A small, contemporary frame shop nestled in the West Loop, CMM Framing strives to offer custom framing solutions for clients ranging from artists and designers to galleries and corporate customers. The shop's framing experts each boast several years of experience and prefer to personally oversee and control the quality of individual projects from beginning to end. With hundreds of frame and mat samples on hand, they cater to individual tastes with custom creations, all the while preserving flat mementos—such as drawings, paintings, or trophies that were accidentally dropped in front of a steamroller—within 99% acid-free archival materials. Customers can browse an online gallery of past products to gain ideas, catching glimpses of eye-popping Peter Max–esque prints expertly framed against dark, glossy wood or understated crème-colored backgrounds.
Northwestern Cutlery's knife-sharpening tools have refined kitchen knives' razor-sharp edges for more than 50 years. Though the shop started as a knife sharpener for local packing houses and delis, it now also offers professional and amateur chefs hard-to-find cooking gadgets from brands such as Le Creuset and OXO.
Free delivery. Five-year guarantee with each product. Handcrafted pieces inspired by a distinguished roster of designers such as Eileen Gray and Arne Jacobsen. These are just a few of the perks of shopping at Infurn, a European furniture emporium that vends décor at 50-75% off retail prices. Determined to exceed each customer’s expectations, Infurn stocks its virtual shelves with appealingly modern items such as two-tier Monte Carlo sofas and Romeo Moon suspension lights, ensuring its customers a one-of-a-kind backdrop in their homes or well-appointed treehouses.
Whether snapping photos at popular parks and street spots or creating portraits at his hilltop studio overlooking Lake Travis, Bruce Covill attacks his craft with a keen photojournalistic focus. The results are images bursting with true-to-life human emotion, free from staged smiles and ridiculous, oversized foam props. Couples celebrate the day they first pledged their hands in marriage to each other with engagement photos, or immortalize their wedding day with posed and candid portraits. Senior pictures freeze in time the vibrant youth and budding potential of a young scholar, while family portraits capture the love between parents, children, siblings, and pets.
Sam's Club works with a worldwide network of suppliers to find in-demand products and premium food items, and then purchases them in large quantities to cut down on costs. The result is an average 33% savings over traditional retail prices. To date, the club counts more than 47 million amongst its ranks, spread across more than 600 club locations.
Sam's Club members often find something surprising in club?with values on anything from holiday decor to diamond earrings. The festive savings carry through all departments, as a trip through a typical Sam's Club reveals home decor, Energy Star?qualified TVs and computers, and pet supplies. In other aisles, associates hand out samples of food from name brands and the club's proprietary grocery lines. In-club pharmacies and optical centers fill discounted medications and fit members with eyewear.
Perhaps most surprising about Sam's Club is that, despite the ever-growing number of clubs, the company stays tied to its local communities. In 2012 alone, Sam's Club donated $106.4 million to various causes, such as helping small business owners secure loans. The clubs also host free health screenings and the occasional special event, such as weight-loss seminars and business boot camps. But the company also tackles some of the global issues on its members' minds. As of 2010, Sam's Club began offsetting 20% of its energy use from wind power?only a small step towards its ultimate goal of harnessing 100% renewable energy, just like an extension cord plugged back into itself.
Finding sincere gifts at a store can be an elusive quest, requiring givers to find a unique item that reflects the recipient's taste. The staff at Personal Creations helps avoid days of endless searching with a range of interesting personalized gifts, each customized with a name, photo, or design. The site's intuitive online interface allows guests to easily upload photos or write out messages that will make friends smile every time they take a sip from a custom mug, slip on engraved jewelry, or stamp steaks with a unique brand.