You don't always have to move to New York City to find success in the fashion industry, as Valerie Mayen of the Yellowcake label has proven. First thrust into the national spotlight on Bravo's Project Runway, back in 2010, the then-28-year-old Clevelander lasted nine episodes before getting the boot. At a point where she could have gone anywhere, Mayen stayed home and worked to make Cleveland more fashionable. Check out her designs online and also at her annual Hullabaloo fashion show.
There's nothing worse, when shopping for a sex toy or adult video, than entering an establishment where you feel you need to wear a disguise. But it's a reality that many adult stores feel that way, and you may feel that way personally. That's why much of the adult-themed commercial activity now occurs online. But if in-person perusing is your end game, fear not at AdultMart. With eclectic merchandise — toys, videos, accessories — and an extremely helpful staff, you won't feel weird or uncomfortable as you expand your horizons in the boudoir. Do you. And feel free to do you without judgment at AdultMart.
Multiple locations, adultmart.com.
Flower Child's labyrinthian space is packed floor to ceiling with cool finds — for those willing to do a little digging. Of course, digging is half the fun here. Flower Child is a perennial winner in this category, so it seems you all agree. Catering especially to those looking for a little retro flair, the 20th century is the store's forte, especially items dated between 1930 and 1980. Flower Child's treasured existence is actually one of the few things on which there is a 100-percent consensus in Cleveland. No one doesn't love Flower Child. Go there. Get lost. Come out a better, or at least better-equipped, person.
11508 Clifton Blvd., 216-939-9933, flowerchildvintage.com.
With a new westside location in addition to their eastside Cleveland Heights shop, you don't have to drive across town to get your hair cut at Eddy's. Not that it's not worth the trip no matter where you're from. The maestros at Eddy's are some of the best around, prepped to give you that sleek new cut or the regular ol' trim you've been getting since middle school. Nothing fancy here, just a roster of skilled barbers who will leave you regretting those last trips to the $5 chop shop at the strip mall. Make a point of scheduling with Ryan Hardwick, crowned Best Barber by our readers. With a healthy supply of the best hair care products around, including locally sourced beard oil, they'll send you home looking sharp and prepared to take care of your new 'do.
1797 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-795-5185; 11629 Clifton Blvd., 216-459-7575; eddysbarbershop.com.
You should absolutely own a bicycle by now, whether you use it to commute to work or just to get around the fabulous city on weekend excursions. Your best bet, if you're still catching up to the healthy, environmentally friendly way to quickly roll to your destination: Get to Eddy's. Stocked with all kinds of bikes, including fat tire bikes and single-speed commuters, Eddy's has everything a cyclist could want. Anyone who buys a bicycle from the shop receives a complimentary size assessment, and the folks there will make sure you've got the right bike, whether you're preparing to ride to the bar or training for an Ironman triathlon.
Multiple locations, eddys.com.
Earlier this year, Harriett Logan, the proprietor at Loganberry Books on Larchmere, and her staff marked Women's History Month by shelving backward every book written by a man. It was a symbolic gesture — one that received mixed reviews — and was an example of the outside-the-box thinking elsewhere on display at this gem on Cleveland's east side. With a vast collection of contemporary and classic fiction, poetry, history, pop culture and social sciences, it's an ideal bookstore for browsing. And with monthly book clubs and regular readings by visiting authors, it's a hub for literary and intellectual conversation that's becoming harder and harder to find. It also just feels great. The oriental rugs and creaky hardwoods make Loganberry feel exactly like a Best Bookstore should feel.
13015 Larchmere Blvd., 216-795-9800, loganberrybooks.com.
Reasonable pricing and an eclectic and unique selection for women of all ages make this Strongsville boutique a wonderful place to shop. Kelly Hirsch opened the store in 2012 after graduating from Kent State University with a degree in fashion merchandising (an esteemed program at KSU, doncha know). From handbags and necklaces to scarves and candles, it's difficult to not find something to purchase at this boutique. Want to host a private shopping party for you and your bridesmaids? This is the place to do it. We're especially loving their crystal chokers that give a perfect pop to any outfit that might seem too bland.
10252 West 130th St., Strongsville, 440-628-8022, wickedsugarfashion.com.
After a night of heavy drinking at a recent bachelor party, a friend extracted six slender cigars from his breast pocket and told his comrades that they owed it to the groom to end the evening like gentlemen. In the parking lot of their wayward Best Western, the six men puffed and reminisced, their memories and their friendships and the cigars' fragrant smoke happily intertwined. The sun rose, for it was dawn, and the tallest among them remarked, "By god, Tom, these are incredible cigars. Where can I get some of these?" Said Tom, in the glow of the new and glorious morn: "Cigar Cigars of course, Cleveland's Best Cigar Shop three years running."
2718 Lorain Ave., 216-965-0895; 21808 Center Ridge Rd., Rocky River; restyourash.com.
Going to flea markets can be a perfect family outing, as it was for Cleveland native Caley Coleff, who first began collecting home goods from flea markets years ago with her Grandpa Heck. Starting Heck's Revival in 2011, her vintage and custom home operation continues to bring out droves of customers to her brick-and-mortar store on Madison Avenue and also to her booth at the monthly Cleveland Flea (3615 Superior Ave.). Folks come for the refurbished trunks, furniture and signs, but stay for the warm environment and expert advice.
17140 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-221-8221, facebook.com/hecksrevival.
With the explosion of high-end shoe and fashion boutiques locally and nationwide, it's a testament to the curators at Avalon Exchange — with locations in Lakewood and Cleveland Heights — that you can still find the trendiest and most unique footwear and vintage clothing items at their stores, for a fraction of the price at the designer shops. Avalon is a regional chain, with stores in Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Florida as well, and their model should be familiar to consignment shoppers. You can bring in your shoes and clothes and get 30 percent of their retail value in cash (or 45 percent in store credit) on the spot. Even if you're not trading in, Avalon Exchange is as dope as any designer store, with an unlimited supply of brands and looks.
15006 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-221-6400; 1798 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-320-9775; avalonexchange.com.