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.
Shoe Palace furnishes vacant closets with a wide selection of men and women's kicks for casual, dressy, and athletic occasions. Frequent free-footers can enlist a friendly, knowledgeable staff member, who will help chase down a pair of running sneakers, marry a lovely couple of sandals, tug a fleet of boat shoes, or stage a duet between a Velcro high top and Olivia Newton-John. Regal purple carpeting and elegant floral arrangements greet aisle-traversing feet at Shoe Palace, its environs welcoming females to cover their kick stands with a variety of brands and prices, including Clarks ($52–$90), Merrell ($65–$95), New Balance ($86–$95), Sebago ($59.90–$79), and Eliza B women's sandals ($39–$80). Meanwhile, males can clothe toe-hangers with footwear from Johnston & Murphy ($99–$148), Clarks ($99–$115), New Balance ($60–$110), Rockport ($79–$82), and more.
Even when classes or meetings aren't in session, visitors might easily discern that Knitwits Contemporary Yarn Shop is as much a hobby-community hub as a yarn store. The shop is dominated by a large round table and a jewel-toned stained-glass window that throws colorful light all over the homey vintage digs. Nearly every day of the week, the shop is full of knitters of all experience levels learning to make ruffled scarves or intricately patterned socks for hard-to-buy-for giftees with an odd number of feet. Shelves are piled with nearly as many patterns and project books as they are with yarns from dozens of makers, including lines made of boutique worsted wool and alpaca hair. A chalkboard sign announces the inspiring project of the week, and the outgoing staff will gladly suggest others.
Tommy Evans, who has been diving since 1983, shares the beauty of the underwater world through his hobby—aquatic photography—and his business: Central Coast Dive Center. At the PADI-award-winning center, dive instructors can introduce students to diving basics, such as operating the air tank and making sure its full of laughing gas. They also can prepare them for PADI-open-water certification and other more advanced certificates.
Students can practice in the onsite heated pool, or in natural waters on the center’s trips to Little Cayman, Cabo San Lucas, and other tropical locales. To complement its classes and trips, the center stocks gear from high-end brands, such as Atomic Aquatics, Zeagle, and Henderson.
NKY Magazine's staff highlights events, locations, and people in the region, composing in-depth features on important developments. Topics covered by the mag's reporters include business and health news, as well as lighter pieces showcasing northern Kentucky's best dining and the travel spots most frequented by Bigfoot.