The Shopping Bag’s owner and founder was inspired to begin her online boutique by memories of her grandmother's “gift closet,” which was always filled with an eclectic array of knickknacks that she doled out on special occasions. Those gifts always perfectly suited whomever they were meant for, something The Shopping Bag attempts to replicate with its diverse selection. Home and fashion accessories dominate the ever-changing inventory and include such unique items as beaded necklaces and skull-shaped cupcake molds. Mustache paraphernalia provides an homage to quirky facial hair, with customers able to purchase mustache-adorned straws, mustache-shaped temporary tattoos, and personal appearances from Hall and Oates’s John Oates. Home chefs can accentuate their art with spice rubs or Stonewall Kitchen baking mixes, and shoppers looking for kids’ gifts can choose from a selection of toys, sunglasses, and clothes.
More than 700 frames await clientele at Optical Fashions, a local institution whose licensed optometrists have been correcting the vision of area eyes for more than 50 years. Still headquartered in Beavercreek, the company now operates outposts throughout the Miami Valley with the same focus on long-term patient satisfaction that helped them succeed in the first place. At six convenient locations, doctors diagnose potential eyesight issues and help patients choose the most suitable lenses, which the staff processes on-site in their technology-packed optical lab. These lenses fit snugly into frames from the shops' expansive selections, which include brands ranging from Juicy Couture and Project Runway to Gant and Ernest Hemingway.
Over the past 63 years, Thoma & Sutton Eye Care 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.
With a barrage of consumer-friendly magazine titles catering to all interests, Blue Dolphin Magazines' online store boasts an array of subscriptions ideal for gift-giving or personal enlightenment. The magazine curators line their virtual shelves with more than 1,000 titles in 28 different categories. They vend glossy pages devoted to subjects from the outdoors to scientific breakthroughs to current events, helping each of their titles fit nicely into any reading room, whether it houses couches, barstools, or ornately decorative porcelain chairs. By maintaining direct relationships with the publishers, they are also able to present their customers with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Sparkling crystals lure visitors into a cave inside The Centerville Salt Room. Though these crystals aren't made of diamonds, amethysts, or Batman's dental grills, they teem with value and subtle beauty. They're composed of finely ground salt particles, whose negative ions help clear congestion through a process called halotherapy. The Centerville facility uses a halogenerator to saturate the air with the therapeutic mineral, which can also ease eczema flare-ups, soothe allergy symptoms, and enliven homemade french fries for adults and children. To further assuage aches and pains, seasoned massage therapists can stroke sore muscles in the cave or a private kneading nook.
Professional clippers Julie Volmer, Terri Mabry, and Susan Meehan transform The Salons At The Greene into a hairstyling haven where clients' manes are tended in private suites away from the fuss of crowds. Surrender coiffures to a scalp-quenching wash before stylists snip away finicky ends to any desired length (a $35–$45 value). Locks are then wrapped with 10–15 foils to impart both gaze-snagging spot highlights and the perfect disguise for crashing a celebrity baked-potato gala (a $10–$20 value). Before reacquainting themselves with the outside world and the undersides of umbrellas, newly voguish head-toppings are styled according to the wearers' requests.