Best Of 2019

Established in 2012, the Lucky Cat Museum in Walnut Hills’ Essex Studios houses over 2,000 cat figurines, collected at the direction of meow-stro Micha Robertson. Sometimes known as maneki-nekos, the beckoning cats are fabled to attract good luck and fortune. And, lucky us, Cincinnati’s Lucky Cat Museum is one of only a handful of such museums in the world. In Robertson’s collection are interactive maneki-nekos that play music, Hello Kitty maneki-nekos, plush maneki-nekos, porcelain maneki-nekos, clocks, lamps, a giant inflatable maneki-neko, socks, ornaments and even a maneki-neko slot machine. And like any good museum, you can exit through the gift shop, which features tons of lucky cat items. Walk away with branded merchandise like enamel pins, stickers, a “Get Lucky” T-shirt or even hand-sewn cat toys. The meow-seum is open Wednesday through Saturday afternoons and later during Essex ArtWalks. Lucky Cat Museum, 2511 Essex Place, #150, Walnut Hills, luckycatmewseum.com.

Shops & Services


2. TriHealth Fitness & Health Pavilion

3. Tiny Needle Community Acupuncture

2. Wooden Nickel Antiques

3. Wild Things Antiques

Lynne & Lucille artist Kelli Fisher has been “making almost nothings into pretty somethings” since 2013. A transplant from Columbus, Ohio, Fisher specializes in jewelry crafted from the retired gear of local musicians. “I’ve always been a huge fan of music but have never been able to grasp the concept of actually playing it,” she says, “so making jewelry from recycled (and) unusable music materials and instruments is the way I have found to make my own version of music.” Check out her Etsy shop for necklaces and earrings made from shaped guitar strings and polished cymbal segments. She also utilizes hand-tooled leather and, occasionally, remains of the natural world: dig her popular rattlesnake vertebrae hoop earrings and African porcupine quill bar necklace. Lynne & Lucille, etsy.com/shop/lynneandlucille.

2. Cincinnati Art Museum

3. Silk Road Textiles

2. Michaels

3. Indigo Hippo

The fact that Continuum has held its own on Vine Street in OTR since 2015 is a prime example of the fact that Cincinnati is home to many humans who are interested in innovative, experimental and individual fashion. Shop owner Ericka Leighton is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning with a passion for embracing creativity and creating a space for others to explore their own, whether they’re makers or shoppers. Recently name-checked in Vogue, the shop’s entire vibe — from the neon pink logo to hanging plants and Vaporwave meets Art Nouveau eclecticism — meets the modern woman at the intersection of aspirational and attainable in style, silhouette and price point. Brands range from Paloma Wool and No 6 to Black Crane and Cold Picnic and run the gamut from boxy tops and 1980s jeans to cult mother apparel. Continuum also carries textiles, candles, jewelry, fragrances and artful publications to round out its lifestyle offerings. Continuum, 1407 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/continuumbazaar.

2. Joseph Toyota of Cincinnati

3. Kings Toyota

2. Courtesy Automotive

3. Joseph Toyota of Cincinnati

2. Donovan’s Auto & Tire Center

3. AAA | Bob Sumerel Tire & Service