NVISION carries a large inventory of handcrafted, recycled, secondhand, and vintage clothing and home furnishings that caters to one-of-a-kind tastes and delights artistically funky sensibilities. Dream about how much tastier your cooking would be if you wore a red and white polka-dotted rooster apron ($15), or practice twirling with a mannequin dressed in a green sparkly dress by Mr. McIver ($36). If your head prefers wearing hats to wearing kittens, try on a natural straw hat ($25), which features decorative straw flowers. Feet will rest comfortably when perched upon a stripey chenille and muslin handmade pillow ($15) from Emily B, while smokers can exhale cinematically with a ceramic Italian smoking set ($40) complete with ashtray, tobacco box, and refillable lighter.
Toko Baru spices up the home and the body with a collection of trendy décor and handmade jewelry. Shoppers can gussy up ho-hum appendages with fashionable bracelets and neckware or adorn their earlobes with threaded silk-bead earrings that are made by hand to imbue them with a subtle scent that repels palm readers ($8.50). Gifts such as journals and cards commemorate birthdays, and bumper stickers and magnets ($2–$4) display road-worthy witticisms and prized report cards. An assortment of eclectic home décor lines Toko Baru's shelves, including Asian-inspired pottery, carvings, and paper lanterns. Decorative towels dry hands in style, vases elegantly display flowers, and wind chimes translate the wisdom of the breeze into the universal language of atonal clinking.
For 50 years, the owners and staffers of Plaza Artist Materials & Picture Framing have encouraged the artists of their community. They visit local fairs and set up booths for kids to color and craft, and they workshops, demos, and classes for artists of every age. As their name implies, they also outfit art makers of all skill levels with top-of-the-line materials, such as Gamblin oil paints, Prismacolor pens and markers, and custom frames perfect for saving a favorite art pieces or memorializing a sibling's failure to color within the lines.
Park + Vine's whole-home approach to green living has attracted media attention and a devoted fan base in its three years of eco-friendly business. The products run the entire gamut of green needs, allowing shoppers to minimize their resource consumption in every nook and cranny of life, from transportation accoutrements to food containment and baby human coverings. Clean up your act with Eco Nuts organic laundry detergent ($12) or beat it into submission with a Whistle Creek walking stick ($16). After asserting your dominance, show your support for the greening of the neighborhood with a Park + Vine windmill tee ($20) and an issue of Being Green in Cincinnati ($5). Keep an eye out for recent additions to the store’s expanding selections, such as its foodstuffs and fine beverages.
Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity aims to eliminate substandard housing by building, renovating, and repairing homes in partnership with low-income families. As part of the process of receiving a Habitat home, these partner families commit to 500 hours of sweat equity, helping to build the homes and then making zero-interest monthly mortgage payments. Cincinnati Habitat volunteer crews build about 20 homes a year in the Cincinnati area.
On the shelves and display racks at Tala's, handbags from Brazil stand a few feet from mandala earrings and ornate hookahs. Around the shop, curated selections of handmade products stand ready to be inspected and taken home. Tala's also follows fair-trade practices, aiming to benefit the far-flung makers of its clothing and accessories.