Window Shopping: House of LaLa

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The most amusing Ohio State merchandise at House of LaLa is the baby and kids stuff: Brutus-themed birth announcements, an OSU-embroidered silk blankie, a DVD designed to familiarize babies and toddlers with Campus landmarks and theme songs.

What will they think of next?

Whatever it is, House of LaLa in Worthington Hills will carry it. Owner Laurie Marbaugh opened the gift shop two years ago with a year-round focus on the Buckeyes.

If customers happen to be seeking something Ohio State-themed that she doesn't already have, she tries to get it in. The only thing she doesn't carry is Nike products, which means no officially licensed jerseys.

"I feel like you can find that everywhere, versus I've got a lot of hard-to-find or specialty [items and apparel]," Marbaugh said. "I try to be a little different than Conrads or Buckeye Corner or Dick's."

But there are still several rooms of Buckeye apparel for men, women and children in styles and sizes that aren't carried elsewhere. New Homage tees in kids sizes are coming in soon, she said.

True fans can accessorize with football-shaped and OSU-stamped purses, blinged-out Block O pins and cell phone holders. An OSU-decorated table is perfect for holding hand-painted wine glasses and cakes baked in an O-shaped pan. And for October, pumpkin replicas are made to look like they're carved with OSU's logo.

Football season might be her prime time, but Marbaugh carries her full inventory of gear, housewares and accessories all year.

That's in addition to Trollbeads jewelry, Yankee Candles, Hallmark cards, customizable SwitchFlops footwear, and seasonal gifts and decor.

Marbaugh used to ride her bike down to the Worthington Hills plaza as a child, so she also caters to neighborhood kids, keeping all the latest toy trends in stock: Webkinz, Uglydolls and the newest fad - Myachi. As the only retailer in Ohio to carry the hacky-sack-like hand toy, she can hardly keep up with demand, she said.

Marbaugh also owns a Hallmark Gold Crown store in Reynoldsburg.

"I just wanted to do a different gift store, so I could do more of my own thing," she said. "We have everything."

House of LaLa

7790 Olentangy River Rd., Worthington



Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday