Office Supplies at Hanamiya Beautiful Japan

Photograph by Anna Knott and Nathan Kirkman

Japanese Office Supplies: Hanamiya Beautiful Japan
At the risk of oversimplifying, we’ve found that Japanese decor is often one of two things: elegant or adorable. Case in point: Hanamiya Beautiful Japan. The shop, housed in a 19th-century brick home in Montgomery, specializes in porcelain and fine textiles, but owner Teruko Nesbitt stocks a modest selection of delightful office supplies: handmade cards and washi and origami papers, plus stickers, paper clips, and erasers—all usually shaped like cats or llamas or ice cream cones. In other words, they’re perfect camouflage for your hostile takeover. 7795 Cooper Rd., Montgomery, (513) 891-8738,

Put the Needle on the Record
Crate-diggers, rejoice! Our wealth of music stores has exactly what you need.

Shake It Records: All the cool kids know this is the place for everything ’80s, ’90s, and now, with vinyl downstairs and cds upstairs. 4156 Hamilton Ave., Northside, (513) 591-0123
Everybody’s Records: Vinyl from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, classic bootlegs, packed to the gills in Pleasant Ridge. 6106 Montgomery Rd., Pleasant Ridge, (513) 531-4500
Mole’s Record Exchange: Think High Fidelity clerks in a shop rolling deep in jazz, prog rock, and jam bands. 111 Calhoun St., Clifton, (513) 861-6291
C&D Record Bar: Heaven on earth for lovers of 45s—and LPs!—and it looks like the inside of a jukebox. 908 Monmouth St., Newport, (859) 261-1131
Sugarcube Records: Boutique featuring indie rock vinyl, expertly assembled. 609 Main St., Covington, (859) 291-2823
Torn Light Records: Definitive metal and punk bins, plus used cassettes. 411 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, (859) 415-2638

German Christmas Shop: Linden Noll Gift Haus
In an age of minimalist gift boutiques, it’s almost a shock to step into Covington’s Linden Noll Gift Haus. You’ll find more nutcracker variations than you ever dreamed exist, Easter eggs, hundreds of colonial Williamsburg caroling dolls, odd German trinkets. Need a miniature Bavarian village? They have hundreds of painted facades. The shop has been supplying the area with ornaments for 30 years, but sadly, this season may be its last. Owner David Carpenter is contemplating closing his fabled—and fabulous—shop after the New Year. It’s a Christmas tale in the making. 506 W. Sixth St., Covington, (859) 581-7633

Rare Sneakers: Unheardof
Add some pizazz to your look with kicks you can wear to the concert on Friday, the dinner party on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday. Whether it’s a pair of brightly colored, style-you’ve-never-heard-of Nikes; unusually textured, patterned Vans; or the latest off-scene graphic tees, Unheardof has all the shoes, clothes, and backpacks you won’t find at the local strip mall (and at better-than-boutique prices). Stop in, kick back in the barbershop chair, and listen to some hip-hop; the staffers are quick to help you find a pair of sneakers that will put you a step ahead of the crowd. 341 W. Fourth St., downtown, (513) 744-9444,

Goat’s Milk Soap: Honey Sweetie Acres
We first encountered Honey Sweetie Acres at the Madeira Farmers Market, where owners Steve and Regina Bauscher would bring their baby goats—obviously well-loved creatures. It isn’t the kids that are for sale at market, but a superior line of soap products made by the milk of their Nigerian Dwarf mothers: creamy bars and lotions with playful or sophisticated scents and names like Little Black Number (toasted vanilla, black rose, and sandalwood) or Basil, Sage & Mint (just what it sounds like). The website has a photo gallery of their animals, divided into senior does, junior does, and bucks. Where else can you trace the pedigree of your soap? Shipping available. 2710 Spring Hill Rd., Goshen, (513) 456-6090,

Used Guitars: Mike’s Music
It’s a bit misleading when you first walk into the Corryville shop, a small room with a decent number of guitars for sale. But that room leads to another room, and another, and each of those rooms has various guitars and amps covering nearly every inch of space—and that’s only one of the store’s two locations (the other is in Covington). Whether you’re looking to sell or trade, searching for a cheap acoustic or a $4,500 cherry-red 1964 Gibson SG Jr. electric, or simply need a new finger pick, Mike’s is the spot for any and all things guitar related.

