Best of Our Valley Issue 2018: Shopping

By Samantha Stull  

Best Local Jewelry Store: London Gold

In each of its three Valley locations, London Gold provides customers with the finest and largest collection of jewelry in Arizona. With more than 40 years in the business, London Gold is a trusted household name and lives up to its motto, “It’s the best!” Every person who walks into London Gold feels like a truly valued guest and is greeted with personalized service from the shop’s knowledgeable staff and expert gemologists. The glistening displays are filled with gold and platinum pieces from more than 20 exquisite designers from around the world, including diamonds of all sizes and shapes, earrings, unique gemstones, a large estate collection, pre-owned Rolex watches, and fashion jewelry in both silver and gold. On the design side, London Gold offers in-house custom jewelry design services using Old World techniques and stateof-the-art technology, including 3D printing. londongold.comAlso a 2017 Winner!   

AFM Fave! Best Outdoor Shopping Center: Scottsdale Quarter

With a hip, urban vibe in a serene, desert setting, it’s no surprise that Scottsdale Quarter is one of the most picturesque shopping centers in the Valley. This open-air center offers visitors 28 acres with retail, restaurant and entertainment options and more than 300,000 square feet of office space. The hot spot’s current restaurants and retailers include lululemon, Pottery Barn, iPic Theaters, Warby Parker, Joie, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, True Food Kitchen, Zinburger and Apple, just to name a few.

AFM Fave! Best Luxury Consignment Shop: To Be Continued

The carefully sourced inventory at To Be Continued means no more digging through racks upon racks just to find one hidden gem, as seems to be true of many consignment shops. The coveted women’s designer apparel, handbags, accessories and shoes available at To Be Continued are curated from distinguished closets and boutiques across the globe. Chrissy Sayare, and her husband Mitch, joined together with her love of fashion and their combined entrepreneurial backgrounds to open the Scottsdale shop in 2014, inspired by the city’s wellheeled women. Together, they strive to provide a unique experience in luxury consignment shopping, featuring one-of-a-kind treasures at discounted prices and new merchandise offered every day. The couple expanded in 2015 with a second boutique in Dallas, along with a Beverly Hills showroom and an extensive online shop, and again in 2017 when TBC2 opened in Scottsdale to offer further reductions on merchandise from the consignment store.

Best Athletic Gear: lululemon

Originating in Vancouver, lululemon prides itself as not just a brand, but a global community that sparks worldwide conversations and values yoga as the core of what they do. There are several locations across the Valley at Biltmore Fashion Park, Chandler Fashion Center, Scottsdale Fashion Square, Scottsdale Quarter and Westgate Outlets.

Best Antique, Vintage or Secondhand Store: Everything Goes

An eclectic selection of home furnishings, antiques, collectibles, garden furniture and repurposed items have graced the shelves of Everything Goes since 1995. The 4,000 feet of shopping space and 30 different vendors, each with a unique design style, allow the store to provide a unique shopping experience—not to mention their competitive prices and top-notch customer service. Everything Goes also hosts its EG Market Café daily, offering coffee, teas, baked goods and an assortment of other items retailing all from local vendors. everythinggoesaz.comAlso a 2017 Winner! 

Best Cosmetics and Skincare: MELT By Melissa

Witnessing the power of a brow transformation is what started it all for Melissa Pruett, owner of MELT by Melissa. After starting her beauty career in aesthetics, Pruett opened her salon and began advancing her training in the industry to specialize in more advanced procedures, like microneedling, microblading, eyelash extensions and dermaplaning. Her hard work paid off as she quickly expanded her salon twice and added many new services to their current offerings. Most notably, Pruett launched a line of MELT cosmetics that features four brow powders, a clear brow gel, clear peppermint gloss and 10 matte liquid lipsticks, with more exciting projects in the works.

Best Eyewear: Tatum EyeCare

Just because Tatum EyeCare is a full-service optometry practice, that does not mean they want their customers to sacrifice quality and appearance for functionality when it comes to their eyewear. This is why the practice carries the most coveted brands of prescription eyewear at competitive price points. In addition, Tatum EyeCare also boasts a diverse selection of non-prescription and prescription sunglasses from beloved brands like Oakley, Prada, Tom Ford, Ray Ban and Tiffany & Co. Also a 2017 Winner! 

