BEST WAY TO CAPTURE YOUR PET’S BEAUTY:
Funny cell phone pictures of pets are great, but sometimes you need a professional to get that perfect shot. Enter area photographer Carolyn Evans. Better known as the PhoDographer, Evans specializes in candid portraits of pets (and their people). For more than a decade, she has focused on our furry, four-legged friends as her subjects. A dog owner herself, Evans works great with even the finickiest of animals. Getting a good photo of a trained model can be a task, but a fickle cat or energetic puppy? Nearly impossible! Evans is a pro, though, and captures the quirky beauty on man’s best friend. PhoDographer, 6934 Miami Ave., Studio 13, Madeira, 513-702-7849, phodographer.com.
BEST WAY TO FIND AND BUY ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE :
Building Value takes going green one step further by eliminating the process of recycling. Recycling requires large amounts of energy to turn something old into something new. Instead, Building Value offers quality architectural salvage and overstocked building materials at a deep discount to rehabbers, developers, artists and the everyday homeowner. Perfect for those who own historic homes looking for hard-to-find windows, light fixtures, etc. Building Value also offers professional deconstruction services to manually remove materials from your home before a remodel. 4040 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, 513-475-6783, buildingvalue.org.
BEST COMBO LIFE COACH/BLUES MUSIC GENIUS:
Blues/Rock guitarist/singer/songwriter Kelly Richey has been a successful musician for the past decade-plus, touring the country regularly to great acclaim. But it wasn’t enough. Richey found help through her “burn out” from a “dream coaching” process and, wanting to share her transformative, healing experience, so she herself became certified in life coaching. While still performing regularly, Richey now runs her own life coaching/consulting business in town. Ironic that a woman who’s done so much to spread the Blues would end up finding a new life helping people cure the blues. poweredbyintention.com.
BEST MICRO FOODS AND SPECIALTY FOODS MARKET :
Picnic and Pantry offers essential groceries, fresh produce, local and whole foods, clean meats, artisan cheese, vegan and gluten free options, sweets, snacks, unique beverages and a fantastic food bar. Opened by the Melt Eclectic Deli team, this neighborhood market is an “art supply store for your culinary needs.” And while they offer quality ingredients to make a meal, they also offer high quality grab-and-go options. 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside, 513-681-8600, picnicandpantry.com.
BEST PLACE TO FIND GENTLY WORN SHOES:
The Mustard Seed has long been known for its selection of amazing, high-quality vintage items. This attention to quality consignment extends to their shoe collection as well. Find all variety of designer brands from Sam Edelman to Prada in excellently wearable condition. 311 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, 513-221-4022, mustardseedboutique.com.
BEST URBAN FLEA MARKET :
The City Flea is the project of couple from Cincinnati who have lived in Chicago, Los Angeles and most recently New York as a place for “the city’s countless creative minds and skilled hands to share what they are working on or collecting.” Vendors come together downtown, generally in a lot on Central Parkway, to commune and sell unique, creative and visually interesting products. You’ll also find food trucks, coffee, happy people, kids, picnic supplies and a lot of friendly dogs. Learn about upcoming 2012 markets at thecityflea.com.
BEST PLACE TO FIND FINE FRENCH THINGS :
Nestled in historic DeSales Corner, Le Bon Vivant provides the fine French things for a romantic, rich and beautiful life including gourmet foods, linens and fine bath and body products. Think scents like Arpege by Lanvin, delicious jams like Les Confiture a l’Ancienne Mirabelle Plum Jam and Provencal tablecloths. 2801 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills, 513-221-2921, bonvivant.us.com.
BEST FIERCE LIFESTYLE STORE :
HighStreet is based on the boundary-free principles of modern London style and encourages consumers to think for themselves when it comes to buying, collecting and decorating. If you find a fierce object you relate to, buy it and intelligent design will follow. Find enduring products for any lifestyle, designed by the team at HighStreet or collected from all over the world. Products range from furniture to jewelry to textiles to wallcoverings. 1401 Reading Road, Downtown, 513-723-1901, highstreetcincinnati.com.