Vintage Event: 20th Century Cincinnati Show
Yes, the phrase modern vintage sounds like jumbo shrimp. But you know it: Sleek fiberglass tulip chairs. A Russell Wright gravy boat. Starburst clocks. This annual show and sale (mark your calendar for February 21 and 22, 2015) fills the Sharonville Convention Center with 60 vendors from all over the country, who come with the goods—furniture, lighting, art, pottery, textiles—of the Mad Men era.

DIY Helper: Cincinnati Appliance Parts
If you’re even remotely handy, this place on Grooms Road in Blue Ash is worth a visit. They sell parts for almost every brand and type of appliance currently made. We’ve bought everything from replacement dishwasher baskets to dryer heating elements, stove clocks, and refrigerator solenoids (the thingies controlling your ice makers) here. Just have your model number ready. 11273 Grooms Rd., Blue Ash, (513) 221-1195,

Modern Art Goods: CAC Gift Shop
Looking to fill the blank spot on your living room wall? Try Andrew Van Sickle’s print depicting a pop version of Cincinnati landmarks. You’ll find it at the shop in the Contemporary Arts Center. You can find more than just the colorful prints of Music Hall or Fountain Square. Need a birthday card? They’ve got ’em, and they’ve been known to offer other unique items like a Keith Haring child’s pop art chair and Rookwood pottery’s Abel cats. These sort of one-of-a-kind pieces would make a fine present, depending on the birthday person. 44 E. Sixth St., downtown, (513) 345-8400,

Grill Supply: McCabe Do It Center
With a full line of Weber gas and charcoal grills (including the Ranch Kettle with 1,104 square inches of cooking space), Big Green Eggs, Traeger pellet grills, five different kinds of charcoal, wood chips, pizza peels, slider baskets, paella pans, covers, mitts, lights, and everything else you need to smoke, baste, mop, sear, sautee, or slow cook al fresco, McCabe truly is a one-stop grill shop. They also offer assembly and delivery. Whew. 225 Laurel Ave., Madeira, (513) 561-7200,

Hipster Plant Store: Fern Studio
We thrill at the thought of a unique shop with a small, hand-picked inventory; Fern Studio is that place for plants. Housed in a former gas station on Hamilton Avenue, this studio peddles an evolving stock of unusual flora (poppy pods and mini succulents, anyone?); they also sell unusual pottery and baskets and—depending on the season and the visiting artisan—things like hand-woven wall art and carved wood utensils. Come to think of it, Fern’s really an art and lifestyle store, with plants. Now that’s cool. 6040 Hamilton Avenue, College Hill, (513) 910-7299,

English Tack Shop: The Tack Trunk
John Vogel, who has operated this 27-year-old shop with his wife and two daughters since 2008, stocks a mix of new and used English riding gear at all price points, including apparel, footwear, bridles, saddles, books, and gifts. One of the seven rooms in the 3,600-square-foot ranch is devoted to consignments, a real perk for parents whose fledgling equestrians are always outgrowing gear. 700 S. U.S. Route 42, Lebanon, (513) 932-4375,

Reading Glasses: Absolutely Needlepoint
If you find yourself on the other side of 40, chances are your arm isn’t long enough for you to be able to read your iPhone. Don’t fight it, embrace it! Get thee to Absolutely Needlepoint and scope out their stock of hip readers from Scojo and Eyebobs. With frame names like Provacateur, Spork, and Jail Bait, Eyebobs are definitely not your grannie’s glasses. They can also special order any power/frame combination. And with prices ranging from $15 to $75, you can stash spares everywhere. 7117 Miami Ave., Madeira, (513) 561-7999

Custom Jewelry: Modern Art Jewelry
Come with old jewelry that needs an update, loose stones, or just a glimmer of an idea: Aaron Rubinstein and his daughter, Haguit Rubinstein-Towler, will create a piece you love—just as Aaron has been doing since 1968. They work with sterling silver, 14 karat gold and white gold, any stone (including atypical choices like fossils), and a local stone-cutter. Don’t be dissuaded by “modern” in the name: They do traditional designs too. 8316 Plainfield Rd., Deer Park, (513) 793-4498,

User-Friendly Wine Shop: A Bottle Or Two
At his five-year-old shop and tasting room, owner David Pustinger stocks upwards of 500 bottles, from $6 values to $600 splurges. He’s made browsing easy and educational with cards that detail every vino’s flavor, body, and food pairing potential. Taste five for $5 every Thursday 4–8 p.m., or sip a pour any time they’re open, choosing from 15 reds and whites. 11920 Montgomery Rd., Symmes Township, (513) 583-8163,

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