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Consumer Culture

Picture yourself working 9-to-6 at a gig you can’t live without, while your sideline passion is all you ever dream about. Now imagine the alternate reality and consider the vision it would take to make that shift.

Without such risk takers, Atlanta’s consumer culture would be driven by the market interests of chain stores, franchises, and big-box retailers. So this year we celebrate the makers, those self-made entrepreneurs and sustainable small-business owners who’ve turned crafting hobbies into full-time hustles. Many work out of home studios, supplying product to local independently owned shops, and even shipping to stockists around the world.

Rachael Riedinger began leather making to fill a void. Through trial and error, she’s built Neva Opet into a recognized handbag and accessories brand. Sheree Swann started ReeFresh by Ree, her handcrafted line of tribal-print accessories, from scratch before making it her daily devotion just six months ago. Others, like Ateaelle urban merch brand owner Kirsten Daniel, have a vision for the city that fuels dialogue through design. We decided there are so many natural bath and beauty products made locally by the batch that they deserve their own category. Not to mention the holistic health practitioners, such as Crystal Jones and Leah Tioxon, who help us realign our third-eye vision.

Sometimes divining the future of a city obsessed with phoenix-like regeneration means looking to the past. It’s hard to overlook how century-old cultural staple Sweet Auburn Curb Market has provided the perfect blueprint for such upscale millennial rehabs as Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market. And no matter how sanitized this city gets, Little Five Points remains an eccentric shopping experience nearly 40 years strong. At least, that’s how we choose to see Atlanta in 2016.

— Rodney Carmichael




Best astrologer BOA Award Winner

Hannah Glasco

Best chiropractor BOA Award Winner

Georgia Spinal Health & Wellness

Best gym BOA Award Winner

Vesta Movement

Best martial arts studio BOA Award Winner

American Top Team AND X3 Sports

Best personal trainer BOA Award Winner

Kory Muehlhauser

Best powerlifting gym BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Strength & Conditioning

Best realtor BOA Award Winner

Alex Wilkinson

Trophy Case BOA Award Winner

ATLien Tee
When ATLiens landed in 1996, few even knew how to pronounce the name of OutKast’s sophomore album. Twenty years later, that alien identity remains synonymous with a generation of Atlantans who translated Southern hip-hop into the universal language of youth culture. The same spirit is embodied by themore...
When ATLiens landed in 1996, few even knew how to pronounce the name of OutKast’s sophomore album. Twenty years later, that alien identity remains synonymous with a generation of Atlantans who translated Southern hip-hop into the universal language of youth culture. The same spirit is embodied by the ATLien TEE. Before designing his signature shirt in 2008, Atlanta streetwear O.G. Omar “Chilly-O” Mitchell got Big Boi to bless it. Then, instead of whoring it out, he kept it exclusive by printing limited editions of the lowercase script in ever-evolving colorways. Just as ATLiens has come to transcend OutKast as a cultural identifier, Chilly-O’s shirt continues to convey what it means to be a resident alien in the last black mecca. It’s a declaration that different is inherently better. More than a geographical location, ATLien represents creative rebellion, originality, and a tribal sense of belonging for those on the fringes. As the city celebrates the anniversary of one of OutKast’s landmark LPs, you’re more likely to find Chilly-O selling his tees in the streets than in some upscale sneaker boutique. It’s worked wonders for brand equity. For the right price, he might even be willing to sell you the shirt off his back. www.instagram.com/chillyolovesyou. less...

Best aerobic dance class BOA Award Winner

Dance 411 Studios
Our dreams of feeling like we’re in a Step Up movie come true at DANCE 411 STUDIOS. The Adult Hip-Hop class playlist will make even the shiest dancer start moving, especially when the first notes of Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On” start playing. The studio offers an alternative to your run-of-the-millmore...
Our dreams of feeling like we’re in a Step Up movie come true at DANCE 411 STUDIOS. The Adult Hip-Hop class playlist will make even the shiest dancer start moving, especially when the first notes of Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On” start playing. The studio offers an alternative to your run-of-the-mill gym workout with classes like pole dancing, twerking 101, interpretative hip-hop, ballet, and more — all with beginner level options for the easily intimidated. The hour-long classes are energetic, fun, and will have you sweating in no time. Cool down after class while catching a glimpse of real choreographers rehearsing their routines.  less...



Best essentials for the well-groomed dude BOA Award Winner

Marvi Beauty
Created by a mother-daughter team right here in the city, MARVI BEAUTY is all about natural products handcrafted in small batches. But don’t let that “beauty” part fool you, bros — Marvi also makes products catered directly to dudes. Their beard oil, facial serum, soothing scalp serum, and anti-dandruffmore...
Created by a mother-daughter team right here in the city, MARVI BEAUTY is all about natural products handcrafted in small batches. But don’t let that “beauty” part fool you, bros — Marvi also makes products catered directly to dudes. Their beard oil, facial serum, soothing scalp serum, and anti-dandruff serum come with easy-to-use droppers and are made with all-natural vegan ingredients. They’ve also got you covered via herbal hair oil to give you that “Don Draper of ATL” look. Available at Made Again, 299 N. Highland Ave. N.E., Suite H2. 404-893-0300. www.marvibeauty.com. less...

