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.
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).
The business may be named Right On Time Services, but it's really about saving clients time. Founder LaJuan Whitlow began her personal concierge service to help people focus less on errands and more on their friends and family. In that spirit, the company's vast array of services fall into one of three categories: personal, corporate, and moving. Personal services include everything from running errands to home organization, and corporate services take the form of personal assistants who can help make phone calls and arrange sticky notes and schedules. Moving services can be customized for each client, whether they require a simple loading and unloading of boxes or a full move with packing, cleaning, and intrastate transportation.