What’s in store for Hudson shopping

JaLynn Hardy

With the advent of the Internet, some people were sure the shopping mall industry would go out of business. When you can buy designer clothing at half price from bluefly.com, why would you pay retail prices at the mall?

I personally don’t like to shop on the Internet often or out of store catalogs because you never really know what you’re going to get. And if you don’t like it or it doesn’t fit, you have to pay to ship it back.

No thanks.

Shopping is all about the experience. It’s a form of relaxation where you get away from your problems to enjoy spending lots of money on items. (I’m a shopoholic, don’t forget.)

That’s why when I heard a new shopping complex was being developed in the ritzy town of Hudson, I decided to go and check out the new shops.

First and Main in Hudson is a development similar to Easton in Columbus or Legacy Village up in Cleveland. I have to say it is so much more attractive than ugly strip malls, and I do think these types of shopping establishments are the wave of the future.

The only drawback I can see as an Ohioan is our lovely and highly unpredictable weather. If it is crappy, then you have to shop in the rain, sleet, snow, wind … well, you get the idea.

But on a beautiful day it can be uplifting to get a breath of fresh air in what looks like a little town in Europe.

The other problem these complexes have is parking — lovely, limited, park-on-street parking. If you show up as someone is leaving, you’re lucky. Otherwise, the parking lots are scattered around. But who wants to walk far to get to the stores when you’ve got a shopping experience to walk through?

My shopping experience:

If you want to stay inside the multiplex and not venture onto Main Street, here are some of the new things you’ll see popping up in town.

The complex itself is still adding new stores and eateries. I would say it’s worth a trip if you want to treat yourself to some great food.

For the vegetarian, there’s Aladdin’s eatery. They’ve been popping up all over Ohio, and the food is always fresh. The restaurant serves Mediterranean food like hummus, tabouleh and chicken shwarma. I enjoyed a tuna steak salad before I took my wallet for a walk.

There’s also a D’Agnese’s Tomato Grill, Cold Stone Creamery, Cali Juice and San Francisco Oven. Because these eateries aren’t everywhere, it’s nice to try something new.

The Cold Stone Creamery makes awesome ice cream. You pick out the flavor, and the employees mix it with whatever ingredients you choose. I had mint with brownie pieces in it — and now I’m jonesin’ for more.

Personally, I think the clothing shops there are geared toward older women or business professionals, so I decided to keep my wallet closed for now.

There were stores like Ann Taylor Loft, Chico’s, Talbots and Coldwater Creek.

No shopping experience is ever quite right without some sort of coffee beverage. I like to get a buzz on before I move about. Alas, the first shopping complex without a Starbucks. But have no fear, Caribou Coffee is here.

I enjoyed a Toasted Marshmallow Mocha that tasted pretty much like a s’more. Then I ventured back to shopping because I saw shops that were not familiar to me.

I loved the Old Thyme Herbs Company because everything is all-natural. When you read the label for lotions, you find identifiable ingredients, such as lavender. If you like lavender, then go for it. It’s the basis of one of its lines.

I got some whipped Shea butter for my super dry legs, and it really seems to soothe as well as moisturize.

Very seldom do you see a store that is devoted to accessories, outside of the trendy, cheap versions of real jewelry sold in Claire’s stores.

In Style Accessories is the perfect place to go to add some spice to your wardrobe. I bought this darling sash that has two metal rings attached to it, which is meant to be worn at the waist. The sashes came in all sorts of crazy geometric prints for $16. It’s the perfect way to add color to an outfit if you’re a little color-shy.

If you’re looking for some Victorian-inspired swags, pillows and chandeliers, look no further. Abigail and Annie’s is a delightful eclectic mix of throws, furniture and wall plaques that would add style to any girl’s room.

With my wallet a little lighter, I walked back to my car thinking about how much I enjoyed my day at First and Main. I look forward to a couple of the new stores still to come. But overall, it was nice to see some new shops uncommon to this area. After all, variety is the spice of life, and there is shopping life outside of Chapel Hill Mall.

JaLynn Hardy is a senior broadcast journalism major who studied fashion for two years. Contact her at [email protected].