Though Joe Alexander has worked in the mattress industry for years, he opened Nest Bedding to be unlike all the others. He achieves that by making sure the shop's sock of memory-foam and latex mattresses are entirely organic and made with nontoxic materials that are only dangerous to monsters trying to hide beneath them. The store's staffers, for their part, never pressure customers to make a purchase, and instead help them decide on the perfect bed only when they're ready. Visitors to each Nest show room will find a wide assortment of mattresses, naturally derived sheets, pillows, and crib bedding. For a bed that fits their sleeping style perfectly, Build-A-Nest kits allow guests to assemble their own organic mattresses to specification, from the base layer underneath to the comfort layers and cottony covering on top.
Lauded by numerous media outlets such as The Dr. Oz Show and O magazine, Essentia's memory-foam beds offer an all-natural and organic alternative to synthetic sleep aids. Crafted from a blend of organic tree sap, essential oils, and plant extracts, the cushiony foam coddles craniums and bodies by shifting its shape to fit each snoozer's form. Pillows cradle heads in a cool embrace, as the highly breathable foam allows body heat to dissipate, unlike conventional pillows or throw pillows made of old waffle irons. Seven mattresses ($1,489–$6,489) offer up the plush foam formula in varying levels of firmness, supporting backs of all shapes.
Housing the glass-based mastery of more than 50 Bay Area artists, Stained Glass Garden introduces students to the world of glass art through workshops, all-day classes, private parties, and a bustling store chock full of materials. Daytime workshoppers can choose a class from the hefty list of group classes, mingling with no more than seven other students while learning to dabble in this colorful and novel art. The stained-glass light-catcher class offers a five-hour crash course in cutting glass, soldering copper foil, and chasing the sun with giant, fragile nets ($85). Jewelry crafting and the birth of functional table art are two of the world’s seven mysteries solved via an introduction to fused glass class ($95). Under the careful gaze of melted-sand-spinning instructors, classes adhere to a varied schedule to accommodate any unforeseen Cinderella-slipper incidents. Private lessons are also available for groups of up to six companions.
Since it first opened in 1926, the nursery has covered more than half a city block with its sprawling tangles of fruit trees, exotic botanicals, shrubs, and grasses. When carefully curating their collection of accessories, the green-thumbed team selects products they too would use in their gardens. As a result, most insecticides and fertilizers at the nursery are organic, and the lawn gnomes are raised cage-free. Imported pottery from Europe and the Pacific Rim is also available to house new plants and add decorative touches in interiors and exteriors.
Come Thanksgiving time, the nursery becomes a forest of fresh-cut Christmas trees. Adding to the seasonal whimsy is a variety of blown-glass ornaments made with vintage molds available to spangle the center’s silver tips, noble firs, and douglas firs with the shiny shapes of yesteryear