Best rejuvenation for your soul BOA Award Winner

Heal with Crystal
In a city where creative hustle is currency, even us artistic types can become disconnected from our true selves in the service of humanity. Crystal Jones, a certified holistic health counselor and chiropractor, sees it every day. With a self-described mission to “love humanity back to life,” shemore...
In a city where creative hustle is currency, even us artistic types can become disconnected from our true selves in the service of humanity. Crystal Jones, a certified holistic health counselor and chiropractor, sees it every day. With a self-described mission to “love humanity back to life,” she uses human connection as a healing force for good. A staple within Atlanta’s creative community and beyond — from A3C to SXSW — HEAL WITH CRYSTAL’s referral-based practice regularly caters to high-profile and everyday clients experiencing depression, anxiety, and even forms of cancer. She specializes in intuitive chiropractic, reiki, reflexology, vibration therapy, and other modalities to guide clients from emotional crises to clarity. www.healwithcrystal.com. less...

Best way to keep that lip gloss poppin' BOA Award Winner

Little Barn Apothecary
If you haven’t had the chance to sample offerings from Atlanta-based modern face, body, and home goods brand LITTLE BARN APOTHECARY, then get thee to the Westside. It recently opened up a brick-and-mortar spot in Westside Provisions District, where you can snag its signature hydrating butter balms.more...
If you haven’t had the chance to sample offerings from Atlanta-based modern face, body, and home goods brand LITTLE BARN APOTHECARY, then get thee to the Westside. It recently opened up a brick-and-mortar spot in Westside Provisions District, where you can snag its signature hydrating butter balms. Though technically all-purpose, we recommend slathering it on your lips before bed to wake up with supple, moisturized lips. Bam! 1198 Howell Mill Road N.W., Suite OL1. www.littlebarnapothecary.com. less...

Best way to naturally luxuriate BOA Award Winner

Divine Clementine's soap on a rope
For years, Atlanta-based artist Madam CJ has left an indelible imprint all over Atlanta music and culture. Her all-natural line of DIVINE CLEMENTINE’S SOAP ON A ROPE, however, is a fresh anointing. Since starting the line of sustainable, small-batch soaps in 2009, she’s turned a hobby into a nationallymore...
For years, Atlanta-based artist Madam CJ has left an indelible imprint all over Atlanta music and culture. Her all-natural line of DIVINE CLEMENTINE’S SOAP ON A ROPE, however, is a fresh anointing. Since starting the line of sustainable, small-batch soaps in 2009, she’s turned a hobby into a nationally recognized brand of aromatherapeutics handmade with locally sourced goat’s milk and other natural products. With naturally scented and unscented soaps — including lavender goat’s milk, tea tree goat’s milk oatmeal cookie, peppermint goat’s milk, and aloe vera goat’s milk — Divine Clementine’s contains no harsh ingredients, deodorants, or chemical fragrances, making it good for such ailments as psoriasis, eczema, sunspots, and sunburn. And the attached rope means you don’t have to worry about all that goodness melting away in a soap dish full of water. 404-997-8445. www.soap2tote.com. less...

Best astrologer BOA Award Winner

Hannah Glasco

Best chiropractor BOA Award Winner

Georgia Spinal Health & Wellness

Best comic book haven BOA Award Winner

My Parents' Basement
You know the universe is looking out for us when there’s a spot in ATL that has both a great draft list and a great comic book collection. MY PARENTS’ BASEMENT, tucked away in Avondale Estates, is run by comic book vets qualified to steer you in the right direction, whether you’re looking for amore...
You know the universe is looking out for us when there’s a spot in ATL that has both a great draft list and a great comic book collection. MY PARENTS’ BASEMENT, tucked away in Avondale Estates, is run by comic book vets qualified to steer you in the right direction, whether you’re looking for a new series or in the market for a rare issue. Stay on top of their events as artist signings happen often, like one recently with Betty and Veronica writer and artist Adam Hughes. Peruse their collection of more than 1,000 comic books and stay for Nerd Trivia night on Tuesdays. Grab some grub — we’re partial to the shrimp taco plate and Wild Heaven brew. less...

