Three Shop Owners Spill on Their Favorite Gifts This Season

We polled the faces behind Warren's Nectar de la Vida, Cranston's Mod Mama and Providence's Palomino.

Photography by Chris Vaccaro

Michele Zanfagna-Gouveia

Palomino | 247 Rochambeau Ave., Providence, 270-2510,

Ever since Michele Zanfagna-Gouveia opened her boutique, Palomino, there’s been a bit of the west on the East Side of Providence. The store moved from Chepachet to the city this March and sells one-of-a-kind products ranging from accessories to home decor to bring out the wild spirit in customers. We asked Zanfagna-Gouveia a few questions about her shop. By Amanda Levenson.

How did you come up with the store’s name?
The store used to be in Chepachet, so when I was trying to come up with a name that worked with the location and the kind of store and the whole vibe, I didn’t want to call it Michele’s Gifts; that would be dorky. I love horses. I have a totem pole in my yard with a horse on it, so I thought, “I’ll name it after some type of horse,” and the palomino is my favorite type of horse.

How would you describe the store’s style?
It’s a little Southwest, a little bohemian, a little hippie, definitely very organic and kinda outdoorsy. It’s a little different for this area.

Where do you get all your products?
A lot of the products are brands that I’ve used. I had some of the pocket books and wall hangings myself before I opened Palomino, and when I opened the store, I contacted everybody and was like, “Can I sell your stuff?”

How do you feel when customers buy something, considering this is based on your style?
It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like it’s worth it, and I’m glad that people like it because it is different for the area. Everything in here is so well made that I’m glad they appreciate what’s here.

What would you want as a gift from your store?
Probably some of the jewelry. I’m a sucker for a really good ring.

What celebrity could you see shopping here?
Stevie Knicks because I want her in here. I think she would dig everything.

What is a winter must-have?
A good leather handbag; the ones in here are all handmade, so they’re definitely quality and make a really, really good gift. The majority of stuff in here is not mass made, so if you get something, you’re not going to see it at a store down the street or at the mall.

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