Gangs of ottomans and mattresses populate Atlantic Bedding and Furniture, whose continually changing designs from Coaster, Forbidden City, Harden, Sealy, Old Town Imports, and other top brands help customers capture the furniture species of their choice sans long waiting periods. Treat hard-working eye awnings to a decadent break with a solid hardwood Leonardo bed ($347–$516), backed by a strong, modern headboard the color of morning espresso but the flavor of tufted upholstery. Taking home a Davenport nightstand ($125) means never having to precariously perch glasses or bequeathed dentures on thin windowsills.
Founder Patrick Willard keeps the gym open to everyone and leads a team of nationally certified fitness experts to teach everything from Zumba to martial arts and yoga. Trainers motivate clients during small-group boot camps, swift 30-minute circuit-training classes, or one-on-one training sessions. Nutrition seminars supplement the sweating by preventing budding bodybuilders from undermining their gains by falling prey to unhealthy diets of cement sandwiches.
America’s Mattress of the Carolinas' show rooms brim with plush, pillow-top, and memory-foam mattresses that vary in firmness and coil structure to help any sleeper find a match. The staff invites clients to try out a nap or enchanted slumber upon one of the store's own brand of budget-friendly mattresses. The selection also includes Tempur-Pedic models and Serta models, such as the iComfort with gel-infused memory foam.
To accessorize their purchases, clients can peruse a selection of bedroom furnishings, memory-foam pillows, and mattress protectors that seal in a mattress's naturally smoky flavor. Clients can enlist the store's staff to help haul away old bedding and set up new purchases.
Ask Shawn Slome, and he'll tell you that pretty much everyone feels good when they walk into Twig: the customers, the staff, and of course, the owner himself. That's because the shop only sells environmentally friendly products, and every shirt or frying pan helps support green and fair-trade practices.
The seeds for Twig were planted decades ago, when Slome's passion for activism was jump-started by the 1970 Earth Day celebration. Fast forward to 2007 when Slome opened Twig, leaving behind his career in the outlet-clothing world. As Slome told US News in 2010, "It feels like my business [now] has more purpose than money alone or profit." Additionally, Retailing Insight selected Twig for a feature story based on its credentials as an approved member of Green America Business Network and for its independent retail trade reputation. Publication readers also crowned the store Best Environmentally Friendly Store for the past four years via its independent weekly poll. The eco-savvy staff members share their boss's enthusiasm. They happily tell customers all about their favorite products, which might include homemade chocolates from Roland's or quirky animal hats from Andes Gifts, and they know exactly where everything comes from. Buyers also check that their retail partners maintain fair labor practices and provide a safe work environment for their employees. Though stringent, this process has filled the shop's aisles and shelves with clothing, kitchenware, and other home goods. At the back even lies a kids' section with stacks of blocks, games, wood instruments, and other toys.
Twig's altruism does't hinge entirely on its retail sales. The shop also hosts fundraisers for local charities, non-profits, and other organizations that could easily have a place on Mother Nature's speed dial.