Comprising a worldwide network dedicated to the reversal of poverty, Ten Thousand Villages fills its retail locations with products gathered from 38 developing societies. Businesswoman Edna Ruth Byler began the fair-trade practice of paying cash advances to far-flung artisans more than 60 years ago, which established the company's long-term project of empowerment via nonexploitative commerce. Each handcrafted item that makes it to a Ten Thousand Villages store is priced according to the specific socio-economic milieu in which the artisan works, which helps ensure just compensation and proportional economic impact. Ten Thousand Villages has been lauded for its environmental and philanthropic ambitions and was recently named one of the world's most ethical companies by Forbes magazine.
At The Pet Spot, a team of over 30 animal-loving dog and cat specialists train and groom the furry guests of their day care and kennel. Felines will vacation in luxury cat condos while their human roommates are out of town, while dogs enjoy plenty of belly rubs, baths, and exercise during daycare and boarding. Each kennel room is climate-controlled and replete with elevated beds, glass windows, and flatscreen televisions showing dog-related programming and local news translated into barks.
The professional animal chaperones go to great lengths to ensure the safety of each pet—they carry out extensive temperament tests to prevent fights, and webcams for owners to check in on their furry friends remotely.
CGC has planted more than 45 gardens across Cincinnati in the past 30 years, and the gardens' leafy fruit have reached more than 2,000 community members. Driven by its community base, the neighborhood-gardens program furnishes flourishing garden beds with volunteers, water tanks, tools, and seeds. However, the gardens are commonly plagued with poor city soil, clogged with rubble and stripped of nutrients. CGC would like to infuse a community garden with 10 garden plots' worth of fresh, nutrient-rich soil, creating a fertile infrastructure that will support plantings for generations.
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.
Wing Eyecare's peeper specialists outfit customers' fashion-conscious focusers with hundreds of plastic, metal, and rimless designer frames ($189+). Customers can peruse the vast array of optical enhancers by designers such as Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, and Prada before inquiring about single-vision lenses ($203) and x-ray upgrades. Sunglasses by Oakley, Vera Bradley, and Tommy Bahama, among others, defend sensitive baby blues by obstructing bright sun sparklies. All of Wing Eyecare's sunglasses options provide customers with 100% UVA and UVB protection to keep delicate eyes safe from the aggression of the sun's ultra-violent rays.
The merchandise at Legacies spans home furnishings, antiques, accessories, jewelry, and phased plasma rifles in the 40-watt range. Like the Borg, its stock is constantly shifting, adapting, and evolving, so drop in to see exactly what the shop's latest incarnation looks like. Most items cost between $20 and $150. Vintage earrings start at $48, and sterling-silver necklaces are around $50. A 14-piece set of wine goblets, clean and ready for wine gobbling, is $25, and the surfboard coffee table to put them on is $75. Furniture such as oak dressers, painted nightstands, wicker rockers, and gold-framed mirrors all await excavation ($55–$95) from the Legacies treasure trove, which has also included rugs, china, artwork, lamps, silver, and even chandeliers. One lucky customer even found a large golden box, though it contained only a couple of worthless stone tablets and some face-melting ghosts.