Editors’ Picks for 2021 Best of the Valley Shopping & Services

Editorial StaffJuly 6, 2021
Share This

Find everything from vintage threads to “eye lash naps” in this top-shelf roundup of Valley products and practitioners.

Best Boutique
PHX General

Unusually strong in men’s clothing, with a fun emphasis on AZ-centric curios (see: desert-rain-scented creosote bundles), this well-organized Midtown boutique gets the PM staff vote. 5538 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 602-237-6922, phxgeneral.com

Best Mens’ Clothing
Manor

Saguaro-icon baseball hats, copious sneakers and masculine luggage make this Uptown haberdashery our pick for men’s threads. 100 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 602-795-7378, manorphx.com

Best Women’s Clothing
Bunky Boutique

Could it be anything else? Rachel Malloy’s beloved Downtown boutique – which introduced delivery service during the pandemic – scores its umpteenth consecutive BOV nod. 1001 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-252-1323, bunkyboutique.com

Photo courtesy Manor
Photo courtesy Manor
Photo courtesy Bunky Boutique
Photo courtesy Bunky Boutique

Best Auto Shop
Sun Devil Auto

With 13 Valley locations, this venerable Valley auto fixer overwhelmed the competition in our in-house poll. sundevilauto.com

Best Nail Salon
Ide Mania

Talented, chatty chicas and Aveda products make this Midtown salon a must for nail patrons of taste. 2831 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-265-3880

Best Florist
Cactus Flower

Need a congratulatory or contrition-ary bouquet, tout de suite? This Valley florist, with five locations from North Scottsdale to Glendale, is our collective pick. cactusflower.com

Best AZ Merch

High Jinks Apparel

highjinksapparel.com

  • Designer Jon Arvizu keeps it real – and adorable – with his highly styled cactus and “hot AF” designs.
  • Multi-modal: does stickers, hats, prints, tees and more, all devoted to presenting Arizona in her quirkiest glory.
  • Available in kid sizes so you can indoctrinate early.
Photo courtesy High Jinks Apparel
Photo courtesy High Jinks Apparel

State Forty Eight

statefortyeight.com

  • Industry trailblazer made the “Arizona pride” thing cool before it was cool.
  • AZ-cameo logo now rivals Barry Goldwater for raw iconic impact.
  • Vast product line includes a plush bathrobe, so you can strut around the house like an Arizonan Hugh Hefner.
Photo courtesy State Forty Eight
Photo courtesy State Forty Eight

Best Golf Apparel
PXG Apparel

Keep it chic on and off the green with this luxe line. Executive creative director Renee Parsons takes inspiration from high fashion and, in that vein, releases new designs seasonally. Logo taping, fine fabrics and an obsessive attention to fit make these clothing and accessories a natural complement to founder Bob Parsons’ high-end PXG golf clubs. pxg.com

Best R-RATED Apparel
Gage Huntley

This jewelry and fashion line is a great way to embrace your post-pandemic confidence and declare that you literally don’t give a flying you-know-what. Mesa resident Amanda Dale personally handcrafts her obscenity-laced products, giving her more than 125,000 Instagram followers the power to say what we’re all thinking. gagehuntley.myshopify.com

Photo courtesy PXG Apparel
Photo courtesy PXG Apparel

Best Vintage Shop
The Vintage Arizona

How many thrift stores give you a side of history along with your purchase? You don’t even need to set foot in The Vintage Arizona to know it’s special. Check them out on Instagram @thevintagearizona for background on everything from Pyrex to AZ-centric treasures – then head to the shop. 10637 N. Cave Creek Rd., 602-323-4917

Best Shopping on Roosevelt Row
MADE Art Boutique

Perhaps better known as co-owner of Changing Hands Bookstore, Cindy Dach also owns and runs MADE. A creative hub among the breweries and condos of Roosevelt Row, MADE features the work of local artists including that of Dach herself, whose embroideries of cactus gardens and girls in swings are a highlight of any Downtown shopping trip. 922 N. Fifth St., Phoenix, 602-256-6233, madephx.com

