Father-and-son team Robert and Fred Lee worked as homebuilders for years before going into business selling lights in 1965, so they knew how quickly something impressive could rise from a humble foundation. Sure enough, Lee Lighting, their small family company, grew to include a vast online retail shop and one of the largest lighting dealers in Texas. They've even purchased Savoy, a company that designs fixtures to bring cheer to dining rooms and make rooms full of ventriloquist dummies less terrifying.
Lee Lighting stocks shelves with a diverse selection of indoor lamps from brands including ELK Lighting, Quoizel, and Hudson Valley. Staffers certified by the American Lighting Association move beneath the dazzling crystal sprays and faux candles of chandeliers. They suggest outdoor lighting to transform backyards into regal terraces. They also stay abreast of lighting trends to help patrons select lights that will stay in style.
A kaleidoscope of colors and patterns bewilders shoppers as they enter either of Quilter’s Stash's two locations. Some confused patrons report having found the end of the rainbow, but they are really seeing more than 15,000 bolts of 100% cotton fabrics by Marcus, Henry Glass, and other top designers. Staff members wait at attention to direct customers to the latest threads and patterns, and a few on-hand wizards can resuscitate a range of sewing machines from different brands. The crafty gurus are also enthusiastic about leading quilting and sewing classes that cater to students of all levels, and the shop's shelves are stocked with how-to books that facilitate at-home learning.
Heavenly Sleep Shoppe specializes in outfitting bedrooms with high-quality mattress lines such as Simmons Beautyrest and Sealy Posturepedic. A pair of well-stocked showrooms encourages guests to test prospective bedding for comfort or practice belly-flop technique. A team of helpful staffers shares knowledge of the latest models and offers expertise on catching z’s using Heavenly Sleep Shoppe's alternative sleeping options such as futons, bunk beds, and waterbeds. After you've found the mattress of your dreams, the staff happily arranges for free layaway, complimentary delivery for certain mattresses, or assembly of items.
At My Salsa Dance Studio, professional dancer Kane pairs students off and gives hands-on instruction in some of Latin dance's hottest genres. Under Kane's wing, dancers, like sequined tortilla chips, pick up plenty of salsa, but they can also enroll in bachata and Argentine tango. There are also fitness classes, such as salsa fitness and Zumba, which use the art form of dance as a means of burning calories. There are two ways to work with Kane: attend one of his organized group classes, or enlist the help of his mobile service and have him teach at an off-site party or event.
Teeming with precisely organized lighting fixtures, Passion Lighting's 9,000-square-foot retail show room—a multiple-year finalist of Residential Lighting magazine’s Showroom of the Year award—is designed to demystify home lighting and interior design for the everyday customer. Owner Bruce Paul—one of only 125 ALA-certified lighting consultants in the nation—uses his years of illumination expertise to help customers solve their interior-design conundrums. In addition to his company’s website, Paul maintains the video blog LightingGourmet.com, where he doles out expert advice on household lighting strategies and irresistible video clips of kittens installing solar panels.
Overweight from a lifetime of inactivity, Merri Benham turned to yoga to take control of her body and cope with her chronic aches and high stress levels. The ancient Hindu discipline invigorated her body, helping her regain her youthful mobility and shave off 50 pounds. Eager to help others enjoy yoga's benefits, she's spent close to 5,000 hours teaching yoga—throughout the last 10-plus years—to students of all fitness levels ranging from children to NFL players to triathletes. Today, Merri leads various classes tailored for participants seeking a deep-muscle stretch, a beginner-friendly session, or an opportunity to show off a sweat-resistant onesie.