BEST PLACE TO FIND SHOES FOR ANY OCCASION :
After recently relocating from O’Bryonville to Hyde Park Square, Morrison & Me is more accessible than ever, which means you have no excuse to wear ugly shoes. They boast styles from pumps to boots and euro sport to evening shoes with wide-ranging brands including Jeffrey Campbell, 80%20, Faryl Robin, Calvin Klein, Franco Sarto and the list goes on. They also have great sale prices. 2643 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, 513-232-7463, morrisonandme.com.
BEST PLACE TO SPICE UP YOUR LIFE:
Col De Stewart offers a dazzling array of more than 500 international herbs & spices, blends, dip mixes, oils, foodie books, cooking accoutrements and (maybe best of all) answers to your cooking conundrums. For very little coinage they can help you make just about anything taste better. Find them at Findlay Market in the market house. 1801 Race St., Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine, 513-421-4800, colonelde.com.
BEST WAY TO GET URBANLY OUTFITTED IN THE SUBURBS :
Urban Chick is a big-city-feeling boutique in Anderson Township, replete with loft-ish exposed ceiling, vintage chandeliers and dark floors. It’s a great place for you-couldn’t-have-gotten-that-in-Cincy goods from wine to fashion to decor to gifts. Yup, wine too. 6740 Clough Pike, Anderson Twp., 513-223-2445,
BEST INNOVATIVE FLORAL ARRANGERS :
The ladies of Eden Floral Boutique create memorable, imaginative floral arrangements for any occasion: everyday, gifts or for weddings and events. From elegant bouquets to giant arrangements, their work is original, organic and beautiful. And need something flowerless? They do that, too. They created a beautiful heirloom broach bouquet for a bride and tackled some amazing topiary arrangements for another. 1129 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-281-3336, edenfloralboutique.com.
BEST PLACE TO FIND FANCY RAMEN :
Saigon Market is the go-to Asian market for foodies. Owner Hgiep Ho came to the U.S. from Vietnam with his parents in 1976; they bought the building in Findlay Market and started their store with just a few packages of noodles and some sauce. Today the shelves are stocked with thousands of different products from Vietnam, Thailand, China, Japan and the Philippines, including groceries, beauty products, gifts, spices and more. 119 W. Elder St., Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine, 513-721-8053, findlaymarket.org/merchants/saigon-market.
BEST SHOP FOR A CAUSE:
The 4th Street Boutique opened in 2002 to provide surplus and non-interview appropriate clothing donated to Dress for Success Cincinnati. Today it is an upscale thrift store, which turns those clothing donations into financial support to further the mission of Dress for Success: to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Guilt-free shopping. 135 W. Fourth St., Downtown, 513-651-3372; 5838 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, 513-542-5800, 4thstreetboutique.org.
BEST WAY TO ALLEVIATE DATE NIGHT GUILT :
You can’t always take your dog with you on a date (they aren’t allowed in restaurants). But Dogtown Cincinnati is open 24-hours for drop off, pick up and daycare. Their kennel-free boarding is fun and interactive for your pooch. Great for second shifters, too. 2519 Burnet Ave., Clifton, 513-241-DOGS, dogtowncincinnati.com.
BEST NECK DECORATION (DEPENDING ON GENDER):
If you’re a guy, you can’t go wrong with Artfully Disheveled ties — the 100 percent silk tie for the “well-dressed rebel.” Quirky prints include meat cleavers, bootlegger bottles, six-shooters and a wide selection of squares and bow ties. If you’re a gal, get two-for-one with KaVatee’s neckalina. It’s a necklace and a circle scarf in one, with classic names like The Audrey and The Caroline. Bold colors and bold necklaces make for one bold — and versatile — accessory. artfullydisheveled.com; kavatee.com.
BEST CRAFTY PARADISE :
The “About” section from Crafty Supermarket’s website says it best: “Founded in 2009, Crafty Supermarket is an indie craft show of metropolitan proportions [showcasing] crafters, artists and makers from all over North America … Crafty Supermarket is all about providing a place for artisans to connect with consumers and educate the public about conscientious consumption and craftiness.” Shows are generally held at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, 3711 Clifton Ave., Clifton, craftysupermarket.wordpress.com.
