The brainchild of Connie Leal Ballenger, Leal outfits ladies in fashion-forward yet classic garments from designers such as Nicole Miller, Haute Hippie, and Three Dot. Swaddle stems in soft cotton with a pair of Bell Canyon jeans ($189) from Paige Premium Denim, or slip into the wearable art of the Sachin + Babi Monet print dress ($575) with beaded navy silk shell top. The Shawlsmith London Aaron scarf ($95) keeps head trunks cozy in a black-and-white print, and a multi-strand distressed gold necklace ($58) from Christian Livingston gives the décolletage a Midas touch. Add a pirouette to your step in a duo of Belle by Sigerson Morrison black patent ballet flats ($225) or stow away complimentary peppermints and plastic sword picks in a Santi jeweled clutch ($190).
Owners Jayson and Heather Waits import their floral wares from such exotic locales as Ecuador and Holland while serving customers kindly without the fuss of high-pressure floral showrooms. The Pink Lemonade arrangement ($45–$60) gorgeously complements any roadside lemonade stand with pink and yellow roses accented by green buttons, and the included 6-inch crystal cage keeps malignant thorns at bay. Reward a first-rate busker or barista with a dozen wrapped roses in red, white, yellow, pink, orange, or multiple colors ($48). The friendly flower-keepers of Bloomtastic take orders by phone or in store for fresh arrangements suitable for any celebration, including birthdays or a neighbor’s beehive piñata party.
When owners Nancy Kanter and Julie Byrne founded Clay Café more than 14 years ago, they wanted to establish a cozy, unpretentious environment where families could spend quality time pottery-painting and embarking on other art projects. Describing what they envisioned to the Columbus Dispatch, Byrne stated, “We kind of wanted a grandma kitchen—something homey.” At Clay Café, visitors might forget they’re not relaxing in their own homes amid the studio’s popular mismatched chairs, flower tablecloths, and resident father yelling at a sports game on TV. The hospitable owners invite guests of all ages to let their artist instincts run wild during open-ended potter-painting sessions, and they host an array of special events including baby showers and birthday parties.
roll: was founded on a very simple idea. Riding a bike is fun, exciting, inspiring, and even life changing. Shopping for a bike isn’t. We were left asking, how could something that inspires so much passion and enjoyment, be so complicated, confusing and difficult. We just didn’t get it. So we did something about it!
Yet another set of weights had been slid onto the already crowded bar as J.L. Holdsworth nudged it forward, squatted down, and stood back up with 905 pounds on his shoulders. The ability to perform this type of feat does not come about overnight. Before he opened The Spot Athletics, Holdsworth studied exercise science and nutrition at Wayne State University and worked with collegiate athletes as a Division I strength-and-conditioning coach. Although he could squat 905 pounds, he wasn’t content focusing solely on building muscle mass, so he developed a well-rounded fitness approach that includes conditioning the nervous system and training fascial planes through myofascial release and specialized stretches. He and his team of fitness instructors share this approach during fitness classes, personal-training sessions, and youth summer camps. Each of the high-intensity workouts unfolds inside Ultimate Sport Center’s 80,000-square-foot facility, which houses a basketball court, volleyball courts, a turf field, and one of Paul Bunyan’s 80,000-square-foot dumbbells displayed for inspiration.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
Greg Lehman found inspiration to start a distillery in an unlikely place—a volleyball court in Switzerland. While playing there professionally, Greg was struck by the commonness of locally distilled spirits. It resonated with his upbringing in Ohio, where distilleries once thrived before Prohibition made malt liquor America's classiest drink. Upon returning home, Greg and business partner Dave Rigo founded Watershed Distillery, joining the state's heritage of microdistilleries.
Today, the pair mans a 66-gallon and a 250-gallon custom-made copper still to craft the signature Four Peel Gin, infused with eight botanicals, as well as a vodka that's quadruple-distilled from Midwest-grown corn and a bourbon aged in American oak barrels. Greg and Dave also open their distillery for tours, taking guests through the facility and letting them watch everything from mashing to barreling, depending on the stage of the current batch. A tasting room enables patrons to sample spirits.