In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
Hands On Pottery Studio offers ceramic visionaries the chance to create works of art in a creativity-inducing atmosphere. With a selection of more than 300 pieces of unfinished pottery ($5–$85), including those of the imported Italian variety, clay connoisseurs can choose from a wide variety of projects, from painting a plate to decorating a soap dispenser to artsying up a Declaration of Independence. Once the chosen piece is claimed, artists can head over to the design center, which offers access to stencils, stamps, idea books, and a computer providing design images that can be traced onto an item or forehead. With a battle plan in place, customers have unlimited access to an armory of 160 paints, pottery glazes, and puffy paints. For a shattered look, make a mosaic with a choice of bases, such as frames, mirrors, lazy Susans, and industrial meat freezers, and more than 90 jars of glass, marble, and ceramic bits to add texture to your piece.
It would take a keen pair of eyes to spot all of the frames on display at Ellet Vision and Jackson Eyecare. With hundreds of options from designers such as Polo, Guess, and Calvin Klein, the stores' staff has no shortage of options to suit every face shape. Along with prescription sunglasses and contact lenses, they stock safety glasses that protect eyes from debris while sawing rivals’ cars in half. Just bring your prescription in to one of the two shops, and the staff can match it to a style of your choice.
Everyday Errands Etc. is the family-owned and operated brainchild of Kerri Fittro and Janessa Butler, who rally both traditional and green products for residential- and commercial-cleaning projects. Though home sprucing is the company’s forte, fully licensed and insured technicians can be deployed for professional organization projects such as systematizing a closet or arranging a pantry. The Errands gurus also make themselves available for specialty services including personal shopping or beat boxing personal theme songs whenever a client enters a room. To give back to their community in more ways than mass-basement organization, Kerri and Janessa arrange a confidential donation of services each month to families in need.