Just walking through the door of All Fired Up can lead to artistic inspiration for paint-your-own-pottery sessions. Paper butterflies, flowers, and stars speckle the floor-to-ceiling windows, and ceramic tiles in the shape of birds, hearts, and trees cover the back wall. Artists of all experience levels can select a bisque piece to decorate with the studio’s vast supply of paints and melted Skittles.
The experienced needle wielders at Perfect Fitting adjust the sizing of all manner of garments for men, women, and children. Shorten jacket sleeves ($30) and shirt sleeves ($20) to better showcase muscular wrists, and alter skirt hems to show off rare third knees ($16+). A fresh plain pants hem ($12) creates a crisp upper border for shoes, and a new zipper ($16) helps to maintain modesty. Ill-fitting slacks and legs reconcile after Perfect Fitting's staff bedeck denim with an original jeans hem ($20), and watermelon smuggling is made simpler after the alteration specialists take out skirt or dress waists ($16
Mattress World's owners bring 30 years of experience in the mattress industry to their five stores, which stock a wide variety of Serta, Simmons, and Tempur-Pedic sleeping surfaces. Once patrons choose their desired mattress or mattress set, clerks call patrons' attention to the more than 50 styles of headboards, frames, and bedding, which add height and style to plush, pillow-topped mattresses. The store offers delivery and set-up services, dispatching staffers—who first remove old frames and bedding without the use of dangerous black holes—to construct new beds on-site.
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.