2013 Best of Baltimore: Lifestyle

The best shops, gyms and more

By Hillary Geisbert and Jane Marion - August 2013

2013 Best of Baltimore: Lifestyle

The best shops, gyms and more

By Hillary Geisbert and Jane Marion - August 2013

Hot Air of Owings Mills -Photo by Cory Donovan


Treasure House Accessories

Great accessories are a fashionista’s best friend, and with an unparalleled selection of Longchamp products, MZ Wallace and Leibeskind bags, trendy Alexis Bittar and Paige Novick jewelry, gorgeous cashmere wraps, and leather jackets, Treasure House Accessories is destined to be your new fashion BFF. Co-owners Jodi Brodie (a former Saks Fifth Avenue buyer) and her mom, Rhona Rosengarden, have a combined 50 years of retail experience, so whether you’re looking for the perfect bat mitzvah gift, a wallet for your mother-in-law, or a wardrobe pick-me-up to breathe new life into that LBD, there’s always a craving to be quenched at Treasure House. 9163 Reisterstown Road., Owings Mills, 410-363-4110.

Athletic Gear

Under Armour Brand House

Walking through the front doors of the 8,000 square-foot Brand House makes us (even more) proud that Under Armour calls Baltimore home. The store not only offers merchandise that isn’t available at any other location, but does so in a way that screams Charm City. There’s the area-specific graphic tees (like Team Little Italy Bocce Ball or Inner Harbor Swim Club), the dressing rooms festooned with Baltimore landscapes, and the window themes that coincide with local athletic and sporting events like The Color Run and Preakness. Oh, and while picking up the hottest studio capri or compression tee, don’t be surprised if you bump into athletes like Michael Phelps, Ray Lewis, or Cam Newton. 700 S. President Street, 410-528-5304.

Bike Shop

Race Pace

Race Pace is most loved for its wide variety of cycles. Co-owners Alex Obriecht and Marc Lefkowitz offer Baltimore a place to buy Kona road, Trek mountain, the stripped down Linus, and Electra hybrid bikes—just to name a few—as well as superior knowledge on how to care for your bike with free classes and tune ups for a year. Their stock is ideal for all skill levels, from first timer to triathlete. 1410 Key Highway, 410-986-0001.

Color Artist

Michelle Sartori at Corbin Salon

There’s nothing like a bad color job to make your hair look like an instant ad for Crayola Crayons. (Alloy Orange, anyone?) But color artist Michelle Sartori of Corbin Salon has a command of the color wheel like none other. As she mixes, matches, and blends with bayalage, she’s the Monet of the hair world (and your head is her canvas). One caveat: Sartori sees up to 90 clients a week and books up to four months in advance, but even if you have to wear a wig because your roots are showing, take a number, and get in line. Corbin Salon, 1422 Clarkview Road, 410-494-8888.


Cliff Butler at Sprout

The mark of a truly great stylist is someone who has that je ne sais quoi to give you what you ask for and not what they just learned on some junket at New York’s Javits Center. Skilled in cut and color, veteran Sprout stylist Cliff Butler has it all—including a great chair-side manner. (This is Baltimore, Hon, leave the ’tude to those snootier cities.) Butler is known around town not only for his serious scissor skills and incredible artistry, but for his hair vocabulary, which is vast—from classic pixies and edgy razor cuts to long layers and bobs. 925 W. 36th Street, 410-235-2269.

Fitness Classes


With more than 30 classes offered morning, noon, and night ranging from the usual suspects—yoga, spin, zumba—to combo classes like step-barre fusion, paddleboard yoga, and MAC Attack (match boxing with boot-camp-like drills), there’s something for every level and schedule at the MAC. Spin classes have sign-up sheets 15 minutes beforehand, so be sure to get there early to reserve your spot. (Tip: anything taught by Eddie DeVaughn at Harbor East is known to be a sold-out show.) We can’t guarantee the results, but we promise that, between the energetic instructors and mind-boggling variety of options, your routine will never get dull. Several locations, including 655 President Street, 410-625-5000.

