Located inside a quaint blue house in Old Town Pickerington, 27 West & Co. has room upon roomful of antiques and upcycled wares. Shoppers walk through the house, browsing among the tables, chairs, kitchenware, and home-decor items grouped in careful displays, finding jewelry and vintage accoutrements to admire and take home.
One man crouches low, weapon resting on his shoulder. Another stands erect, a pair of binoculars held to his face. An entire military squad of toy soldiers stands ready for eternal battle within a shadow box crafted by Neal Raffensberger. The shadow box is one of 4,000 framing options showcased inside Raffensberger Photography & Framing's red-brick façade, where professional photographer and custom-framing specialist Neal and his assistant help patrons conserve their most beloved mementos. Multitudes of frames, mats, mountings, and glass—including conservation glass that blocks 99% of color-dulling UV rays—come together to display anything from photographs and posters to jerseys and wisdom teeth. Neal, who first dabbled in photography at the age of 5 in his father's basement darkroom, also flaunts his artistic eye behind the camera in the store's onsite studio. Families, couples, and proof-seeking Bigfoots can capture history in portrait sessions, which use digital photography to allow for immediate viewing after each shoot.
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.
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.