True allegiance to a sports team can’t be expressed with cheers alone. Devotees of Auburn and the University of Alabama’s sports programs can take their fandom to the next level at Sportsmania, with locations on the first floor of Parkway Place Mall and in the Carl T. Jones Target Shopping Center near Pier 1 Imports. The shop outfits visitors with a comprehensive array of team paraphernalia, including hats, goalie masks, magnets, flags, and even checkerboards and saltshakers. Daniel Moore prints and other pieces of home décor, meanwhile, help households demonstrate a passion for sports without having to hire a football player to sit on the mantel.
Though it specializes in watersports supplies, Leaf in Creek offers a wide selection of adventure gear and apparel for men and women fond of the great outdoors. You can peruse clothing from brands such as Kavu, Aftco, and Guy Harvey, as well as stylish sunglasses from Spy and Costa Del Mar. Equipment such as Jackson fishing and exploration kayaks outfits customers for excursions on the water, and a stock of GoPro cameras and harnesses helps them document their picnics with Smokey the Bear.
When they were just little girls, Marian and Laura Jones cooked up the dream of working together once they were old enough. Years later, after both had undergone classical training in metallurgy and jewelry making, the dream became a reality. Today, the duo draws inspiration from organic textures such as the surface of seeds and the shape of raw stones as they sculpt wax, batter metal, and cast objects in bronze to create custom necklaces and earrings. In just four years, their designs have made a splash, leading to collaborations at Chicago Fashion Week and a LA Oscar gift-bag giveaway.
Their collections center on specific themes, such as with earrings and bangles that echo the texture of banana leaves. They also shape pendants whose sterling-silver and semiprecious-stone arrangements evoke antique architecture or New York windows that haven’t yet been cracked by Santa.
Marian and Laura also share their passion for and understanding of the process of jewelry making through classes. During in-studio workshops, they delve into the skills needed for beading, basic metalsmithing, and casting. Their pupils form shapes imitating organic materials such as leaf pendants or strawberry-smoothie bracelets.
Boutique Couture sheaths brides and beauties of all types in designer gowns and special-occasion couture. Its designer gallery outfits elegant ladies, fashion-forward teens, and fashion-forward pod-person imposters in prom dresses ($240–$500), cocktail dresses ($230–$500), and evening gowns ($300–$550). Party-goers can complement dresses, jean skirts, or tuxedo capris with accessories ($30–$200) including décolletage-decorating necklaces, elegant earrings, and headpieces. For option-two opters, to-be brides and incredibly overdressed blind daters can peruse bridal gowns ($800–$2,000) from Allure, Jasmin Couture, and Nicole Miller, while their bridesmaids and maternal figures try on bridesmaid dresses ($135–$280) and mother-of-the-bride frocks ($190–$600).
The Songer family started n2shoes with the guiding philosophy that shoes should be affordable, fashionable, and comfortable. Their vision resulted in store shelves bursting with stylish but wearable designs from brands including Naturalizer, Minnetonka, and Teva. These shoes slip onto the feet of everyone from children taking their first unsteady steps to adults sure-footing their way over hot coals. In addition to prioritizing comfort, the Songers gravitate toward brands with a philanthropic business model—such as TOMS—to help improve people's lives abroad as they better customers' shoe racks at home.
The Straw Hat's congenial owners, Charlene and Randa, curate a multihued microcosm of women's machine-washable threads. Tribal sleeveless T-shirts ($49) ward off heat and pesky cufflink salesmen by eschewing arm coverings entirely. Slip into the relaxed embrace of Not Your Daughter's capris in black, yellow, or white ($79), or caper through the shop's leg-liberating bouquet of dresses. A cornucopia of jewelry and duds by Brighton, Spanx, Pure Handknit, and a variety of other brands orbits around a lounge perched atop an ornate oriental rug. Personalized service allows patrons to opt for independent shopping jaunts or stylish support as trustworthy as Audrey Hepburn's rebounding game.