Best Mugs
Breakfast Mugs by Colleen Conlin

Your breakfast is usually near your morning cup of coffee, but now it can be on it. Ceramicist Colleen Conlin’s breakfast mug series features some of the most iconic sunrise staples – eggs, bacon, avocado and doughnuts – rendered in charming cartoon fashion on microwavable and dishwasher-safe mugs. Get them at Practical Art, 5070 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-264-1414, practical-art.com

Photo courtesy Colleen Conlin
Photo courtesy Colleen Conlin

Best COVID Clothing Collab
I Heart AZ’s Independent Venues Shirts

Whether you’re a hip-hopper or a metal-head, you can wear your heart on your sleeve with this collaborative mid-pandemic merch release, which benefits 16 independent music venues and the National Independent Venue Association. A bold illustration by Phoenix-based graphic designer Sage Aune adorns T-shirts, hoodies, tank tops and koozies emblazoned with “I heart AZ’s independent venues.” Catch us rocking our gear at The Rebel Lounge’s next show. Snag your own at iheartaz.com.

Best “Museum” Store
Frank Lloyd Wright Store

Don’t call it a gift shop. Taliesin West’s on-site store is closer to a high-end home design boutique or an art gallery than a purveyor of schlocky tchotchkes. Where else can you find a lounge chair incorporating Wright’s iconic geometry, a hand-knotted rug depicting a desert landscape and ceramic planters inspired by the seasons? 12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-627-5398, franklloydwright.org/shop

Best Nursery
Dig It Gardens

If we had to come up with a quarantine motto, it would be “Bloom where you’re planted.” With veggie starters, big and small cactus, bushes, trees and all kinds of ideas for what to do with your green bounty, Dig It Gardens is an oasis in the center of the city. 3015 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 602-812-7476, digphx.com

Photo courtesy Dig It Gardens
Photo courtesy Dig It Gardens

Best Shopping on Grand Avenue
Hawk Salvage

We’ve been waiting for a shop like this for years – a place where we can find vintage medical equipment, antique curio cabinets and all kinds of other things we never knew we needed like chalk figures and old maps. Hours vary and so does the selection, which means frequent trips are advised. 1109 N.W. Grand Ave., Phoenix, 602-790-8365

Best Shopping on Mill Avenue
Old Town Books

Before you read further, know that there’s a very good chance that Old Town Books will be closed for the day when you arrive. It’s part of the store’s charm. If you do manage to hit it when it’s open, enjoy a tiny treasure trove of books and, if not, the window shopping’s stellar. 518 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-968-9881

Best Niche Kids’ Shop
Basically Bows & Bowties

This specialty kids shop offers “the Southwest’s LARGEST selection of handcrafted hair bows and hair accessories.” Their selection is indeed impressive: Buffalo plaid bowties, bowties with bells and ribbons, bowties printed with butterflies and unicorns and layered in gauze. Specialty bowties mark the seasons. The shop also carries other kids’ items, including clothing, accessories and toys. 7116 E. Mercer Ln., Scottsdale, 480-483-2697, basicallybows.com

Best Bespoke Jeweler
Hilali Jewelry

Israel native Hila Lanciano bends metal into artful, wearable forms. Her jewelry often spotlights chunky, vibrant stones – amber quartz ovals, multicolor triangular opals and polished turquoise mirroring the desert sky. These fit into metal bands with organic, imperfect shapes dripping with charm. Lanciano does collections, one-offs and custom pieces, each crafted by hand in her Downtown Phoenix studio. hilalijewelry.com

Best Wedding Boutique
Cleo and Clementine

No boring, mass-produced bridal gowns here. Dressmaker Monique Sandoval helms this private studio that creates one-of-a-kind designs that sometimes walk on the wild side. To wit: a deep-V black leather bodice atop a silk gauze skirt, “tattoo lace” sleeves, a pink and purple trapeze gown and a silver sequined halter. By appointment only. Inquire at 480-788-2711. cleoandclementine.com

Best Place to Buy Baby Clothes and Gear
Zoolikins Children’s Boutique

Run by ethically minded moms, this locally owned jewel on Scottsdale’s Fifth Avenue stocks a carefully curated selection of eco-friendly baby toys, clothing, books, gifts and cloth diapers. They also operate Mini Social, a kid-friendly play café and event venue next door where parents can drink coffee, take classes and watch their children play. 7118 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-878-4138, zoolikins.com, minisocialaz.com

