Talking Shop: 11 Indy Store Keepers Share Favorites
Rebecca Hanson, Owner of 14 Districts & 14 Districts Weekend
Hanson geeks out for the athletic gear at Carmel City Center’s InCycle. Her favorites include Teeki exercise leggings, muscle tanks by Spiritual Gangster, and tie-dye and camouflage-printed pants by Margarita.
“InCycle has an always-fresh assortment of unique yoga pants, soft tanks that are perfect for spinning or a night out, and cool off-the-shoulder long-sleeve tees,” she says.
Steve Schwartz, Owner of Ballerinas and Bruisers
Schwartz has been a fan of The Olive Mill, a gourmet food store in Carmel, since the beginning.
“I was one of their first customers,” he says.
The shop stocks specialty oils, foods, and spices, including a white-truffle salt that is “beyond amazing,” according to Schwartz. The Olive Mill is the only store in Indiana where he’s found it. Cooking is a passion for Schwartz, who appreciates the high quality of their goods and the fact that the store is locally owned.
“They’re kind of a diamond in the rough in that area,” he says. “They’ll let you taste and test and smell the products to make sure that what you’re selecting is something you’re going to be happy with.”
Heidi Woodman, Owner and Interior Designer at Haus Love
Woodman prefers grocery shopping when she’s not picking up pieces for her store. Her favorite spot? Locally Grown Gardens in SoBro.
“I love that you can shop there for some fresh local produce, then grab a wonderful meal afterwards,” she says. Her must-have items are the homemade pies, pillar candles, and “beautiful yet simple” baking dishes from France.
Adam Graef, Owner of Rogue Decor
When he’s not building reclaimed furniture for Rogue Decor or shopping for items to stock, Graef likes to splurge on his dogs, Falkor and Captain Pickles. His favorite store? Three Dog Bakery.
He picks up food, treats, and toys, which he says are of higher quality than the big pet stores, for his two German Shepherds.
“The pupcakes are one of their favorites,” Graef says. “The dogs really love their treats. It’s kind of spoiled them sometimes.”
David Strohmeyer, Owner of The Empty Vase
He enjoys Heidelberg Haus for its “kitschy German goods and products” and of course its pretzels. Strohmeyer also likes to stop by Nicole-Taylor’s Pasta and Market for all things Italian.
Melissa Cawi, Owner of Snazzi Boutique
Cawi shops for herself (and her loved ones) at Bath Junkie at Carmel City Center. She loves the lotions and potions.
“Melissa, the owner, always makes it a fun stop.”
Brian Paffen, Owner and Founder of Herbal Art
Paffen’s favorite is a near-eastside staple, Pogue’s Run Grocer.
“I’ve been going there for some time,” he says. “My company is all about organics and naturals, so what better place to shop?”
A self-declared cheese lover, he loves a special garlic-and-herb version that Pogue’s carries, as well as its deli counter. Paffen sells his Herbal Art shampoos there as well.
Amanda Taflinger, Owner of Homespun Modern Handmade
Taflinger loves to spoil her kids, Zeke, 4, and Clementine, 1, with toys and apparel from Nurture, another store on Mass Ave. She appreciates its gender-neutral clothes, organic lines, and products from local artists.
“We go there for a lot of baby gifts because I like to get them something unique,” she says.
Since Homespun receives so much support from other business owners, Taflinger says, “I like to shop at a lot of local boutiques.”
Jenny Dwenger, Manager of Indy Reads Books
Dwenger loves Silver In the City because of its eclectic offerings and professional atmosphere.
“I usually go there when I need to get a gift for someone who is quirky and who doesn’t want your standard fare,” she says. “They want a funny mustache-themed something or squirrel underpants, something like that.”
Natalie New Canull, Owner/Operator of Mass Ave Toys
She loves Meridian-Kessler’s The Empty Vase. Owner David Strohmeyer’s selection of blue and white pottery is a particular draw for her.
“The interior of his shop has my name all over it … it looks the way I wish my house could look,” Canull says. “The only problem with The Empty Vase is that I now have to stop threatening to open the perfect little gift shop because it’s already been done.”
Ron Lewis, General Manager of Rusted Moon Outfitters
Lewis loves to hunt for eclectic artists at Indy CD and Vinyl, where he appreciates the employees and atmosphere.
“Indy CD & Vinyl is one of the last great record stores,” he says. “It’s a truly special piece of Broad Ripple. I feel comfortable there like I feel comfortable at Rusted Moon.”
One of the last items he bought at the store was a 1969 live album from Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers.
“I rarely go in with a shopping agenda,” Lewis says. “I might go in with an idea, but I always walk out with six things that found me, as opposed to me finding them.
“There are certain lines of work where you can’t fake your knowledge, and music is one of them.”
This article appeared in IM Shops, a 2014 special publication.