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.
At Neusole Glassworks, gurus of all stripes and skill levels come together to fuse, blow, and mold glass both for independent projects and classes that explore the art form. The nonprofit facility sets the stage for inspired creation with flame-working, hotshop, and fusing studios that help the crew and their pupils transform raw materials into polished paperweights, unique pendants, and colorful new windshields. Upstairs, Neusole Glassworks invites browsers to tote pieces home from the gift shop or let their eyes feast on the myriad colors and textures at Atmosphere @ Neusole—a gallery for emerging artists and the facility’s students. In addition to welcoming anyone into its facility, Neusole Glassworks dispatches a mobile glassblowing studio to enliven street fairs and churn out slippers for palace dance parties.
For nearly a quarter of a century, the hardworking artisans at Haney Custom Framing have protected precious family heirlooms, artwork, and photographs with customized framing and preservation projects. Craftspeople pour their creative energies into each piece, selecting fine woods and materials for traditional moulding or contemporary frames that add new dimension to photos, artwork, and Ivy League degrees previously just duct-taped to office walls. Haney Custom Framing claims much of its business from a string of dedicated returning customers, winning over their loyalty with their expert preservation and curating of prints and canvases, as well as their mastery of framework.
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 do 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 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.
Sherri Barber, preserver of gleaming smiles and curator of glossed memories, frames expressive portraits within her professional studio. Individual portrait sitters or beach-volleyball teams can show off their aptitude for staring intensely into the middle distance or grinning at nearby props as Sherri snaps shots for about 60 minutes. Once all personages have been fully documented, photographees can peruse a photo gallery, culling pictures spoiled by closed eyes or falling ceilings, then immortalizing the best shots in an 11”x14” print and two 5”x7”s.