Best of the City: Shopping

Walk-Up Flower Shop
Gia & the Blooms
Yuliya Bui is bringing flower power to OTR with her 13th Street florist shop, which she named after her rescue pit bull. Her burlap-wrapped bouquets are wild and free-spirited, usually with some rare specimen (banksia, protea) next to stems of old favorites like peonies and dahlias. The price is right at $35 for the daily selection ($55–$75 for bigger bouquets), with free next-day delivery to the Cincinnati metro area and 20 percent of proceeds going to charity. Just walk in or order online. Over-the-Rhine, giablooms.com

Gia & The Blooms
Gia & The Blooms

Photograph by Aaron M. Conway


Etsy Shop
Meadowlark Botanical
A good mask is hard to find—facial mask, that is. If it’s not too oily, then it dries you out or it stings like the dickens. Enter Meadowlark Botanical, a local Etsy shop with a fondness for natural, organic ingredients that offers dozens of skincare products for face, body, hair, and even babies and pets. And the best best part? It’s affordable enough to try everything (but start with the Organic French Green Clay Facial Mask). Speedy delivery, easy communication, and free samples take Meadowlark over the top. etsy.com/shop/MeadowlarkBotanical

Lazy Sunday Menswear
Durham Dept.
Stepping into the industrial-chic storefront is about as comfortable as its merchandise. Started by Covington transplant and graphic designer Austin Dunbar, who designs the clothes from his studio on the second floor, the shop features lounging threads like crewnecks, jogging sweats, and tees hanging on four custom-built racks in a laid-back, uncluttered setup. Plus, the price point is nowhere near the ludicrous, Kanye-level dollars of other casual menswear shops. Covington, durhamdept.com

Durham Dept.
Durham Dept.

Photograph by Aaron M. Conway


Used Book Store
Ohio Bookstore
Back before podcasts and Kindle, stories were printed on paper and lovingly enclosed in sturdy covers. If you’re still a fan of old-school tomes, there are five floors filled with them here, plus bookbinding services to preserve your treasures. Display cabinets in the center of the main floor highlight collectibles and juvenilia (surely there’s a Little Golden Book with your name on it). The racks of vintage magazines are irresistible. So are the booklets wistfully commemorating Cincinnati’s original streetcars. They were produced in the 1960s, just a few years after they’d stopped running. Nostalgia is in our DNA.  Downtown, ohiobookstore.net

Strange Things
Memento Mori
It’s like a resting spot for twisted notions. Where else can you find, in one place, prosthetic limbs, Masonic memorabilia, experiments in taxidermy, Ouija boards, and straightjackets? Not to mention—scariest of all—accordions. This could be where Pee-wee Herman gets his decorating tips. You might not want to be locked up here in the middle of the night, but in the daytime Memento Mori will definitely put a smile on your face. Loveland, mementomoriohio.com

Momento Mori
Memento Mori

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Momento Mori
Memento Mori

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Momento Mori
Memento Mori

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Momento Mori
Memento Mori

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer


Non-Red Reds Hats
Koch Sporting Goods
There are more than 400 different hat options—and those are just of the baseball cap variety. Fitted. Adjustable. Every NFL team. Every MLB team. Major and local colleges. Bengals caps for every week of the season. Reds hats in every color of the visible spectrum. Koch’s caters to visiting fans on game days, transplants who want to rep their hometown team, or locals who simply enjoy headwear variety. You can get a red Reds hat anywhere…though they do carry those, too. Downtown, kochsports.com

Haute Sunglasses
Ossie Boutique
When it comes to curating the best of up-and-coming or emerging brands, Meredith Borchers and Dawn Schiff of Ossie Boutique have it down. The shop’s nod to designer Ossie Clark says it all: careful attention when selecting outfits and accessories—with a little more edge than the average ’Nati shop. So if you’re sick of wearing Wayfarers and need to step up your sunnies game, step in to Ossie to try some handcrafted, Italian-made Illesteva shades. Hyde Park, ossieboutique.com

