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The Curiosity Shoppe at Target — Gleefully Full of Unusual Suspects

In May, Target unveiled a ground-breaking marketing initiative: The Shops at Target, a collaborative effort during which five independent boutiques — San Francisco’s The Candy Store, Miami’s The Webster clothing boutique, Boston’s quirky pet store Polka Dog Bakery, Aspen’s apothecary Cos Bar, and Connecticut’s housewares and home accent shop Privet House) —were tapped to create limited-edition collections of products consistent with each brand’s aesthetic but bearing lower price points for savvy bargain shoppers. These collections were available exclusively at Target and Target.com; and each boutique was invited to create its own temporary pop-up store within Target retailers. From the outset, Target intended to rotate the independent boutiques featured in its The Shops at Target section, thereby creating a platform through which new and up-and-coming designers and retailers could reach a wider audience.

To toast the fall season, Target has unveiled its latest crop of participating stores: Patch NYC, known for its vintage-inspired housewares and furnishings;  Manhattan-based clothing and accessories boutique Kirna Zabête; Odin,  a New York-based boutique specializing in sharp, tailored menswear; and San Francisco-based The Curiosity Shoppe, a haven for those looking for unusual, quirky knickknacks to liven up their homes.

Owned by Lauren Smith and Derek Fagerstrom, The Curiosity Shoppe is the type of retail location that attracts design-minded shoppers and those who cringe at the notion of identical ticky-tacky houses or lofts with straight-out-of-the-Ikea catalog furniture and décor. As its name implies, there’s a spirit of whimsy that shines through every piece sold in the store. Rather than plain chenille throw pillows or opulent golden candlesticks, for instance, The Curiosity Shoppe offers pillows knitted to resemble houses and even bearing door and window accents, pencils resembling knobby twigs, and a Juno-esque kitchen timer shaped like a hamburger.

And, luckily, the offerings at the The Curiosity Shoppe at Target convey this same playful irreverence, this quirky cuteness and witty design aesthetic. Pictured at top, for instance, you’ll find The Curiosity Shoppe at Target Appetizer Plate Set ($15 for Set of 4 at Target.com), which consists of four small ceramic plates in bold colors like chartreuse, bright aqua, persimmon orange and cocoa, each bearing the silhouette of three basic pieces of silverware: a fork, knife, and spoon. Similarly, The Curiosity Shoppe at Target Cafe Au Lait Mugs  ($24 for Set of 4 at Target.com), roomy cups measuring 6.5″ in width and 5″ in depth and holding up to 18 oz. of liquid,  feel like souvenirs from a cross-country road trip thanks to their kitschy graphics, which range from road sign designs to letter tiles spelling the word “Motel.” Other tableware options include the Curiosity Shoppe at Target Acrylic Highball ($16 for Set of 4 at Target.com), shown fourth from top. These tall acrylic glasses also hold up to 18 liquid ounces and measure 3.2″ in width, 3.2″ in depth, and 6.6″ in height. Best of all, they feature funky gingham patterns along their exterior.

If you want to add a festive vibe to your kitchen, meanwhile, you can pick from a number of cooking tools, baking utensils, and storage devices. To make whipping up that next batch of cupcakes or brownies more of an event, you can pick up the wood-and-silicone Curiosity Shoppe at Target Silicone Spatula ($10 at Target.com) or the Curiosity Shoppe at Target Whisk ($10 at Target.com), pictured last above, both of which feature silicone tips in bright shades rather than traditional plain wooden or metal utensils. And, of course, the Curiosity Shoppe at Target Ceramic Measuring Cups ($15  for Set of 4 at Target.com) are way more fun than those clear cups with the confusing lines along the sides. The measuring cup set features four wide stoneware pieces with white exteriors bearing quirky highway signs and glossy interiors in the lime, vermilion, turquoise, and brown shades that can be seen throughout the collection. And, for ultimate convenience, each cup is labeled according to its capacity, so that one bowl reads “1/3 Cup,” another “1/2 Cup,” another “1/4 Cup,” and the last one “1 Cup.” Plus, to minimize clutter, these measuring cups can be stacked atop one another, making them perfect for tight spaces.  Another quaint get: the Curiosity Shoppe at Target Milk Bottle ($15 at Target.com), which bears a slight resemblance to a bowling pin thanks to its unique shape and the red and blue stripes running horizontally along the bottom rim and below the spout. The ceramic bottle holds 20 oz. of milk and measures  3.3 ” in width, 3.3 ” in depth,  and 8.0 ” in height.

Looking to liven up your office or work desk? Consider investing in the Curiosity Shoppe at Target Notecard & Envelope Set ($10 at Target.com), shown second from top, which incorporates 18 cards and envelopes with zebra prints, geometric motifs, and more. To make sending out those birthday cards, thank you notes, and “missing you” messages all the more fun, you can snatch up the Curiosity Shoppe at Target Stamper Kit ($10 at Target.com), which features 43 block-shaped stamps  bearing letters , numbers, and symbols that seem plucked from an old-school typewriter. And, of course, you can cop the Curiosity Shoppe at Target Journal Set ($10 at Target.com) if you need some good-looking notebooks in which to jot down your thoughts, inspirations, or even your to-do lists.

Looking for even more unusual finds? Check out the Curiosity Shoppe at Target Service Bell ($10 at Target.com) pictured above, which features the phrase “Hurry Up!” around its wooden base (pretty succinct way of conveying one’s point!) or the Curiosity Shoppe at Target  America Cutting Board ($25 Target.com), a beech wood board literally shaped like a map of the USA (shown below) meant for chopping cheese, vegetables, fruit, and more.
How could your curiosity not be piqued?

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