At 4,500 independently owned and operated stores spread across the nation, Ace Hardware carries the tools and tips homeowners need to complete plumbing projects, electrical work, or aesthetic alterations to gardens or backyards. Celebrating 88 years in existence, the stores stock well-organized aisles with brand-name products from Craftsman, DeWalt, and Scotts perfect for simple afternoon projects or extensive overhauls to the fleet of antique rickshaws in the garage.
At Let's Paint Wichita, owner Melodee Schaefer and instructor Cassie Bouchereau break down the barriers between beginners and painting fetching masterpieces. In relaxed classes, guests armed with brushes, canvases, and aprons build paintings such as van Gogh’s Starry Night with the help of step-by-step instruction. The studio hosts everything from drop-in classes, complete with wine and beer for purchase, to private parties for kids. Students leave the studio with their own works of art and a wealth of new painting techniques.
One of the country’s largest independent paint dealers, Spectrum Paint furnishes contractors, Fortune 500 companies, and homeowners with a vast variety of paints, stains, and specialty wall coatings from respected brands. A gallon of pastel PPG Pittsburgh Paints WallHide Ceramic ($24.28) decks nursery walls in stain-resistant hues, and 1-inch FrogTape ($7.97) protects windowsills with the music of hundreds of croaking amphibians. A wistful 2.5-inch AllPro Mako poly/nylon paintbrush ($7.97) dreams of the day it will dip its bristles into the nearby PPG Pittsburgh Paints sample quarts ($6.79). The absorbent AllPro 3/4-inch Gold Pro roller cover ($5.69) ensures the even, universal application of paint to walls, cabinets, or reprints of the Mona Lisa. The shop's staff provides excellent service, aiding customers in product selection and answering questions.
Superior Rents' owners, Dan and Steve Wohnoutka, trace the genesis of their business back to their own childhoods spent on a modestly equipped farm. With an appreciation for how proper tools and equipment can make projects run smoother, they decided to stock three locations with plumbing, construction, and lawn-care equipment for homeowners and contractors to rent on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis. Their online catalog hosts a roster of rental equipment, from power drills for household projects to forklifts for hanging Do Not Disturb signs on asteroids. Customers can arrange for equipment to be delivered to their work site or drop by one of three locations—including a newly opened site in Springfield—to pick up gear.
The expert tailors at Alterations By Sarah take great care in changing the way clothing fits to reflect the metamorphosis of each client. Weight-related alterations are a specialty, so whether clients have recently lost inches of waist from a bout of avian pants flu or gained a few pounds, Sarah will return their tweaked, trimmed, and torqued threads to body-complementing shape. Alterations such as back-to-school tailoring or vintage clothing fitting are personally guaranteed by the master cloth transmogrifier herself, and each location offers dry-cleaning services to keep vestments looking sharp.
Millers' Cleaners has been freshening fibers since 1977, and today it uses eco-friendly practices that ensure Mother Earth doesn't cry sudsy tears all over your special-instruction garments. The seven branches of the family-owned-and-operated business hang clothing on reused hangers or completely recyclable polypropylene hangers, package garments in biodegradable poly bags, and clean with petroleum-based solvents that help keep toxic waste from seeping into the groundwater and splashing dirty words at children.