A graduate of The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, Shannon McRae is the owner of Sew Source, a custom creation and alterations shop, and Local Talent AZ, a boutique that features fashions by local designers and artisans. Both businesses are located on Fifth Avenue in the Arts District of downtown Scottsdale. Previously, McRae honed her retail management skills with such well-known international brands as Escada, Cartier, Coach, Liz Claiborne and Gap Inc. She is a member of the organizations Fashion Group International and Central Phoenix Women, as well as an FDIM Alumni Career Mentor, and has also served on the boards of Fresh Start Women’s Foundation and Biltmore Fashion Park.
Where were you born ?
How long in Phoenix:
13 years
Downtown Scottsdale
Favorite Restaurant:
Best Ethnic Food:
Chinese at Desert Jade. Family-owned, super nice, excellent hot food made to order.
Best Italian:
Veneto Trattoria
Best place for late night dining:
Petite Maison’s staff meal from 10 p.m. to midnight
Best dessert:
Fleming’s chocolate lava cake
Best place for a romantic date:
Hyatt Regency Gainey Ranch
Best Sunday brunch:
Petite Maison; it includes LOTS of champagne
Best place for a power business meeting:
5th and Wine
All-around favorite spot in Phoenix:
Royal Palms Resort and T. Cook’s restaurant
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend?
The Arizona Biltmore, for the history and its grounds
Favorite shopping venue/boutique:
Specialty stores NOT in a mall. Downtown Scottsdale local boutiques: The Mix, Joy Li, and of course, Local Talent AZ, which features all local fashion designers and offers men’s custom clothes.
Best place to buy Jewelry/Watches:
Marina Jewelers
Best Spa:
Scottsdale Princess; my dear friend Veronica took me there for my birthday. It was a fantastic escape!
Favorite Charity Event:
Children’s causes; they are the innocents
Favorite Cultural Event:
Trolley Tour by ULTIMATE Art & Cultural Tours because it gives locals and visitors a true understanding of Scottsdale’s creative world.
Favorite Cultural Institution:
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Best Aspect of Phoenix:
The quality of life and the friendly people.
Best Steakhouse:
Tough call between City Hall, Durant’s and Fleming’s; all have their own unique appeal and a great steak, preferably WITH lobster.
Best Pizza:
Best Lunch:
My Florist Cafe
Best Gym/Athletic Facility:
The privacy of home
Best Massage:
JW Marriott Camelback Inn Scottsdale Resort & Spa
Best Limousine/Driving Service:
Bunny Cart (works on tips) and Scottsdale Trolley (complimentary)
Best Museum/Exhibit:
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMOCA) and Phoenix Art Museum, especially the Costume Institute
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore:
La Posada Hotel in Winslow is interesting because of its history as a place where classic movie stars disembarked the train and stayed. The rooms are named after the famous guests that have stayed there, and the delicious Turquoise Room restaurant was once a Harvey Restaurant with Harvey Girl Waitresses. A lovely historic place to visit.
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