Young artists flock to Glazed Expectations' charming studio to learn a variety of clay-based building techniques, such as the pinch method, coiling, slab work, and cartooning (figurines). After-school classes also impart knowledge about paint application, texturing, and the fire-breathing hamsters that power most traditional kilns. Experienced and friendly instructors soothe novice nerves and show youngsters how to harness their inner Michelangelo. This Groupon covers the class fee, materials, glazes, and kiln firing, and the 1.5-hour sessions take place between 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. every Tuesday through Friday.
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.
At The Mattress Capital, a knowledgeable staff of salespeople guides visitors through firm or downy mattresses that are all eager to go home and snuggle up to their new owners' slumbering forms. Guests consult with staff members before receiving a personalized tour as salespeople demonstrate the knowledge they gleaned by training one-on-one with experts until they knew each mattress like a horse trainer knows sugar-cube melting points. All of the store's mattresses, including brands such as Tempur-Pedic and Simmons, come with a 90-day comfort guarantee.
Short of creating physical clouds to hold people aloft, Mattress Warehouse stocks almost every imaginable furnishing to help customers catch a few Z’s. Rows of name-brand mattresses from Sealy, Simmons Beautyrest, Serta, and Tempur-Pedic entice customers to replace their worn pad for new bedding, such as a standard mattress, a fluffy pillowtop unit, or a memory foam piece that conforms to bodies. Beyond mattresses, the warehouse also carries an ample collection of box springs, full bed sets with rails and headboards, and even premium futon mattresses that revitalize foldable couches.