Since its grand opening in 2004, JC's Guitars & Music Lessons now boasts locations in Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, and St. Charles. Each location hosts a professional musician teaching staff with a comprehensive knowledge of string, wind, and percussion instruments. They also provide recording equipment in each studio so students can record their progress at no additional cost.
More than 50,000 books line the shelves at Elgin Books and Coffee, many available for 50% to 90% less than their cover prices. Visitors can wander through the chandelier-lit shop perusing classics, out-of-print texts, biographies, cookbooks, and many other types of published matter. An attached café offers an inviting space in which to sip java or tea and read.
Inspired Art Studio's classes take BYOB to new heights. Not only do students furnish their own wine—in one class—they also paint their own wine glasses, creating a fully DIY drinking experience. Other classes focus more on painting than imbibing, such as teaching students to mimic Van Gogh's brushstrokes or decorate clay tiles with contemporary holiday scenes. Artists Diane Wlezien and Kris Blum lead the classes, and show off their own chops in the gallery, which displays their original paintings.
A charming retail bastion, Angelina caters to gift-givers who seek unique jewelry, handbags, picture frames, and more. Step into the spritely styled space and browse scores of floral necklaces and earrings ($12+) crafted in vibrant spring shades. Revolving racks of stationery ($3+) come neatly stuffed in crisp, cellophane sleeves, optimal for letter-writing your favorite aunt or airing grievances to your city-council alderman. Peruse scores of candles ($10+) and stock up when planning for a romantic dinner gathering, neighborly séance, or reviving the popularity of your basement bomb shelter circa 1958. Servicing downtown shoppers for the past nine years, Angelina infuses pools of color into local living spaces, thanks to whimsically painted wall pieces, graphic picture frames ($19.95), and other home-décor accents ($10+) optimal for making even the most buttoned-up homemaker blush.
Tim and Bobbi Paul deploy decades of tune savvy to helm Piano Trends, which was voted best music store and instruction studio in the Northwest Herald's Best of the Fox in 2011. The family team wrangles more than 20 voice and music instructors to bolster musicality in local schools, with established performance groups and one former American Idol finalist. In classes for every skill level from novice to megawizard, instructors teach piano, guitar, violin, and a variety of brass and woodwind instruments, and voice lessons range from Broadway training to avant-garde birdcalls. Lessons for children under the age of 6 are available, based on the child's attention span, maturity level, and desired instrument; interested customers should call ahead for more information. Piano Trends can also cater to musical needs with instrument rentals and repairs.
Organizing meet-and-greets with professional athletes, Sideline Marketing helps connect superstars with charities, major fans, and handwriting enthusiasts. Representing players with the NFL, the NHL, and the NBA alike, the agency has worked with such stars as Bo Jackson, Patrick Kane, Joakim Noah, and Kellen Davis. Through Sideline, these athletes?along with dozens more?have delivered inspiring speeches, sat for group photographs, and offered up their John Hancocks at memorabilia signings.