Ferguson Hardware has been helping do-it-yourselfers spruce up homes and beautify gardens for more than a century. Banish closet clutter or marauding garden weeds to a 32-gallon black trash can ($21.49), which can double as a handy holding place for a 32-day supply of vintage milk. Handy customers can organize screwdrivers, wrenches, and hammers in a Stanley toolbox ($13.99), soothe crying hinges with an 8-ounce can of WD-40 oil ($2.99), or woo a lonely mail carrier with a Step 2 mailbox specially designed to attract attention for its durability and taste in shoes. A professional-grade driveway sealer keeps tricky asphalt from escaping the confines of driveways ($17.49), giving customers the freedom to roll out one of Ferguson Hardware’s wide selection of Weber grills for a driveway barbecue.
Elite Auto Image Inc.'s MECP-certified technicians personalize vehicles with custom electronics, including audio, video, and remote-start systems, and stand behind their work with a lifetime warranty on labor. While staffers carefully tinker with rides, patrons can hang out in the waiting area on a car-less car seat custom-wrapped in leather or laminated bacon strips. The shop features multiple TV monitors flickering family-friendly movies and a viewing window that looks into the work area, so drivers can watch as their four-wheeled babies go under the wrench. Elite Auto Image also specializes in custom fitting interiors with leather and custom building and wiring two-wheeled roadsters such as Harley-Davidsons and tandem unicycles.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
If its full name––Two Fat Guys Summerfield Ace Hardware––isn't a clue about this store's unconventional nature, maybe its pet shop is. Or perhaps that distinction belongs to its owners' related endeavor: not only do Rick and Smokey inspire ambitious homeowners with rows of home-improvement implements, but they also encourage handiness by taking to the airwaves with a weekly hardware radio show. Summerfield Ace Hardware also doubles as a U-Haul Center, and animals are welcome, especially if they're able to drive a U-Haul but also if they just want to sniff around the pet shop. Prepping for barbecue season is a cinch on these premises: in the words of Rick and Smokey, "With a name like the Two Fat Guys you might expect that we have a complete grilling center and we offer assembly and delivery." Salespeople are trained to answer nearly any home-improvement question their customers ask, and a wide selection of hardware, paint, plumbing, and electrical supplies shares space with gifts, home decor, and housewares.
Pole For The Mind, Body, and Soul's staff teaches pole-dancing workouts and other flirty fitness classes to tone and tighten the entire body. Spirited instructors certified in CPR and first aid lead one-hour pole-dancing sessions, imparting the know-how to perform graceful spins, strength-building moves, and more tricks than a skateboarder who can pull a rabbit from a beanie. Each student works out on her own X-Pole Xpert pole, whose 50 millimeters of shiny chrome inspire sultry twirls and R2-D2 impressions. The maximum of nine spinners per class ensures that participants nab personalized tips on form and safety. The studio also bolsters bodies with relaxing candlelight-yoga sessions and fun-filled Zumba classes that torch calories during an hour of sultry, Latin-inspired dance moves.
Alteration Solutions' sew-happy seamstresses use 14 commercial machines to ably handle the most adventurous leather and custom alteration requests. Keeping garments looking their fittest, a talented staff patches up the elbows of tattered sports coats ($20+) and safeguards dress pants from splitting in two with seat alterations ($16+) and hemming ($11+). With a stock of more than 2,500 zippers and enough snaps and buttons to fasten a waistcoat for the moon, Alteration Solutions is equipped to repair broken zippers ($8+) and replace them if they're unsalvageable ($18+). Beyond wardrobe tailoring, they also offer home alterations for cushions, drapes, shams, and pillow forts with pricing upon request.