When it was founded in 1987, Frame Central was a social hub for artists, and was even curiously named for facial hair. However, Beard Outlet has since morphed into a seven-location franchise, dedicated to simplifying the framing process. The shops’ onsite stock of matboard, frame moulding, and other key supplies ensures speedy DIY framing projects—which visitors can complete in an hour—and single-day professional framing. An array of pre-framed mirrors and artwork allows shoppers to enhance their blank walls without taping a napping friend to them. Shoppers can also stock up on framing supplies such as case glass and hanging hardware.
Since equipping the world with its first wood-slat recliner in 1928, La-Z-Boy has branded itself as a well-known producer of high-quality furniture, including their signature recliner, loveseats, ottomans, upholstered sofas, accent tables, and much more. The Urbana oval end table ($249 and up) is genetically engineered to keep junk mail off the ground and blocks the couch's attempts to stretch out into the hall. A host of recliners, sofas, sectionals, the demi stationary chair and sleepers are also waiting to invade homes with their tasteful presence.
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.
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.