Paula Brown Shop houses an eclectic inventory of products from the United States, Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. Alessi flatware ($7.50–$26.50 per item) curbs the urge to eat chili with your hands, while Paula Brown's large selection of cookware forever eliminates the use of sharpened boomerangs as food processors. Bar accessories include a Mariposa pearled ice scoop ($34), Michael Aram twig tongs ($45), and an Alessi parrot corkscrew ($42). For friends that are expecting, or for adult friends aging backwards, Paula Brown offers a variety of baby products ($14–$50), as well as a range of collectibles ($22+) for all ages. Paula Brown Shop’s exterior is evocative of a modern-day castle, with its innards aglow with the shine of the sun, warm lighting, and the twinkle of trinkets’ souls.
For more than a century, the family-owned Barrow Greenhouse has been harvesting a bounty to pair with green-thumbed caretakers. Half a dozen family members join the friendly, knowledgeable staff, helping visitors navigate more than 200 varieties of potted annuals and perennials, more than 5,000 hanging baskets, and containers blossoming with floral mixes ready to brighten patios or add a warm ambiance to basement dungeons. The greenhouse grows 95% of the plants that they sell and invites guests to browse foliage year-round, letting them picking up mums in autumn, poinsettias in winter, and flowering bulbs to screw into lamps come springtime.
Nabbing a 2011 Talk of the Town award for customer satisfaction, the garment de-gunkers at Champion Cleaners and Tuxedo Rentals continue their 61-year tradition of stellar service. Experts gently purify full suits, dresses, and coats ($11 each) and return delicate sweaters ($3.75) to mint Cosby condition. Individual suit pieces ($5.50 each)—such as pants, shirts, and jackets—compare notes with the vestigial garment colloquially known as the vest ($4.25). Dry cleaners revive threads Monday–Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Though additional services are not included in this deal, Champion also offers alterations, tuxedo rentals, wedding-gown preservation, and zipper repairs.
For almost 60 years, family-owned Black Diamond, Inc. has plucked a bouquet of well-versed horticulturists to grow and tend its vast glassed-in fields of flowers, vegetables, trees, and shrubs. Having known many of Black Diamond, Inc.’s plants since their tender, botanic infancy, its greenery gurus pride themselves on being able to go beyond cursory recommendations to in-depth discussions of plants and how each interacts with fertilizers, soil, insecticides, and their ilk. Take home the recurrent colors of perennial flowers ($2.99–$11.99) such as the bloomerang—a repeat-blooming lilac that makes for better lawn fixtures than repeat-capsizing lilacs—or other low-maintenance, color-exuding favorites such as the knockout shrub rose or endless summer hydrangea. Annuals ($1.19–$29.99) provide summer-long flowerage with such pedal-wielders as the rocket mix snapdragon or shade-loving impatiens in accent watermelon. Vegetables ($0.89–$11.99) fill hunger voids and double as props during choreographed food fights in the form of roma tomatoes or black beauty eggplants, and shrubs ($9.99–$79.99) and a huge inventory of trees ($69.99–$299.99) serve up too-large-for-serving-platters of shade and yard ornamentation.
Created Style's jeweler, Jeannie Robinson, ornaments anatomies with custom-designed, handmade jewelry and jewelry sets, drawing on an arsenal of glass, beads, wire, and shells. After perusing the website for ideas, customers call Jeannie to hammer out the specifications for their own one-of-a-kind pieces, discuss the method of delivery, and chat at length about the weather. Matching necklaces, bracelets, and earrings gather into trio sets, available in an array of textures, colors, and materials, such as a green glass set ($30). Alternatively, customers add single pieces to their jewelry chests with heart-shaped earrings, which come in clasp, clip-on, or fishhook form ($5). Stay timely with an elegant beaded watch such as the teal and clear crystal design ($20), whose stretchy band ensures a comfortable fit and allows wearers to discreetly slingshot pebbles at nosy neighbors. After finishing each piece, Jeannie drops it off to Toledo addresses or ships it at an additional cost.