Kathy Antar opened The Sewing Studio planning to provide sewing services for design professionals and event producers, but was soon flooded with phone calls and emails from people who simply wanted to know how to use their sewing machines. To meet that need, The Sewing Studio began to offer a selection of beginner, intermediate, and advanced sewing classes. During each 2.5-hour session, students learn how to thread machines, wind the bobbin, and practice various stitches using their own machines. In addition to classes, Kathy custom-designs furniture upholstery, bedding, and window coverings and supplies expert design-consultation services, which can transform a client's dream design into a tactile reality.
At more than 1,200 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.
By Design Furniture offers to accent homes with sleekly styled chairs, sectionals, and shelves that marry European chic with classic American comfort. The modular Synergy bookcase ($98) is bathed in dark walnut and a modernistic fix for storing office supplies, shelving paperbacks, or displaying a glass bust of Ray Bradbury. Admire well-dressed reflections in the espresso-enclosed Pasadena mirror ($198), or entertain a date at the Duetto snack table ($118), featuring two stainless-steel arms holding round glass faceplates. Orbed Jensen chairs ($198) beam with retro-futurism, sheathed with plush microfibers harvested from green, black, orange, and red Mork farms.
"Wired and Fired is the best date [we] have ever been on," wrote Haley and Jeff, whose first meet-up went so swimmingly that they married less than two years later. Perhaps the duo bonded over their shared creativity: at the studio, blank white dishes, figurines, boxes, and banks await fresh coats of paint and glaze from brush holders. Artists also can stop by the Bling Bar to spangle their bisqueware with colorful gems poured from the bartender's shaker. Pieces emerge glossy and dishwasher-safe from the kiln about three days later.
Wired & Fired isn't just popular with the cupid-struck set—the kid-friendly environment is also a favorite hangout for families, especially when Family Night on Wednesdays offers discounts for tots. (Tuesdays are Ladies' Nights.) Children and adults alike can hold their birthday parties or private get-togethers at the studio, where they're invited to bring their own snacks, pizzas, and even 21-or-older beverages. Partiers can daub paint onto pottery or learn to fuse glass into jewelry, bowls, and vases. Those preparing a custom gift may call upon the talents of Wired & Fired's on-staff artists.