Best Of :: Shopping & Services
There is no better judge of a garden store than a first-time homeowner, who needs everything and knows nothing. In Dallas, there's no better place for a first-timer than North Haven Gardens. The sprawling garden center has enough acreage to carry everything from basic backyard building blocks (soil, fertilizer, keg-sized buckets) to exotic plants and even some weird things they call veg-et-a-bles. There's plenty of space to maneuver and hunt on your own, but a friendly and knowledgeable staffer is always lurking just behind the corn gluten, ready to pretend your super-dumb questions aren't dumb. If there's something they don't know or can't do, just ask them to break open their binder full of contractors: After 51 years in business, they probably know a guy, and the guy's probably pretty good.
Seeing as how the skin is the human body's largest organ, we feel a little funny about slathering ours with a bunch of weird, barely pronounceable chemicals. The Healthy Living department at this foodie mecca stocks everything you need to take a more natural approach to hair and body care, from sliced-to-order slabs of soap and organic lavender-scented shampoo to pricey vitamin C eye cream and mineral makeup — as if you needed more stuff to add to your cart that's already full of artisanal gelato, chanterelle mushrooms and fresh-pressed mango juice.
Just how many shades of lipstick does one woman need, exactly? For a certain beauty-obsessed sector of the population, the answer to that is "more than you could possibly imagine." Just when we think we've acquired every shade of vampy deep red available on the cosmetics market, we stumble into this veritable candy store of a makeup boutique and find five more that need adopting. If lipstick's not your thing, there are also a bazillion shades of lip gloss, eyeshadow, glitter, fabulous fake lashes and more practical items like waterproof foundation and concealer, and since the line is geared toward professional makeup artists, it's all super high-quality. Need help mastering the art of the perfect cat eye? The store also offers makeup lessons, and they'll even record it for you on a USB drive so you can perfectly recreate the look at home.
OK, so real hipsters probably get their clothes from thrift shops (or Brooklyn), but when you need to get your jorts and Wayfarer game up to par quickly, trek on over to Lower Greenville's beloved used clothing store, where the selection is carefully curated by painfully hip buyers. You're guaranteed to find plenty of old band tees, pearl-snap Western shirts, broken-in skinny jeans, faded Keds and cool vintage purses sprinkled amongst the racks full of so-five-seasons-ago Forever 21 rejects. The glasses section is also on point, from those obnoxious neon shutter shades to the ubiquitous oversized black plastic frames. Now all you need is a bike and a six-pack of PBR.
The ladies of the little purple house on Bell Avenue hand-make their candles and their dozens of herbal remedies and oils. Plus, they teach classes in magickal candle-making to boot, all of which makes it a one-stop shop for your energy-correcting needs. Need to banish negativity? Attract money? Get your ex to stop friend-requesting you over and over on every social media platform known to man? They've got what you need. It's also, we're pretty sure, the only place in Dallas where you can buy a giant penis-shaped candle, in case you need a baby shower gift. (And we're sure if you ask them they can tell you all about its proper, non-gag-gift use.)
Preparing for the playa is serious business: It takes a lot more planning and preparation than you'd think to run around naked in the desert for a week. Before you hit the road, it'd be wise to hit up this Mockingbird Lane emporium that stocks a glorious combination of outdoorsy essentials (think hydration backpacks, space-saving super-absorbent towels, water bottles with built-in filters and bandanas in every color of the rainbow, for protecting your mug from those pesky dust storms) and weirdly awesome stuff you never knew you needed, from octopus kites and faux-fur tails for your iPhone to metallic Birkenstocks and furry trapper hats.