BEST WINE STORE WITH MORE :
Winedog Fine Wine & Fine Arts is half wine store and half art gallery. The wine store has a great selection from down the road to across the globe with tastings available all day, seven days a week and guarantees the lowest prices. Donna Schwarz, a nationally recognized artist herself, is the gallery owner and features fine art artists in various mediums and styles. Every other Thursday evening tastings are paired with gourmet appetizers and live entertainment. 451A, Ohio Pike, Withamsville, 513-494-6321, winedog.com.
BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR VACUUM CLEANER REPAIRED :
Throwing away an old or broken vacuum cleaner is bad for the environment and, in fact, might be illegal in some places. Solution? Fix the broken vacuum. Kremer’s Sew & Vac is a quick, affordable way to get your dirt-sucker fixed. They also sell refurbished vacuums, repair broken vacuums, recycle vacuum parts and you can trade in your broken vacuum for money toward a new one. 9907 Montgomery Road, Blue Ash, 513-891-5005
BEST 4 A.M. VET :
Grady Veterinary Hospital is always open: 24/7/365. This full service hospital is ready to tackle your pet’s emergency anytime day or night. After a CityBeat staffer’s cat took a flying leap off a fourth story fire escape, Grady patched him up (Get well, Dexter!). 9255 Winton Road, Springfield Twp., 513-931-8675, gradyvet.com.
BEST FURNITURE/ART RESALE STORE:
Legacies is the best furniture/art/jewelry resale shop with everything from Charley Harper art to high-end furniture and vintage jewelry, textiles and accessories. Sales benefit The Wellness Community, a place for cancer patients to find free support, friendship and hope. 3854 Paxton Ave., Hyde Park, 513-871-8899,
BEST FERMENTED FINDS:
Fermented foods have been part of the human diet since the beginning. Not only is fermentation used to preserve food, but fermented foods are also thought to help regulate healthy intestinal flora. Locally, Fab Ferments is bringing the fermented revolution to the people via farmers markets, Park + Vine, Whole Foods, Clifton Natural foods and more. They make their own naturally fermented kombucha, beet kvass and raw cultured veggies. fabulousferments.com.
BEST PLACE TO GET THAT DEAD KENNEDYS BUTTON YOU LOST IN HIGH SCHOOL:
Cincinnati is lucky to still have a couple of awesome local record stores — Shake It and Everybody’s Records are retro-fit music havens appreciated even by people too young to have ever actually dropped a needle onto vinyl. With the days of the CD waning, you can still pop into Everybody’s in Pleasant Ridge and bask in enough ephemera to forget the latest commercial jingle Pandora blasted into your ear. Find posters, T-shirts, buttons and stickers representing the culture defining acts of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Open since 1978, Everybody’s is still willing to aid collectors and generally be a cool place for music lovers to feel at home. 6106 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, 513-531-4500, everybodysrecords.com.
BEST WAY TO SWEAT IT OUT:
We all know yoga is good for you, but if you’re feeling incredibly adventurous and want to do more than just stretch, strengthen and center, try hot yoga at Bikram Yoga. Bikram Yoga blends yoga and cardio into a 90-minute workout in a room heated to 105 degrees. Benefits of Bikram Yoga can include weight loss, increased muscle tone, increased flexibility and decreased stress. Students should come to class fully hydrated with an empty stomach. 4794 Red Bank Expy., Norwood, 513-272-3014, cincinnatibikramyoga.com.
BEST ‘SAY YES TO THE DRESS’ EXPERIENCE :
Belle Bridal Boutique is a plus-size couture bridal boutique that believes every bride should have the experience of finding her dream gown. With completely private appointments, shopping for your dress is like sitting in your own living room. And their personalized, custom service comes complete with complementary champagne. Woo-hoo! 413 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, Ky., 859-261-1690, thebellebridalboutique.com.
