Florida Frame House and Gallery has been crafting museum-quality custom frames for more than 50 years. The gallery's grizzled framers help finalize masterpieces of all mediums—including photographs, oil paintings, canvas, or macaroni art—with a variety of frame styles. First-year photography majors can elevate their black-and-white images of old people's hands and garden gnomes shedding a single tear into timeless art with poster frames ($90+), while matted frames present a padded repose for spare Seurats ($200+). High-end conservation framings begin at about $400 and cryogenically freeze more antique heirlooms so that they can be displayed alongside your caveman collection.
Midway through the process of framing a vintage Woodstock ticket and corresponding newspaper article for a customer, owner Brian Smith realized that his original design didn't suit the customer's taste and started over, finally arriving at a striking image that delighted the client. With an artist's intuition, Mr. Smith makes sure that each piece he creates suits each client's style, whether he's framing a sports jersey or a very loyal Roomba. He and his dexterous staff employ handpicked tools, such as float mounting, deckled edges, and high-definition framing, to preserve each piece and help it stand out from its surroundings. Eco-friendly framing options ensure that customers can rest easy, knowing that their wooden frame came directly from a sustainable forest and not a plastic mine.
Former health-care management professional and current owner of Mozaic Arts, Inc., Michele Petno began dabbling in the mosaic arts after receiving sample tiles at Wits End––an antique/junk shop she opened in the mid-'90s. Making sure no tile went to waste, Michele bedecked the bathroom door of Wits End with a fetching design that garnered praise from customers and howling hand-driers, unlocking a fiery passion that lead her to explore other mediums and styles of mosaic. At Mozaic Arts, Inc., Michele hosts private and semiprivate mosaic workshops, where she shares arts-and-crafts knowledge that she acquired through years of self-teaching and study in Italy and Mexico. During those classes, participants use included materials––such as shards of glass, beads, and found objects––to create prettified memory jugs, inimitable jewelry, and hangable portraits of animals, landscapes, and shattered car windows. Mozaic Arts, Inc. also rents out studio space for resident artists to work on their masterpieces and brush elbows with fellow glass manipulators.
The plate beneath a meal can say as much about the chef as the ingredients in it, especially when that chef is also the plate’s artist. The sculptors at Pottery Pad offer that chance to dish users of all ages, providing the paint, workspace, glaze, and kiln to finish off premade clayware. They produce mugs, cereal bowls, and even pet dishes, arranging the sculpted products in neat rows around the circumference of their room. In the middle, long tables covered in palettes and pools of paint await the presence of a creative mind to turn each dish into a work of art.
The staff hosts individuals, birthday parties, and even entire scout troops, keeping careful track of each participant's wares. At the end of sessions, they collect the painted pieces and ready them for a trip into their 1,800-degree kiln. Once the firing is finished, they call up the piece's owner to let them know its ready and warn them to blow on it before use.
Inside modern pink, black, and white treatment rooms, trained technicians uproot unwanted fuzz from areas including brows, backs, legs, and bikini zones, freeing patrons from the monotony of shaving or belittling hair until it leaves. After offering guests complimentary cups of coffee or tea, aestheticians can also add oomph to lashes with tinting or extension treatments, and professional makeup applications send guests back into the world sporting flawless and refined complexions.
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.