Best Place to Buy Something Cute for Baby and You 2016 | Gypsy Wagon | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

Best Place to Buy Something Cute for Baby and You

Gypsy Wagon

A modern cowgirl's oasis in Knox-Henderson, Gypsy Wagon offers a plethora of clothing, home decor, shoes, hats, children's toys and clothes. Although abundant in its bohemian Western wear, the store is carefully curated. From Free People tribal dresses to Minnetonka leather cowboy hats, Gypsy Wagon carries the perfect outfit and accessories for a festival weekend or a road trip to Marfa. Bring that Boho Texas feeling home with their home goods selection — from cactus vases to bright hand-stitched pillows. Have a little cowgirl? Check out the kids' corner with onesies from KicKee Pants, embroidered Mexican dresses, leather baby moccasins and cowboy boots. And if you are shopping with the little one, the cute plush unicorns and longhorns will make for a great distraction.

This outlet is where craftsmen carefully stitch, stud and staple leather gear for BDSM sex. In 2005 California-based Leather Masters bought a boot shop and opened a fetish supply outlet in Deep Ellum. It may not seem like a big deal to the uninitiated, but having experts on staff and the ability to make alterations on premises is a huge plus. Honestly, who wants to be uncomfortable when dangling from a harness while someone whips your genitals? Well, you know what we mean.

Look at your neighbor's yard. Behold the array of large rocks and stones laid out in such complex and bewildering patterns that future archaeologists could try to match them with myriad astronomical alignments. Then ask yourself, how do I get my own yard looking as Druidic and mysterious? The answer, you wannabe pagan, is AAA Sand & Stone. It's a 5-acre playground of earthen material with enormous racks of rocks, slabs of stone, collections of car stops, miles of mulch and groupings of gravel to examine. Watch your fingers and back muscles as you handpick your rocks, or depend on their delivery service and fleet of trucks to deliver.

A couple years ago, Citibank changed strategies. Where once they focused on 120 cities around the world, they decided to cut 20 from their consumer banking portfolio. Dallas was one of the 20 they cut. When Citibank abandoned Dallas, cardholders who moved to Dallas from out of state discovered that the only place to find an ATM is a 7-Eleven convenience store. The preferred store for such bank-seekers largely depends on location, but special consideration should be paid to locations that accept check deposits. For that, the 7-Eleven on Garland and Easton takes the cake.

Although most parents might consider Lakeshore Learning solely for teachers, the store caters to any caregiver interested in providing children with learning experiences. These toys aren't superhero focused or purple and pink. They are fun exploratory toys — like kinetic sand and water beads, water tables with magnetic fishing poles and toy fish, parachutes and balance boards, light tables and Magnatiles. Although at times pricey, Lakeshore Learning is one of few toy stores in the Dallas area that carries educational supplies and toys. When your child is playing with toys from Lakeshore Learning, they are also building skills and knowledge. Their curiosity is engaged, not their brand awareness.

She slings ink better than most artists, creating lifelike images with her permanent art. She's been featured in the Observer and appeared on several cable tattoo shows. Her designs have garnered her a legion of followers on Facebook (more than 1 million and counting), and she's become a celebrity among celebrities. But all of this fame hasn't gone to her head. Liz Cook still slings ink out of her shop Rebel Muse Tattoo in Lewisville. "Tattoos are a collaboration," she says. "A lot of times I try to get the feel for it to understand that personality and be able to push the piece past what was requested."

Readers' Pick:

Deborah Brody Pittman

Sometimes you just have to stand in awe at the scale of America's vast supply chain as it feeds its hungry consumers. Bigger may not always be better, but humongous is pretty darn impressive no matter what it's describing — dinosaurs, Donald Trump's ego, breasts, or in this case, the biggest furniture store in Texas. Forget IKEA. It only feels huge because it's maze-like design never let's you leave. The Midwestern import NFM has everything imaginable to furnish your home, from electronics and appliances to furniture, rugs and outdoor kitchen gear. All of it is from affordable lines from makers like Ashley, or our favorite, Flexsteel. Higher-end furnishings are also displayed in a store the size of a small city that's open and airy, so you don't feel like a lab rat. Better still, the salespeople are knowledgeable, plentiful and friendly but don't attach themselves to shoppers like a commission-hungry remora. Also, their warehouse pickup area is a marvel of logistics.

Readers' Pick:

Nebraska Furniture Mart

Located on a corner of the historic square in Denton, Dark Age Tattoo offers customers more than a simple tattoo. The artists tattoo true art. Tattoo artist Rember Orellana opened the shop in 2014 after serving a three-year stint at Cat Tattoo in Dallas. Now he's world renowned for his complex work, appearing in several tattoo magazines. The shop consistently receives five stars from its customers, praising the artists for their ability to walk customers through the tattoo process, as well as offer great attitudes and professionalism when it comes to their art. Originality is the most important part of what he does at his shop, Orellana says. "There are so many great artists that do realism really clean and really straight, but what makes the difference is when you have style."

Named in honor of Elvis Presley, Shake Rag Music offers not only a huge selection of vinyl but also guitars of all shapes and sizes from a Fender that looks like something Stevie Ray Vaughan would play to a bass that resembles Beatle Paul McCartney's bass but with psychedelic designs. Owner John Gasperik, who spent his years as a photographer at Mother Blues, opened the shop in the early 2000s near Lower Greenville, showcasing not only his collection of guitars and vinyl but also extensive rock 'n' roll memorabilia. "When Elvis was a little boy, his father got thrown in jail, so they had to move to the poorer part of town across the railroad tracks, which was called 'Shake Rag,'" Gasperik once told a reporter. "That was when Elvis first heard the blues and gospel music. I figure that's the birthplace of rock 'n' roll, so I thought it was an accurate name for the store."

There are those of you out there who enjoy a rare blueberry soda or peanut and jelly flavored beverage. Adventurous drinkers and Texas transplants who crave regional specialties can get their fix at Rocket Fizz, an eminently explorable shop in Deep Ellum. The 1,500-square-foot store, the third of its kind but the only one in Dallas, showcases hundreds of kinds of soda and an equally vast array of candy. Vintage signs and oddball tchotchkes can encourage loitering and impulse buys. But the soda selection is really the main attraction. Where else can one buy a bottle of Martian Poop marionberry flavored soda? And what the hell is a marionberry?

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