BEST JEWELER THAT MAKES THE MOST OF YOUR BUDGET :
Boris Litwin Jewelers is a fourth generation, family-owned jewelry store currently run by BJ Litwin, a woman with extensive experience in the jewelry field and a background in art history. She sources every piece of jewelry herself, keeping in mind what’s trendy but also enduring and classic to create an artful collection. 7565 Kenwood Road, Kenwood, 513-621-1123, blog.litwins.com.
BEST HANDMADE PURSE :
Self-taught designer Tyger Calloway sews anything and everything, but her specialty is handmade purses — from totes to messenger bags to clutches. With styles like the Piper (ladylike purse with a bow) and the Frankie (oversized leather clutch with heavy-duty canvas liner), her focus is on durability, design and specialty touches like contrasting liner. She runs her operations out of her Vine Street location. Calloway also creates one of a kind sandals, capes, dresses, etc., and does alterations. etsy.com/shop/TygerCalloway.
BEST WEST SIDE COFFEE SHOP :
Corner BLOC Coffee is an awesome little coffee spot tucked away in Price Hill. It’s been there since 2007, and they opened a second location in Cleves in 2009. They exclusively brew La Terza coffees, a locally based company, and their beans are micro-roasted to order and ground fresh just before being prepared. As far as brewing goes, they can also prepare you a truly hand-crafted cup using their Chemex or V60 pour-over bar (Cincinnati’s first hand-crafted Hario Bar). They also use Snowville Creamery milk products. West Side! 3101 Price Ave., Price Hill, 513-429-4528; 49 S. Miami Road, Cleves, 513-655-4992, cornerbloccoffee.com.
BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR BRAKES PEEPED:
You might not be inclined to take your automobile to a national chain repair shop, for fear of the expected additional charges for adjusting the rotation shaft or replacing the kanuter valve (both are pricy fixes). But the dudes over at Midas in Colerain are super nice about looking at your messed up car while understanding that you probably don’t like it enough to spend a whole lot of money. Midas locations specialize in breaks, oil changes and tires — all relatively simple and regularly needed maintenance — but this location will also repair your rig quickly, and they won’t even get super mad if you decide to go home and fix it yourself based on their expertise. 9010 Colerain Ave., Colerain, 513-385-7810, midas.com.
BEST THERAPEUTIC DOGGIE SWIMMING POOL :
Red Dog Pet Resort and Spa offers a plethora of pet services: grooming, daycare, boarding, holistic care and aquatic and hydro fitness. Aquatic exercise is ideal for dogs suffering from arthritis or recovering from surgery or injury. It’s also a great zero-impact exercise for overall wellness and weight loss. The heated indoor pool at Red Dog offers hands-on fitness sessions and private sessions. 5081 Madison Road, Norwood, 513-RED-DOGS, reddogcincinnati.com.
BEST PLACE TO BUY LAST-MINUTE PRESENTS FOR PEOPLE WITH GOOD TASTE:
Fabricate is like your favorite Etsy shops come to life. In fact, it’s a storefront featuring a ton of local Etsy and indie crafter’s goods. Find scarves, jewelry, cards, accessories, pillows, curtains, unique artist t-shirts and more, along with monthly art shows. This comfortable gallery/boutique blurs the distinction between high-end product and art and craft and is the perfect place to find something fantastic for the friend who “has everything.” 4037 Hamilton Ave., Northside, 513-407-6057, fabricatestore.wordpress.com.
BEST WAY FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY TO EAT LOCAL :
Pet Wants Urban Feed Store offers high quality, nutritionally complete and balanced pet food made right here in Ohio. Pet Wants’ pet food never uses animal by-products (guts, eyes, beaks) or gluten in any of their formulas, and they deliver! 1813 Pleasant St., Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine, 513-721-8696, petwants.com.
BEST WAY TO GET BUFF LIKE THE YOUNG PEOPLE:
The University of Cincinnati’s state-of-the-art recreation center is is the non-weird gym you never knew existed. Open to the public and offering discounted rates for alumni, Campus Recreation offers all the workout equipment of a normal gym, plus group fitness classes, aquatic facilities, massage services and personal training and nutritional services (some additional fees apply for certain services). Who doesn’t want to work out in a fancy modern building with a bunch of optimistic college students? Better yet: The monthly rate for community members is only $45.83 and $36.66 for UC alumni. 2820 Bearcat Way, Clifton, 513-556-0604, uc.edu/reccenter.
