Best of Indy: Shops & Home


New Home-Decor Shop
Having enjoyed a national following for years, Inhabit finally has a local showroom—and it’s a stunner. The company is best known for its eco-friendly textiles and textured wall panels, which have shown up in movies and TV shows, but that’s just the beginning. There’s a definite midcentury-modern feeling to the Irvington store (think low-slung couches and Eames chairs in hues from tangerine to avocado), along with an infusion of quirk (wooden deer heads, cardboard pistol bookends, Vespa-print pillows) that just works. About half the stuff in the shop is Inhabit-designed; the rest is an assortment of finds. 211 S. Ritter Ave., 317-636-1699,
Home-Design Innovation
Just call her the furniture whisperer. Marrying East Coast style and Midwestern pragmatism, Angie Jakad Fischer’s one-hour Interior Design Therapy sessions are great for clients who need a little handholding but shudder at the thought—and price tag—of a full-scale home-design project. Falling somewhere between professional services and DIY, Fischer offers quick, helpful suggestions that customers can run with themselves. Some of her recent projects have included the WISH-TV Indy Style set and a baby nursery for WZPL’s Dave Smiley. 200 S. Range Line Rd., Carmel, 317-569-5981,
Same-Sex Wedding Cards
The gifts are the same, but you might want special cards for these happy occasions. Homespun: Modern Handmade stocks a small but mighty selection of notecards perfect for the gay or lesbian couple getting hitched. From saucy retro-style illustrations to clean and simple “Mr. and Mr.” or “Mrs. and Mrs.” designs, these cards make a thoughtful addition to that thing you dutifully bought off the registry. 869 Massachusetts Ave., 317-351-0280,
1214-growlerbagBeer Accessory
Brewery-goers can toast Tisha Nagel and Emma Clust for solving that pesky problem of keeping just-filled growlers cold until they can be put in the fridge. Yes, you could start drinking immediately. But for those who need an on-the-go cooler, the Growler Girls insulated cotton-and-canvas growler bags maintain beer at the optimal temp for up to six hours. Nagel and Clust brewed up the idea in 2012 and now sell the stylish bags at Homespun: Modern Handmade, at Retro 101, and on Etsy. Coming soon: a version that holds two growlers. We’ll drink to that.
1214-polina.patternNew Fashion Boutique
The hippest new clothing shop in town hopes you’ll think of it as more than just a clothing shop. Pattern, the brick-and-mortar incarnation of the local fashion magazine of the same name, does carry racks of laser-cut dresses, swaggering buttondowns, and ultra-lightweight jeans. But it’s also a space for fashion shows and other events. The shelving currently housing United State of Indiana tees (all of the designs exclusive to the store) is built to withstand the weight of models, forming a runway when necessary. The wooden dressing rooms on casters can wheel out of the way to accommodate a crowd. Even the sales counter was designed to double as a bar. And with average price points from $36 to $83 for the mix of local and national brands, impulse buys are not out of the question when the venue is in sales mode. 877 Massachusetts Ave., 317-833-7462,
1214-baublebarNew Jewelry Line

Nordstrom’s Fashion Mall location often gets skipped over when special collections like Topshop hit stores in other cities. But the place finally bagged a winner when the trendy BaubleBar line arrived at the jewelry counter this year. At half the price of similar pieces from brands like Kate Spade, the drop earrings and funky necklaces won’t take nearly as long to sell as they did to arrive. The Fashion Mall, 317-810-9809,
Reader’s Choice Best Eyeglasses Shop: Ossip Optometry
“Great selection of the coolest up-to-date styles. Although being stylish does not come cheap.” —Wayne Johnson
Refrigerator Nostalgia
Some places stick with us more than others—Atlas Supermarket, Roselyn Bakery, Al Green’s. Local photographer Daniel Axler has spent his career shooting the iconic signs of these businesses and turning them into gorgeous hand-cut magnets. How dedicated is he to creating what most of us use to tack up the grocery list? “I got a shot of the Red Key the day after they fixed the neon,” Axler says with pride. “Usually, it’s half-out.” The magnets sell for $6 or $7 at Homespun and elsewhere. Leave yourself a reminder note on the refrigerator to buy one.
Vintage-Style Swimsuits
With a few leftover bolts of tricot fabric purchased from a company going out of business, Ashley Nixon achieved the seemingly impossible: making swimsuits that women can’t wait to slip into. Her retro-look suits ($65 to $100) are equal parts style and smarts—get past the mint-green ruffle on one hip or bow placed just-so, and you’ll notice that these cuts just look really good on women’s bodies, from size 2 to you-name-it. The high-waisted bikinis and the biggest seller, the JoJo one-piece, are all crafted in Nixon’s Daleville garage, where she designs, cuts, and sews them to order. You’ll find the biggest selection at her Etsy shop, CollectiveHearts.
Party Rental Place
Thanks to Pinterest, dreamy weddings and bridal showers seem just a few craft projects away. But if you’re anything like us, your attempts at homemade garland and chalkboard signs resemble a kindergartner’s work. For the inept party-planner, Violet Vintage rents mismatched china, handmade banners, antique vases, and lace runners that result in tablescapes so rustic-chic they’ll have your guests pinning photos themselves. 5781 Park Plaza Ct., 317-520-2929,
Shop for the Dapper Gentleman
It’s, well, a tie. We love the ruggedly hip James Dant in Irvington, where sturdy Billiam jeans are made for the store and vintage-looking tees bearing Deer Creek and Market Square Arena logos hang on the racks. The impressive grooming counter stocks 14 different scents of beard oil alone. But when it’s time to put on the dog, we head to Zag West, where you can custom-order a dress shirt with hundreds of cuff and collar options for around $90. French cuffs, button-downs, trim fabric at the neck—you make the call. (You can also get a custom suit for $500.) The business has been around since 2012 but just opened the store this year, and it has recently expanded to include natty styles for women. James Dant, 5624 E. Washington St., 317-974-9715,; Zag West, 421 Massachusetts Ave., 317-285-0307,
1214-c.wonder_petbowlPet Accessories
Talk about creature comforts. C. Wonder may be primarily a women’s boutique, but its slate of dog accessories has tails wagging. Collars and leashes come in bright colors, fun patterns, and gleaming-gold hardware. Most adorable, though, are the matching owner-and-pup coats, which this fall included a nylon quilted barn jacket. Now who’s a good dog? The Fashion Mall, 317-569-1431,
1214-styletruckFashion Truck
For clients who couldn’t come to her, Becca Hanson, owner of 14 Districts, 14 Districts Weekend, and Blue Bar, decided she would drive her boutiques’ casual-luxury lines right to them. Since launching Stylestop, a mobile version of her popular shops, she has already loaded up the sleek, dark-gray Mercedes Freightliner (chosen because it reflects her simple design aesthetic) and headed to cities like Atlanta and Austin. Whether at an in-home appointment, a special event, or a private party, ladies can browse pieces from White + Warren, Raoul, Calypso St. Barth, Yoana Baraschi, and high-end denim labels selected just for them. It’s no wonder Hanson calls it the “ultimate fashion road trip.”
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