Faux Designer Bags
Most shoppers at Carmel’s 14 Districts (Carmel City Center, 14-districts.com) wouldn’t be caught dead sporting faux designer duds on their arm. Unless, of course, it’s one of the shop’s blatantly obvious “faux and fab” bags with “This is not a Birkin” boldly painted over it. Made by Miami artist Anca Barbu, the line proves “knockoff” and “designer” can actually coincide. The collection of clutches, crossbodies, and large handbags made of Italian leather all embody the vibrant Art Basel style.
Although it’s called Green Beetle Shop (greenbeetleshop.com) and owner Joshua Smith has an affinity for the Dogbane beetle, you’ll find many other ethically sourced species of insects at this quirky online retailer. Handmade shadow-boxes for them are best-sellers, but Smith’s cloches of creepy-crawlies are fit for a museum. Usually, you can find his work at Warfleigh Barber Shop. But this year, online business has been the focus, with a sale planned for the holidays.
Gifts for an Influencer
Fashion trends show up at Blue Peppermint (The Yard at Fishers District, Fishers, 317-436-7082, shopbluepeppermint.com) as fast as they disappear from Instagram stories. The Fishers original upgraded from a little house to a sleek spot in The Yard that’s basically the physical manifestation of a “like” button. Stylish oversized sweaters, Aviate ball caps, and Ah!Dorned vegan messenger bags line the shelves. Even social distancing can be accessorized, thanks to a snakeskin sanitizer-bottle holder and a keychain that doubles as a tool for contactless door-opening.
If fanny packs are wrong, we don’t want to be right. The “Penny” from Howl + Hide (1651 English Ave.; Clay Terrace, Carmel; howlandhidesupply.com) is a stylish, soft leather version that became the designer’s top-selling product when it was released this summer. There’s enough space to hold a small wallet, phone, and keys without cramming things in so tightly you have to remove it all to get the one item you need. If a fanny pack is a bridge too far (to the ’80s) for you, it can also be worn over the shoulder.
New Furniture Showroom
Sometimes you need stools that fit perfectly under a console, and good luck finding what you love on a showroom floor. Pair’d Furnishings (Indiana Design Center, Carmel, 317-740-0318, pairdfurnishings.com) can customize any item from its collections because the company makes each piece to order—in Bangladesh, where the owners live. Their children all went to school here, so they chose the Indiana Design Center as their first American showroom. The sophisticated collections cover a range of styles, including midcentury, traditional, and contemporary. Pair’d furnished an entire house for this year’s Home-A-Rama from its collections alone.
New Home Store
The pandemic complicated the filming schedule of Good Bones, but it didn’t stop the HGTV stars from expanding the brand with their first retail shop, Two Chicks District Co. (1531 S. East St., 317-426-3652, twochicksdistrictco.com). Located in Bates-Hendricks, the home boutique sells tabletop wares, pillows, a smattering of furniture, attitude-y gifts, and the delicate gold hammer necklace that renovation queen Mina Starsiak Hawk wears on the show. Good Bones doesn’t loom large over the store, though, and is mostly confined to items made by co-star Karen E Laine. Instead, the modern and fresh selection puts the “chic” in chick.
The stylish brand has been around for more than a century, but an official Triumph Motorcycles dealership (125 N. College Ave., 463-212-7500, triumphindianapolis.com) rolled into Indy for the first time this year. The place sources its bikes from across the pond to flaunt in its downtown Cole-Noble showroom. But if you’re not ready to drop $10,000 on a cruiser, Triumph stocks a lot of sexy work shirts, gloves, and leather jackets as well. It doesn’t hurt that they bear the logo of the company featured prominently in the new James Bond film, No Time to Die.
Tiny wallets designed to hold credit cards may be taking over the accessory aisle, but have you ever tried to get cash in and out of those things? It’s not easy. Leather-goods maker Nate Olp feels your pain. Specifically, he felt bartenders’ pain, a crowd that needed space to keep the cash tips they got on the job. So he designed a wallet that has a slim profile, puffed-up pocket for cash, and cool-as-hell look. Olp’s Irvington shop, 1979 Co. (201 S. Audubon Rd.), stocks a variety of handmade leather goods like that, including one-of-a-kind belts, tote bags, and, yes, credit-card wallets (if you must).
By day, Jerome Daksiewicz designs architectural interiors for such clients as High Alpha. In his free time, he creates some of the coolest prints in the city. His NoMo Design (shop.nomodesign.com) company began with a single print celebrating the 2010 Tour de France. It was such a hit that he expanded to a series of silhouetted airport runways, auto parts, and racetracks. But it’s his basketball and football stadiums, foil stamped onto heavy stock, that have become man-cave musts. Aerial depictions of Assembly Hall, Mackey Arena, and Notre Dame Stadium are just a few of the iconic venues ready to frame.
New Skateboard Shop
Early this year, Carmel’s only skateboard shop opened on Rangeline Road. A partnership between Aaron Vaughn and Nick Holub, Minus Carmel (622 S. Rangeline Rd., minuscarmel.com) is unique in a couple of ways. First, it’s a Black-owned business in a suburb that could use more of that kind of thing. And while Minus sells all the decks and hardware you’d expect, the bonus here is that it’s a boutique, too. The shop offers streetwear brands like London-based Yardsale and chinos from San Fran–based Ben Davis (no connection to the Indy high school). Serious skaters can now shred in style.
