For a fabulous girlfriend getaway, my newest recommendation is Columbus Ohio.
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Columbus Ohio is a Fashion Capitol
Those in the fashion world known Columbus, Ohio. Seriously. Right behind New York and Los Angeles, Columbus has more fashion designers per capita than any other city in the U.S.
That’s in large part due to the corporate headquarters of some major fashion influencers located here: Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria’s Secret, DSW, Express, Bath & Body Works. The Columbus College of Art & Design is also here, guiding the next generation of fashion forward thinkers out of the box. The school’s senior fashion show each spring is a great time for a girlfriend getaway to Columbus.
We spent the morning with Celeste Malvar-Stewart at Hangar 391 Design Studio where she explained about dying silk and other fabrics. She likes to use walnuts or rusty pieces metal she finds here and there. We also learned about nuno-felting, using wool from Lincoln sheep who live on a nearby farm. We made our own scarves!
Celeste moved here from New York when her husband, a mathematical geneticist, was offered a job at Ohio State University. She says she’s fallen in love with Columbus because of the collaboration between designers that she never experienced in the city.
Where to Shop in Columbus, Ohio
If you’re not making your own clothes or hiring someone like Celeste to do it for you, the next best thing is spending an afternoon in the Short North Arts District. That’s where a number of Columbus designers sell their fashions through independent boutiques. Buying clothes and accessories here guarantees you won’t see two or three of yourself walking down the street when you get home.
However, our favorite stop was a little place called Mukha Custom Cosmetics and Spa. This is where make-up artist Tim Mauer creates custom cosmetics for each individual’s skin tone and lifestyle. These are all organic, vegan, and 100 percent mineral-based. It was so much fun getting advice from Tim. The biggest mistake we all make, he said, is using a concealer that is lighter than our foundation. That just makes us look puffy.
Within 10 seconds of looking at my face, Tim suggested a light copper eye shadow for me. He says I’ve got some Germanic DNA, thus heavy eyelids that may cause problems as I get older. The whole German thing is kind of a surprise since I think I’m Welsh and Scots-Irish. But the copper eye shadow made me look 10 years younger.
For $25, you can have lip-gloss custom-created just for you. Or you can go for a full-blown make-over with custom everything for $150. That includes a paint-by-number set of sorts for your face so you can do the same to yourself when you get home. Seriously, you and your girlfriends could play all day with Tim and his staff and never get bored.
A Rich Coffee Culture in Columbus, Ohio
Top off your girlfriend getaway in Columbus with a good cup of coffee. The city has so many good coffee shops to choose from. To make it a memorable experience, set up a cupping appointment with Mick Evans at One Line Coffee.
There, you and your friends will learn to distinguish the flavors and scents found in good coffee. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I thoroughly enjoyed the hour we spent circling a table at One Line Coffee, sniffing various beans and slurping steaming hot cups while we attempted to develop our palette.
Tip: to add some European flair to your next coffee outing, ask for Rüdesheim coffee. Yumm!
My friends and I stayed at the Hilton downtown, which is filled with more than $2 million in local art. We rode Segways and went to music theatres and art museums. We talked and laughed and ate a lot. Which is what you do when you’re on a girlfriend getaway, right?
A destination like Columbus, Ohio just leaves you looking as good on the outside as you feel on the inside.