MĀCHER Elevates the Goleta Shopping Scene

Modern General Store Focused on Small-Batch, Ethically Crafted Goods

MĀCHER Elevates the
Goleta Shopping Scene

Modern General Store Focused on
Small-Batch, Ethically Crafted Goods

By Tyler Hayden | Photos by Ingrid Bostrom
May 25, 2023

Everything carried by MĀCHER — pronounced “maker,” a riff on Lex Gruetzmacher’s last name — is small-batch and built to last. | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

Read more of our Home & Garden 2023 stories here.

Besides big box stores, there aren’t a lot of places to shop in Goleta. Think about it — where would you go for a gift (a nice, thoughtful one; not the last-minute kind) or something special for your house that wasn’t mass-produced? There just aren’t many options in the Good Land.

MĀCHER | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

Enter MĀCHER, a new shop opened on Calle Real by Lex and Josh Gruetzmacher filled with unique, beautiful things. They call it a “modern general store” with wares that run the gamut: hats and bags, dishware and cookbooks, greeting cards and gardening tools. There’s art, jewelry, fragrances, shower steamers, a kids’ section with toys and clothes, and even reusable containers and cleaning supplies.

As diverse as the merchandise is, it all has something in common, Lex explained. Everything carried by MĀCHER — pronounced “maker,” a riff on the Gruetzmachers’ last name — is small-batch and built to last. You won’t find a lot of plastic. Just as importantly, Lex said, every item was crafted by an individual artisan or small company, many of them local.

As an independently operated, ethically minded business, Lex continued, they only buy from independently operated, ethically minded suppliers. That’s the goal, and their customers appreciate it. “All of our makers have a story that aligns with what we’re doing,” she said.

Alexis Gruetzmacher of MĀCHER | Ingrid Bostrom

After living in San Francisco for 15 years, the couple and their three kids moved to Josh’s hometown of Goleta in 2019. Lex was in business development and Josh did photography. The pandemic hit, they put their heads down, and when they came up for air, they looked at each other and decided to do something different. “It was the right time to switch directions,” Lex said.

The response from shoppers has been super positive, Lex said, describing Goleta as a community with small-town sensibilities and modern taste. She gets a lot of young working families in the store, she said, many of whom were drawn to the region by its good schools and growing tech industry. “Goleta is changing,” she said.

It’s easy to recognize local names around the shop — Parker Clay leather, Blue Planet sunglasses, Mizuba Tea Co. matcha, and so on. There are also brands you’ve probably never come across, some from overseas. Lex pointed to House No.23 textiles, which are made in Turkey on a 100-year-old family loom, as well as throws from the Tartan Blanket Company in Scotland.

Looking ahead, Lex plans to add a refilling station in the store for soaps, lotions, and detergents to cut back on waste. She also just got in new bath salts and other self-care goodies, just in time for teacher appreciation week.

See machershop.com. Follow on Instagram @shop.macher.

Credit: Ingrid Bostrom


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