Just like the section of Middle Street that houses some of the town’s tastiest restaurants – Eventide, Duckfat, Hugo’s, Ribollita, and nearby Bresca – the block of upper Exchange Street, between Middle & Congress, is home to some of Portland’s most darling shops. Every time we’re out and about in the Old Port we make sure to swing by our Exchange Street favorites – Folly 101, 2 Note Botanical Perfumery, Wyler’s, and nearby Blanche & Mimi.
Long before our very dear friends, Darcy & Carolyn, moved their shop, 2 Note, to this block, I had developed somewhat of a Folly-addicion, having to stop in nearly every time I was downtown. An ever-changing selection of home-goods, arranged in whimsical fashion according to color, and a thoughtfully selected baby section (for our nephew & niece in North Carolina) kept me coming back time after time. Upon finding out that 2 Note’s new home would be located just two doors down from Folly 101, Michael had to make peace with the fact that visiting the girls at 2 Note also meant popping into Folly (he didn’t put up much of a fight since I think he loves the open-light, natural feeling of the space, the minimal cottage aesthetic of the goods, and speaking with the ever-friendly ladies who work there).
As two people who are always on the hunt for unique items for our home, we’ve picked up quite a few things from Folly in the last year or two, notably a carafe for the guest room, linen place settings, pitchers, swingtop bottles, metal drinking straws, and even a couple of side and accent tables that we purchased up for a steal at the end of the season. After almost every visit we seem to return with an adorable new kitchen accessory, a new item for entertaining guests outside, or just that perfect something to fill a random nook or cranny in our house. We also never leave without a plethora of new ideas from the carefully styled layout of the shop and its goods.
One day while walking around the Old Port with friends from Boston, I happened to bump into Folly’s owner, Astrid, and manager, Emily, and after a quick conversation on the street corner, my friends thought the encounter was “just so Portland.” It’s local business people like these two and so many others, who take the time to say hello and remember your name, that lend such a small town, friendly feel to a city like Portland.