Photo by Galxie Andrews/Courtesy Cleo and Clementine
Photo by Galxie Andrews/Courtesy Cleo and Clementine

Best Bath Products
Zaaina

When Purvi Desai was laid off from her finance job, she took solace in creating natural bath products in her Chandler home. Years later, she’s turned her hobby into a successful business that churns out more than 100,000 bars of soap annually and is sold in West Elm and Costco. We’re partial to the aromatherapy bath bombs and at-home spa boxes. zaaina.com

Photo by Galxie Andrews/Courtesy Zaaina
Photo by Galxie Andrews/Courtesy Zaaina

Best Alt Library
The Seed Library

First books, then movies, now garden goodies. Phoenix Public Library patrons can “check out” packets filled with seeds to populate their home gardens. Each tiny envelope contains fruit, vegetable or perennial seeds. The program also offers free how-to workshops on composting, planting, watering and more. Valleywide locations, phoenixpubliclibrary.org

Best Place to Pick Up a House Plant
Pueblo

If house plant collecting is the newest basic hobby, sign us up and call us all the names you want. We’re hooked – and we’re spending far too much time loitering in Pueblo, looking for our latest fix in the form of an air plant or even something we have to stick in dirt. 1025 N.W. Grand Ave., Phoenix, 602-695-0834, pueblo.life/phoenix

Best Home Boutique
urbAna

This snug Arcadia luxury home shop has a millennial white-washed, vaguely farm-chic aesthetic. Here, you will find floral tea sets, lacquered trays striped black and white, and brassy chandeliers festooned with glass globes. UrbAna stocks furniture, fixtures and high-end goods for every room in the house. It’s an excellent place for gifts – even one to yourself. 5027 N. 44th St., Phoenix, 602-957-5066, urbanashop.com

Best Earrings
Jennifer Favour Jewelry

Mesa silversmith Jennifer Favour is a self-described turquoise freak, but she works with plenty of other stones within her Southwestern wheelhouse, including opal, variscite, labradorite and lapis. She’s also been branching out to other metals, from hammered gold bar earrings to brass beaded hoops. jenniferfavour.com

Best Baking Supplies
ABC Cake Decorating Supplies

This place has an entire sprinkles department. Need more? OK, imagine cake pans in every possible shape and size, as well as the supplies to ice, frost and festoon the baked goods that spring from those pans. You’ll be the life of the party after a stop at ABC. 2853 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, 602-224-9796, cakearts.com

Best Place to Feel Grounded
Arizona Worm Farm

Like you, maybe your soil needs a little socialization. Liven up your dirt with some Red Wigglers (“The Cadillac of Worms,” per WKRP in Cincinnati) or “castings,” a charming euphemism for worm poop. Compost, fly larvae for chicken feed and other goodies are sold at the sustainability-minded South Phoenix farm. 8430 S. 19th Ave., Phoenix, 602-622-7663, arizonawormfarm.com

Photo courtesy Arizona Worm Farm
Photo courtesy Arizona Worm Farm

Best Addition to Your Home Office
Sit-Stand Desk by Mateo Goods

When this Tempe-based company launched an Indiegogo campaign last year for its electronic sit-stand desks, it couldn’t have timed it better. Work-from-homers lined up around the virtual block for the stylish set-ups. Every curve and cut of the hardwood desks are handcrafted, and the soft hues of millennial pink and robin’s-egg blue keep you calm during Zoom meetings. 943 S. 48th St., Tempe, hellomateogoods.com

Best Desert Plant
Hop Seed Bush

Don’t let the delicate leaves of this plant fool you. It’s hardy as hell. And ideal for when you need a privacy hedge to sprout up overnight. Space this sun-loving plant four feet apart and watch the bushy green arms grow, all the while blooming little flowers that resemble hops. Moon Valley Nurseries, multiple locations, moonvalleynurseries.com, or Whitfill Nursery, three locations, whitfillnursery.com

