Before Comfort One Shoes' sole experts are allowed to fit a single shoe to a customer's foot, they must graduate from Comfort One University and undergo a mentorship process. It's only then that they can help shoppers find their desired footwear, whether it be lace-up Ziera boots, On running shoes with CloudTec technology, or Thierry Rabotin shoes, handmade without uncomfortable, rigid components. Alongside men's and women's footwear, the shop stocks an assortment of bags and accessories such as colorful iPhone cases from Triple C Designs that protect phone exteriors and conceal scratches from the last time you transformed into a werewolf.
Comfort One Shoes also seeks to better the world through creative philanthropic efforts, such as collecting 25,000 shoes for those without and offering their employees half their pay and time off to volunteer in the community. Perhaps such initiatives are part of the reason Comfort One Shoes earned the National Shoe Retailers Association’s Retailer of the Year Award in 2011.
Within the multihued walls of Kidville’s indoor playland, tykes expand their minds, network with members of their peer group, and deplete their vast energy reserves. Babies, toddlers, and kids 6 or younger delve into classes developed by Kidville’s early-childhood-development gurus. Burgeoning Beethovens can swivel their hips, flex their sing-along muscles, and edit their massive music manuscripts during one of Kidville’s music and dance classes, or enlist in one of the art classes to create a piece that captures their inner rage toward broccoli. Fun and fit gym classes let tots run, roll, and hover through gauntlets of plush blocks and spongy play mats. Clasping hands and scampering legs can also roam freely through Kidville’s sprightly indoor playspace, though all munchkins must be supervised by a parent, guardian, or trustworthy primate.
The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand—despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase—is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
For more than a decade, Middle C Music has equipped songcrafters with the instruments and expertise needed to articulate their own sonic expressions. Racks of guitars and ukuleles hang from the shop’s walls, along with accessories such as sheet music, songbooks, and extra sets of limbs for playing double guitars. Orchestral instruments by the likes of Bach, Jupiter, and Cannonball are available for purchase or month-by-month rentals. The shop also curates a team of musical experts of various disciplines for weekly lessons and Rock Band camps, where kids spend five days learning to play as an ensemble and spin their own interpretations of rock classics.
Male kittens wrestle balls of yarn to develop motor skills and re-create their mother's Cosby sweaters. Celebrate the dexterity of human paws with today's Groupon: for $40, you get three beginner knitting classes at Stitch DC on Capitol Hill (an $80 value). Materials are not included in this Groupon and can be purchased for $20.
The friendly craftoholics running Stitch DC pride themselves in placing fellow pattern addicts in a welcoming environment that fosters creativity and responsible wool consumption. In each 90-minute beginner's session, you'll use hands-on techniques to learn the basic tenets of knitting, purling, stockinette stitching, seed stitching, cast-ons, and bind offs, resulting in a wide knowledge of patterns and an appreciation for Betsy Ross, the American seamstress known for stitching kernels of corn into George Washington's gums. Stitch DC opens patrons pores and allows their creative juices to weep out a variety of fibers including wool, alpaca, silk, hemp, and more.
Walls of colorful threads line the walls of Stitch DC's inviting storefront, which lies just two blocks from the Eastern Market Metro stop. Check out the schedule and call to set up your classes.
Stitch DC has been featured by community blog The Hill Is Home. Yelpers give it an average of three stars.
- From beginner workshops that teach small and relatively unambitious projects (Don’t be offended! It’s ambitious enough to decide you want to start knitting!), to classes that focus on finishing projects and finishing mistakes, Stitch DC covers everyone who ever wanted to do something beautiful with fiber. – Maria Carey, The Hill Is Home
- I love the feel of this place, it's comfortable and friendly and they have beautiful yarns. They also have lots of project books, magazines and patterns for inspiration. The owner often staffs the store herself, and the others who work there are always friendly and helpful. – Jenn W., Yelp
When it comes to footwear restoration, the experts at Cobbler’s Bench Shoe Repair don’t just go through the motions. Instead, they put in the extra effort to return each pair to a like-new condition, a quality instilled by the company’s founders, Charles and Sara Stern, in 1946. All repairs are completed within three days and use equal or better materials than the original manufacturer, which helps protect shoes from environmental damage and teasing from snobby loafers. Cobbler’s Bench also maintains an offsite plant with special equipment to carry out particularly complicated repairs.