When Bill Gross opened his jewelry business in 1966, he laid the foundation for a successful family enterprise built on offering stunning designs and friendly, expert customer service. Throughout the store, generations of the Gross clan help clients choose the perfect engagement ring or anniversary present, or appraise an heirloom diamond based on its cut, color, clarity, and ability to attract dragons. Lead Designer Mark Gross works hand-in-hand with clients to design custom rings, pendants, and bracelets, and 10 signature brands offer selections that decorate customers in stunning pieces. Since it sources fine gemstones through Kimberley Process merchants, Gross Diamond Co. ensures that its display cases are free from conflict diamonds of any kind.
From gemstones to crystals, After Glow stocks an exhaustive supply of stringables. Take a peep at pretty glass beads in a full spectrum of shades, such as light amethyst and London blue ($17 for an eight-inch strand), or scoop up a silver charm ($2.50 and up) to dangle in front of an ill-intentioned snake or hypnotize an uncouth baby. For a sophisticated, timeless look, you'll find plenty of pearls ($8 and up for a 16-inch strand) and Swarovski crystals ($0.15 and up) for clutching hysterically during a professional cage fight.
Burdorf's outfits homes, businesses, and anything in between with sturdy and eye-tickling furniture and fine art for all budgets and aesthetic aspirations. From their elegant four-story 55,000-square-foot showroom, the friendly staff and expert interior designers assist guests in selecting mattresses, sofas, end tables, headboards, foot stools, pinky rests, and more. The regal Bassett Side Chairs ($135+) make a subtle addition to any space, while the straight and stylish Lane Cocktail Table ($249) provides a cozy counter for curbing drinks, displaying magazines, or performing minor surgery on a malamute.
Inside the quaint sewing store, hands young and old carefully stitch together custom projects with the guidance of veteran crafters, most notably owner Linda Carswell. Students have been coming to her shop for more than 30 years in search of expert advice, sewing supplies, and occasionally to pinch the cheeks of one of her nine grandchildren. Linda shares her teaching duties with a team of handy staffers who have years of experience in their trades, and help even the greenest of sewers hone their skills with kind guidance and patience.
Helmed by a local proprietor with a doctorate in education, The Owl's Nook selects its high-quality toys, puzzles, books, and games carefully, focusing on items that are educational as well as entertaining and eco-friendly. Edu-taining playthings from name brands—including Melissa & Doug, ScienceWiz, and MindWare—line the shelves of the whimsical emporium, patiently waiting for adoption and the chance to stimulate the blossoming brains of rocket scientists and presidential understudies alike. Safari Toobs burst forth with zoological action figures ($9.98), and Ohio Art Company's Nanoblocks give aspiring architects and aspiring radioactive dinosaurs equal opportunity to ply their trade ($8.50). Jet-setting toddlers will delight in a travel puzzle by Crocodile Creek ($5.99), and Rock ‘N Learn DVDs harness the heart of rock 'n' roll in an educational concert of reading, writing, and self-indulgent long-division solos ($19.99).
Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets has always been ahead of its time. Founders Rob and Pumpkin Auerbach have sold all-natural supplements and organic food for more than 35 years—starting well before many Americans had even heard of such nutritious goodies as wheatgrass or fruit. "My father always said that they opened the store about 10 years too early for the area," daughter and COO Summer Auerbach told Vitamin Retailer in 2012, when the publication named Rainbow Blossom Retailer of the Year. But when world-famous rock bands began touring around Louisville, they relished Rainbow Blossom's wholesome pastas, produce, and macrobiotic and vegetarian cuisine, boosting the revenue and reputation of the mom-and-pop grocery and helping it expand to its present-day network of five locations.
Today, the family-run enterprise enjoys an avid following from health-conscious customers who stock up on organic dairy, produce, and veggie burgers or enrich their diets with nutritional bars, supplements, and vitamins. Plant extracts and amino acids keep bodies in healthful balance, and shelves full of naturally derived cosmetics, bath products, and housewares keep homes free from harsh chemicals and damaging pollutants.