Art Materials enables all levels of creative expression with artisanal supplies such as paints, brushes, and canvases. The Cotman watercolor compact set ($34.99) equips professional finger painters with a diverse color spectrum that houses shades such as burnt sienna and purple lake, perfect for filling the blank pages of the Strathmore Windpower watercolor paper pad ($33.79). Artists can also perfect their renditions of manga characters with the Derwent Master Steampunk set ($47.59). With writing utensils oft replacing swords in battle, customers can march to war with assortments of pencils, such as the Faber-Castell 9000 design-pencil set ($19.20), and brushes, including the Heritage Perfectly Imperfect brush pack ($15.75).
Gander Mountain Academy updates its lessons in gun safety, handling, and marksmanship with virtual shooting technology that was once only available to military and law-enforcement agencies. The ladies-only basic fundamentals class gives women a foundation in the mechanics of handguns and how to use them safely. Students start by winnowing down the right type of gun for their needs, be they self-defense, hunting, or reclaiming the garage from infestations of gremlins. Next, instructors with callused trigger fingers explain the safety rules of handguns, compare ammunition options, and demonstrate proper grip, stance, and trigger control.
Each store is fully stocked with brand-new designer merchandise for women, young ladies, and fembots sold at outlet prices. Known for its $40 everyday designer denim selection and assortment of more than 500 pairs of shoes, MODE can comfortably outfit a fashionista from head to manicured toe for $100 or less. Tops range from $9.99 to $32.99 ($52–$152 retail), handbags go for $89.99 (up to $395 retail), and fragrance can be purchased for $19.99 ($72 retail). Shoppers will happily recognize trusty friends such as Kasil, Serfontaine, Lilla P., Lucy B Cosmetics, and Poetic License Shoes gracing the racks.
Target Portrait Studios are operated by professional photographers who aim to help you capture special moments. Target's studios can be decorated for most any type of shoot, whether you're celebrating a mom-to-be, a graduation, or an upcoming holiday. Subjects also have the opportunity to choose their own backdrops or props, and they can even bring in their favorite toy or invisible friend. The customization doesn't end with the shoot, though?digital files can be personalized with borders, designs, and quotes and then printed in a variety of sizes.
When woodcarver Kim Bredeson crafted a mantel for an employee of the Robert Mondavi Winery, he received a bottle of Opus One as thanks. For Kim and his wife, Tami, the bottle uncorked a five-year fascination with wine that culminated in the Bredeson's purchase of Carlos Creek Winery. On grounds surrounded by five lakes—Ida, L'Homme Dieux, Miltona, Darling and Carlos—the Bredeson's plant unorthodox grape varieties such as King of the North and Petite Pearl, all of which can withstand temperatures 30 degrees and below. Those grapes eventually yield Carlos Creek Winery's award-winning wines, including the riesling-like Wobegon White and the pinot noir-inspired Marquette, a triple gold medal winner at the sixth annual Mid-American Wine Competition.
As Kim leads tours of the vineyards and complementary tours through Carlos Creek Winery's indoor production area and wine cellar, the staff distributes samples and souvenir tasting glasses in the tasting room. Guests can tap their toes to year-round live music every weekend or explore the winery's expansive grounds, which include bike trails, a 3.5-acre maze, and a giant garden chess set, ideal for convincing Bobby Fischer he's shrinking. Every third weekend of September, Kim and Tami amp up the festivities with their Grape Stomp and Fall Festival, where visitors can stomp grapes, admire blown glass and chainsaw carvings, and laugh along to live comedy shows.
Jason Lybeck and his team aren't just purveyors of outdoor sporting goods or even just boat repairmen. More importantly, they're also riders. They've carved through powder, darted through streets on longboards, and shredded the surface of the state's many lakes for pro competitions and personal challenges alike. At the Faction shop, they share their passion for extreme sports with others through lessons or gear for rent or sale. In the winter, prepare for snowy slopes with snowboards, goggles, and other equipment. When the temperature rises, hit the water with Surftech standup paddleboards, wakeboards, and tubes.
Lessons take that preparation one step further. Lybeck is a sponsored professional wake surfer himself, having traveled and competed in many championships. He uses this experience to teach lessons suited to all experience levels.