fashion Blogger. Her passion is reflected in the selection of items, the arrangement of displays and the commitment to honor local talent.
The Crompton Collective truly celebrates all that is local and has much more to offer beyond antiques and collectibles. The White Room at Crompton is an über-cool, multipurpose space available for hosting events such as weddings and baby showers. The team behind the Collective even offer décor and design services for such events. The Canal District Farmers Market is arguably the most popular event held in the space. Held all year round, the market is open every Saturday between 9am-12pm and on Thursday nights from 4pm-7pm in July and August. The markets teems full of fresh local produce, and offers goods such as cheese, eggs, meats, fish, breads, pastries, chocolate, and wine for good measure. The summer has additional features, such as free horse and wagon tours around the Canal District. The Crompton Collective hosts a plethora of other events, such as book clubs, photo shoots, parties, knitting nights, jewelry making and clothing swaps.
Whatever your tastes or interests maybe, the Crompton Collective is bound to have some jewel to make your mouth water and your heart leap in (consumeristic) ecstasy. Go on, check it out, and shop Worcester!
Find the Crompton Collective online, through their website, Facebook (www.facebook.com/CromptonCollective), Twitter (@ShopCrompton), Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/punkystyle/crompton-collective) or Instagram (@shopcrompton)