Consumer Culture

The term "retail therapy" is dorky and cliché, but there is something to be said for the healing power of shopping. Spending money is a form of catharsis, and we've scoured Atlanta's retail scene for the best places to get it all out.

There weren't many new places to blow dough this year, but we rustled up plenty of stores that make us proud to shout, "Recession be damned!" and dust the cobwebs off our wallets.

While some of us are buying on a budget and others have the means to splurge, everyone feels good about shopping at locally owned businesses. The Beehive Co-op, in its recently opened retail space, charmed us with its selection of handmade jewelry from local artists and indie crafters. And we love the new ATL apparel company Streetela for making local street art wearable.

Among our other faves are a B&B-slash-urban farm in the heart of the city, a beautiful chocolate shop that makes its confections from scratch and a tattoo parlor that knows how to ink skin of all colors. And for retail therapy in its most literal form, may we suggest the to-die-for luxury mani-pedi at Nouvelle Nail Spa or G Salon's $40 spa deal?

Sure, it might be time to stop saying "retail therapy," but indulging in it will never go out of style.

Gwynedd Stuart and Bobby Feingold

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