Once Upon A Child is a nationwide franchise with conceptual roots in the time-honored hand-me-down tradition. Taking into account how quickly babies outgrow buggies and toddlers master Roth IRAs, the stores help parents keep their kids happily equipped with age-appropriate apparati without breaking the piggy bank. In addition to stocking its shelves with brand-new goods and gear from popular kiddie brands such as Gymboree, Baby Gap, Fisher Price, Graco, Playskool, and Disney Store, Once Upon A Child buys and sells gently used items, not only making deep discounts possible, but also helping to replenish family funds. Pick up tenderly used items such as a Graco plug-in swing ($60), a Ralph Lauren button-down for boys ($8.50), and girls' Gap jeans ($8.50), or pick up a brand-new play-sized horse stable for $39.99.
The sterling-silver double-heart pendant necklace updates a classic jewelry design to reflect the sentiments of Mother's Day. Affixed to a delicate 18-inch silver chain, a heart-shaped pendant reads Mom in elegant script. A .01-carat brilliant-cut diamond adds a touch of sparkle to the lettering, like the rubies set in every o in the Constitution. The diamond is rated for H/I color and I1 clarity. The necklace's timeless style can transition seamlessly between casual and dressy occasions.
Clothes and furniture find new life at Red Racks Thrift Stores. Through donations, the staffers at the store's 13 locations fill their racks and shelves with thousands of second-hand items for kids and adults, including name-brand garments from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, The Loft, and Donna Karan New York. They also stock furniture and other miscellaneous goods, such as books and home décor.
And something odd happens when these items arrive at checkout—the register doesn't ring up any sales tax. That's because Red Racks is a nonprofit organization, and all proceeds go to benefit the Disabled American Veterans, an organization that has advocated on behalf of veterans for more than nine decades. Red Racks' altruistic mission has proved successful so far—the inventory of each store typically turns over every 3–4 weeks.
Blue Moon Activewear, which Alive Magazine rated 2010’s "Best Place to Buy Workout Gear,” stocks more than 30 top brands of practical, comfortable, stylish clothes—clothes meant to gracefully accommodate every day’s activities, be they yoga, cycling, running, or running to catch a yoga class, not to be imprisoned in a the back corner of a closet alongside the half-finished jigsaw puzzle “for tomorrow.” Some of Blue Moon Activewear’s most popular lines of tanks, pants, and pullovers include Beyond Yoga, Ion Actif, prAna, Pure Karma, Rese Pilates and Calvin Klein Performance. The boutique’s exclusive Falke line adjusts to movement and temperature as bodies bound, using European ergonomically designed technology to achieve maximum flexibility. Exercisers with an eye for color can try the Ion Actif workout jean pant in chocolate ($72) or the contrast pant in snake ($65).
Established in 1961 by master hand-engraver Richard Neustaedter, Neustaedter's Fine Jewelers glamorously frosts patrons with a dazzling cove of diamonds and pearls. Sterling hoop earrings oscillate gracefully from lobes ($188+), and mask- and tribal-themed African neckwear ($88+) connects clavicles to spirits of good fortune, prosperity, and future winning lottery numbers. Like Emerald City trapeze artists, green quartz pendants twirl rhythmically from rhodium-plated sterling-silver necklaces ($179+), and Signature Collection color stone rings ($465+) envelop fingers in a luxurious embrace.
Originally opened by owner Hillary Dutcher in Columbus, Ohio, Ivy Hill Boutique packs its cozy shop with women’s jewelry, apparel, and accessories from both well-known and emerging designers. Shoppers of every primping preference can adorn themselves in Idylle novelty tees ($48), fend off winged monkeys with a Tolani scarf ($78), and store their valuable Confederate scrip in Delux wallets ($26). Otherwise, wrap yourself in finery from Trina Turk and Susana Monaco (both starting at $70) to draw admiring stares from every passerby and envious stares from every naked passerby. Jewelry lovers, meanwhile, can bedazzle themselves with agate rings ($28), Viv and Ingrid birthstone stud earrings ($18), and David Aubrey initial necklaces ($48). One quick wallop from a Big Buddha handbag ($70 and up) is enough to dispatch up to seven shoplifters at a time, after which you can wash your hands of the whole affair with Gianna Rose soaps ($12 and up) and light a sage candle ($26 and up) in memory of your favorite Star Wars stormtrooper.