Shop Visit: Good

Text by Erika Ayn Finch

Walking into Good on Charles Street is like walking into your jewelry box—if all of your jewels were gold, silver, and diamonds. The teeny tiny space has a neutral palette that’s completely devoid of color unless you count the jars of organic honey and a few pretty scarves. If owner Paul Niski has his way, those scarves will soon be shades of white, gray, black, and taupe, too. And just like a well-curated jewelry collection, vintage items intermingle with new pieces so seamlessly that unless Niski is there to point them out, you might miss them.

Niski, a New York transplant, opened Good on Charles Street in 2001. In the past nineteen years, the lifestyle boutique has hopped around Charles Street and Beacon Hill. It even had a brief summer romance with Rockport, Maine. Most recently, there were two versions of Good: the home accessories store was on Myrtle Street while the clothing shop was on Charles. Niski combined the two into the Charles location last October, which means delicate jewelry and handcrafted leather handbags exist side by side with vintage Vermont-made Bennington Pottery and cotton baskets that resemble hand-thrown pottery. Vases that date back to the midcentury mix with decidedly elevated doormats created from shiny black lobster rope and plates from Maine ceramicist Meghan Flynn of cult-restaurant The Lost Kitchen fame. The majority of the items in the shop are made in New England or have ties to our region; Niski has face-to-face relationships with the makers, prompting them to create capsule collections for the boutique that you won’t find anywhere else—not even online.

Over the years, Good has made its home in spaces both large and small, but Niski says he’s come to the conclusion that smaller is better. “You communicate differently in a small shop,” he says. “It’s more personal. And I think that’s what shoppers are looking for today. They want to buy less, buy better, and buy heirloom.”

Good, Boston

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