In 1910, Harry Offner opened his first hardware shop on South Rampart Street in downtown New Orleans, setting the foundation for a local network of three retail stores with more than 27,000 items in stock and 90,000 more available through catalogs or the Ace Hardware website. Like a treasured heirloom or the gene for double-jointed elbows, the business has passed through three generations as Harry's grandkids currently mind the store to help homeowners and handy folks find cleaning and painting supplies, lawn-care implements, housewares, and tools from well-known brands. The knowledgeable staff also assists shoppers with a variety of services, from cutting keys and threading pipes to minor household repair jobs performed by licensed and insured handymen.
Original slave cabins are just one of the historical sites that groups explore during tours of St. Joseph Plantation, a working sugar-cane plantation built in 1830 that shares a fence line with neighboring Oak Alley Plantation. A schoolhouse, a blacksmith's shop, and many other structures reveal the workings of day-to-day life in the 19th century. Relatives of the family that has owned the property for more than 135 years guide many of the tours, peppering excursions with tidbits of history such as details about the childhood of plantation son and famed architect H.H. Richardson.
David Art Center, in business for more than four decades, stocks a deluge of quality art supplies from name brands including Liquitex, Winsor & Newton, Daler-Rowney, and PrismaColor. Located just a few minutes from downtown New Orleans, the art-savvy staff also helps visitors to dress up artwork, photography, and two-dimensional dolls with a selection of more than 1,000 styles of moldings and mats, custom-cut glass, and dry-mounting materials.
The pet-loving technicians at Invisible Fence of New Orleans specialize in keeping man's best and furriest friends corralled, and happily so. Whether surrounding homes with a subterraneous containment system or setting up an indoor PetFree area, the techs design pet zones that match each owner's interests, then conduct training sessions to help dogs, cats, and dogs disguised as cats overcome their wanderlust. Invisible Fence's territory encroaches on the domains of bark control and behavioral training as well, and its efforts to improve the lifestyle of animals leads it straight into the world of pet doors, toys, heated wellness beds, and self-cleaning litter boxes.
The team behind the mom-and-pop Fabric Warehouse started their textile adventure in 1994 with 1,000 square feet of space. Since then, the store has moved to a 12,000-square-foot building packed with colorful indoor and outdoor fabrics, along with a variety of home decorations. Fabric Warehouse's two professional designers have the knowledge and expertise to help their clients customize bedding and drapery for master bedrooms or create an animal-print theme for a Neolithic-style man cave.
By The Specs Roofing & Consulting repairs and replaces roofs for residential and commercial properties with a variety of products, including Atlas shingles and Firestone roofing. Its techs use infrared inspection cameras and 3D satellite imaging to detect problems from storm damage and wear. Demonstrating a commitment to the environment, By the Spec approches business from a paperless perspective, and its staff leave every workspace cleaner than they found it.