Ossie Boutique
Ossie Boutique

Photograph by Aaron M. Conway


Place to Blow Your Kitchen Budget
Artichoke OTR
When Brad and Karen Hughes retired, they didn’t bust out the golf clubs, they rehabbed a Findlay Market–adjacent building. The first floor is home to Artichoke OTR, stocked with a veritable ne plus ultra of all culinary accoutrement. We can’t get enough of the Garnier-Thiebaut tea towels (they actually look better with age!) and are secretly hoping Santa will sneak a Fagor pressure cooker under the tree. Over-the-Rhine, artichokeotr.com

Candy Shop
Old: Loveland Sweets
It’s only 10 years old but Gloria Wilson’s Loveland Sweets feels like it’s been around for decades. Behind polished wood paneling and apothecary jars of novelty treats you’ll find house specialties like handmade ice cream and chocolates. We had a particular problem staying away from the chocolate-covered caramel Rice Krispy treats… Loveland, lovelandsweets.com

New: Jenco Brothers’ Candy
The Jenco brothers started out hand-making flavored popcorn at home. Three years ago, they set up shop in a Clifton Heights storefront and added bulk candy to the menu, too. Now they sell everything from Grippo’s barbecue-cheddar-flavored popcorn to chocolate-covered bacon, Nerds, umpteen colors of M&Ms, and bubble gum cigarettes. Clifton Heights, jencobrotherscandy.com 

Tag Sale
Lakota West Mothers’ Exchange 
For more than 25 years the Lakota West Mothers’ Exchange has helped soften the cost of child-rearing. We’re talking twice-yearly tag sales at Lakota West High School, featuring all those gently-used accessories you never knew you needed ’til you gave birth: jog strollers, toy kitchens, DVDs, cribs, and of course, cute clothes. Follow the group on Facebook or volunteer to set up and get early shopping privileges. West Chester, facebook.com/mothersexchange

Discount Dresses
Dillard’s Clearance Center
So your title requires power dressing, but your salary isn’t C-suite? Practice fiscal responsibility and style leadership at one of two DCC locations (Eastgate Mall or West Town Center). Dresses from Chaus, Calvin Klein, Tahari, and other business-appropriate brands are arranged by size and color—all the blue size 10s are in one spot—so it’s easy to load up. Weekly specials can sometimes shave more off the bottom line. Westwood and Eastgate, dillards.com

Affordable Art Supplies
Indigo Hippo
Owner Alisha Budkie has transformed her previous, for-profit Main Street storefront, Smartfish Studio + Sustainable Supply, into Indigo Hippo, an art supply thrift store and gallery. Here you’ll find donated pencils, highlighters, embroidery floss, yarn, patterned paper, and plenty of bits and bobs to spark inspiration. Indigo Hippo also supports arts programming and curricula with partners like MORTAR and Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/indigohippo

Indigo Hippo
Indigo Hippo

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Indigo Hippo
Indigo Hippo

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Indigo Hippo
Indigo Hippo

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Indigo Hippo
Indigo Hippo

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer


Old School Writing Supplies
Spitzfaden
If you work downtown, you’ve seen Spitzfaden Office Supplies delivery guy Terry Bogaczyk making the rounds. This Main Street staple is the spot for scribblers nursing a typewriter habit or fountain pen fetish to track down that Underwood-Olivetti ribbon, Sheaffer cartridge, or bottle of Deep Azure Blue. Along with drawers full of ribbons and inks, Spitzfaden’s shelves are also replete with writing instruments, notebooks, and pads of every imaginable shape and hue. Downtown, (513) 721-1885

Hat Maker
Old: Batsakes
Gus Miller, owner of Batsakes downtown, has been making hats since the 1950s. Western, fedora, straw—he makes them all, by hand no less. The shop is a fun throwback to another time, and Miller, who at 83 still works six days a week, is a conversationalist extraordinaire. Downtown, (513) 721-9345

New: Fancy Fedora
One chapeau can do double duty (or more) thanks to Fancy Fedora, Stephanie Ryan’s headwear company. She sells hats, but her big thing is interchangeable hatbands made from stretchy fabric that slip on and off with ease. Choose from more than 50 designs online or at local boutiques, listed on her site. fancyfedora.com

