Swatches boasts more than 1,500 bolts of fabrics, alongside trims, tassels, and hardware drapery from brands such as Kirsch, The Final Company, and Paris Texas Hardware. Before launching textilian makeovers on pillows, couches, or chairs, solicit advice from Swatches' in-house design team of Karyl and Michelle. They can help define your project and steer you toward the appropriate solid or patterned fabrics ($12.99+ per yard). In addition to selling fibrous coverings, Swatches stocks collections of trim ($2+ per yard) and tassels to tame and accent edges of drapes and blinds with magazine-ready elegance.
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.
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.
Willis Music’s staff of dedicated musicians taps into the shop's century in business to guide fellow melody makers of all levels among more than 3,000 instruments and a jungle of accessories. Though in-store stock may vary, patrons can peruse racks for catalog items such as a Planet Waves chromatic headstock tuner, which dials in string tension using vibration ($39.99), or they can pacify rampaging folk singers with strums on a ukulele ($37.50+). A Peavey bass amp ($99.99) gives modern and vintage voice to bass guitars, and metal-encased DigiTech effects pedals ($49.99) awaken drowsy ears with four roaring styles of distortion. Customers can beat out rhythms on the skin of a Toca street djembe ($49.90) or browse various other African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Irish hand drums captured, tamed, and refurbished by independent craftspeople.
World of Beads' beading whizzes instruct small classes of beginner bauble makers in beading and wire technique. Assemble a group of friends, neighbors, or estranged high school counselors for an Introduction to Beaded Jewelry class, where students delve into the topics of color theory and design before selecting worthy spheres and appropriate cording to create two in-class projects. Beading pupils construct a strung bracelet and dip earlobes into the refreshing world of earring creation, then take their sparkling treasures home to stow in a favorite jewelry box or cryogenic chamber. During the Wrapped Up In Wire, instructors illuminate the art of wrapping wire and headpins to help students craft earrings and necklaces. After classes end, stick around for a free in-store jewelry demo or entertain eyes with World of Beads' colossal collection of gems and Swarovski crystals.
Dubois Book Store's merchandise-packed shelves invoke college spirit, forming aisles of classic apparel and accessories. Students, parents, and brilliant 6-year-olds that have already made their university choice can cover themselves with student pride by sporting a logo-emblazoned T (adults $14.95+). Bearcat fanatics can adorn their décolletage with the good-luck charm of a C-Paw necklace ($9.95), and Miami grads can stay warm in a vintage-style hoodie ($39.95, $41.95 for XXL) while fending off taunting Bearcats in the Ohio wilds. Stuffed mascot teddy bears ($9.95+ Miami, $12.95+ Cincinnati) grant backpack owners on-the-go cuddling, and a slew of in-store knick-knacks and souvenirs such as the Miami “Heart” shot glass ($6.95) reminds forgetful alums of glory years spent building physics experiments out of glassware.