BEST WAY TO SCORE ARTSY GIFTS:
Sometimes finding a gift for someone is difficult, and stressing out over whether your gift idea is either useful or neat is no fun. The gift shops at the Contemporary Arts Center and Cincinnati Art Museum will answer both of these questions with a resounding “yes.” In addition to prints, books and other artsy things, both gift shops offer small household items that automatically come with an added artistic touch. Past gifts from these oft-overlooked shops include Charlie Harper appetizer plates and a cool modern-looking toy car. CAC: 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, 513-345-8400, contemporaryartscenter.org/catalogue; CAM: 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, 513-721-2787, shop.cincinnatiartmuseum.org.
BEST WAY TO GET CLOTHING INSPIRATION:
Cincinnati has a ton of bloggers to meet every fashion need, so click around. Here are just some of our favorites: The Style Sample, run by Tamia Stinson, gives inspiration, how-tos and documents Stinson’s outfits, frequently runway-inspired (thestylesample.com); Style Edit visits fashionable locations throughout the 513 and documents trend and personal style (cincystyleedit.com); and Folk & Feather documents events, outings, personal style and gives readers a happy dose of runway inspiration (folkandfeather.tumblr.com).
BEST CLIFTON GROCERY STORE :
Clifton Natural Foods is a local, family-owned natural food store that offers everything from organic produce to bulk grains and vitamins to chemical/cruelty-free cleaning products. They’ve been serving the Cifton and UC area for nearly 30 years — a great alternative for students looking for more than just quick carry-out. 169 W. McMillan Ave., Clifton, 513-961-6111.
BEST FELINE-ONLY VET :
Cats don’t like being grabbed against their will and being stuffed inside of cat carriers. Cats also don’t like cars. This makes it very difficult to take cats to the vet. Solution? Cat Calls mobile animal vet/animal hospital; it’s a house call for your cat. Their veterinary services include everything from routine care to early detection and treatment of disease to complete state-of-the-art medical and surgical care … all inside your home. 513-600-8191, catcalls.info.
BEST ORGANIC LANDSCAPER :
Marvin’s Organic Gardens is the Tri-state’s only USDA Certified Organic nursery and garden center. They approach their landscape design services with the same commitment to quality and organic as they do at their nursery. Landscape services include everything from consultation to maintenance to drainage solutions. They test soil, install rain barrels, specialize in native plant design, restore habitats, install lawns and also specialize in other hardscape and construction aspects of landscape design. 2055 U.S. Route 42 South, Lebanon, 513-932-2319,
BEST LOCAL SOAP SISTERS :
Cashmere Bath Co. makes handmade soaps with all natural ingredients, packaged in recycled or recyclable material, crafted from original formulas created by sisters Shelly and Kim. They have a line of natural shea butter soaps, argan oil and coconut milk body lotion, body oils, talc-free baby powder, fizzy bath salts and a whole line of soaps made just for men. Find their products throughout the Midwest at Whole Food Market stores or buy online. PO Box 73, Alexandria, Ky., cashmerebath.com.
BEST MODERN FURNITURE RETAILER:
Voltage Furniture Inc. was opened in 1989 by Jeff and Julie Hinkel to combine Jeff’s architectural experience with his passion for design. Voltage is the only retail store in the region to specialize in modern furniture, lighting and accessories from Europe, including Italy, Denmark, Holland and Germany. Innovative, contemporary and inspired. 3209 Madison Road, Oakley, 513-871-5483, voltagefurniture.com.
