Best Of 2019

Yuliya Bui opened Gia and the Blooms — named after her rescue pit bull Gia — in Over-the-Rhine in 2016. She and her team have a passion for organic floral design; the shop specializes in both building and delivering bouquets (burlap-wrapped daily seasonal selections start at $35) and doing flowers for weddings and events, but they also carry a hearty selection of houseplants in their small, urban storefront. The counters and other surfaces, including whitewashed brick walls, are covered in ferns, fiddle leaf figs, ivy, air plants and tons of succulents. And if you happen to be a brown thumb who wishes they were a green thumb, it’s a perfect quick pit stop to pick up a new Hen and Chicks or two if you’ve happened to kill off your other ones. Little potted plants can go for as low as $5 and selections are abundant: String of Pearls, Donkey’s Tail, jade, cacti and aloe — the names are almost as fun to say as it is being caught in the cycling of constantly buying and killing low-care greenery. And if you want advice (for the first or 30th time) for how to keep your new plant buddy alive, the team at Gia will gladly provide expert care instructions before you bring home your new acquisition. Gia and the Blooms, 114 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine, 

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,

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,

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