The Akron Eight: Our Picks for the Coolest Gifts
EarthQuaker Devices makes quality effects pedals, one-at-a-time, by hand right here in Akron. Even if you aren’t a musician, you can still rock some sweet EQD hoodies, T-shirts and coffee mugs, which you’ll find in their online store.
AVAILABLE: In real life at Replay Music, Guitar Department, Woodsy’s Music and Wadsworth Music and online at earthquakerdevices.com
Jaswig standing desk
Sitting is the new smoking, and if you’re going for a standing desk, don’t settle for something ugly. Jaswig was conceived by a biomimicry student at UA and has been seen in Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, which sounds weird when you put it that way.
COST: $449 for the Nomad
AVAILABLE: Only online via their store at jaswig.com
Event 38 drones
Yeah, these Akron-made beauties are the big-time industrial strength unmanned flying systems that the folks in precision agriculture, construction, environmental conservation and mining use, but that doesn’t we wouldn’t want one for ourselves.
COST: $1,799 and up, up, up…
AVAILABLE: There are probably drone stores somewhere, but it’d be easier if you ordered from their website at event38.com
Handcrafted from various sheet metal parts, these new styles of light fixtures put a hip bend on the blue collar, factory town vibe that gave Akron its reputation.
COST: starts at $100
AVAILABLE: You can find their lights at Hazel Tree Interiors or online at whiskertinlight.com.
Blimp City Bike and Hike
There are lots of bike shops around Northeast Ohio so we’re liable to upset someone by picking a favorite, but the heart wants what it wants. If you’re in the market for a bike, you can rent one and take it out on the towpath for a test before buying it.
COST: from $499
AVAILABLE: You can learn more about them online at blimpcitybikeandhike.com but you’ll need to mosey into the store to get your new set of wheels.
Renaissance Artisan Distillers
A cousin to the great Grape and Granary, where you can buy DIY beer kits and take classes in brewing, RAD is Akron’s first distillery. When you give the gift of booze, it’s like you’re giving a bottle of parties.
AVAILABLE: You can buy direct from Grape and Granary, or at Giant Eagle. Details about the spirits at renartisan.com.
Technically, they’re in Doylestown but their cutting boards are amazing and one time, co-owner Krista Burns sent me an old Akron magazine so it’s close enough. Hubby Bob has been crafting these high-end gorgeous specimens since 2010 and his work just gets more impressive. Seriously, I want one.
COST: from $17 to ~$100
AVAILABLE: Online at etsy.com/shop/burnsboards and in person at events like Crafty Mart.
TinyCircuits arcade game
It’s the world’s smallest cabinet, which is only part of its super dope appeal. For sure you can just play games on a tiny arcade but this could also be the gateway that draws you into the ardent Arduino community of makers.
You can get yours online at tinycircuits.com/collections/all/products/tinyarcade
Akron Boutiques & Vintage Shops
Gypsy Grace & the Vintage Goat
Weird stuff, cool junk, retro, odd but not obsolete and custom items.
AVAILABLE: 451 W Market St, Akron
Vast selection of vintage lighters, jewelry, furniture, toys and odds and ends.
AVAILABLE: 1900 W Market St, Akron
Land of Plenty
Vintage and antique furniture and decor; houseplants, succulents and terrariums; vintage and modern jewelry; metaphysical and new age. Beautiful selection of crystals and salt lamps. Incense, bulk herbs, locally made candles and more.
AVAILABLE: 339 W Market St, Akron. Parking and entrance in rear, off North St
Metaphysical supplies for pagan and spiritual needs, and just for fun. Herbs, oils, candles, books, incense, gemstones, statuary, jewelry and more.
AVAILABLE: 962 Kenmore Blvd, Akron
Boutique with quality, contemporary women’s clothing and accessories.
AVAILABLE: 21 Maiden Ln, Akron
Small boutique selling a variety of locally/USA made women’s contemporary fashion.
AVAILABLE: North: 106 N Main St, Akron or South: 76 S Main St, Akron
The Market Path
Fair trade store offering items that are handmade by artisans around the world.
AVAILABLE: 833 W Market St, Akron
Akron’s retro superstore. This 18,000 sq ft warehouse is packed with antique, vintage and retro goods from around the world.
AVAILABLE: 923 Bank St, Akron
An handsome boutique with antiques, cigars, gifts and men’s merchandise.
AVAILABLE: 16 S Highland Ave, Akron
This Highland Square staple nestled next door to Square Records boasts a large selection of new and consignment clothing and accessories. Lots of Akron-themed items.
AVAILABLE: 822 W Market St, Akron
Women’s boutique offering unique clothing, jewelry and accessories in the heart of downtown Cuyahoga Falls.
AVAILABLE: 119 Portage Trail, Cuyahoga Falls
This store boasts a large collection of found and vintage home decor, and they specialize in custom work.
AVAILABLE: 21 Merriman Rd, Akron
Just about anything you can imagine finding — antiques, knick-knacks, books, sports
memorabilia, etc. — can be found here.
AVAILABLE: 449 W Market St., Akron