In 1975, Jay Kogan's parents opened up a store that was literally a hall of frames—just a small store stacked with thousands of frames. At the time, they had no idea that that tiny corridor would expand to 12 locations throughout the greater Phoenix area, all still run by the Kogan family. Today, their shops have more than 4,500 custom frame options along with mats of all colors and textures, as well as seven glazing choices and expert assembly. They can answer framing questions and frame everything from documents and artwork to posters and small 3-D objects such as sports memorabilia and very still grandmothers.
When they custom-produce frames, the family cuts their mats exactly, miters frame corners precisely, and installs flawless glass. Or, since the stores' walls are lined with ready-made frames, customers can walk in and find what they're looking for quickly. Since installing framed art is an art unto itself, they also offer hanging services with an eye for placement and ability to install in difficult spaces.
Sew from the Heart beats with owner Susie's passion for textiles and fashion cultivated during her more than 40 years as a seamstress. Together with husband Hank, a retired Air Force fighter pilot who traded brawny planes for delicate needles, she shares her love with the public via a menu of classes ranging from embroidery and quilting to garment creation. The husband-and-wife team teaches students sewing-machine and software use, and frequently leads workshops such as how to turn T-shirts into quilts and how to turn quilts into T-shirts for giants. Their spacious store also houses a seemingly endless array of sewing products, stocking kits with threads and fabrics or outfitting workshops with machines, books, and software.
Republic of Couture, or ROC, caters to the nocturnally stylish with scores of apparel made by a multitude of high-end brands and curated with a South Beach aesthetic. The boutique sells limited quantities of 6 to 10 pieces per style to preserve individuality and avoid awkward encounters with sartorial doppelgangers. Try on tops ($10–$250) from graphic tees to button downs bedazzled with Lilliputian studs to denim ($78–$320) assembled by lauded labels such as Hugo Boss, Robin's Jean, and True Religion. Accessorize party-hopping abilities with jewelry and accessories ($12–$275) that make the body glisten brighter than the time you dipped it in bronze. Hips can slink into svelte dresses ($48–$300), and legs that prefer to operate independently can swish in shorts ($38–$112) available in a number of apropos cuts.
When her job in the corporate world proved too stressful, Lisa Kessler started practicing needlepoint. She found that embellishing canvases with tiny, delicate stitches was a great way for her to unwind, and also gave her a creative outlet. She took that passion and transformed it into BeStitched, a needlepoint shop and school that strives to bring the joy of needlepoint to each customer. Here, Kessler teaches students how to stitch hand-painted canvases. Her shop also boasts a full range of threads in every color of the rainbow, as well as hand-painted canvases and beads and embellishments to help students bring their canvases to life.
At Bead World, internationally sourced beads fall in heavy ropes from their wall mounts. The sheer volume and the quality of these handpicked beads have earned the shop accolades from publications such as the Phoenix New Times, which gushed that the store carries “every conceivable type of bead”, including Swarovski crystals, semiprecious stones, and Czech glass beads in “refreshingly remarkable” quality. But you don’t have to be an expert to set foot in the store, since each month Bead World hosts 20 classes that furnish people with the space and tools they need to create their own jewelry. Each class comes with a 20% discount for a one-time purchase so that students can stock up on African trading beads, freshwater pearls, or children’s teeth recovered from fairies who lost their licenses. A portion of the two stores’ proceeds goes to local charities.
Founded by two sisters who hold a passion for glass-based art, Kachina Stained Glass offers handpicked tools by manufacturers such as Morton, Inland, and Glastar, and hands-on classes in home decor and jewelry making. Customers can peruse the store's gift showcase for inimitable presents, tote in damaged glasswork for repairs, or commission an artist to create an original design for a stained-glass window or a particularly unsafe car windshield.