Best glimpse into your future (and past) BOA Award Winner

Leah Tioxon
LEAH TIOXON knows her stuff. Case in point, she’s been working with tarot cards — both here and overseas in places like China — for nearly 20 years. Entering her O4W shared studio space ushers in an immediate sense of calm, followed by an enlightening 45-minute in-person tarot reading session ($45,more...
LEAH TIOXON knows her stuff. Case in point, she’s been working with tarot cards — both here and overseas in places like China — for nearly 20 years. Entering her O4W shared studio space ushers in an immediate sense of calm, followed by an enlightening 45-minute in-person tarot reading session ($45, complete with stones and flickering candles) that aims to center and enlighten you. Guests pull their own cards and have Tioxon interpret what they mean as part of an illuminating dialogue about their future as well as the inner self. Tioxon also offers a variety of other services, from Mediumship Sessions ($75) to Sacral Chakra Openings ($100). Plus, she’s got a masters in social work, which means you can, according to her, “expect some intense spirituality with a heavy helping of practicality.” www.leahtioxon.com. less...

Best homage to old Atlanta BOA Award Winner

Ateaelle's Old Atlanta sweatshirt
Every brand starts with a story. For the proprietors behind urban merch startup Ateaelle (pronounced A-T-L), theirs began with a shirt bearing a concise but profound message. As soon as company founder Kirsten Daniel and her business partner Destiny Stokes released their OLD ATLANTA sweatshirt (alsomore...
Every brand starts with a story. For the proprietors behind urban merch startup Ateaelle (pronounced A-T-L), theirs began with a shirt bearing a concise but profound message. As soon as company founder Kirsten Daniel and her business partner Destiny Stokes released their OLD ATLANTA sweatshirt (also available in tees) nine months ago, it became an instant conversation piece. In a town hell-bent on homogenizing its cultural identity, they’ve joined other homegrown brands in making nostalgia a fashion statement. Daniel’s desire to preserve a sense of the city that raised her in the ’90s has become a calling card for natives and longtime residents who remember when “the ATL” was coded language reserved for cool kids. That subtlety is reflected in the Old Atlanta shirt’s unspoken critique of the rampant gentrification and cultural displacement turning the black mecca into a shell of itself. But it’s more positive proclamation than protest fashion. Whether your favorite era of Atlanta is best represented by Kilo’s booty shake anthems or Dr. King’s hard-fought dream, one size fits all. Just have your A-Town credentials on deck when you wear it or you might get checked. www.ateaelle.com. less...

Best neighborhood market that has it all BOA Award Winner

Candler Park Market
You can count on an average bodega or corner store to cover the basics, from drinks, snacks, and tobacco to candy bars, condiments, and obscenely priced toiletries. But CANDLER PARK MARKET doesn’t just have the stuff you’ll settle for in a pinch. Instead, the unassuming oasis is packed with gourmetmore...
You can count on an average bodega or corner store to cover the basics, from drinks, snacks, and tobacco to candy bars, condiments, and obscenely priced toiletries. But CANDLER PARK MARKET doesn’t just have the stuff you’ll settle for in a pinch. Instead, the unassuming oasis is packed with gourmet goods that discerning urbanites crave. There are imported chocolates and fancy granola bars. Boxes of organic cereal and gluten-free crackers comingle with the Frosted Flakes and Wheat Thins. One aisle over, the Market’s generous produce section is routinely stocked with an array of locally grown veggies. The Deli at Candler Park Market, the neighborhood go-to for substantial sandwiches and salads, occupies the back of the store. The crown jewel, however, is the booze selection. Candler Park Market has an entire aisle dedicated to highly rated wines, and its impressive beer section is more crafty than convenient. There you’re as likely to find packs of Bells Two Hearted Ale and 21st Amendment as you are the latest local releases from Monday Night Brewing, Orpheus, and more. Candler Park Market is more than just a convenience store for those who live nearby. For many neighbors, shopping there has become a part of daily life. less...

Best new farmers market BOA Award Winner

Ponce City Market
The Beltline has transformed intown living before our eyes. The popular path has increased accessibility between neighborhoods like never before, and the forward-thinking do-gooders at Community Farmers Markets took notice. With a centralized location and no shortage of Beltline foot-traffic, the PONCEmore...
The Beltline has transformed intown living before our eyes. The popular path has increased accessibility between neighborhoods like never before, and the forward-thinking do-gooders at Community Farmers Markets took notice. With a centralized location and no shortage of Beltline foot-traffic, the PONCE CITY FARMERS MARKET is the newest addition to the CFM family. The Tuesday evening farmstand made its debut in May 2016 and will continue to convene each week from 4 to 8 p.m. through Dec. 20. The market is located directly on the Beltline at “the Shed,” which means easy access for bikers and pedestrians. The market’s lineup rotates through a selection of more than 40 local farms including Scharko Farms and Friends, Truly Living Well, Brasstown Beef, Cosmos Organic Farms, and more. www.cfmatl.org/poncecity. less...

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