Thistle & Bess

We adore our local shops, creatives, and makers - both in Athens, GA & in Ann Arbor, MI alike! - and Thistle & Bess stands out as a truly unique spot that had us all hooked upon first stepping foot in this charming & lovely shop. 

Growing up outside of Ann Arbor, owner Diana Marsh attended college at the University of Michigan and worked as an elementary school teacher in New York.  But, her heart always yearned to open an eclectic, vintage-inspired boutique.  

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Beginning as a jewelry line based out of Brooklyn, NY, Thistle & Bess specialized in antique and vintage accessories.  But, in the concrete, copy-cat culture of consumerism, Diana realized the need for diversity and creativity in the current marketplace.  Thus was born the store of her dreams, a beacon of light in the jungle of mass-produced products, Thistle & Bess opened in the Kerrytown Market of Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2015. 

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Supporting artisans local and worldwide, Thistle & Bess boasts a vast collection of curated prints, jewelry, home accessories, and paper goods.  When asked about her process of selecting new products, Diana said that she is always on a treasure hunt.  On top of the never-ending search for new artists, she loves how her store has enabled her to get involved with the community and create friendships in the neighborhood.

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We also couldn't resist inquiring about the store's name!  With a rich family history traced back to Scotland and England, and a self proclaimed "history nerd," Diana hoped to incorporate these two aspects of her life in the name of her store.  Thistle is the emblem of Scotland, known to be tough, yet beautiful.  The latter half of the name, Bess, derives from the nickname for Queen Elizabeth I, "Good Queen Bess."

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If you're not a fellow Ann Arborian, fear not!  The curated collection of treasures is also available on their website.  You can also peruse creative workshops ranging from a class on reading Tarot cards to a lesson on paper flower bouquets.  Hop on over, check it out, you will thank us later.

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Header and Bottom Two Photos: Silver Thumb Photography
Top Two Photos: Ava Sherick, CLOTH & KIND Junior Design Assistant