Secret Shopper

Desiner Consignor Gets New Look In Local Owners

As one of six children, I was raised to shop for deals anywhere we could find them, including second-hand clothing shops and thrift stores. There were times I resented this and longed for the new trendy outfit in the mall window. But as I grew older, I learned to appreciate the value of “second time around” clothing as much as the value of the dollar. Like driving a car off the sales lot, new clothing depreciates the minute you walk out of the mall. Unless of course you are walking out of a trendy consignment shop such as Designer Consignor, where you can get a half dozen outfits for the price of one from the mall.

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Volume 7, Issue 13, Posted 8:19 AM, 06.29.2011

Tapping in to the Universal Life Force Locally

It seems everywhere we turn lately we read or hear information about Reiki, the Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing.  Reiki means “universal life energy,” and while it may be new to some, this holistic healing method has been used by many around the world for thousands of years.  In Japanese, Rei describes the universal boundless aspect of this energy while the Ki is the vital life force energy which flows through all living beings.  If that sounds complicated or supernatural, you will be surprised to learn it is a simple and natural healing method by laying of the hands.

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Volume 5, Issue 9, Posted 5:36 PM, 05.06.2009

Beshe'-Bath, Body & Spa Products

Lakewood is well known for its small businesses that embody personality, charm, and that small town feeling that Lakewoodites and out-of-towners are drawn to. In difficult times economically for the nation, with businesses small and large closing in every town and big city, small businesses continue to pop up in Lakewood. Cereal bars, Green gifts, party places, consignment, high-end gifts and more have emerged on Detroit in the last few months. Madison has produced lit-up stunning windows to replace empty storefronts, from gorgeous Vintage/Antiques to new Salons, party place, gift shops, high-end consignment, spa body products, and more, to add to the plethora of good eateries, pubs, and eclectic mom and pop businesses. One newer business, Beshe Bath and Body, at Madison Ave (pronounced Bayshay) opened doors in October to a small shop overflowing with aromatherapy for all the senses and a charm that resonates the wholesome side of Lakewood...
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Volume 4, Issue 24, Posted 9:06 AM, 11.23.2008

Madison Rose Beautifies the Village

Lakewood is alive with a variety of unique small businesses that set the city apart from all the others. There has often been talk on the Observation Deck and at gatherings how much this city was in need of a bookstore. When the new and shiny bookstore chain opened in Rocky River, it was nice to have a bookstore close by, but Lakewoodites still yearned for their own bookstore. It seems that when the people of Lakewood call out, there is often a willing and able spirit with a dream, ready to manifest their vision for the people calling. In this case, owners Dave Hook and Pat McGuire filled an empty store front at 13705 Madison Ave in Lakewood with books of all genres this past December.

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Volume 4, Issue 16, Posted 12:46 PM, 08.03.2008

No Party Poopers Here!

Lakewood Tavern Supply on Madison Ave is a shop that you may have driven past hundreds of times without ever having known what lies beyond their doors. From a first glance at their sign or window display, it is not difficult to figure out that this business sells supplies to bars. However, when I ventured through the doors last year, I discovered that they also sold to the public a variety of items, from bar glasses to over-sized canned goods to dart games and wine and beer making kits...
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Volume 4, Issue 7, Posted 3:34 PM, 03.28.2008

Lakewood's Hidden Gem

Lakewood is known for its unique stores and amazing art. One of the galleries that Lakewood is proud to call its own is Wobblefoot Ltd., 1662 Mars (right off Madison). This off-the-beaten path treasure is sure to delight any art lover! When I first meandered into this hidden gem, I was amazed at the art that adorned the walls! After meeting owner Tubal Cogar, back when he joined Madison Avenue Merchants’ Association (MAMA), I felt I had an instant friend. His warmth and charm filled the gallery, along with famous and accomplished artists’ works!
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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 12:09 PM, 02.15.2008

Omega Cuts-the Royal Treatment

When I began interviewing small businesses I never thought that I would also get a history lesson, but I indeed learned some interesting facts while getting to know Christina Ermidis from Omega Cuts on Franklin Boulevard. I came to know Christina through interactions at MAMA meetings and noticed that she was present at every meeting with a smile and a willingness to be part of a team working to make Lakewood better. There are those who have an attitude of “what can you do for me?” and those that have an attitude of “what can I do for you?” Christina is in the latter category and the more I learned about her the more I learned where that attitude came from.
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Volume 3, Issue 21, Posted 4:39 PM, 10.11.2007

The Hockey Stop - A Solid Goal

At a recent Madison Avenue Merchants Association meeting, I spoke with new members Jason Levanduski and Tim Sullivan, owners of the Hockey Stop (15609 Madison Ave.).
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Volume 3, Issue 17, Posted 2:11 PM, 08.14.2007

Madison Avenue Summer Walk

A group of businesses have joined together and revitalized Madison Avenue Merchants Association, MAMA. This group is dedicated to keeping Madison Avenue vibrant and thriving. They kicked off on June 16 with Summer Walk which appeared to be a great success. When I strolled along there were several people buzzing around Madison Avenue businesses, including councilperson Mary Louise Madigan and council candidates, Dan Shields and Tom Bullock.
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Volume 3, Issue 13, Posted 7:06 PM, 06.21.2007

