Every year at Ann Arbor Fest, Catching Fireflies founders Steve and April paused from manning their paper-arts booth to admire the folksy paintings of local artist Chris Roberts-Antieau. When they finally saved up enough to purchase their favorite piece, “Catching Fireflies,” it led to a flash of inspiration: a shop dedicated to showcasing similarly whimsical artwork and supporting local artists.
Now, Catching Fireflies’ inventory spans the spectrum, from leather-bound journals and wall art to children’s toys, and has been lauded in Rochester-Rochester Hills Patch. Once customers have honed in on wares, staff can gift-wrap them free of charge, thereby eliminating the need to conceal them behind Groucho glasses.
The staff at Sylvia's Cleaners can skillfully decode the washing instructions on any clothing tag. For example, they know that "Dry Clean Only" doesn't mean the garment shouldn't get wet, but that it is made of delicate fabric that could easily ruin in most home washers. Their ability to read between the lines also helps them select eco-friendly cleaning methods that replace harsh chemicals with biodegradable solutions, temperature-controlled water, and advanced machines. They dry-clean and launder all items in-house, and can handle specialty items such as wedding dresses and fine linens made from leather, suede, or Rapunzel's silky hair. For the customer's convenience, they also offer pickup and delivery service.
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.
The hibernation experts at Mattress & Futon Shoppe help foster deep sleep with cushions from top brands such as Sealy, Stearns & Foster, and Corsicana. Well-versed in all forms of sleep habits, the store employees are happy to expound on the finer points of each mattress they keep in stock, which range from traditional innerspring beds to high-tech gel memory-foam mattresses. If your new mattress doesn't feel right or already has a family of monsters sleeping under it, Mattress & Futon Shoppe has a 100-day Don't Worry Sleep Happy comfort warranty, and you can return the unwanted item to one of 13 convenient locations.
If Detroit is the Paris of the West, then Paris of Royal Oak is the Versailles of Detroit, replete with enough fashionable fashions, accessible accessories, and antique antiques to tempt even the restrained, nun-like tastes of a somber Marie Antoinette. With a dazzling blend of new and vintage wares, Paris presents a browsing vortex for flamboyant fashionistas and reclusive heiresses alike. Wearable wares include an ever-changing roster of vintage threads, whereas new glad rags keep things young and modern with graphic tees ($24–$32) and funky skirts, such as the Desigual Sofia ($99). New jewelry ranges from retro glass cocktail rings ($24) to kimono-fabric bangles ($18), and antique jewelry ($12–$50) and accessories add a distingué touch to the wardrobe of any attic-dwelling madwoman. Purchase a slew of vintage handkerchiefs ($5–$12) to toss out of the Amtrak window to a bevy of besotted beaus, and reward the one who catches the most with a summery straw fedora ($24).