Lately I’ve been thinking about online shopping and the kind of atmosphere a web store creates.  The more that technology evolves, the more shopping begins to move online and become “mass” – meaning almost anything can be found in more than one online store. While I think accessibility can be a good thing, I also think it can be sort of unappealing.  I enjoy looking long and hard for those special things, whether it’s clothing or objects or accessories.  I love the thrill of discovery and of seeing something new that inspires me.  I live for it, so much so that I created a job focused on just those things.  (This is also one of the reasons why I love vintage so much, but that’s another blog post!)  Don’t get me wrong; I like knowing that there is sometimes a second shopping option if the shoe I want sells out on a favorite retailer’s site, but I also like to know that something is so special or so exclusive that it will only last for a moment.  There are a few online retailers who are really making a mark with creativity, innovation, exclusivity and discovery.  One of my favorites is L’Arco Baleno run by curator Ambra Medda.  Ambra never ceases to amaze or inspire me with her unique discoveries of people, places, art, etc.  I always learn something new while reading her blog and browsing her site.  It’s fresh, completely inspired, and all carefully articulated through her perspective.  While catching up on the L’Arco Baleno blog this week I came across the South African artist Hylton Nel who is known for his playful and charming ceramics that he paints over.  I am particularly in love with his plates, some of them also sold on L’Arco Baleno.  Each of his pieces is one-of-a-kind, making them even more desirable and precious.  Photos below, and more here.