Fun Fitness

Earth Treks Climbing Center

We love it when working out is something we actually look forward to. The mighty Earth Treks houses a mix of climbs, from top rope to more technical sport climbs, plus you’ll find the friendliest folks around, including the regulars, who share the best “beta”—that’s climbing speak for information—in the bouldering cave. While the Open Climb option (three climbs, a harness rental, and an instructor for $25) is available on weekends, a multi-gym membership gives you access to all locations, use of the strength and cardio training area, and free clinics like yoga (taught by our friends at Charm City Yoga) and core strength. You’ll also get tips on footwork and injury prevention. Several locations, including 7125-C Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, 410-872-0060.

New Gym

Brick Bodies

When Lynne and Victor Brick opened the first Brick Bodies, in Timonium in 1985, they started with a small loan from Victor’s parents and crossed their fingers. Twenty-eight years, seven gyms, and 26,500 members later, the Bricks are fitness heavyweights as they continue to get not only bigger but better with the recently opened 58,000-square-foot, flagship facility. Double up on your multi-vitamins as you go from the full basketball court to the state-of-the-art spin room to the 25-foot lap pool to the mind-body studio. (And there’s a well-deserved steam room to visit, too.) Add to that a top-notch roster of group exercise classes and an awesome kids’ club, and it’s safe to say that breaking a sweat has never been easier. 2430 Broad Avenue, Timonium, 410-252-5280.

Men's Clothing: Old School

J.S. Edwards

Eddie Steinberg has been supplying men with everything from the perfect Ted Baker tie to Hugo Boss suits and Nat Nast shirts for the past 30 years. 1809 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, 410-653-2266.

Men's Clothing: New School

Sixteen Tons

For the gentlemen who doesn’t even try to be cool—but just is—Daniel Wylie’s shop has all American-made threads, pomade and aftershave, and timeless vintage pieces. 1021 W. 36th Street, 410-554-0101.

Found Objects

Second Chance

Is there any store more perfectly named than Second Chance? Not only does the large space house a rotating variety of used and antique furniture, but the store adheres to its principle of hiring folks who could really use the work, finding candidates off the mayor’s pre-screened unemployment list and providing training. So not only is that gorgeous couch, desk, or conversation piece getting a second chance in your home, the staff is also given a second chance in the job market. 1700 Ridgely Street, 410-385-1700.



The artistic window displays may draw us to Trohv, but it’s the vast array of gifts inside that keeps us shopping. Its merchandise changes to reflect the season, although they keep some things year-round, like the beloved Kobo candles and that well-curated selection of greeting cards. You can find anything from a kitschy tumbler set to a book on how to be a proper cowboy. Warm-hearted husband and wife co-owners Carmen Brock and Ben Homola, along with their entire friendly team, have created a space that feels a bit like shopping at someone’s cozy (and incredibly well-accessorized) home. 921 W. 36th Street, 410-366-3456.

Women's Clothing: Old School

Ruth Shaw

Owner Ray Mitchener gives both loyal clients (more than three decades in the making) and new fashionistas alike impeccable service with a curated selection of designer lines like DKNY, Jason Wu, and Rag & Bone. 68 Village Square, 410-532-7886.

Women's Clothing: New School

Brightside Boutique and Art Studio

Christie Griffiths helps Baltimore’s shopping scene up its hip quotient by selling affordable on-trend clothing and having an impressive online presence. 1133 S. Charles Street, 410-244-1133.


Hot Air

What’s worse than a great hair day gone bad the second you leave the salon and are left to wrestle with a brush and blow dryer? At Hot Air, the “do’s” are never “don’ts.” The concept is simple: a team of talented stylists will tend to your tendrils with an array of up-dos, long waves (currently trending), and other blowouts whether you’re walking down the aisle, prom- or, bat mitzvah-bound or just want to look great for a hot date. (Massage and conditioning treatments are extra.) We love the package deals (a 12-pack for $380) and the makeup and lash bar to complete the glam factor (cover photo). 9101 Reisterstown Road, Owings Mills, 410-363-0064.