BEST PLACE TO BUY GOOD BEER ON CLEARANCE:
DEP’s Fine Wine & Spirits is best known for its global selection of wines and some of the best prices, but thanks to their beer buyers Mark and Chad Depenbrock, their collection of craft and import beers is quite remarkable — and still at amazing prices. 90 Alexandria Pike, Fort Thomas, Ky., 859-781-8105; 670 W. Third St., Covington, Ky., 859-291-2550,
BEST TRIPLE PLAY OF GREAT SHOPS :
Head to Bellevue’s historic district and you’ll find three fun and funky gift shops. Interior Visions by Curtis Heuser, who has been featured on HGTV for his custom murals and one-of-a-kind paint finishes, is a galleria featuring an eclectic mix of new, vintage and antique finds for home and garden. The Purple Monkey is full of fun and whimsical gifts. And Past & Presents, one of the newer stores on the strip, has a little bit of everything. Interior Visions, 404 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, 859-491-1121, interiorvisionsgalleria.homestead.com; The Purple Monkey, 334 Fairfield Ave., 859-261-0245; Past & Presents, 334 Fairfield Ave., 859-433-0183.
BEST NEIGHBORHOOD MEAT AND CHEESE STOP:
Madeira Choice Meats is a neighborhood butcher in Madeira. Walking into this quaint shop is like visiting the neighborhood deli in a time long passed — the friendly employees know people’s names and regular orders. There’s plenty of premade dish options and quality deli meats, cuts and side items. Be advised: They’re not open on Sundays. Get your meats before Sunday. 7715 Laurel Ave., Madeira, 513-561-4520.
BEST DR. BRONNER’S REFILL STATION:
Dr. Bronner’s liquid soaps are completely biodegradable and vegetable-based with Certified Fair Trade and Organic oils, and they’re good for everything from bathtime to household cleaning and laundry to toothpaste (the label claims at least 18 uses). The other awesome thing about Dr. Bronner’s is that they offer refill stations so you keep reusing your bottle over and over again (reducing waste, saving the environment, cutting cost, etc.). Park + Vine has one. Go there to refill. Park + Vine, 1202 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-721-7275, parkandvine.com.
BEST PLACE TO FULFILL YOUR PASSION FOR YARN (OR START ONE) :
Hank, a Yarn Boutique, will make a yarn junkie out of you, or at least make you want to attempt to start knitting or crocheting. Started by a group of fiber-fanatic friends, Hank’s mission is to provide a friendly, fun environment full of colorful yarn (from cotton to cashmere) for experienced knitters and crafters to find the latest trends and patterns, and also for beginners (or more advanced knitters) to get professional instruction in laid-back classes. 2651 Observatory Ave., Hyde Park, 513-386-9869, hankyarn.com.
BEST PLACE TO FIND A VINTAGE WEDDING DRESS:
Gayle’s Vintage in Milford is a literal treasure trove of vintage. There are trunks full of furry stoles (some with heads still attached); cases of sparkly pins, rings, and necklaces; drawers of handkerchiefs and gloves; shoes; books; and an almost claustrophobic amount of racks of clothing, including one dedicated solely to wedding dresses. You can find styles from every decade and dresses in various states of wear-ability — perfect for modifying or tailoring. And Gayle’s thorough knowledge of her stock makes the somewhat overwhelming task of digging through vintage much easier. 106 Main St., Milford, 513-831-5404.
BEST PLACE FOR FOODIE GIFTS :
With more than 13,000 square feet, CAM Asian Supermarket is the most comprehensive and largest modern Asian grocery store in central Ohio. With all kinds of kitchen supplies for buying foodie gifts at great prices, as well as fun Asian themed products, you’ll find a lot more than just food — although the food selection is comprehensive, with rigorous quality control. It’s a great place to buy and try new ingredients if you are an adventurous epicure. 10400 Reading Road, Evendale, 513-733-1828.
BEST PLACE TO BUY TINY TOYS :
Shake It Records is well known for its incredible record selection, but did you know they have a ton of amazing kitsch, including a huge selection of those tiny funny plastic toys and figurines that look like donuts with cigarettes or tiny tea cups with faces and all those kidrobot things? The kind that come in little boxes and it’s a surprise which one you get when you open it? Oh, and Domo and Ugly Dolls and poorly translated Japanese notecards. 4156 Hamilton Ave., Northside, 513-591-0123, shakeitrecords.com.
