Photography by Anna Knott & Nathan Kirkman

Spa Space: Shampoo Room at High Five Salon
žGetting your hair shampooed is a luxurious and borderline bizarre experience by itself. High Five Salon takes it up one more notch by adding a nice setting. Rather than just shuffling over to a corner of the salon, you’ll be led down a flight of stairs to a sort of shampoo cave. When you lean your head back, look all the way up the stairwell to see the lovely, tree-filled view out of the large windows. Then file that moment away for when you’re stuck in traffic. 2039 Madison Rd., O’Bryonville, (513) 502-5293,

Porch Repair: Sawdust Therapy
žMost home design projects require two essential people: One to tell you what looks good and one to make it look good. Greg Matulionis of Sawdust Therapy is the rare carpenter who can fulfill both roles. A master carpenter with an Art Academy of Cincinnati degree, Matulionis specializes in home repair, renovation, and design, including porch repair. “Water eventually wins,” says Matulionis, but he slows the process with advanced rail making techniques, proper water diversion, a thorough floor seal, and a pitch for faithful maintenance. “Wood is a living, breathing thing,” he says. 3568 Nine Mile Rd., Pierce Twp.,(513) 706-7435,

Stock Room Recycling: Crayons to Computers
žIt is not a paperless world yet. Especially if you’re a teacher. Nonprofit Crayons to Computers operates a free store where teachers from qualified schools (i.e., those with a high percentage of low-income kids) can “shop” for basic supplies—things like paper, pencils, pens, glue, and craft supplies. Some 600 schools in the area (and 99 preschools) will happily accept (and use!) old letterhead; markers and notepads left over from a sales meeting; pens and pencils stamped with outdated logos.

Car Donation: Changing Gears
The nonprofit Joel Bokelman started last year fixes donated vehicles, then sells them to qualified low-income clients for half of market value financed by no-interest, one-year loans. A certified mechanic does the work assisted by volunteers. They favor fuel-efficient sedans and minivans, since that’s what works best for their clients. But they’ll take anything: Your deceased clunker? They’ll cart it away for parts. The “extra” Mercedes you got in your divorce settlement? They’ll sell it for top dollar and consider the dough a donation. Bring it on.

Eco-Friendly Salon: Salon Named Desire
When Julie Duggins and Karla Lalosh opened their Pleasant Ridge salon, they wanted it to be different; their mantra—“conscious beauty from root to tip”—says it all. They make their own cleaning products, use energy efficient appliances, fit the windows with solar screens, paint walls in low-VOC full-spectrum paint, and contract with vendors who are cruelty-free and use sustainable packaging. Bottom line? You’ll walk out of this place with a clear conscience and a fantastic new ’do. 6091 Montgomery Rd., Pleasant Ridge, (513) 731-6091,

Leather Reconditioning: Awesome Time Shoe & Leather Repair
žLeather goods are expensive to replace, so before you pitch that ink-stained purse or damaged leather jacket, take them to Tim Willig’s Northside shop—it’s tucked in a corner of Casablanca Vintage and is open every day but Sunday. Willig, who learned the trade nearly a decade ago and then bought the business that he was trained at, doesn’t hand anything back to customers until he’s satisfied he’s done his best work. Now that’s a dedicated craftsman. 3944 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, (513) 541-6999,

Clock Repair: Vin Acco Time Repair
žThe Accurso family has been working on Cincinnatians’ clocks for 95 years; current owner Mike Accurso learned the trade from his Dad, Vincent. Take timepieces to this Mt. Lookout Square shop for service or repair on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, or book an in-home appointment (for items like grandfather clocks) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Vin Acco is especially trustworthy, say repeat customers, with family heirlooms and antique timepieces. 1006 Delta Ave., Mt. Lookout, (513) 871-5949,

Ikebana Classes: Turner Farm
žThis century-old operation is now organic, with a 501(c)(3) designation and a positive-living mission that goes beyond healthy eating to incorporate art. Garden manager and director of adult education Melinda O’Briant not only runs a flower CSA alongside the main operations (vegetables and humanely raised animals for meat), she also teaches classes in flower arrangement, including ikebana. The flowers are grown on the 220-acre property, of course. But don’t assume cherry blossoms. Think zinnias, milkweed, ironweed, and golden amaranth. 7400 Given Rd., Indian Hill, (513) 561-7400,

Denim Repair: Cyndy’s Alterations
žOnce upon a time, denim was marketed for gold miners and cowboys. But that was then. Nowadays, when a favorite jacket or designer skinnies go wonky, we want hands that can restore the rough and ready look. Enter Cyndy’s Alterations of Hyde Park. With a Paxton Street storefront and fitting rooms with pedestals, Cyndy’s is an old-school practitioner of the art of making clothes fit the body. Not to mention making that favorite pair of jeans last. 3769 Paxton Rd., Hyde Park, (513) 351-1479,

Stone Massage: The Spa at 21C
žDo you need a heating pad for those aches? Or should you ice down? You don’t have to choose. The River Hot and Cold Stone Massage is designed to help muscles relax and reduce inflammation, too. Hate that I-am-a-corpse feeling of lying on a chilly massage table? This one is heated. Plus the spa’s top-floor setting is private and quiet, and each suite is equipped with a steam room, shower, robes, and lux toiletries so you can pull yourself together before heading out. 

Plant Store With Advice: Bloomin Garden Centre
žFounded by Cincinnati’s own celebrity green-thumb-guru, Denny McKeown, the Centre sells everything from impatiens to oak trees, but the real reason many people come here is for advice. Professional staff will happily help solve mysterious yard problems and in-house designers will sketch out a landscape plan and help you select the right plants. For tech-savvy gardeners, the center sends out a free, weekly gardening e-newsletter. 8793 Kenwood Rd., Blue Ash, (513) 891-9035

Lawnmower Repair: Bramble Mower Sales & Service
žBramble has been repairing and servicing mowers for more than 50 years—everything from top-of-the-line commercial machines to the push mower stashed in the back of your garage—and if it’s one of the rare brands they can’t fix, they will point you in the right direction and offer a rough estimate for some peace of mind. Pro tip: Take your mower in during the winter months, and they’ll knock $10 off the price. 3830 Round Bottom Rd., Newtown, (513) 271-8522,

While-You-Wait Tailor: Alterations While You Wait
žThis place is not fancy. And that doesn’t matter one bit. Master Tailor Paul Cariaga runs his teeny Glendale storefront with zero pomp and very little circumstance. But he’ll tell you the best way to alter your new jacket and he’ll also tell you the cheap way. And he’ll let you decide. And he’ll do it for you that very minute, if you’re first in line. He could set up shop in a lemonade stand and we’d still go. 270 E. Sharon Rd., Glendale, (513) 772-7799,

Non-Toxic Mani: Becoming Mom
žYes, Becoming Mom Spa in Deerfield Town Center caters to the preggers set, but you don’t have to be with child to enjoy a totally fume-free nail service. Becoming Mom uses only Zoya nail polish, an industry pioneer in formaldehyde-, toluene-, and DBP-free products, and they wield only non-acetone remover. Because they don’t traffic in gels, shellac, or acrylic nails, the salon experience here really is a breath of fresh air. 5685 Deerfield Blvd., Mason, (513) 770-6730,


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