Launched more than three decades ago, Site for Sore Eyes now operates in more than 35 showrooms throughout the Bay Area. Staffers at every location share their dedication when pairing customers with head-turning eyewear and contacts. The company offers a $25 warranty that secures all of its products, replacing broken frames for free and furnishing half-price replacements for glasses that are lost, stolen, or transformed into an acorn squash. In case eyes require prescription tweaks, each shop sits next door to California-licensed Sterling VisionCare doctors of optometry.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of ?hard-to-find tools,? and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone?s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
After buying the Exclamation Point's original location in Saratoga, owner Melanie Vancil moved the studio to Santa Clara, expanding the workshop's inventory of needlepoint and cross-stitch manuals, crochet threads, buttons, and hand-painted canvases. Needlepoint, originally developed in the 16th century to create beautiful cloth tapestries without bulky looms or expensive trained spiders, draws from a proud tradition of craftsmanship, decorating household objects such as pillows, chair backs, and rugs with patterns and pictures of colorful fiber. Students of all ages learn to master this ancient form of art, as well as machine sewing and crocheting, in fun, informative classes, creating beautiful fabric keepsakes of their very own.
Trade a Book maintains a stock of more than 40,000 titles, mainly works of fiction including sci-fi, romance, and horror. The shop sells both new and used books at a discount up to 50% off retail prices and takes trade-ins of books from customers. The team can also search for out-of-print and hard to find books by request.
Glenn Young studied art at Santa Clara University before serving as a photographer in the Peace Corps in The Gambia. Upon his return, he founded Artscapes, where he funnels his 20 years of professional photography and framing experience into art preservation. His clientele includes private collectors as well as museums such as the DeSaisset Museum and the San Jose Museum of Art. And to stay at the forefront of art preservation, he learns best practices and advanced techniques from the Western Regional Paper Conservation Laboratory, where paper cloning was invented.
Glenn pours all this experience and training into leading his team of trained visual artists and craftsmen. The skilled staff takes an individualized approach to framing that relies on museum-quality materials such as hand-wrapped fabric liners, French matting, and UV-filtering plexiglass for long-lasting results. In addition to housing works of art from paintings to photographs in a selection of 2,000 frames, they keep their gallery stocked with antique posters, movie posters, and paintings for elegant home decor.
For Books Inc., it's been a long road, and if you trace the lines back to its origins, it's California's oldest bookstore. After striking gold?literally?back in 1851, Anton Roman set up shop as a bookseller. Although the shop moved, was sold, burned down, changed hands again, and was rebuilt, the spirit remained intact, and today, multiple locations of the indie bookstore have sprouted up across The Golden State. Staff members keep the shelves lined with classic and contemporary tomes in all genres, and a myriad of book clubs help keep the love of literature alive. They also run a vibrant event program featuring author events and readings where patrons can enjoy an experience they can't download.