Walking into The Merchant at Howell Mill, shoppers are immediately greeted by a large, vintage prize wheel. This carnival staple is just for display, but visitors are delighted to find that this small dose of whimsy is just the beginning of an enchanting store. With stationery as far as the eye can see, rows of cheeky coffee mugs looking for their forever home, and much, much more, The Merchant at Howell Mill offers Atlanta shoppers curated goods in an amusing setting.
Store owner Dan Collier has been in the wholesale and retail business for more than 20 years. In fact, Dan also owns Daniel Richards, a wholesale gift and stationery showroom at Atlanta’s AmericasMart. However, after being in the wholesale business for many years, Dan decided it was high time to open his own little slice of retail space. And thus, The Merchant at Howell Mill was born in October 2013.
With products from industry favorites including Rifle Paper Co., Izola and Fishs Eddy, Dan’s store brings to the Westside hand-selected products in a classic building. Ironically, The Merchant at Howell Mill is located in the old Print Time factory building; it was essentially destined to be a store anchored in paper. Because of its historic location, the store still boasts exposed steel beams and old brick, which makes its bevy of vintage displays and decor even more appropriate.
These vintage pieces are part of what gives the store its charm. The Gift Time sign is juxtaposed above a collection of Kate Spade paper products, while antique barrels and ladders hold everything from children’s toys to dog bowls. Uncovering exactly what these books or those plates are being displayed on is half of the fun of visiting The Merchant at Howell Mill. Of course, the rest of the fun comes in discovering a new item in just about every nook of the store.
Dan and his team work tirelessly to choose products that reflect the store’s effortless aesthetic in a careful way, and in doing so, they create a shop that truly demonstrates an Atlanta mercantile. Community Director Emily Hardin explains, “We bring upscale urban wares and home furnishings from all over the world straight to the heart of Atlanta.” This unique, casual, one-stop shop is the premier shopping destination on the Westside for everything from the gift for the guy who has it all to personalized invitations for your upcoming dinner party. Plus, the store is continuously getting new items in. Emily says, “We receive new and exciting things every day, from jewelry and handbags to paper and bar ware.” And, if all of this talk of the Westside has you wishing that you could visit The Merchant at Howell Mill closer to you, never fear: Dan is opening his second location at Krog Street Market in just a few weeks, bringing a slew of goods to yet another growing part of town.
The Merchant at Howell Mill is located at 993 Marietta St. in Atlanta. Hours are Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Learn more at themerchantatl.com.