Tuesday, 01 August 2017 13:21

Best of the West 2017 winners: Style & Shopping

Written by  Missy Black
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Some people loathe shopping. I know, it’s weird, but these individuals walk among us. Whether you despise browsing stores for the right outfit/gift or enjoy it and treat it like a sport, you should know who’s deemed the best of the best. Your marching orders are to visit these sacred places, as the community has spoken and deemed them worthy of your time, money and fascination.

Let’s start with the gift shop mecca, Rebel Reclaimed. I know firsthand how adorable the owners are and how the shop is packed out with all kinds of amazing finds — pillows, cards, vases, jewelry, wall art, drinkware and novelties. They’ve won the city over with their wit, charm and humorous coffee mugs, and when someone buys you Rebel goods you never let that person out of your life, you hear?! 

The Eastown shop has been awarded bragging rights for winning first place in both the gift shop and home décor categories. Another fine contender, The Found Cottage, is a place to peruse gathered goods found and new. It’s no surprise this place is becoming a destination for large furniture, artwork and home goods you can’t find anyplace else. In a nutshell: women be shopping (and they’re coming here in droves). 

If we’re talking clothing, we’re happy to see Slate become a big deal. The men’s clothing and accessories store debuted this past November and it’s apparent Grand Rapids has opened its arms and wallets to this much-needed retail space for men. The downtown shop quickly jumped into a top three mention, along with powerhouse clothing names like A.K. Rikk’s, who found votes in the women’s clothing category as well. Looking to women’s clothing, Lee & Birch is quickly gaining favor, and its new location in Rockford is likely helping with visibility. Personally, I’m betting many votes were cast just for the jewelry alone.

With all this talk of shopping, funds could be running low. If you’re needing a deal on brand-name, gently used clothing, everyone agrees Conscious Collective is doing it right. Maybe it’s the fact that the shop carries plus-sizes, or it could be the handmade artisan gifts peppered among the awesome second-hand scores. There’s many wonderful thrift/consignment stores in the area and to be lauded with top honors is a huge accomplishment. Muscling its way to the top has got to feel good for a small shop built from the clothing off your back. Keep showing the rest of them how to hustle.


The Winners:

Antique Shop
1. Eastown Antiques, 1515 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids 
2. Treasures of Lost & Found
3. Blue Door
Athletic Goods Store
1. Gazelle Sports, 3930 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids and multiple other locations, gazellesports.com
2. Striders
3. Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus
Beer/Wine/Liquor Store
1. Martha’s Vineyard, 200 Union Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
2. Rishi’s International Beverage
3. Siciliano’s Market, Smitty’s Specialty Beverage
Book Store
1. Schuler Books & Music, Multiple locations, schulerbooks.com 
2. Books & Mortar
3. Argos Books
1. Louise Earl Butcher, 1106 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids
2. E.A. Brady’s
3. Sobie Meats
Comic Book Store
1. Vault of Midnight, 95 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids
2. Argos Books
3. Tardy’s Collectors Corner
Ethnic Food Store
1. Russo’s International Market, 2770 29th St. SE, Grand Rapids
2. Mediterranean Island
3. Horrocks
Farmers Market
1. Fulton Street Farmers Market, 1145 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapid
2. Rockford Farmers Market
3. Holland Farmers Market, Muskegon Farmers Market
1. Eastern Floral, 2836 Broadmoor Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
2. Posh Petals
3. Kennedy’s Flowers & Gifts, Stems Market
Gift Shop
1. Rebel Reclaimed, 1409 Robinson Rd. SE, Grand Rapids
2. Kennedy’s Flowers & Gifts
3. Art of the Table
Grocery Store
1. Meijer, Multiple locations, meijer.com
2. Forest Hills Foods
3. Fresh Thyme
Health Food Store
1. Harvest Health, 1944 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
2. Fresh Thyme
3. Sawall Health Foods
Home Decor
1. Rebel Reclaimed, 1409 Robinson Rd. SE, Grand Rapids
2. Found Cottage
3. Wealthy at Charles
Jewelry Store
1. DeVries Jewelers, 411 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids
2. Preusser’s Jewelers
3. Metal Art Studio
Men’s Clothing
1. A.K. Rikk’s, 6303 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids
2. Slate
3. Fitzgerald’s
Musical Instrument Store
1. Meyer Music, 2855 Lake Eastbrook Blvd. SE, Grand Rapids
2. Rainbow Music
3. RIT Music
Pet Store
1. Fido & Stitch, 820 Monroe Ave. NW #140, Grand Rapids
2. V.I. Pets
3. The Barking Boutique
Thrift/Consignment Shop
1. Conscious Collective (445 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids) and Urban Exchange (926 Fulton St. E, Grand Rapids)
2. Georgie’s Consignment Clothing
3. Rock Paper Scissors
Tobacco/Cigar Shop
1. Buffalo Tobacco Traders, 952 Fulton St. E, Grand Rapids
2. Tuttle’s Select Cigars
3. Grand River Cigar
Vape Shop
1. Joost Vapor, Multiple locations, joostvapor.com
2. Mitten Vapors
3. Mister-E-Liquid
Vintage Clothing Store
1. Flashback on Leonard, 450 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids
2. Conscious Collective
3. I.C. Hair & Vintage
Women’s Clothing
1. A.K. Rikk’s, 6303 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids
2. Lee & Birch
3. Leigh’s


Staff Picks

GIFT SHOP: Pink Lemonade

In my second life, I come back and work at Pink Lemonade and they pay me in STUFF — super cute stuff soaked in sass like mugs that say “Miss Fancy Pants.” Wade through the cards, candles, journals and clothing for little ones and you’ll also spot a lot of girl-power gifts (which is why I’m a huge fan). If you love pink, laughing is your favorite, and you have gifts to buy (you always do!) then you’ll see why this place has my heart. Also, word on the street is that a second location is opening in Kalamazoo in the fall. Plus, the store carries the ultra fabulous ban.do line, so... 703 Bagley Ave., East Grand Rapids —by Missy Black



Here’s an upscale resale boutique with an eye for statement pieces. From skirts and tops to shoes and jewelry, every piece is hand-picked for world style domination. The store’s strong suit seems to be luxury pieces such as Italian leather loafers and deeply discounted Rag & Bone blazers, along with formal attire like cocktail party dresses or beaded and lace gowns. I’m repeatedly dazzled by Rosa’s handbag selection and the surprise Kate Spade pieces. The shop even offers the chance to host private parties (imagine me raising my hand enthusiastically). 2141 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids —by Missy Black


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