Best Emerging Fashion Designer: Loren Aragon

Loren Aragon is the Native American fashion designer and artist behind the luxury brand, ACONAV. Aragon’s unique couture designs are influenced by his Acoma Pueblo culture, presented in a way that shows his heritage the highest respect. ACONAV showcases Aragon’s artistic abilities through his fine art, jewelry and fashion design. By sharing his work, Aragon hopes to represent indigenous art in undiscovered ways while igniting the interest of future generations.

Best Handbags and Accessories: Alixandra Collections

This family-owned brand owns and operates 11 different boutiques spanning the Valley, Midwest and California. Alixandra Collections is proud to offer trendy apparel and accessory pieces to fit any shoppers’ needs, from those who live in their favorite tees to those who are always dressed to the nines. They are stocked with everything from designer names to local faves and all Valley-based Alixandra Collection shops receive daily new arrivals, so there is always something fabulous to discover. Also a 2017 Winner!  

AFM Fave! Best Local Online Boutique: Syd & Bean

Sydnee DiMascio always dreamed of opening a clothing store, and her mom Sabrina wanted her daughter to know that she could do anything she put her mind to. Thus, Syd & Bean, an online clothing boutique, came to be in October 2017. Though the shop first targeted teen and young adult women, the mother-daughter duo soon realized their style suited women of all ages. Shoppers stop by the site to peruse everything from boyfriend jeans to flowy shirts, cute rompers to summery dresses and everything in between.

Best Denim: Loop Jean Company

More than 20 brands of premium denim are available at the local denim clothing store, Loop Jean Company. The shop caters to both men and women; within each brand, Loop offers between two to six different fits and washes. For women, there is an abundance of low-, mid and high-rise denim options for every occasion. With the men’s styles, there are fits to suit any body type as well as raw denim in several different brands for the denim enthusiasts. In addition to denim, the shop carries a selection of shirts, shoes and accessories to complete the look.

Best Local Boutique: Obsessed AZ

Since its humble beginnings in August 2015 as a traveling pop-up shop and online store, Obsessed AZ has been serving Valley fashionistas with edgy, unconventional and vintage pieces. Last August, Obsessed AZ opened a brick and mortar retail location in a shared space with several other small businesses. You may have seen the Obsessed AZ designs at a local football game, as they are known for their repurposed vintage T-shirts including those for game days and sports themes.

Best Female Local Jewelry Designer: Lisa Garber

Galicia Fine Jewelers is Lisa Garber’s luxury fashion-based jewelry brand. Garber is a GIA certified gemologist who uses the finest materials and latest expert techniques in her designs in order to create chic statement pieces. The New York-born and -raised designer strives to evoke feminine beauty and strength into her pieces to embody confidence and empower those who wear them. Regardless of which of Garber’s pieces shoppers opt for, they are sure to find something that expresses their unique style and personality.

Best Male Local Jewelry Designer and Best National Jeweler: Tal Barkel 

The famous New York City 47th Street Diamond District was once home to Tal Barkel at the beginning of his longtime career in fine jewelry. After working his way up through the industry, Tal Barkel Designs was born thanks to his artful creations and desire to bring quality designer pieces to consumers. Specializing in luxury and everyday-wear earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings, Tal Barkel designs and handcrafts each piece of jewelry using top-quality stones. Most of his designs are one of a kind, and Tal Barkel is also able to custom design pieces for clients. Each of his pieces is a work of art, and he meticulously works to maintain the truth he sees in each and every piece. His designs are now carried in select jewelry stores across the country, as well as in his Scottsdale showroom.

Best Pet Shop: Oh my Dog! Boutique Hotel

This is not your average pet store. Oh My Dog! Boutique Hotel offers the highest quality amenities and services, catered toward the modern-day dog. The impressive boutique is nothing like you’ve seen in any retail chain, and features a wide variety of toys, collars, carriers and accessories from the most stylish and contemporary brands. Oh My Dog! also offers daycare and a hotel with luxurious amenities like indoor, climate-controlled play areas, comfy couches, movies and a warm towel for your furry friend’s face and feet before bed. The professional grooming salon specializes in creating modified “show cuts” to leave your dog looking and feeling their best. Oh My Dog! creates a strong community for their clientele by partnering with local animal organizations and hosting a variety of events, including “doga” which is yoga for you and your dog. Also a 2017 Winner!

