Trained at The Chouinard Art Institute by lauded impressionists Millard Sheets and Phil Dike, Lynne French conjures brilliant landscapes out of oils and watercolors. She often works brushless, letting the colors pool and blend on tissue paper through a meditative method called zen-tissue watercolor. Despite the time commitment of zen-tissue watercolor, French still exhibits her work in international galleries and fills her online store with a plentitude of paintings and limited-edition prints. She also has a gift for rendering evocative landscapes based on her patrons' memories and photographs, as well as on residue from their dream catchers.
A PT Cruiser pulls up to the curb, the exterior painted with a jumble of bright-colored flowers. The door opens and out comes...a hippie. But then, what did you expect from a floral shop named Flower Power?
The costumed drivers are just one way this family-owned florist is making its customer's smile. Owner Helen Raynor––who trained at the famous Judith Blacklock Flower School in London––came up with the creative idea with her husband James, after relocating from England to Davenport. The sunnier weather certainly suits the disposition of the friendly owners and their staff. Not only will they craft arrangements for birthdays, weddings, and bank holidays, but they'll also deliver them along with almost anything requested, even a case of bottled water.
Since 1989, Play It Again Sports has been buying and selling new and used sports and exercise equipment. They are keeping sports green, recycling gently used athletic equipment into new-to-you gear. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, Easton, Wilson, Nautilus and Schwinn, make up each store's enormous selection of new and recycled gear, which is replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball, golf, soccer to lacrosse and football. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. Knowledgeable staffers man each location, ready to answer questions, arrange gear deliveries or pick-ups. To ensure their stock remains robust, they also encourage athletes to collect their lightly used gear—including bicycles—and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
Aio Wireless is the brainchild of Jennifer Van Buskirk. In a former life, she acted as Senior Vice President of Mobility Strategy for AT&T, where her performance earned her enough trust from the higher-ups that they asked her to run their new company: Aio Wireless. Her new joint venture retains all of the reliability of AT&T's 4G/LTE network, but gives folks a chance to break free of contractual shackles with a pay-as-you-go plan. In fact, the whole process has been streamlined. Aio lets clients use their own cell phone rather than buying a new one with unlimited talk, text, and data plans.
Despite the cutting edge gadgetry and the reliable network, however, the stores' approach to technology is more than just practical. Their array of phone cases, for example, brighten iPhones, Galaxies and Lumias in neon hues. Their earbud headphones, meanwhile, let phone owners play their tunes on the go without schlepping their tuba everywhere.
Bright-blue garage doors slide shut over each unit inside the low-slung white buildings of Cowtown Mini Warehouse Self Storage, shutting off valuables such as boats, cars, or diamond-encrusted scepters from the outside world. Items are left inside the 240-square-foot spaces by clients who entrust the facility to safely and securely stow their belongings for a period of time. Owners rest easy knowing their boats are safely and securely tucked away for the cold months and smaller possessions are protected while they travel for extended periods of time. When they're ready to retrieve them, owners can show back up to the facility at any time of day or night to haul the items off.