A few weeks ago I had a million-dollar idea: A local gift registry, to be hosted by a chamber of commerce or an enterprising app developer, that would allow wedding guests to purchase gifts from local businesses.
And even if it isn’t exactly a million-dollar idea, I think it's a good one.
It's my operating assumption is that shopping local is preferable for many people. Can you get everything locally? No. Economies of scale and whatnot. But, local stores offer an invaluable complement to Amazon and its contemporaries.
And though some local stores do have gift registries, creating a local-only registry isn't convenient. You’d need a single interface for invitees to ensure they aren’t buying a gift someone else has already bought. Right now that doesn’t exist.
But what if it did? What would it look like? And, for our purposes, what places would be on it? Here are a few (not all) ideas:
- ELM & IRON LOFT
1411 Vine Street, OTR
Elm & Iron’s stock of new and reclaimed items is unbeatable. Not only do they have a wide assortment of decorations and furniture perfect for the newlyweds, but all of its products are interesting. It’s like a Pottery Barn where everything’s local (minus the kitchen or bath stuff). Plus, you don’t have to walk through a mall to get there.
1824 Elm Street, OTR
Kitchenware comprises about half of the average wedding registry. Which is to say, thank goodness for Artichoke. The OTR shop has a curated cookware selection that features good design, quality construction, and superb performance. I’d bet most of your wedding registry stuff would come straight from here.
- MiCA 12/V
1201 Vine Street, OTR
Iconic, indispensable, and awesome, MiCA 12/V opened in 2007 and has been humming ever since. It’s an independent gallery and gift boutique that has pretty much everything: coasters, glassware, art, lamps, baskets, ornaments, and much more. You could register for the entire store and you’d be guaranteed to get cool stuff.
923 Vine Street, Downtown Cincinnati
I first walked into Rooster on a rainy Spring afternoon and ended up staying there for an hour chatting and browsing. Its inviting interior is a pretty solid advertisement for its products, which are a collection of reclaimed Mid-Century Modern treasures. The store offers furniture, home decor, and, various undiscovered local artifacts.
Eat your heart out, other places. Macy’s is from here, and I’ll be darned if I’m not gonna include it on this list. Is it a big-box store? Yes. Does its inclusion violate the spirit of this endeavor? Probably. Is this brazen cheating? ... But where else are you gonna get those billion-thread-count cotton sheets?
316 W Pike Street, Covington
Transitioning from a place you definitely have heard of to a place you probably haven’t, Grainwell is a design and decor shop you should definitely hit up. They source their materials from dumpsters and barns and turn them into highly authentic products. There isn’t a thing in this place I wouldn’t be glad to have.
- HIGH STREET
1401 Reading Road, Pendleton
If you value aesthetic refinement, this is your place. High Street is high culture, perfect for the bride and groom with fine tastes – and who’re probably having their wedding at Peterloon and toasting with Dom Perignon. Kidding aside, High Street sports a fabulous and nationally renowned collection that’ll enliven every newlywed’s home.
- CAMARGO TRADING CO.
7744 Laurel Avenue, Madeira
Madeira’s Camargo Trading Company is a long-standing (well, since 1999) specialty boutique that carries candles, bath and body products, and detail-rich tabletop decorations. Just walking into the store is like walking into a quaint, bauble-stuffed dream.
117 W Fourth Street, Downtown Cincinnati
You might know Bromwell's as a high-end fireplace store. And that it is. But it also has an attractive collection of gifts and accessories, including trays, bookends, hurricanes, pitchers, vases, pillows, cosaters, and more. Could you register for a fireplace? Sure. Would you actually get one? Signs point to no.
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Know of a local store you think deserves to be on this list? Let us know! We’re always searching for new places.