If Dr. Frankenstein hadn’t taken up medicine, he may have taken on a different line of work after visiting One Twenty Three Skate Shop. Shiny boards, trucks, bearings, wheels, and hardware fill the store, just waiting to be assembled into a custom deck by some mad local street scientist. Shop owner, former skater, and screenprinter Kevin Frye is always around, unpacking and displaying new boards by Element and Toy Machine, shoes by Circa, or wheels by a negligent donut baker.
In an interview with Annarbor.com, Frye noted that the One Twenty Three inventory is based primarily on what local skaters have said they would like to see in a skate shop. He follows a personal mission to keep local kids active and is currently meeting with the Parks and Recreation Commission to discuss plans for a local skate park.
Maggie's Organics sheathes the silhouettes of conscientious dressers in fair-trade-certified, organic cotton apparel and accessories for men, women, and kids. A casual, sleeveless knit dress ($30) flatters bodies with stretchy, form-fitting fabric, and a cozy pull-on hoodie ($25) protects heads from heat-seeking paper airplanes. Add an elegant flourish to ensembles with a ruched scarf ($20), or nestle feet into the confines of tie-dyed socks, created by the use of small batches of melted rainbows ($13). Maggie's Organics' garbsmiths also outfit offspring in hand-dyed body suits, socks, and tights. In addition to ensuring a highly comfortable fit, Maggie's organic fabrics make earth friendliness more viable than mailing greeting cards to all the world's tectonic plates.
At Fantasy Attic Costumes, hundreds of costumes and vintage pieces are imbued with an aura of authenticity via accessories, makeup, and wigs. A baseball costume ($40) outfits revelers in a button-up, pinstriped uniform, and 21st century Marilyn Monroes ($30) keep dresses from billowing up against wind turbines. Pint-size candy seekers can carouse the neighborhood as the Headless Horseman ($35) or go glam with a gold-and-emerald sequined Cleopatra costume ($47). Additionally, Fantasy Attic Costumes supplies Michiganders with an abundance of Ben Nye makeup, accenting eyes with a pearl sheen ($7) or combining hues from various F/X color wheels ($11.00+). To top off ensembles, Annie wigs ($24) enhance hairlines and colonial wigs ($30–$33) transport wearers back to days when land ownership was determined by hair height.
Originally founded in 1959 by Kurt Ziebart as Ziebart International Corp., Ziebart has morphed from an auto-rust-prevention outfit into a full-service auto accessory and detail shop that has cropped up at some 400 locations in 30 countries. Performing everything from window tinting and professional detailing to electronics installation, Ziebart's experienced staff cares for cars with high-end products, including seasonal paint protectant and the company’s renowned rust inhibitors. To protect cars inside and out, Ziebart technicians also install accoutrement such as alarm systems to thwart thieves and sunroofs to thwart unflattering film negatives from processing correctly (services may vary by location).
Czech glass, polymer clay, and Swarovski crystals glitter along the walls of Stony Creek Bead's interior, waiting to add their sparkle to bracelets, necklaces, and baubles created by visiting beaders. Buyable jewelry crafted by local artisans also dots the shelves and displays, lending inspiration as they await purchase. The knowledgeable and patient staff leads the way to customer-created wares, referencing the shop’s kits, books, patterns, and tools, and leading classes on beading techniques, jewelry making, and lessons on why the “a” in bead is silent.
SVS Optical Center’s founders opened their first shop in Sterling Heights, Michigan, in 1974 to help the community clear up its vision. But even these optical gurus never foresaw their humble business expanding to more than 50 locations sprawled across 10 states. Today, each shop continues the tradition of ensuring ocular health and crystalline sight, beginning with exams from seasoned optometrists. Afterward, patients head to the optical dispensary, where they try on frames by Coach, Tiffany, Nike, Versace, or Ray-Ban. The staff then fits the stylish selection with polarized and scratch-protected prescription lenses to help guests read books clearly or see a charging moose from a distance. Most of SVS Optical Center’s frames can also hold sunglass lenses as well, eliminating squinting during summer months and tropical vacations.