With 50 massage therapists on staff and 17 massage treatment rooms across three locations, it’s no secret that Ojas Wellness Center is the place to go when you need some respite from life’s storms. You can’t go wrong with any of the therapists, but we’re particularly partial to Tasha Brodbeck, with hands so nimble they make us weep as she caters to our every need, from a therapeutic deep-tissue massage to a bliss-inducing relaxation massage. Add to that complimentary aromatherapy, hot towels, and hot stones, and you can kiss the real world goodbye. Several locations including 1501 Sulgrave Avenue, 410-664-6527.

Kid's Clothing: Old School

The Pied Piper

Helping you to keep up with your kids’ social calendars for over 40 years by stocking party frocks and suits, plus everyday wares from the likes of Lilly Pulitzer and David Charles. 32 Village Square, 410-435-2676.

Kid's Clothing: New School

Wee Chic

Oh, we can’t resist a mini hipster. Owner Bridget Stickline will fill your kid’s wardrobe with graphic tees, jackets, and jeans from Joe’s Jeans, Tea, and Appaman in sizes infant to 6 (boys) and 12 (girls). 10751 Falls Road, Lutherville, 410-878-7400.


Hunting Ground

Just over a year old, this vintage heaven on the holy ground of an old church has made its mark on Baltimore. Co-owners Jenna Hattenburg and Jess Soulen have been collecting pieces for years to build their cool collection ranging from leather jackets to Jenny McCarthy tee shirts and everything in between. Limited sizes of vintage items are supplemented with new items from brands like Baggu and Courtshop. And if you’ve got some extra vintage lying around, stop in any day and they’ll give you some cash to further feed your vintage habit. 3649 Falls Road, 410-243-0789.

Online Vendor

Petal and Print

Your days of searching for one store that does flowers and another that does custom cards and invitations are over. At Petal and Print, owner Katie does picture-perfect floral arrangements and charming hand-printed cards to go with them. Plus, she makes hand-dyed fabric flowers, too. What a woman! petalandprint.com.

Pet Store

Dogma-Life, With Your Pet

We’ve said it before, but doggone it, we’ll say it again, Dogma—Life, With Your Pet, is, paws down, the best pet store in Baltimore. Is it the great grooming services and the fact that the staff knows our dogs by name when we come in the double-glass doors? Is it the hard-to-find brands of puppy chow for sale? (Freeze-dried Stella and Chewy’s is our Fido’s favorite.) Is it the endlessly adorable supply of fashion-forward leashes, collars, knitted sweaters, and mod water bowls that makes us pant? Or is it the fact that our deepest fantasies entail curling up in one of the oversized plush dog beds? Even if we didn’t possess a pooch, we would adopt one just so we could shop here. Several locations, including 3600 Boston Street, 410-276-3410.

Women’s Shoes


There’s no doubt that we heart our locally-owned shoe shops, but it’s nearly impossible to ignore the selection offered at Nordstrom, from UGG boots, to TOMS, to Wolverine boots, and the most coveted Jimmy Choos and Manolos. And because most of us aren’t blessed with the perfect feet the store offers sizes 4-13, with the option of ordering half-size different fits for each foot. Several locations, including 700 Fairmount Avenue, Towson, 410-296-2111.


Charm City Yoga

Turns out that just wearing Lululemon doesn’t give you a perfect yoga body. Enter Charm City Yoga. With six studios stretching from Severna Park to Pikesville (and a new location soon to open in Columbia), it’s our favorite place to say “Namaste.” Classes are offered almost every hour, and the dedicated staff (special shout outs to CJ, Edith, and Camille) manages to kick our butts (but with love). CCY also offers a wide variety of interesting workshops from the Yoga of Running to Yoga After Dark (featuring a live DJ). And if you can’t afford a weekly visit, don’t stress—you can practice free every Sunday morning on the Inner Harbor. Actor Robert Downey Jr., Raven Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden, Leann Rimes, and even the Prince of Saudi Arabia have all made it to the mat here. Several locations, including 107 E. Preston Street, 800-336-YOGA.

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