Xylem: Geeky Gifts for Home & Baby

Store Profile

  • Location: Cambridge, MA and online
  • Specialty: Modern, well-designed giftware
  • Price range: ($) Budget - ($$) Mid-Range
  • Website: shopxylem.com

Store History

  • Founded: July 2011
  • Founded by: Madalene Sullivan
  • Headquarters: Cambridge, MA

We at Xylem aim to provide an assortment of wonderful gift items. Think of us as a conduit for modern design, bringing the best of what we find from around the world to you. We hope to convey a vitality and energy that brings life to our store, and happiness to our customers.

I don't know about you, but I love a great gift shop. It makes finding that perfect quirky present so effortless. Good news, gift-giving Cantabrigians, geek chic meets design savvy in Kendall Square's Xylem.

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Cambridge's Kendall Square is the Boston area's high-tech mecca, and until recently, has been devoid of anything but office parks. Over the past few years, more residential buildings have gone up, creating a hot-spot for food and shopping. Xylem is one of the newest additions, opening last July.

For those of you who don't remember cell biology, Xylem is a plant tissue that transports water & nutrients throughout the organism. Under a microscope, it looks like clusters of circles. Owner Madalene Sullivan would know, her degree is in plant science. Xylem the store definitely pays homage to this vital system, with chlorophyll green paint and bubbles floating in the windows and filling the back wall.

Xylem stocks an eclectic mix of modern-designed kitchenware, candles, books & stationery, and baby gear, with a healthy nod toward the techie neighbors. Rubik's cube coasters and a pizza "pi" cutter occupy clusters above a tomato red pitcher. The cutest toy squirrel rolls his acorn and chatters, nearly coming home with me though I'm so far out of his demographic.

If you're far from Cambridge, the online shop has a sampling of their wares, and is expected to expand.

(Images: Tara Bellucci)

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