One Step at a Time owner Charles Cope channels his lifelong love of running into an emporium for athletic shoe, apparel, and energy products. Runners and walkers alike can slip into a snug pair of Thorlos Experia socks ($11.95), support the arches with original Powerstep insoles ($29.95), or block out glares from jealous, stroller-bound babies with an Asics running hat ($18). Running and walking shoes ($75–$130) by popular brands such as Brooks, Mizuno, Asics, and New Balance jump off the shelves to outfit feet in need of a comfy, high-performance home, and custom fittings are available for those with thin, wide, or excessively normal feet. Cope provides attentive customer service within the white walls of his welcoming shop, utilizing 50 years of running experience to help pavement pounders find the shoes and accessories that fit each individual's personal exercise habits.
The rich aroma of roasted nuts and the sugary smell of freshly made candy waft around bright green striped walls and collect in the lofty ceiling of Greene's Fine Foods. The shop's specialty, Georgia mammoth pecans, comes in a flavor rainbow of chocolate amaretto, mesquite barbecue, praline, and more ($7.50 for a half pound). New crop pecans are available after the fall harvest. A more bounceable gift, the "Please do not feed the gummi bears!" 1-pound gift bag ($8), can be customized to tote gummi critters such as butterflies, jet fighters, army men, and rattlesnakes rather than the standard bears. Business gifts and frozen yogurt are also available.
Sheepish stuffs its shelves with vibrant fibers, needles, and other knitting supplies, and an amenable staff stands ready to satisfy any and all string-related inquiries. A reasonably priced selection of knitting, crocheting, and weaving products is available for uninitiated and seasoned fiber-wizards alike. Brittany straight needles ($7–$9) send fingers flying through a scarf-sized skein of Cascade 220 wool ($7), and geometrically talented crafters can produce Möbius strip sweatbands by the dozen out of basic cotton yarns ($2.50/ball). Yarn wranglers seeking helpful hemming hints can procure a handy booklet ($6.50), a book brimming with sewing knowledge ($10–$30), or a panoply of premade patterns to guide their hands ($3–$7).
Within the onsite optical lab at each Eyeworks location, opticians perform virtually any act of optical alchemy, whether forging new bifocals, mending bent or broken frames, or glazing lenses in protective coatings that cut down on glare and scratches. Armed with a knack for style, opticians cull from the stores' collection of designer frames—including popular models from Dakota Smith and Lafont and exclusive lines from Soho and Okki—to match each customer with a look to suit their personality and facial structure. Before either can get to work, however, optometrists conduct comprehensive eye exams, helping patients maintain healthy, focused vision by honing new prescriptions and diagnosing potential diseases such as cataracts or early-onset googly eyes.
The monogramming mavens at Melrose on Ponce personalize property with embroidered initials, customizable with an array of colors and fonts. Mark your towel territory, or delineate his-and-hers jean overalls, with a single-color, machine-stitched monogram ($12), or emblazon less stitchable material, such as floor mats or pet lap giraffes with a vinyl monogram ($12). Embroidered paraphernalia makes a great gift for baby showers, housewarming parties, or attempts at bribing unscrupulous judges.