Photo courtesy Mateo Goods
Photo courtesy Mateo Goods

Best Curl Products
Bounce Curl

Mop tops know a good curl line is hard to find. Some leave your locks lank. Some leave you with crunchy ’90s waves. Phoenix-based Bounce Curl offers products tailored to your specific spirals – yes, there are curl types – from shampoo and conditioner to curl crème and hairspray. They provide much-needed moisture without sacrificing springiness and volume.
bouncecurl.com

Best Typewriter Shop
Mesa Typewriter Exchange

Some people hoard pantyhose, some people hoard typewriters. No judgement, OK? It’s a habit that requires money, space – and the Typewriter Exchange. We have yet to stump these ribbon slingers, who pack their shop with vintage machines and the knowledge to fix them, or any typewriter you offer up. 30 S. MacDonald St., Mesa, 480-964-3603

Mesa Typewriter Exchange
Mesa Typewriter Exchange

Best BabySitters in a Pinch
Busy Bees

The best babysitter, forever and all time, will be Grandma. But if the old girl just isn’t up to it tonight, this Phoenix-based service – with 1,500 “personally vetted” sitters – has never done us wrong. Which is to say: kids reliably undamaged. And Mom and Dad get a rare night on the town. busybeesbabysitting.com

Best Nails on the Go
Essential Mobile Nails

Our favorite pandemic silver lining? Porch pedicures! The smart folks behind Essential Mobile Nails grabbed the URL and opened a mobile service in spring 2020, bringing mani-pedis to the people. Business is still booming, and we hope that this is one COVID side-effect that never goes away. essentialmobilenails.com

Best Dry Cleaner
Monte Vista Cleaners

Affordable, effective and quick – what else could one want from a dry cleaner? Monte Vista offers dry cleaning and laundry services for garments and bedding as well as more delicate
fabrics like leather and suede. Most jobs are done by the next day, and same-day service is available. Three Valley locations, facebook.com/mvcleaners.glendale

Best In-Home Workouts
FitPHX

The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department’s virtual fitness offerings include Zumba, yoga, kickboxing, aerobics and more, conducted in partnership with AARP Arizona, Valley of the Sun YMCA, Energized by Exercise and Sutra Studios. All sessions are free (registration required) and take place via Zoom. phoenix.gov/parks/fitphx

Photo courtesy Essential Mobile Nails
Photo courtesy Essential Mobile Nails

Best MMJ Delivery
Supurb

Tempe-based Supurb pioneered medical marijuana delivery services in 2016,  and its partnerships with dispensaries all over the Valley made it easy for patients to stay quarantined and medicated mid-pandemic. When recreational sales opened in 2021, Supurb spared patients long waits in line for slim pickings and delivered the goods… for a varying fee, of course. supurb.com

Best Tree Paramedics
Trees for Needs

Despite its puzzling name, this company is staffed by certified arborists who are both reliable and knowledgeable. Even if you don’t have a full-blown emergency (think: tree struck by lightning or blown over by monsoon winds), Trees for Needs will trim, fertilize, remove and offer advice on how to take care of your trees. treesforneeds.com

Best Place for a Lash Nap
Eyeconic Lash

Ah, the lash nap – a restorative snooze where you wake up both refreshed and with longer eyelashes. Eyeconic’s spa-like environs, soothing soundtrack and gentle lash techs will allow you to catch some Zs while you get your glam on. They won’t even judge you if you show up in your pajamas. 1714 E. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix, 602-396-0495, eyeconiclash.com

Best Salon Bling
Shear Paradise Salon

Turn your haircut into a full-blown spa day at this multi-service salon, offering manicures, pedicures, tanning, waxing, facials, brow microblading, massage and even teeth whitening. And we dare you to make it past the front door without checking out the blingy merch. 2710 W. Bell Rd., Phoenix, 602-863-0218, shearparadisesalon.com

Best $7 Haircut
Heritage Barber Institute

Maybe you’re seriously on a budget. Maybe you just have so little hair that a haircut is tough to botch. Or maybe, as Clint Eastwood might put it, you feel lucky. Either way, you can nip in for a cut-rate snip from a student at this barber school. Tip handsomely. 12436 N. 28th Dr., Phoenix, 602-825-1674, heritagebarberinstitute@yahoo.com

For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.