Midcentury Antiques Store
An eclectic new arrival at the Solomon Paris Antiques building, the Corner Bazaar (1105 E. 52nd St., 317-377-4639, thecornerbazaar
.com) brings a treasure trove of gorgeous glassware, quirky collectibles, funky home furnishings, framed art, and 1960s fashions to SoBro. Owner Sheryl Selvey prides herself on her midcentury-modern sensibilities, but lest you think it’s all high-design antiques, the lunchbox-to-boombox inventory also includes an impressive anthology of vintage vinyl, rock posters, and OG audio equipment curated by local musician John Zeps. Every item here tells a story, and browsing the place is like snooping around in your grandma’s attic. If your grandma was groovy.
The casually sophisticated House Seven Design Shoppe (111 E. 49th St., 317-384-1068, housesevendesign.com) is exactly the store Meridian-Kessler deserves. The room is done up in “modern vintage,” a vague-sounding aesthetic that you’ll recognize right away—all things natural and neutral, a palette of soothing ivories and grays, a touch of glam gold, and soulful objects like timeworn wooden bowls. The owner, interior designer Anissa Zajac, wants customers to see every detail, so baskets and flatware are set out just so, with nothing piled about. Sit in the olive-green velvet armchair and study the way Zajac layers it all stylishly and informally, then pick up some trendy strands of hex beads as a first step.
It would be easy to mistake the orange shipping container near Garfield Park for a Ray’s Trash dumpster. But the Cargo Streetwear Boutique (2328 Shelby St., 317-679-6270, cargostreetwear.com) is filled with gems like letterman jackets, Supreme backpacks, zebra bucket hats, and enough Nikes to make Michael Jordan jealous. It carries some of the biggest names in streetwear, like Kith and Y-3, plus merch from the co-owners Alex Olla and Cahmelan Porter’s in-house brands. Follow them on Instagram for a peek at their latest finds.
New Candle Shop
For a brand with such a devout cult following, Unplug Soy Candles (12550 Promise Creek Ln., Fishers, 317-505-9000, unplugsoycandles.com) opened in a rather unremarkable location on the back side of a strip mall. But inside, the candle wonderland looks like the success story it has become thanks to a huge range of brash and bawdy phrases on glass jars. (“Resting Grinch Face” is one of the tamer choices.) Customers can use a touch-screen kiosk to customize a soy-based candle with one of 19 scents (Prosecco fizz, teakwood, and tobacco) and their favorite saying on the vessel, and it’s made on site.
Because so many of us are cooking at home more lately, there has never been a better time to invest in a luxury blade. Aric Geesaman of Ash Blaeds (5883 W. Falling Waters Dr., McCordsville, 248-709-7461, ashblaeds.com) handcrafts durable knives forged from high-carbon steel, with finishing touches like a flame-blackened birdseye maple handle. Geesaman counts the chefs at Thunderbird, Turchetti’s Salumeria, Rooster’s Kitchen, and Field Brewing as customers. And, with a lifetime guarantee, the $200 to $900 you’ll spend is a reasonable splurge.
Herbalist, sound healer, and self-described “blue collar Buddhist,” Lesley Jean Saligoe (lesleysaligoebotanicals.com) makes handcrafted lotions, bath products, teas, and candles for at-home rituals she says promote peace and healing. One of her most popular items during COVID has been her wooden-wick candles, which she formulates with specific people and places in mind. The BALDWIN, a combination of scents including cedar smoke, black pepper, and sandalwood, is a nod to the author James Baldwin. In a fitting tribute to the official food of quarantine, she created a BAKED candle, smelling of yeast bread, butter, and caraway seeds. “I want to trigger a memory or transport you somewhere because we’re trapped in our houses and our worlds have shrunk so much,” says Saligoe. “This reminds us there’s something else out there.”
New Bike Shop
If the exact weight of your bike frame is a top concern, The Psychic Derailleur (1125 W. 16th St., 317-939-1960, thepsychicderailleur.com) probably isn’t your speed. But if you’re like owner Chris Wiggins—a sensible yet adventurous enthusiast who uses his bike as regular transportation and rides in street clothes rather than spandex—the new appointment-based shop should be right in your wheelhouse. Wiggins closed his westside store, A-1 Cyclery, and switched gears to cater to the non-racing cyclist he thinks the industry ignores. He’s a dealer for Surly and Rivendell, both brands that focus on a comfortable ride and have frames you can load up with bags.
Indy photographer Faith Blackwell (212 W. 10th St., 317-414-0621, faithblackwell photography.com) makes a line of ceramic tile coasters so gorgeous, you’ll wonder if you should get more coasters to protect these. Blackwell is known for finding the unique in the ordinary, turning photographs of Dum-Dum lollipops into modern-art must-haves, and shooting Monument Circle from a perspective that makes you feel like you’re sitting inside a snow globe. Choose from iconic local landmarks such as the Cultural Trail or University Park, or snag a set with childhood favorites like Hubba Bubba or gummy bears.
Eric Doepp doesn’t always follow the rules when it comes to the ancient art of bonsai. He has grown his business, Fountain Square Bonsai (1336 Shelby St., fsqbonsai.com), by sometimes breaking tradition—uniquely potting his little trees in vintage beer cans and boomboxes. Pop-ups play a major role in the company’s popularity, with most of his sales coming from tables set outside popular venues such as Wildwood Market and Pure Eatery. But Doepp has shipped bonsais to 36 states, and it’s easier than ever to buy his greenery now that he has his own storefront. It’s located amid a collective of shipping containers called The 1933 in—you guessed it—Fountain Square.