"Anybody can paint," declares Vanessa Huff, the owner of Art & Soul. And she knows what she's talking about. The longtime artist has been teaching art to children for years and has branched out into leading art classes for all ages at her new studio. Along with her staff, she instructs students on various painting techniques such as shading and contouring, and introduces them to color theory, which is the theory that colors exist. During hands-on sessions, youngsters learn to express themselves through art projects while adults create their own renderings of paintings while sipping on wine during step-by-step instruction.
Since its founding in 1968, Jerry's Artarama has had a meteoric rise from a solitary storefront in Long Island to 15 stores nationwide and 500-page mail-order catalogs, supplying enough raw material to produce innumerable sketches, paintings, and drawings. Jerry's knowledgeable shopkeeps guide customers through the gamut of discounted tools, paints, and easels from industry mainstays such as Lukas and Matisse. Alongside the arsenal of art supplies, apparel, and equipment, staffers also provide custom-framing services to ensure masterpieces find a secure and stylish home.
In the eight years since the start of Local Furniture Outlet, the cherished baby business of Mr. Aaron Masterson has grown up fast?from a 2,000-square-foot metal warehouse to four locations and more than 80,000 combined square feet of furniture. But the success didn't go to Aaron?s head. The proud father still traverses showrooms in casual flip-flops, enforcing a no-competition policy so that loyal staff members don?t feel pressured to make a quota. The stripped-down showrooms allow for lower price tags on direct-from-manufacturer brands such as Ashley, Simmons, and Crown Mark. Patrons are invited to peruse dining-room, living-room, and bedroom sets?or ?kick the tires,? as Aaron puts it?without the pushy-push of larger retailers, who may use turkey legs to reward team members for sales.
Since 1983, Austin Mattress's staffers have utilized their in-depth knowledge of sleeping surfaces and the sleeping process to help curate a vast collection of top-quality mattresses. They assess patrons' unique sleep needs before making thoughtful recommendations from an immense inventory of mattresses from brands such as Restonic and Corsicana Bedding. Memory-foam, latex, and gel mattresses line the showroom alongside traditional innerspring varieties, and each one is forged from eco-friendly materials, such as natural latex, soy-based foam, and Rumpelstiltskin’s beard hair. To enhance the cushy slumbering surfaces, Austin Mattress' on-site sister store, Beds n Brass, proffers a fleet of elegant, wrought-iron and specialty bed frames from such brands as Wesley Allen and Old Biscayne Designs.
At Red Rogue Studio, photographers Julian Humphries and Amber McConnell unite old and new technology. They don't rely solely on digital cameras, also shooting with 35 mm and Polaroid instant film, which lends their photos an authentically vintage look. However, after their shoots, they retouch their images—which range in style from senior portraits to family photos to sultry boudoir shots—with high-end software, perfecting the photos by editing out any stray hairs, which were only fashionable in the 1980s.