Gwen Willhite founded Cookies by Design in 1983, when an unsatisfying brainstorming session about gift ideas led her to ponder one question: why should flowers and sweets remain separate? Her solution was to design the cookie bouquet, where custom, hand-decorated cookies are displayed on sticks and arranged like flowers in gift baskets. Her invention quickly became a popular gift among locals, particularly those allergic to real blooms or too bashful to look at naked cookies.
Twenty-five years later, there are more than 200 Cookies by Design locations across the country. Each shop's team of bakers creates cookie baskets with a degree of care that matches Willhite's original vision, decorating and arranging sweet shapes for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.
Eager to assist home-improvement and upkeep projects, neatly arranged drills, garden hoses, paintbrushes, and other hardware sundries populate the shelves at family-owned Avalon Hardware. Stacks of mulch team up with rakes and watering cans to keep landscapes lush but tidy, and fluorescent light bulbs promise to emit steady, more sustainable light in homes. Customers can also swing by to grab gallons of PPG Porter paint, which staffers mix to exact specifications after a small sacrifice of crayons to a prism spirit.
Sitting. Lounging. Sleeping. These are just a few of the areas of expertise that the owners of Florida Mattress and Furniture possess. With an inventory that spans from the bedroom to the living room to the home theater, they stand ready to outfit most every nook of a house with name-brand furnishings.
The mattress lineup includes Sealy Posturepedic dual-comfort pillow tops as well as Dormia Dream mattresses with a memory-foam comfort layer. The Aico Trevi dining-room pieces set an elegant stage for family dinners, and the classic styling of the Parker House Hartford Wall entertainment center adds a welcome addition to any family room or pimped-out doghouse.
Jennie’s beauty treatments pamper her clients through waxes, spray tans, and mani-pedis. With eight years of experience—equal in time to two undergrad educations or two 5,000-inning baseball games—in the aesthetics business, Jennie brings expertise to every pore she cleanses and every lash she tints.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Groupon is celebrating an inspiring group of women: business leaders whose companies and brands enrich their communities. Thanks to the dedication and ingenuity of these leaders, local communities across the country are stronger and more diverse.
Shop the Women in Business collection.
Choice is a double-edged sword. That's why even though Vines Wine & Spirits stocks its shelves with a multitude of its titular beverages, it has a surefire way to make sure customers aren't overwhelmed with the choices. The shops' staff picks list is a carefully selected rundown of wines that represent a range of varietals and prices, from the upper-shelf Achaval-Ferrer Malbec characterized by spicy flavors and a long finish to the budget-friendly, full-bodied Bodegas Teso La Monja Almirez. This approach goes hand-in-hand with their mission to make shopping for wine and spirits a friendly and inviting experience, a goal further bolstered by their wine club and educational events.
Like most success stories, Leader's Casual Furniture didn't start at the top. Founded in a single west Florida show room in 1971, the company now boasts 19 retail show rooms, a 150,000-square-foot distribution center, and an ever-increasing selection of rattan, wicker, and patio furniture. Upon browsing the virtual show room, visitors find rattan dining sets, beds, and entertainment centers as well as wicker tables with stone or glass tops. Custom fabrics and tropical-themed pieces add personal flair to interiors or exteriors, and an online room plannerhelps customers get a feel for how chosen pieces will fit into their homes.