Although most chefs have their own unique style of peeling, dicing, and julienning veggies, they all have one thing in common: they each require precise, sharp knives. At Excalibur Cutlery and Gifts, the staff ensures that tools remain as close to their factory condition as possible. During sharpening services, a water-cooled belt system and buffing wheels restore a piercing blade while removing a minimal amount of steel. They can sharpen kitchen, pocket, and hunting knives, as well as dull scissors and razors.
The shop also stocks premium models of nearly every edge they sharpen. The cutlery department stocks German-made Wusthof and Henckels, Swiss-made Forschner, and Oregon-grown Kershaw knives. Ideal for camping trips, pocket knives come in both blade and multitool varieties. More genteel wares include manicure sets and old-fashioned shaving kits. Excalibur also boasts a collection of swords for the collector or CEO whose business suit needs extra panache.
When it comes to filling women’s wardrobes, Little Black Dress aims to be as ubiquitous as its namesake apparel. The consignment shop inches closer to its goal with every addition to its inventory, a meticulously curated collection of vintage designer clothing. Jimmy Choo shoes, Coach handbags, and apparel by Oscar De La Renta, Ralph Lauren, and Zac Posen fill the racks and shelves, which undergo constant makeovers as new items pour in. In addition to upscale items, Little Black Dress also stocks casualwear such as T-shirts and jeans, the official garments of weekends and National Blue Jeans Day.
While living in Kenya, Leslie Mittelberg was amazed at the skills displayed by artisans and the vast variety of items that were sold in the community marketplace. After returning to the United States, she often longed for a way to access those rich textiles and beautiful sculptures, but found that very few African products made their way to the US. Guided by her passion, she began contacting sellers along the East African coast and encouraging them to export their wares. Today, she employs fair-trade policies to stock stores throughout the country, supporting artisans living in Kenya, Tanzania, the Sudan, Uganda, South Africa, Mozambique, Mali, Senegal, and Ethiopia.
Urban Lumber Company’s woodworkers snatch still-viable wood from the mouth of the landfill and repurpose it into signature slabs of lumber or vibrant, handcrafted furniture. Operating an onsite sawmill and dry kiln, they shape pieces inspired by the natural colors and size proportions of each storm-damaged, dead, and chopped tree they use, blending different grains and edges into distinctive final products. Urban Lumber Company can equip builders with cabinet- and furniture-grade woods for their own projects, as well as instrument-grade tone woods for guitars, mandolins, or mannequin replicas of Duran Duran.