Since selling its first skateboard in 1976, Gravity Sports’ team of rider-shopkeepers has hawked boards suitable for snow, street, or surf with the expertise and enthusiasm that earned them a top-five ranking in KING 5’s Best of Western Washington’s skate-shop category. Decks in eye-catching designs alight on stuffed racks and ceiling displays, while stacks of wheels and trucks inspire custom builds and salvage short-circuited hoverboards. Surfboards reach for the ceiling, leaning against walls lined with helmets, skate shoes, and shirts. In addition to stocking the freshest gear, shopkeepers also mend favorite rides with repair and maintenance services and supply loaners when necessary.
Occasionally, an Italian exporter will ask the owner of Poggi Bonsi why she named her business after Poggibonsi, a small town in Tuscany. The answer is simple: it's fun to say. It may be even more fun to peruse the shop's shelves, which hold handpicked items from artisans across the pond. The woman who owns the shop seeks out suppliers who practice crafts the same way her ancestors did. This explains Poggi Bonsi's extensive stock of Italian ceramics and French linens. They supplement this timeless selection with modern appliances, kitchen gadgets, and bakeware.
Corks and Canvas Events, like a work of fine art, came about by pairing a good idea with a passion to create. The founders both came from the marketing world, where they spent their days devising campaigns and events to inspire their audiences to take action. A shared love for art and wine inspired them to bend their action-creating talents toward a new goal—hosting painting and wine events in area wineries and wine bars, allowing guests to "uncork their creativity" and promote the burgeoning Washington wine industry.
Their idea took the form of Corks and Canvas Events, where experienced artists lead guests step-by-step through the painting creation process. Guests re-create various paintings, everything from lush vineyard scenes to preening roosters, while sipping on glasses of local wines.
Pop! fills munchie-seeking mitts with fluffy kernels in thousands of base-flavor-and-mix-in combinations. Create-your-own Pop! concoctions begin with butter, caramel, strawberry, or other popcorn foundations (starting at $1.99/2.5 oz.), then mix with more than 100 add-in ingredients ($1 each), from cinnamon to gummy bears to jalapeño bacon salt. Those who are tired of making tough choices can defer to house recipes such as the chocolate malted shake (starting at $2.99/2 oz.) or the peanut butter and jelly (starting at $3.99 /7 oz.). Because today's deal can be applied to online purchases as well as in-store snacks, Groupon buyers can have their popcorn delivered, giving them a legitimate explanation the next time they're caught ravenously eating their mail.
Within the century-old confines of Uptown Glassworks' warehouse, furnaces melt handfuls of kaleidoscopic frit into malleable shapes manipulated by a team of professional glass blowers. But these tradesmen don't just create works for the gallery; they also share their secrets with students in a variety of activities, from introductory courses on making beads and paperweights to advanced instruction that can be applied toward college credit or used to fix the pockmarked walls of glass houses.
During the shop's Blow-Your-Own sessions, participants apply color to clear, molten glass that has recently emerged from a 2,000-degree furnace, then blow their mixture into 1 of 20 different shapes. The next day, patrons can pick up their cooled and packaged creations, comparing their handiwork to the gallery's collection of products, which are made by more than 90 local and regional glass artists.