Window Shopping: No. 693

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Through the giant stretch of windows lining Old Worthington's busiest intersection, No. 693 looks like a cute home accessories and gift shop. Sterling silver necklaces are a mainstay near the register, and decorative gardening implements sit stacked on a table.

Upon closer look, though, it's clear that owners Christa Johnson and Barbara Guzzo interpret the world of home accessories and gifts through their own lens.

The shop is French- and English-focused, with furniture, antique finds and French-milled soaps hand-picked by Guzzo on her annual trips to Europe. And basics like tote bags, pillows and necklaces are selected to ensure they're not available anywhere else in town.

"We're layered," Johnson said. "We have the French and English pieces underneath, but we hold all the gifts on top. And the gifts are kind of what we're known for."

The duo once maintained their own separate shops - Guzzo in Powell, Johnson in Worthington - but merged them about four years ago. The resulting aesthetic, as Johnson explains it, is "things that are lovely."

These finds fill the three rooms the store occupies in an old house, with like things grouped together. Beneath a desk holding the store's selection of stationery, a wastebasket is for sale. So is a hook that holds an antique wire basket on the wall.

Tied to each item is a hand-labeled card detailing any description of its origin or history.

"We hope that since we travel as far, the store definitely takes on a different look than the other shops," Johnson said.

Copper pots and pans, French faux bamboo mirrors and glass-windowed cabinets are among the one-of-a-kind finds.

Although the stock is always changing, one mainstay is the shop's selection of dramatic picture frames. There are oversized white wall hangings and fancier frames topped with bows and glittering vintage pins.

This summer's seasonal offerings are colorful - candles shaped like vegetables and nautical-themed throw pillows - but the antique, faded look is usually more common.

"It's summer right now, so we have some bright colors around, but it's typically Swedish grays, whites, faded colors," Johnson said.

No. 693 has become the go-to place for one bright and colorful thing, though: printed and patterned pajamas from Pine Cone Hill that attract quite a following.

No. 693

693 N. High St., Worthington




11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, closed Monday

For more store news and daily sale updates, click to the Window Shopping blog