Photo courtesy of Martha Valdes

While the pandemic has struck a huge blow to many small-business owners, some savvy entrepreneurs have capitalized on a new and exploding market: facemasks. In Miami, the best-face-masks honor has to go to Martha of Miami. Martha has long made a name for herself as the quintessential 305 merch seller, and her masks follow suit. If 2020's giving you the heebie-jeebies, try Martha's evil-eye mask to purge all the bad vibes from your life. Or choose from styles covered with mango, piña colada or cafecito designs. There's even a trademark "Cuban Bred" version, so everyone will know what you're about, even from six feet away. The Martha of Miami store is open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; all masks are $10 or under, with a balaclava-style full face cover available for $14.

Karli Evans

We're not 100 percent clear on the science behind the reasons people decide to get tattoos, but if we had to guess, boredom and alcohol would be at the top of the list. Quarantining during a pandemic has brought both into our lives in a big way, so we can only deduce that Ocho Placas Tattoo Company is seeing an uptick in business. The hometown shop — elevated by the work of co-owners John Vale and Javier Betancourt, along with a cohort of talented designers — is an internationally recognized space with a strong local presence (Vale and Betancourt are also part of Miami's music, visual arts and culinary scenes). The artists at Ocho Placas go way beyond butterfly tramp stamps and 'I Love Mom' tattoos; they're well-known for their custom designs, no matter how intricate or involved. If you've got something in mind, these specialists will help you bring it to life. Not sure what you want? Tell them what you're into, and they'll put their talents to work. Check out the Ocho Placas Facebook page to see some examples of recent work, then call or go online to make an appointment. The shop is open from 1 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Photo by Eileen de la Rosa

Few family businesses in South Florida have attracted the kind of cult following that FootWorks has. For nearly 50 years, FootWorks has helped get as many Miamians moving as possible, transforming from simple running retail outlet to local hub for all things athletic. The legacy was set in motion by Hans and Laurie Huseby in 1973 and lives on today through the tireless work of matriarch Laurie, son JP and the all-star team they've assembled, which feels more like an extended family than anything else. TeamFootWorks, the store's nonprofit arm, produces some of Miami's biggest road races, including the Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run, while its annual full- and half-marathon training programs get hundreds of dedicated runners excited to wake up and cover obscene distances before sunrise. Visit the store from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Whether you're an amateur cyclist who needs to mend a flat or an expert on the hunt for a custom build, the staff at Brickell Bikes has got you covered. Upon arrival, you'll meet Nugget — the resident golden-hued French bulldog, who greets you at the door. If Nugget doesn't sell you on a bike, the impressive showroom will. From simple cruisers to sophisticated road machines, the staff will guide you to the bike of your dreams — or at the very least a bike to cruise you on out of 2020. Owner Robbie Zamora features brands like Bianchi, All-City, and Fyxation. Prices start around $399 and go up — well, as any cyclist will tell you, for custom builds of the sort Zamora describes as "some cool damn bikes," prices go up as high as you want them to. If you're not ready to buy, no problem: Brickell Bikes offers hassle-free rentals that are easily booked online. And those looking to socialize with fellow cyclists (at a six-foot distance, of course) should check out Brickell Bike's social-media pages for info on group rides and Critical Mass activations.

Is there a better socially distanced activity than skateboarding? Whether you're a seasoned pro or just getting started, Fort Lauderdale's Mad Skate Shop is on a mission to keep the sport alive, even through the pandemic. The store carries plenty of familiar brands like Adidas, Thrasher, and Krooked, and its knowledgeable staff of skaters stands ready to help clueless parents. Is your kid interested in learning how to skate? The shop offers lessons to children as young as 3 at its Skate Spot area at 99 SW 14th Street in Fort Lauderdale. In addition to helping beginners, Mad Skate also supports a team of up-and-comers who are helping keep South Florida's skateboard scene on the map.

Buying a car is supposed to be exciting — but the process is notoriously anxiety-inducing. The beginning and the end are a blast, but the in-between is pure torture. Lexus of Pembroke Pines does its best to make that in-between part manageable so you can actually enjoy one of the bigger purchases of your life. Selection isn't a problem, as there are well over a thousand cars in the inventory to choose from. Customer service isn't an issue, either. And the prices can't be beat: You'll get the best deal, whether the car you're looking at is new or used. And if you don't see what you want, the dealership will find it for you. What more can you ask for? If you want a pleasant car-buying experience, start your search at Lexus of Pembroke Pines. The dealership is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

A friend of ours was a late bloomer when it came to automobiles. After getting her license at 24, she became the ill-informed owner of a beat-up mid-size crossover SUV — and only after the car broke down on I-95 did she realize that an occasional oil change might be necessary for optimum car health. The team at BMA Automotive could easily have hustled this amateur, but as noted in various online reviews, the El Portal mechanic shop is incredibly service-minded, with a trustworthy team helmed by the knowledgeable, professional, and reassuringly friendly Ron. And while the customer is not always right in this line of business (no, those lights flashing on your dashboard are not a suggestion), customers are definitely at the top of the priority list for BMA, which has delivered premium-quality services at reasonable rates to Miami drivers for the past 30 years.

Your filthy car is begging for a wash, but you're too lazy to DIY it, and the gas station drive-thrus aren't worth the high prices they charge for soap and water. Hand car washes with great attention to detail are what make the service worth paying for, not some robot arms and a red arrow that tells you when to stop. So before someone leaves a scrawled "Wash Me" note in the dust on your window, take your baby to Karma Car Wash. Karma has perfected the old-fashioned hand car wash and has a pricing scale for every budget. In addition, the experts here will spiff up the interior of your vehicle just as well as the outside. While you wait, settle into one of Karma's umbrella-covered Adirondack chairs; you'll soon forget you're there to get bird poop cleaned off your bumper.

If ever there was a time when CBD was needed, 2020 is it. CBD can be a game-changer for users, but it can take a lot of time and money to find the brand, product and dosage that are right for you. With so many companies trying to cash in on CBD's popularity, the market is rife with scammers. In contrast, Herbin Living Smoke Shop offers the knowledge and products that will get customers the relief they're looking for, including its own full-spectrum CBD brand. The shop's inventory addresses a variety of consumer needs, from glass pipes and vape tools to kava and kratom supplements, and its prices are honest. So skip the gas station snake-oil stuff and make your way to Herbin Living instead; doors open daily at 10 a.m.

Photo by Kristin Bjornsen

With three locations in Miami and more scattered around South Florida, Trulieve has clearly cornered the flower market in these parts. But convenience is just one reason we like the dispensary chain so much. In addition to all the other products in stock, ranging from concentrates and inhalations to tinctures and capsules, Trulieve has helped pioneer the advent of edibles in this state, even setting up a 10,000-square-foot commercial kitchen near Tallahassee. While Miami's medical customers can shop from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Trulieve's delivery is also quick and accurate — another plus. And we admit that we're suckers for the puns on the company's website and text messaging. Happy Shatterday, indeed!

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®