At the tender age of 19, young businessman Mikeal Wood founded Upstate Party Rental in 2001, provisioning celebrations with tables, tents, and glassware while roping in a 2006 award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year from the U.S. Small Business Association. When not raising his four kids, Mikeal stays hard at work alongside his team of trusty roustabouts, hammering stakes for canopies and tents, setting out seating, or enveloping flatware in crisp linens. With a wealth of tables, chairs, silverware, coolers, and equipment at hand, Mikeal and his team can equip any style or size of gathering, from laying out cloth-clad tables for a fancy barbecue to putting down a dance floor for weddings. After each revelry, workers speedily dismantle the rented furnishings, load up their vans, remind the hosts it was all a dream, and leave backyards or banquet halls exactly as they found them.
Boasting free engraving and embroidering options for all of the items in its online store, My Personal Memories lets shoppers add an individual touch to gifts and keepsakes. Hundreds of items line its digital shelves, presenting personalized gifts themed for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays. Options include personalized wine glasses and coaster sets for entertaining guests, along with pub signs, beer mugs, and shot glasses for at-home bar setups. My Personal Memories also engraves iPad cases, money clips, business-card holders, and pens, ensuring office supplies don't wind up in the pockets of absent-minded coworkers or the boss's evil twin.
The do-it-yourself project experts at True Value can advise on the proper implements needed to complete an array of home-improvement jobs. Be prepared to upgrade hardware and assemble furniture with both slotted and Phillips heads thanks to a six-piece screwdriver set ($16.99), each forged from corrosion-resistant steel and heat-treated in a hot tub filled with magma to ensure durability. For carpentry undertakings, Titebond original wood glue ($5.99 for 16 oz.) unites any tree-based surfaces. True Value's team also supplies safety equipment, including mirrored safety glasses ($18.99) that can block the eyes from UV rays and airborne wood shavings when sharpening toothpicks that hang from the mouths of the Mount Rushmore faces. Craftsmen can stash their repair implements in a 19-in. all-purpose toolbox ($41.99).
In central New York, the artisans at Brennan Stained Glass Studio work with extreme heat and traditional techniques to craft elaborate stained-glass windows and art pieces. In addition to producing the stained-glass dome atop Alexandria Bay's Boldt Castle, the team has designed and installed windows for thousands of churches, temples, schools, hospitals, restaurants, and office buildings. The team also instructs students in the art of stained glass with its own unique approach. Lessons include basic instruction in the copper-foil method to create window panels and sun catchers. Students may also learn how to design their own custom fused-glass plates so they can stop arguing over dish ownership with their dogs.
Family-owned for five generations and 116 years, Smith Housewares and Restaurant Supply stocks residential and commercial kitchens with approximately 18,000 items, including a wide variety of food equipment. Patrons can paint egg-glaze masterpieces with a 1-inch boar-bristle pastry brush ($2.82) or don a chef’s hat ($8.99) to collect free sticky buns from passersby who mistake them for the Pillsbury Doughboy. Alternatively, customers can dunk dough in a 12-cup S/S deep fryer ($77.99) or dip delicacies in chocolate melted with a electric multi fondue set ($71.99) to craft homemade sweets. Hops and yeast from a True Brew Irish stout ingredient kit ($43.89) ferment into 5 gallons of full-bodied ale (equipment not included). Smith Housewares and Restaurant Supply also hosts a substantial array of industrial service equipment for restaurants or wistful home kitchens dreaming of the big time.