Photo courtesy of Ash & Rose

Being a college student is certainly not a piece of cake, and at the end of a long day of classes, your room or apartment should manifest exactly who you are. Don’t follow the crowd- step into these local businesses to find pieces that will set your space apart.

1. Back to school shopping just got a lot more fun. The owners of Ash & Rose, right near the Sowa Market, curate their store with ethical, sustainable finds from dresses to cute tops and accessories. Revamp your wardrobe, and feel good doing so. 460 Harrison Ave. Boston, MA

2. On the weekends, impress your friends with your mixology skills. Visit Davis Square’s The Boston Shaker for a classic cocktail set or pick up some bitters to make an inventive concoction. 69 Holland St. Somerville, MA

3. After visiting The Boston Shaker, swing by their neighbor, Sunshine’s Furniture. They focus on practical furniture, both reclaimed and new. Their dressers and nightstands are beautiful, but also check out their variety of re-upholstered chairs and couches. 93 Holland St. Somerville, MA

4. Are you a student at Harvard or MIT? Pop into Cambridge Art & Frame to get one of your favorite photos or pieces of artwork framed. Sprucing up your walls is a simple way to differentiate your space. 101 First St. Cambridge, MA


Photo courtesy of Sunshine’s Furniture

5. 50% of products sold at Quinstance are made by women. As if that’s not enough to get you through the door, you’ll also find chic throw blankets, fragrant candles, handmade vases, and even beauty products. 19 Third Ave. Burlington, MA 


6. Shopping in an antique store is always fun, but it’s particularly fun at Fun Antiques in Cambridge, MA. Here you can be sure to find unique vintage home decor at reasonable prices. 2226 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA


7. Living downtown for the school year? Take a visit to the South End’s Olives & Grace. Pick out items for your kitchen, from tumblers to ceramic bowls. They’re cute and durable, plus made by craftsman across the U.S. 623 Tremont St. Boston, MA


8. College food getting you down? Miss your grandmother’s delicious tea with fresh honey? Follow the Honey has gorgeous gift baskets perfect for all your new friends to enjoy. Plus, stock up on products made with honey, like hand creams and candles. 1132 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, MA


9. Consistently rated a top gift shop in the area, A Pocketful of Posies has some great finds for your apartment or dorm room. From notebooks to trinkets for your bar to handmade scarves, you’ll have the hippest room around. 1656 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA


Shopping for your dorm room at neighborhood businesses means more money circulating back to the local economy. Another bonus is you’re also creating a space for yourself that’s less cookie-cutter and more unique. Are there other businesses that you like to shop at for your dorm or apartment? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.