With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Brightly colored t-shirts, glittering charm jewelry, and kids' clothing adorns the lime green and pink walls inside The Girlie Boutique. There, fashionistas Twyla and Becky pair customers with cute, fashionable attire for babies, kids, and women. Whether they're dressing babies in brand-new onesies or helping ladies meet their new purse soulmate, they keep patrons happy using the patented customer service skills that they've mastered over their years as shopkeepers.
When Block and Crackle's owner, Ellison, lightheartedly claims his tables could hold a pickup truck, you get a sense he's not joking. Sturdiness has been at the business's core since the beginning, when Ellison and his wife had their first kids. In an effort to build a table that could withstand his youngsters' exuberance, Ellison—a former ad man whose hobby was building furniture—hammered together a 200 lb. table with a 3-inch-thick butcher-block top. Today, at Block and Crackle, he stamps his trademark top on an array of tables that are all crafted, painted, and distressed by mankind's original foam finger: the hand.
Sandra Mitchell, Clarke Jewelers' master jeweler and owner, grew up watching her father repair watches, jewelry, and guns in his jewelry shop. The fascinated youngster decided to attend jewelry school and has been repairing and custom designing baubles for 35 years, recently with the help of her daughter Nicole, a master jeweler who specializes in repairing sterling silver, a difficult metal other jewelers are afraid to touch. In addition to their handiwork, they stock high-quality fine jewelry and trendy items, including bridal sets by Gabriel & Co., Citizen Eco-Drive watches, and sterling-silver bangles, rings, and halos.
At three locations throughout Mississippi, Humidor & Havana Cigars' display cases brim over with premium hand-rolled cigars from esteemed manufacturers. Humidors, carrying cases, and maintenance products facilitate quality puffs from Perdomo, Excalibar, and Hoyo de Monterrey cigars, while the Humidor Cigar Club invites patrons into a filtered smoking room, equipped with private humidified lockers to stock their smoldering indulgences. Five LCD flat screens beam down upon the lounge's oversize ottomans and pool tables, and complimentary Internet access allows patrons to shop online for bulk boxes of Michael Bolton wigs.
Part greenhouse and part home décor shop, Fads & Frames stocks an abundance of supplies for DIY home decorating, gardening, and landscaping. The shop’s crafty staff fills shelves with bright ribbons, picture frames, and bins of silk flowers that attract groovy, disco-era bumblebees. A wide candle selection scents the store’s air with aromatic fruits, flowers, and spices. In the spring, a garden center blooms with annuals such as begonias, impatiens, and petunias, as well as Kimberly Queen porch ferns and Knock Out roses. While browsing blossoms, shoppers can also peruse a selection of French-inspired and rustic outdoor furniture.