Veteran artisan Suzie Liles had already been a reputable figure in the fiber arts community for nearly 20 years—teaching, chairing conferences, and being active in several design and weaving guilds—when in March 2008 she and a partner decided to open Eugene Textile Center. An MFA in Fibers from the University of Oregon, Suzie channels her training, experience, and passion for all things woolly into making the center a craftsperson's paradise of name-brand supplies and instructional workshops in various forms of textile conjuring. Local hobbyists and professional fiber artists alike are able to rent spinning wheels and other equipment on a weekly or monthly basis. Suzie also welcomes visitors to weaving and surface-design studios, which are equipped with looms and a dye kitchen.
When it gave cd/game Exchange the title of Best Entertainment Shop in its annual Best of Eugene roundup, Eugene Weekly praised the store for its “poster-covered walls and wide variety of things with which to entertain yourself.” Those things have constantly changed over cd/game Exchange’s 20-year existence, and today, its shelves are stocked with customer-supplied used CDs, video games, movies, posters, and apparel, instead of Hammer pants and VHS copies of Wrestlemania’s Greatest Hits. Experts inspect each item to determine its condition, then decide on a cash value and trade value. With their store credit or cash, customers can stock up on lightly used Wii titles and DVDs ranging from Spider-Man to Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Glass doors line two lofted floors at The Lesson Factory's headquarters, barely able to contain the harmonies held within. In training rooms throughout the facility, instructors—some with degrees as high as the graduate level—guide aspiring musicians of all ages toward their music-making goals with programs geared to individualized learning. Students choose from rock and classical instruments, learning how to form chords on a guitar, keep steady rhythms on drums, or nobly play violin on a sinking boat. Thanks to a steady schedule of blues jams for adults and recitals for kids, all budding musicians get the chance to show off their skills to an audience on a regular basis.
Museum Quality Framing’s staff encases cherished photos, artwork, and three-dimensional objects in materials ranging from polished wood to leather. Ready-made photo frames ($10+) clasp snapshots in a wood-and-glass embrace, protecting them from wrinkles, stains, and the scratchy nuzzles of sentimental lumberjacks. Lackluster walls can find colorful companionship in preframed artwork and a vehicle for deep self-reflection in mirrors ($100+). Ensconce valuables in custom framing packages ($69.99+), which can accommodate sports memorabilia, or preserve fine art with archival mats and backing boards. Handcrafted frames add a Renaissance flair to photos, utilizing materials such as 22-karat gold leaf to create one-of-a-kind frames.
Sweet Thang Chocolates' seasoned confectioners whip up classic and unconventional sweets that eschew gluten, artificial flavors, and preservatives within a cozy, wood-floored storefront draped in turquoise hues and bucolic décor. Artfully arranged display cases and tables brim with handcrafted brittle, truffles concocted with deliciously unorthodox ingredients—including real bacon and cayenne pepper—and peppermint bark harvested from the vocal cords of candy-cane hounds. Staffers also stock a selection of berry-flavored jams and preservatives, as well as nonedible gifts, including spa bath products and holiday decorations.
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.