Photograph by Devyn Glista
Certain Over-the-Rhine storefronts cater to the neighborhood’s stereotypical clientele: millennial, white, hipster, etc. Carrington Broeman, owner of the new OTR emporium The Most Beautiful Thing In The World Is, knows what it takes to catch the eye of beholders of all ages and interests.
“I’ll get 80-year-old men coming in to buy something, and then 30-year-olds. No one is intimidated,” Broeman says. “It always bothered me when I walked into a store and I felt like it was designed just for one kind of style. I didn’t want that; I wanted to pick out different pieces and have my own look [and] not be stereotypical. I like surprises.”
Broeman’s store is just that, an elegant bazaar that’s equal parts luxe and whimsy. Here you’ll find an eclectic and expertly curated mix of clothing, jewelry, home decor, and cosmopolitan finds—cactus-shaped neon lamps from Australia or wooden bobble-heads carved by Danish architects. Whether it’s Mexchic rugs loomed in Oaxaca, South African Di Marshall dinner plates, or Michou bowls made in southern Africa, every turn around the window-lined shop illuminates a new corner of the globe.
Opening her own place is the culmination of Broeman’s years of dreaming and traveling. Broeman, a Florida native, opened the shop in November, just a few short months after she and her husband moved back to the States. The couple had been living abroad for 12 years, during which she’d been a retail buyer at a large department store chain in Cape Town, South Africa, and spent time traveling and working in England, Australia, and Egypt. Prior to that, she studied fashion design at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia and art history at Columbia University, and spent almost six years as the head of contemporary art appraisals for Sotheby’s in New York.
“I’d always seen so many things I loved in the different places I lived,” Broeman says. “I think there’s kind of a need for this today, of [being exposed to] what is actually different and beautiful in different places.”
As for the shop’s longer-than-a-Graeter’s-line-in-summertime name? “People have so many ideas of what is beautiful,” Broeman says. “I thought that leaving the interpretation of ‘The Most Beautiful Thing in The World Is…’ [up to others] was a fun starting point. And I really liked that it was an incomplete phrase. It leaves more [to the imagination].”
GOOD TO KNOW The Design Afrika baskets you’ll find at TMBTITWI—woven by South African locals in the Xhosa tradition—have earned a regular showing at the prestigious Paris arts show Maison & Objet.
The Most Beautiful Thing In The World Is, 6 W. 12th Street, Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/TMBTITWI