4GoodVibes Keeps It Local

Photo by Irina M. / IM Creative Photography

gift shopBest Gift Shop & Best Home Decor

How local can local get? At 4GoodVibes, it’s not only the products and artwork of 132 artists from Somerville, Cambridge, and Boston that are from around the neighborhood, but also the four sisters who run the shop, all raised in nearby Medford.

The Pierce sisters—Becca, 23, Emily, 21, Sarah, 25, and Rachel, 27—only started the business in October 2017, but they always had a sense they’d be working together.

“We honestly see each other every single day unless [Sarah and Rachel] are away … I kind of envisioned us doing something together,” Becca says.

Both she and Emily went to Minuteman Vocational High School in Lexington, and paired their courses in business marketing with a passion for crafting that was snuck into a schedule already busy with sports.

“Our commute to school each morning was about two hours, so we starting making bracelets and jewelry,” Becca says.

“I would tape a bracelet to the back of [Emily] on the bus and kind of make it on the back of her … and then she started doing Etsy and selling them online while I was making them,” she adds. “So then, after high school, we both knew that we wanted to do a business of some sort—and we wanted it to be family-oriented.”

With older sister Rachel handling the finances and Sarah often taking a front-facing speaking role, the team of four sisters has created a shop at 483 Somerville Ave. that is filled to the brim with objects both aesthetic and functional, and universally local. The sisters sought out fairs and markets like the popular Central Square Flea to find artists to rent display space to.

A cursory look around 4GoodVibes reveals everything from handmade cups to local salsa, dream catchers to hemp backpacks, and, crucially, numerous customizable gifts like tote bags and wine bags. Jewelry sells well, while Somerville, Boston, and sports-branded items also do good business. According to the sisters, local artists will customize most things with a one- to two-week turnaround.

The shop also hosts workshops every month run by local artists, on subjects as varied as cupcake decorating, lotion making, string art, and card making.

“It’s usually a lot of girls, and often a lot of girls who are new to the area,” Becca says, noting that sometimes they even go out after for drinks. The workshops have also been the setting for birthday parties.

“It’s all local artists, all locally handmade—people don’t get it until they’ve come in,” she adds.

This story originally appeared in the 2018 Scout’s Honored issue of Scout Somerville, which is available for free at more than 200 locations throughout the city or by subscription.

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