In 2007, Elisabeth Gevelber dubbed her newly opened gift store Simply Charming ~ Bijoux, Baubles & Bibelots—or, put more simply, jewelry, trinkets, and treasures—in tribute to the kaleidoscopic range of unique finds and finery she handpicks for her shelves. Whimsical handbags, fragrant candles, and Anokhi scarves hand-printed in India fill racks and open cabinets that stand against a lilac wall to frame an ever-changing inventory that refreshes every few weeks or with the moon's finicky fashion tastes. Gevelber also collects unique greeting cards from brands such as Koco and Mik Wright, whose colorful designs and occasionally snarky quips she relishes as mementos in an age of fleeting digital communication.
With more than one million book titles to choose from, Barnes & Noble stocks one of the retail world's largest selections of bound pages, along with a huge assortment of educational toys and games. Keep sprightly scribes from using walls, furniture, and siblings as writing surfaces with the help of LeapFrog’s Scribble & Write ($24.95 online), or indulge kids’ natural passions for outer space and solid detective work with a LEGO Space Police Smash ’n’ Grab set ($19.95 online).
Among mirrored columns and blue and green walls, children scurry from bookshelf to bookshelf grabbing both classic and brand new tales to dive into with their imaginations on at full speed. At Hide and Go Read, they believe that getting kids to read early gives them a head start on all future learning skills. Shelves stay flush with princesses, dinosaurs, award-winners, and more to give children the tools they need to get started. In addition to a world of books, the store also encourages the donning of thinking caps with puzzles, games, and toys.
Glass Bubble Project's owners Mike Kaplan and Chris McGillicutty are business partners, friends, and working artists. Beginning in 1998, they repurposed their garage space into a working studio where professional artists and students create side by side, firing delicate one-of-a-kind masterpieces—and, according to Cleveland Magazine, the occasional grilled cheese sandwich—in the shop's 2,000-degree furnace. Their glass-blowing and welding classes teach adults and children to create one-of-a-kind artwork as nearby artists at work bolster creativity. Besides classes, the studio invites guests to watch their free public demonstrations and grants private studio time to artists in need and broken bottles looking for a fresh start.
The shop's resident artists craft and sell sconces, chandeliers, and vases from recycled glass and repurposed metal. Nicknamed “Clevetion Glass” to simultaneously lampoon delicate Venetian glass and celebrate Cleveland's heartiness, their blend of industrial parts and elegant glasswork toughens up the décor of private residences and commercial buildings, such as the Ritz Carlton, all across the country.