Scuba enthusiast Jennifer Feller's unconditional love for underwater sightseeing and pruney fingers constantly prompts her to explore the depths of aqueous avenues far and wide. As an IDC-trained PADI instructor and volunteer search-and-rescue diver, she teaches first responders the indispensable skills needed for effective public-safety diving. At The Playground Dive Shop, Feller's very own scuba emporium, her knowledgeable staff, which includes a retired Navy submariner, unveils a collection of the latest diving gear and repairs broken or faulty equipment. They also empower visitors to take their own watery plunges during a variety of scuba-diving courses, which teach participants the basics of underwater breathing, the techniques needed to earn an open-water certification, and underwater photography tips––such as making sure you snap multiple pictures, just in case a fish blinks.
Clothes and furniture find new life at Red Racks Thrift Stores. Through donations, the staffers at the store's 13 locations fill their racks and shelves with thousands of second-hand items for kids and adults, including name-brand garments from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, The Loft, and Donna Karan New York. They also stock furniture and other miscellaneous goods, such as books and home décor.
And something odd happens when these items arrive at checkout—the register doesn't ring up any sales tax. That's because Red Racks is a nonprofit organization, and all proceeds go to benefit the Disabled American Veterans, an organization that has advocated on behalf of veterans for more than nine decades. Red Racks' altruistic mission has proved successful so far—the inventory of each store typically turns over every 3–4 weeks.
Ibex Climbing Gym's 8,000-square-foot indoor facility is home to dozens of routes for all climbing skill levels. From clinging to overhangs or slowly trudging up slabs, climbers can hone their gripping skills with lead or top-rope climbing sessions. On a second-floor loft, bouldering challenges await rope-free climbers, with crash pads on the ground to soften falls and hundreds of multicolored holds offering varying routes. Ibex team members lead classes for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, and also offer youth summer camps and recreational and competitive climbing teams. A wide variety of gear is available to equip students for climbing inside or outside of the gym. Prior to any rope climbing in the gym, beginners must undergo a belay class that teaches the fundamentals of belay safety, proper terminology, and the preclimb lasso dancing required for good luck.
For more than 40 years, the specialists at Liddle's Sport Shop have outfitted local players with proper padding and uniforms for a full spectrum of sports. Along the labyrinthine racks and shelves of the shop, players can find equipment for athletic endeavors including baseball, football, running, and volleyball. Liddle's Sport Shop also carries athletic apparel and shoes from brands such as Under Armour, Asics, Wilson, and Spaulding. Coaches can consult logo artists for in-house screenprinting and embroidery services, which personalize items such as hats, jerseys, and official team pajamas.
The owners of The Swag Society, a group of fashion-conscious beauty and apparel stylists, send their expertise to clients in the mail once a month. They do so by asking clients to fill out a survey about their lifestyles, habits and hobbies, and occasions they find themselves dressing for. With that info, they put together a completely personalized box of products that includes make-up, jewelry, and other accessories, and send it out to the client.
While the first box's contents are immediately useful, they are more meant to help clients pursue a long-term strategy in which each box is a mini lesson plan in what styles and fashions flatter best. After a year, the team reports that most clients have a huge collection of make-up and accessories appropriate for most every occasion, with the possible exception of an alien invasion, since its impossible to predict what color flag our new overlords will fly.
BedMax's sleep experts have curated a wide array of firm and cushy mattresses to suit the needs of even the pickiest snoozers. Plush pillow-top mattresses coddle frames in comfort, while memory foam supports bad backs and forgetful limbs. Mattresses are available in twin, full, queen, and king sizes, and can be made immediately nap-ready with BedMax's stock of bedding and linens. Five warehouses stationed across the U.S. ensure prompt deliveries.