Named among the top five local craft stores by Fox 8 City Voter, the shop serves as a workshop for burgeoning crafters, as well as a gift shop and a source for inspiring seasonal project ideas. Staff artists teach workshops in three crafting genres: jewelry, housewares, and needle arts, offering a well-rounded curriculum that helps students with all-around constructive knowledge. Just as fish parents drop their babies into the water to teach them how to swim, teachers instill the fundamentals of handicraft by walking students through their first project during classes. Inside the eclectic gift shop, more than 65 local artists display handmade loot such as purses, hair accessories, pottery, and greeting cards, each unique in design. The community-minded store also encourages crafters of all skill levels to gather under its roof, whether to trade inspiration, project ideas, or swap unneeded craft supplies.
SVS Vision Center’s founders opened their first shop in Sterling Heights, Michigan, in 1974 to help the community clear up its vision. But even these optical gurus never foresaw their humble business expanding to more than 50 locations sprawled across 10 states. Today, each shop continues the tradition of ensuring ocular health and crystalline sight, beginning with exams from seasoned optometrists. Afterward, patients head to the optical dispensary, where they try on frames by Coach, Tiffany, Nike, Versace, or Ray-Ban. The staff then fits the stylish selection with polarized and scratch-protected prescription lenses to help guests read books clearly or see a charging moose from a distance. Most of SVS Vision Center’s frames can also hold sunglass lenses as well, eliminating squinting during summer months and tropical vacations.
Owner Kath L. Heim enhances hands and feet by way of scrubs, soaks, and polishes that call on the beautifying powers of her exclusive line of Sea of Softness (SOS) products. The spa pedicure, which can treat feet weary from pacing on a floor covered in sandpaper, administers a relaxing mineral soak, a callus filing, an SOS sea-salt rub, an SOS Moisture Whip lotioning, a hot-towel treatment, and a foot massage with hot-rock and reflexology techniques. The ankle anchor pampering concludes with a technicolor toenail polish in the shade of your choice.
Over the past 63 years, Thoma & Sutton Eyecare has crisscrossed Ohio and Kentucky, planting 20 eyewear outposts across the region. At each optical stronghold, teams of talented opticians examine peepers, determine prescriptions for glasses and contacts, and fit faces with thousands of stylish specs flown in from fashion capitals around the world. Clients can peruse the up-to-date displays, which feature frames from designers such as Coach, Calvin Klein, and Kenneth Cole, before trying on a pair and slipping past a parole office.
Blush Boutique, which was named Best Women’s Boutique on Fox 8’s 2010 Hot List, highlights the trendy and eclectic styles of independent and emerging designers with collections of women’s fashion and jewelry. The fashion emporium, bedecked with lemon-lime-magenta pompons, greets style mavens with groves of T-shirts, wallets, and other accessories ($10–$25), dresses and jackets ($25+), and thickets of bags ($25+) and handmade jewelry ($10+). A braided-strap top flatters torsos with floral patterns ($35), and a double-buckled belt ($24), available in beige and black, keeps belly buttons from shouting obscenities at an intrusive forefinger. Featured designers, such as Knitted Dove, Suzabelle, Veronica M, Espe, and Nicole Rae Styler, are on regular rotation, with owners Gina and Laurie—who are both designers themselves—selecting the best from each season to share with their clientele.
GNC's opulent aisles display a wide variety of vitamin and mineral and herbal supplements, as well as sports nutrition, diet, energy, bodycare, and other health products. The Mega Men Sport multivitamin ($19.99 for 90 caplets) supports muscle recovery and energy levels and aids speedy male metabolisms without dangling steaks in front of their treadmills. Fuel feats of female strength with the Women's Ultra Mega Active multivitamin ($19.99 for 90 caplets). Two pounds of Pro Performance 100% whey protein ($34.99) distract taste buds with the flavor of chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry and smuggle 20 grams of high-quality protein into the body in each scoop. Promote healthy bones with a calcium supplement, such as coral calcium ($22.99 for 180 capsules) sustainably harvested from the Okinawa sea to provide a healthy two-to-one ratio of calcium and magnesium.