Friday evening, we attended the grand opening of Toboggan – a shop that we have been anxiously awaiting for six months. Our friend Paul had a vision to open a store that catered less to the over-commercialized, mass produced products being churned out in every direction we turn, and instead focus on the creative spirits fueling the new maker movement. Unlike your typical retail store, Toboggan is experiential in the presentation of it's offerings, immersing guests into each brand that is represented in the space though creative displays, and encouraging people to pick up and explore the products surrounding them. Located in Portsmouth, NH, a budding community of artists and entrepreneurs young and old, Toboggan set out to provide the city with a fresh new approach to retail, but to also give the makers and brands a physical presence to rally behind and call their own.
The opening night was a huge success seeing almost 200 guests come through the doors. Brands represented included New England natives Powder Jet Snowboards, Finn Utility, Iron & Air Magazine, Grain Surfboards, Parlor Skis, Port City Peds, Jimbos Surf Candles, Mr. Fox Composting, North Family Farm, and more. Brands from outside New England included Poler, Biltwell, and Janus Motorcycles (worth a visit just to see their beauty on display).
Spirits aplenty were graciously provided by Art in the Age and mixed tirelessly through the evening by Jamie from the Tamworth Lyceum (each drink was hand made, including freshly squeezing each lime needed for lime juice!). The crowd was happy, the vibe was perfect as everyone took in the sights of the moto-art on display from the talented Issue Eleven cover artist and feature Chris Myott, as well as a live helmet painting and wood carving.
We encourage you to visit Portsmouth and swing by Toboggan, located at 601 Islington Street, Portsmouth, NH. And if you must go out on Black Friday, remember to shop local and support the independent makers, craftsmen and creatives who make up the community that you live in. Also remember to take part in Makers Monday, and support the cause!