BEST FRESH THREADS :
Original Thought Required is downtown’s premiere men’s and women’s contemporary streetwear shop. They carry a variety of goods, including Ohio-based shirts with slogans like “Ohio Against the World,” a combined Reds Chanel logo T-shirt and “Born Raised” with the state of Ohio instead of the “o” in “born.” 1307 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, otrfresh.com.
BEST CAR DETAIL:
Sullivan Auto Spa hits your car with the works: hand washing, buffing, polishing, interior shampooing and extraction, lease turn-in preparation and leather cleaning. Your car will look nicer than when you bought it, and the Auto Spa goes to extra mile offering pick up and delivery of your car for cleaning. Also great at removing all pet hair from your car — all of it. 4128, Glenway Ave., Price Hill, 513-313-5364.
BEST WAY TO GIVE BACK TO SEVEN NONPROFITS BY SHOPPING IN ONE PLACE :
Mannequin Boutique gives all of its proceeds to charity — 100 percent. With upscale designer labels from Ferragamo to Prada and Banana Republic to Coach at bargain prices, along with vintage items, sales go directly to support the FreeStore FoodBank, First Step Home, StopAIDS, Tender Mercies, Lighthouse Youth Services, One Way Farm for Abused Children and UCAN Spay and Neuter Clinic. 1405-7 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-421-3777, mannequinboutique.org.
BEST EXQUISITE WEDDING ADORNAMENTS :
Debra Moreland, designer behind PARIS bridal fashion, creates meaningful, handcrafted bridal adornments from jewelry to veils to hair pieces to cake jewelry (even unique Mother of the Bride jewelry sets) “to appeal to the women who desire accessories that are both classic and modern.” Six-time winner of “Bridal Accessory Designer of the Year,” Moreland’s bold and beautiful designs are carried all over the United States, including in Anthropologie’s bridal store BHLDN, but you can find her right here at her flagship store in Reading Bridal District’s Bridal and Formal or at the House of Paris in Northside. 300 W. Benson St., Reading, or 1625 Knowlton St., Northside, 513-948-8888,
BEST NEW WELL-EDITED BOUTIQUE COLLECTION :
Sloane Boutique’s chic proprietor, Duru Armagan, knows how to pick ’em. From her storefront location on Vine in the Gateway Quarter (sandwiched between the two-hour-wait-on-a-Friday-night hotspots A Tavola and Abigail Street) to her exquisite collection of everyday clothing, party dresses, unique Turkish jewelry and, now, shoes, Sloane outfits the modern, urban woman from head-to-toe. With a price range of $50-$300, you’ll find a mix of American and European labels with touchable fabrics, clever patterns, delicate details and of-the-moment colors including brands such as Funktional, BB Dakota, dolce vita, Whitney Eve, locals Artfully Disheveled and new Turkish Line BNG. 1216 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-579-8111, sloaneboutique.com.
BEST ECO-FRIENDLY SHAVING KIT:
Orange Fuzz creates eco-friendly shaving kits housed in an up-cycled wooden cigar box. The kit contains rhassoul clay shaving soap with Sierra Nevada Stout Beer to moisturize; spiced citrus aftershave with aloe, sweet orange and clove; your choice of body soap with scents like Guinness Cedarwood Beer Soap, Bay Rum Beer Soap, Bergamot and Cypress Wheat Ale Beer Soap and more. The kit also includes a boar bristle shaving brush and masculine vintage-esque amber bottles and wax seals. Available online (etsy.com/shop/orangefuzz) or at Fabricate, 4037 Hamilton Ave., Northside, 513-407-6057, fabricatestore.wordpress.com or Park + Vine, 1202 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-721-7275, parkandvine.com.
BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR HUFFY FIXED:
Cincinnati has a slew of locally owned bicycle shops, each with their own personality. One of our favorite places to get some wrenching done or check out new gear is Reser Bicycle Outfitters in Newport. Not only is the space beautifully designed, but the staff is always knowledgeable and friendly. None of that bike-snobbery you’ll find at some other shops. Reser Bicycle Outfitters, 648 Monmouth St., Newport, reserbicycle.com.