As Wyoming, and the rest of the country, emerges from the COVID-19 shutdown, the city and What’s Up Wyoming wants to help you re-discover the pleasure of doing business here in Wyoming with local business owners who put their heart and soul into their endeavors. Each week we will bring you short profiles of local businesses in the hopes that you’ll be inspired to shop local and spur recovery in your home town while you’re taking care of your family. Here are this week’s businesses:
Robby’s Quality Alterations
A lifelong tailor who started at his mother’s sewing machine as a child, Robby L. Brookins has earned a name as one of the best in his industry.
His reputation in Cincinnati has even meant that presidents have sought him out when visiting town and in need of an unexpected alteration.
“Back when George W. Bush was president, he just walked in here one day and asked to have his jacket tailored,” says Brookins. “He was in town for a fundraiser and wanted a local tailor. He was directed to me. I’m known for my work,” Brookins says with a laugh.
Bush isn’t the only high-profile client for Brookins. He also does work for Oscar Robinson, and has done tailoring for Bob Newhart, former Vice President Dick Cheney and many other big names.
After roughly 52 years in the industry, he’s seen a lot of changes.
Today, custom tailored suits are largely a thing of the past, he says. But he still loves doing the work of altering garments to suit today’s styles or mending quality clothing that is in need of a touch-up.
And while celebrities are exciting, it’s the regular folks of Wyoming he enjoys most. His friendly style offers customers a warm welcome, and he loves to share a quick conversation and a smile with everyone who walks in. He’s old fashioned that way. You also won’t find him on social media, or even locate a website. You can reach him by phone at 513-948-1277, or by stopping in to his shop at 509 Wyoming Avenue Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon, where he will welcome you with his usual smile and gracious hello.
Two years ago, Shelly Helser brought a new concept to Wyoming: a bookstore and co-share space that sells memberships and is also available to non-members on set days of the week.
It was a love of reading that inspired Helser to start the business, located upstairs at 502 Wyoming Avenue, and she has made it her mission to support local start-ups and authors. She has hosted authors for book signings and she plans to begin events again as the state emerges from its shutdown. She also uses her business to support a love of reading in young people and donates 10 percent of her profits to schools in Wyoming, Lockland and Reading.
For members, Book Boulevard offers a place to host a small gathering, or just to get away and read, work or think. Used books are offered for sale for $2 apiece, and she buys books as well. The space also includes a small kitchen, WiFi, and an ample supply of comfy furniture to inspire reading or a group discussion.
Although the space has been closed to the non-members during the COVID-19 shutdown, Helser is hoping to announce new days and times for the public soon.
For details about memberships or the space itself, go to joinbookblvd.com. Follow the Book Blvd. Facebook page for updates about events – Facebook: BookBlvd.
Art Resource Team A.R.T.
If you’ve ever walked around the village business district, you’ve probably noticed the striking artwork hanging in the windows at 506 Wyoming Avenue – the home of A.R.T., a gallery and office space launched by artist Elizabeth Inez Baird in 2008.
Baird offers original artwork for sale, art consulting – for both residential and commercial uses – and custom framing and installation. Her gallery is also a spot to find original gifts of jewelry and unique collectables sourced from artisans across the country.
Throughout the year, she also hosts events such as ladies nights, openings featuring local artists, and holiday-themed parties. The gallery is always changing with new works, and Baird loves to help customers find the perfect piece of art for their unique tastes and needs from her many contacts in the art world.
Presently, the gallery is offering a “shelter-in-place” art sale featuring large framed photographs printed on aluminum. The store is open and welcomes shoppers with special adjustments to accommodate social distancing guidelines.
If you need a treat for your eyes during a dull day, A.R.T. is the place to find it. For more information, go to artresourceteam.com or call 513-662-1998.