Best Motorcycle Dealer: Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale

The impressive Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale feels more like an adult amusement park than a traditional dealership. The 150,000-sq.-ft. showcase spotlights motorcycles, parts, accessories and MotorClothes. To top it off, there is an on-site movie theater, a wedding chapel, an arcade, and a tattoo and piercing studio. Philanthropy is also a major initiative for Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale and owner, Bob Parsons; the dealership hosts numerous rides and events throughout the year to benefit charities across the Valley. Also a 2017 Winner!

Best Outlets or Discount Shopping Center: The Outlets at Anthem

This premier open-air outlet mall attracts residents, visitors and pets alike from around the Valley every single day. The Outlets at Anthem are home to many top, designer brands including Coach, J.Crew, Banana Republic Factory Store, Michael Kors, Ann Taylor Factory Store, Columbia Sportswear, Under Armour and The NORTH FACE Clearance Store, among many others. Annually, the shopping center is known for displaying Arizona’s tallest fresh-cut Christmas tree.

Best Place to Buy a Costume: Easley’s Fun Shop

With 70 years of family-operated business in the Valley, Easley’s Fun Shop is an iconic destination in the Downtown Phoenix community. As customers peruse the 15,000-sq.-ft. store, they never know what they’re going to discover around every corner. Easley’s offers wigs, hats, a full line of theatrical makeup, and costumes galore. By September of each year, the shop gears up for their busy season with more than 5,000 costumes available for rent.

Best Pop-Up Shopping Market: Junk in the Trunk

Beginning as a small backyard market and creative outlet for vintage-loving founders Coley Arnold and Lindsey Holt, Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market has welcomed more than 150,000 shoppers at their events. Their events feature a carefully curated selection of quality vendors, each selling unique treasures and inspiring design in guests. They also invite live music acts and food trucks to join the vendors and create an upbeat, fun-filled atmosphere. Their events have supported 600 small businesses over the last six years, and this number is only expected to grow as Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market has expanded to holding bi-annual Scottsdale markets, as well as annual markets in Los Angeles, San Diego and the Bay Area. Also a 2017 Winner!

Best Shoe Shopping: Stuart Weitzman

The prestigious, luxury footwear brand, Stuart Weitzman, has a worldwide reputation for its embodiment of American style. The brand is known for incorporating fashion, fit and comfort into its shoes, which has earned a dedicated clientele and fan base that includes many top celebrities and fashion industry insiders. Stuart Weitzman shoes can be shopped through fine retailers around the globe, as well as in retail shops like the Scottsdale Fashion Square location.

Best Indoor Shopping Center: Scottsdale Fashion Square

Scottsdale Fashion Square offers premier shopping, dining and entertainment with more than 200 retailers. The luxury shopping experience is only slated to improve with its current expansion and mixed-use redevelopment that is currently underway and set to open in Fall 2018. This new area is near Neiman Marcus and will feature enhanced amenities like a new valet entrance, currency exchange, delivery and shipping services, and a platinum-level concierge. Also a 2017 Winner!

Best Outdoor Shopping Center: Westgate Entertainment District

This Glendale hot spot is more than a shopping center; it’s a gathering place of both residents and visitors for premier dining, nightlife, shopping, concerts, sporting events and celebrations of every variety. Their assortment of restaurants, retailers and nearby entertainment venues offer something to attract every age and interest. Westgate Entertainment District always feels like a party, hosting more than 350 different events each year. The center is neighbored by the Arizona Cardinals’ field at the University of Phoenix Stadium, as well as the Gila River Arena, home to the Arizona Coyotes, headlining concerts and other major events.

Best Swimwear Shopping: Beach Bunny Swimwear

Fashion-forward, couture-conscious women should look no further for their summer uniform than Beach Bunny Swimwear. Their swimwear is designed to flatter every figure with curve-hugging fits. The pieces were designed with women in mind, and since no two bodies are the same, swimwear pieces are sold separately to ensure every customer finds her perfect fit. Also a 2017 Winner! 

Fast Favorites

Best Discount Store: My Sister’s Closet,

Best Gift Shop: For The People,; Frances Vintage,

Best Local Apparel Designer: Athletes Brand,

Best Local Watch Selection: Isaac Jewelers,

Best Local Fashion Designer: Angela Johnson,

Best Department Store and Best Fragrance Selection: Nordstrom, Also a 2017 Winner!

Best Personal Shopper: Shannon Campbell, Also a 2017 Winner! 

Best Place to Purchase a Bike: Tribe Multisport, Also a 2017 Winner!

Best Place to Purchase a Bike: Rage Cycles,

Best Technology and Gadgets: Apple Store, apple.comAlso a 2017 Winner! 

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