Inside the capacious confines of Calamity Jane's Trading Company, owner and designer Shawn Beach has amassed an eclectic, handpicked selection of upscale home furnishings from across the globe. Featuring rugged-yet-elegant pieces, the worldly blend of accessories allows patrons to corral exotic treasures such as an iron flower candleholder ($15.95) or jeweled picture frame ($34.95). Iron napkin holders that tote stylish glass orbs ($14.95) impress dinner guests that moonlight as wizards, and succulent plants ($6.95 each) add splashes of green to bleak abodes.
"Funky" isn't a word typically associated with hardware stores, but that's exactly how Amy and David Doyle describe Sunset Ridge Home & Hardware. Upon opening the place in 1995, the pair envisioned a one-stop hardware and home-improvement haven that shook off the sawdust and embraced the unconventional in ways that didn't include slapping googly eyes on every two-by-four. That's why the San Antonio Express-News' $hopGirl can cite a unique selection of Curly Girl wall hangings, hooded towels, and Texas cookbooks beside traditional tools and housewares sourced from Ace Hardware. An epic spread of Benjamin Moore paints and Breville kitchen products create an ocular feast for fixer-uppers as handcrafted soaps and fragrant candles ignite olfactory senses. Seasoned staffers roam the aisles, touting talents that include knife sharpening, key cutting, and lamp repair in addition to several other services.
Staffed by two certified master florists, An Empty Vase delivers artfully arranged blooms that stay fresh for days. Floral fanatics can order bunches of buds to match any occasion; the cheerful Basket of Sunshine brandishes bright yellow cremones and carnations, perfect for decorating a springtime soiree ($39.99), and the Beer Mug of Blooms features mini white carnations disguised as an overflowing stein of beer, ideal for adorning masquerade-ball sport-watching parties ($29.99). Romantics can use this Groupon toward larger floral investments, such as a classic bundle of one dozen red roses ($59.99) or an extravagant four dozen long-stem red roses ($209.99), which allow buyers to profess true love for their special someone or admit to a growing obsession with the color red.
Shutterbug Natasha transforms women of all shapes and sizes into sexy sirens during boudoir photo shoots. With four set options to choose from, clients can create a theme that reflects their personality and comfort level. Multiple outfit changes and poses lend variety of shots, which clients can peruse instantly with same-day previews.