Shopping: Stores that do more than sell

From the July 26, 2012 edition

Some local stores are offering shoppers more than just great stuff to buy, while at the same time keeping their staffs inspired. Here’s how.


The idea for Rowe boutique’s blog, Love Life Live Fashion, came from owner Maren Roth’s recognition of what made her staff special.

“A lot of our regular customers will tend to gravitate to one of us because they have a similar style or like the way we put things together, so I took that idea and started featuring all of the girls who work here,” Roth said.

With various Rowe team members writing, the blog is a virtual runway of style inspiration.

“It’s especially important because we don’t have an e-commerce site, but we still want to drive traffic into Rowe and remind people we are here,” Roth said. “It’s an inexpensive and wide-reaching way to market to your customers in an inspirational way.”

Get styling ideas:

Other stores’ blogs we love:

Whole Foods Columbus

Sew to Speak

SoBo Style Journal


Milk Bar Femme is an uber on-trend ladies’ line that the guys at the store have been designing and selling for about a year; the dresses are less than $100. And in July the Short North tastemaker released Savage Life, a stylish-Chopper-riding-dude-inspired guy’s line of clothing. The T-shirts (around $34), with sayings like “Lone Wolf,” have been selling fast, said co-owner Eric Hayes.

“At Milk Bar we’ve always been all about culture,” Hayes said. “These are ways for us to show our ethos, our brand. … In order to stay interested ourselves, we need to show customers what we do ourselves.”

Next up: a $65 men’s fragrance created by Milk Bar called Black Book, set to make its debut in the store this month.

Milk Bar

765 A N. High St., Short North


Another to try:


We love the brand’s new Homage logo tube socks ($12) and retro backpacks ($30).