Across hundreds of stores in the U.S. and Canada, Lumber Liquidators provides homeowners and contractors with more than 340 flooring options. Lumber Liquidators, which has been featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and HGTV’s Dream Home, lays down floors such as solid and engineered Bellawood pre-finished hardwood with a transferable 100-year warranty and eco-friendly bamboo and cork. An array of professional-grade tools, such as table saws and floor nailers, help homeowners easily install their new floors, and the company's Flooring 101 search engine and Ask Bob customer-support team answer any questions that arise on the fly.
With more than 386 locations dotting North America, JCPenney Optical's ubiquity is matched only by its extensive selection of contact lenses and designer frames that includes brands such as Armani Exchange, Liz Claiborne, and Nicole Miller. Despite this wide reach, all lenses are cut at the same optical laboratory, ensuring a consistency of quality and a pretty good idea of where to look if your glasses run away from home. Each location has an independent state-licensed doctor of optometry, who can perform vision exams and help clients determine which type of vision correction will work best.
Melanie "The Bead Empress" Bentley established her commonwealth of creativity after years teaching aspiring artists how to work with metal clays. Within her 3,000-square-foot embellishment emporium, Murano glass from Italy, hill tribe silver from Thailand, and Swarovski crystals fill shelves from floor to ceiling. Polymer clays, sterling silver, stringing materials, and Czech fancy glass that Melanie handpicked on a recent trip to the Czech Republic round out the store's stock and arm patrons with the materials necessary to line their family's treasure chest.
But Melanie goes beyond filling the supply boxes of local jewelry makers. She also aims to expand the crafting community by welcoming beading newcomers and showing those who don't believe in their creativity that there's an artisan inside everyone. Along with her fellow specialized jewelrysmiths, Melanie leads more than 45 classes per quarter, providing her customers with a means of acquiring jewelry that’s guaranteed to be free of curses.
Shoppers walking down West Main Street's long stretch of businesses are apt to notice one that stands out—a brilliant-pink storefront warmly lit by evenly spaced overhead lights. Along with its colorful façade, Pieces Boutique and Consignment catches the gaze of passersby with large, arced colonial windows showcasing stylish looks for both men and women. The boutique's offerings are a neatly organized medley of new and previously owned fashions from both revered and up-and-coming fashion designers. Pieces supports these local artists by selling their work in-store right alongside Nicole Miller's dresses, Ralph Lauren’s polos, and Alexander McQueen’s radioactive pocket protectors. The shop's highly selective employees make sure to populate Pieces' environmentally conscious bamboo display racks with an ambitious mix of beach, Southern, and city styles.
Owned by school teacher and experienced fishing guide Tee Clarkson, Virginia Fishing Adventures leads reelers to prime fishing locales on the James and Rappahannock Rivers. The guides draw upon their extensive knowledge of the Richmond waterways and canoe rush hours during their guided trips that pay visits to little-known spots where smallmouth bass, sunfish, and striped bass converge. Personal lessons on fly fishing and casting are also available for youngsters and adults, as well as summer camps, after-school fishing programs, and non-fish-related mountain-biking excursions.
Jewelry designer Jay Sharpe puts a little bit of his own personality into each piece he designs, creating what he describes as "wearable works of art." His pieces feature mostly silver metals, with bright gem stones and wavy, geometric shapes. These luxury items have drawn the attention of both male and female customers, and led to features in multiple magazines, such as Essence and Southern Living. Sharpe even received a request from the White House to design a Christmas ornament.