Stay-In-Place T-Shirt
JUMPER Threads
Working men (or lounging men) of the world, say goodbye to undershirt creep-up! A former paratrooper and U.S. Army Ranger, Daniel Redlinger, founded JUMPER Threads with a mission to rethink wardrobe staples with a make that forms to your bod (read: no added bulk) and actually stays put. They call it the perfect undershirt, and we’re inclined to agree: it’s ridiculously soft; has a longer, tailored torso; and comes individually or in discounted “weekend” or “work-week” packages. The pants are coming soon. Over-the-Rhine, jumperthreads.com

Tea Shop
Churchill’s Fine Teas
It’s English to its core, but Churchill’s is no lace-curtain tea shop. Their Findlay Market storefront features a wall of tea tins, waiting to be opened and sniffed. If you don’t know your Matcha from your Mate, Churchill’s expert staff is on hand to answer questions and offer both hot and cold brewing guidance (like this nugget of wisdom: try their pineapple black tea iced). Churchill’s also offers tastings and classes throughout the year, or you can let them curate your drinking experience through their monthly Tea Club. It’s ever so civilized, don’t you think? Over-the-Rhine, churchillsteas.com

Churchill's Fine Teas
Churchill’s Fine Teas

Photograph by Aaron M. Conway


New Home Goods Store
Elm & Iron
It’s a bird (pillow)! It’s a plane (suspended from the ceiling)! It’s…the vintage-eclectic home-goods mecca that is Elm & Iron—and just across the street, Elm & Iron Loft, because when you’re this good you need a three-story expansion after just a year on Vine Street. Be it vintage metal sign letters, ceramic whale measuring cups, brass lighting fixtures, or a pair of refurbished wood auditorium seats ye seek, we’re pretty sure ye shall find. Over-the-Rhine, elmandiron.com

Supplies for Rehabbers
Finish your project and save some cash.
Doors
Building Value
You want to replace the bathroom door in your bungalow, but it’s an odd size. Browse the rows here to find a perfect fit (or an old set of pocket doors to repurpose, or an eight-foot entry door, or…) Northside, buildingvalue.org

Tile
Dry Ridge Reuse Center
The largest part of their inventory is second- and third-quality lots, many from Florida Tile. The good news: that includes lots of hot-right-now wood-grained porcelain beauties. The better news: you’ll save a bunch. One editor got enough to do her laundry room for $.60 a square foot. Dry Ridge, dryridgereusecenter.com

Bathroom Fixtures
Signature Hardware
The vast array of bathtubs, sinks, vanities, mirrors, hooks, and door hardware at SH’s Erlanger showroom is new, but with plenty of vintage (or contemporary) style. Need to clap eyes on the perfect clawfoot tub you spotted on their website? Call ahead, and they’ll haul it over from the warehouse. Erlanger, signaturehardware.com

Appliances
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
In addition to cabinets, tile, lighting, doors, and a host of other recycled building products, ReStore has a consistent supply of appliances at rock-bottom prices. Stoves and refrigerators are common; washers and dryers also pop up. Bond Hill, Cheviot, Hamilton, Florence, habitatcincinnati.org/restore

Upscale Oktoberfest Gear
Wiesnkoenig USA
Nothing translates the spirit of prost quite like legit lederhosen. The official licensed supplier of lederhosen and dirndls for Munich’s Oktoberfest, Wiesnkoenig takes traditional tracht and lifestyle fashion up a notch—and chose Cincinnati as its first stateside outpost. Located inside the Christian Moerlein Tap Room, you can peruse Bavarian threads and accessories before or after your favorite brew. Besides, with Bockfest and Zinzinnati festivities, these babies are gonna get some use. Over-the-Rhine, wiesnkoenig-usa.com

Wiesnkoenig USA
Wiesnkoenig USA

Photograph courtesy Wiesnkoenig USA


Make-Your-Own Jewelry
The Silver Diva
We’re glad Carrissa Barbee gave up practicing law to open this studio. You pick the template (rings, pendants, money clips, keychains, guitar picks, bracelets) and the material (sterling silver, copper—even gold and rose gold tones), then stamp words, initials, and/or numbers on each piece. Stop in alone or come as part of a pre-arranged party. Strapped for time? You can also buy pre-made pieces in store or online. Montgomery, thesilverdiva.com

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