Class Act Resale is in a Class all its Own

This month's Secret Shopper pick has become one of my favorite Lakewood shops. Since my first visit several months ago, I have shopped and consigned at the special boutique, CLASS ACT RESALE SHOPPE, 15649 Madison Avenue, on the corner of Morrison and Madison Avenue in Lakewood. This shop doesn’t look or feel like any consignment shop I have been to before and has unique and artistic finds. Class Act Resale is really more like an upscale boutique with a variety of new and slightly used designer clothes, artisan works, antiques and wonderful vintage finds at affordable prices with free gift wrapping.
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Volume 3, Issue 11, Posted 10:50 AM, 05.23.2007

Coin Wash Laundry

Okay shoppers, you may be scratching your head at my choice for Secret Shopper this issue, but I have my reasons. Gone are the days for me of doing laundry at a laundromat. Having our own washer and dryer at the house means that I have not had to visit one in several years. That is, until this past month, when a stomach bug was going around town. My daughter crawled into bed with me, not feeling so well, and before I could get the bucket, well I won’t go into details.
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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 11:30 AM, 04.26.2007

Lion and Blue

One of the draws to Lakewood, whether to live or to visit, is the fact that the city has unique boutiques and mom and pop eateries. Imagine some of the true Lakewood boutiques. I'm venturing to bet one of those staple shops that comes to mind is the Lion and Blue on 15106 Detroit Rd. (529-2328) owned by Tina and Michael Dolawski, Lakewood residents for 11 years.
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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 10:25 AM, 03.28.2007

You Are What You Eat - Natures Bin

You are what you eat! Isn’t that the scariest thing your mother ever told you? I used to think I would wake up one day in the shape of an Oreo cookie, my favorite childhood snack. I didn’t realize the truth in her statement until years later. What you eat directly affects how you feel, how you look, and how long you may live.
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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 11:26 PM, 03.06.2007

Baba's Kitchen

One of my favorite ethnic foods is the pierogi. A Polish specialty, it is a half moon shaped dumpling filled with various mixtures, often cabbage, onion, and potato. Dishes known as perogi, perogy, piroghi, pirogi, pirozhki, piroshki or pyrohy are versions of pierogi. According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the pierogis are of virtually untraceable central European origin; claims have been staked by the Poles, Romanians, Russians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Slovaks, and Rusyns. Similarity to dumplings found in the Far East such as Chinese potstickers fuels speculation well-founded or not that the Mongols and Tatars brought the recipe to the West.
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Volume 3, Issue 5, Posted

Secret Shopper Cravings

There are several Lakewood retail businesses at which I look forward to shopping and telling you about, but I absolutely have to pay tribute the some businesses that offer my second favorite indulgence-food. There really are a lot of mouth-watering bites in Lakewood, but I want to share my favorites, the ones that become cravings. To be honest I have days when I am ambitious about eating healthy, with more vegetables and whole grains, days when I am looking for a meal under five dollars, and days when I absolutely need a comfort meal to get me through the winter or some crisis. Fortunately, there are Lakewood eateries that fit every craving.
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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 1:01 PM, 02.10.07

Valentine Suggestions

I know it is hard to believe that Valentine’s Day is next week, when Christmas seems like only hours past. Though our children are the main focus of Christmas, Valentine’s Day is a great time to bring something special to your sweetie, whether it is your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, child, mother, father, or grandparents. Whether you send a home-made card, celebrate with dinner, or buy a gift, here are some suggestions that will keep your honey happy as well as keep the local economy alive.
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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 7:07 PM, 01.30.07

Lacey Paraphernalia

The first Christmas that I remember was when I was in Kindergarten in snowy Massachusetts. There were six of us born in four years (yes, two sets of twins) to parents in their young twenties. We rented a big old house, and I never knew at the time that we did not have money. I only have happy memories of that era of my life. My grandmother sewed all of our Halloween costumes, my mother baked and decorated all of our birthday cakes, my dad worked long hours but always played outside with us on his downtime. Somehow my parents made life happy for us on a shoestring budget, including Christmas. I look back now and am amazed that the things we wanted most on our list always. I often find it difficult to feel that I am giving enough to my children, even though they have so much more materially.
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Volume 3, Issue 2, Posted 2:02 PM, 01.21.07

Revelations Hair Salon

Since moving to Lakewood almost nine years ago, I have patronized Revelations Hair Salon off and on. I first visited the salon 8 years ago when the owner Mary was in the middle of renovations. I loved the feel of the place because it was an historic house turned into a salon, and it was filled with antique furniture instead of typical salon stations. My favorite hair stylist left to have a child, and I jumped around to other salons, cutting coupons, responding to specials, looking for the lowest price, to be honest, to highlight and cut my hair.
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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 12:12 PM, 01.03.07

Secret Shopper - Designer Consignor

Ever since I was a young child, I have patronized consignment and thrift shops. My mom probably got us started because the six children in our family were born within four years of each other, and the best way to make sure we all had a closet full of clothes was to buy second-hand. Since then, I have loved shopping at consignment and thrift shops, both as a young, single mother and as a career woman. I can easily buy several outfits for my child and myself at a fraction of the typical cost. Many items even contain designer names. An article in last month’s Plain Dealer also suggested that shopping at second-hand stores is a great way to save money.
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Volume 2, Issue 25, Posted 11:11 AM, 11.30.06

Secret Shopper

One of my favorite shops in Lakewood is Goddess Blessed, one of the few new age shops that is thriving!
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Volume 2, Issue 23, Posted 11:11 AM, 10.31.06