It was supposed to be an ordinary day of shopping for Dan Wolt. But at some point between flipping through hangers and carrying duds to the fitting room, a cartoon light bulb materialized above his head. "Buying windows," he said, as the idea alchemized in his brain, "Should be as simple as buying clothes from a local boutique." At the time, Dan was working for a window company dominated by high-pressure sales tactics and long presentations. He could tell customers felt stressed. So after his epiphany, Dan went home and founded Zen Windows, a window- and door-installing business whose signature is its relaxed, user-friendly style.
Elegant, modern home decor lines bink davies's shelves, alongside gourmet Stonewall Kitchen jams, blends from the Republic of Tea, luxurious Voluspa candles, and wallets printed with bacon. Here, customers can indulge impulses from refined to completely zany with an eclectic assortment of home goods and smile-inducing gifts. A treasure trove of one-of-a-kind items, both imported and from just down the street, bink's kitschy, hand- and machine-made gifts are all curated with a sense of style and tongue-in-cheek humor. “I mean we opened on April Fool’s Day, that should tell you something,” owner Bink Johnson confessed to Outlook: Columbus.
One of the oldest stores of its kind in the country, Helen Winnemore Craft has been providing adornment seekers with artisanal gifts for all occasions since 1938. After being offered complimentary tea and coffee in a ceramic cup, customers will get to browse the cozy, charming house at their leisure—including more than 40 custom-built drawers stuffed with high-quality, carefully constructed jewelry. Tether earlobes with ceramic drop earrings ($35) made using the ancient technique of milleflori, mirror your multiple floral personalities with a reversible petal necklace ($36.50), or keep flocks of starlings from roosting in your child's neck with a cute owl charm necklace ($24.50). A selection of usable, wearable, and beautifully useless art line the store walls, ceilings, and floors, which retract to reveal an underworld of mythical, compostable trinkets. Avenge a neighbor's many newspaper thefts by loading up on handmade glass windchimes ($32.50), make mom shed a tear with a Leigh Standley card ($4.25), or gift a silk leaf mobile ($169.50) to the environmentalist newborn in your life. American artists are responsible nearly 95% of the goods in the shop.
At Rowe Boutique, shoppers can peruse a wide range of stylish threads that tap into the pulse of the market’s choicest fashions. Thanks to her intuitive, fashion-forward sense, owner Maren Roth has been able to amass a stockpile of head-turning apparel that doesn’t rely on bursts of high-powered strobe light to lure glances. Check yourself out in a dashing Nation Ltd. scoop-neck tee ($62), a sassy Quicksilver Bancroft Road mini skirt ($50), or an Ina bandeau top ($55). Classy shoppers, meanwhile, can browse getup-boosting jewelry such as a Boticelli’s Niece bullet bracelet ($100) that’s made from drilled bullet shells and comes in handy for making an attention-grabbing entrance at local gun shows. During their spree, customers will admire the way the boutique has outfitted its sleek confines with elaborately placed shelving and striking metallic globe lighting.