With locations spread throughout the South, Paper Affair gives patrons easy access to a vast selection of imprintables. A knowledgeable team guides clients through colorful corridors of stationery by brands such as Bella Ink, Inviting Company, and Crane & Co., selecting the best announcements to serve as a tasteful alternative to trumpet fanfare, or baby shower stationary that runs the gamut from silly to sweet. To complement the range of paper goods, staffers also stock shelves with useful gifts such as coasters and guest towels, as well as custom napkins that let guests know exactly whom to thank for stuffing the turkey with fluffernutters.
Bicycle Link's biking gurus equip cyclists with the appropriate gear, bikes, and advice to conquer various terrains in style. Bikers can keep their palms protected and fingers safe from creeping numbness with Bontrager gloves ($20–$35+) and don Solstice helmets to protect their heads from high-impact falls and weather balloons with vertigo ($49.95). Beach cruisers are available for rent for a full day ($20) or three-day span ($40), and come with helmets and combination locks to ensure safety and security. A line of Bontrager cycling computers charts time, distance, and the number of attempts it takes to jump across a shark tank ($30–$70). Two-wheelers with misbehaving brakes can have their reticent tire stoppers adjusted for $15 and up, not including parts. Bicycle Link also fuels the local cycling community with regular group rides and nearby-event listings.
Fab’rik has garnered a lot of praise and wolf whistles from the press thanks to its wide range of women’s apparel and accessories. With the change of seasons imminent, stock up on fall fashions so that you’re not forced to craft makeshift loincloths out of jack-o’-lanterns when the summer outfit you’re wearing magically vanishes. Attract admiring looks with a paisley silk top ($52) or dazzle lumberjacks with a pair of suede chain flats ($28) during flirtatious log-rolling contests. A striking fringe one-shoulder dress ($58) will give you the power to turn heads of passersby and sashay past territorial badgers unharmed, while the big buddha carrie handbag ($68) comfortably accommodates knickknacks and jars of nail clippings. Fab’rik’s helpful, fashion-forward staff is on hand at all times to help you piece together gorgeous get-ups for your life-size action figures, and will dislodge the heads of any customers who mistake a pair of skinny jeans for a top.
Each of Decadent's designs can be personalized by a dizzying arrangement of custom fonts, colors, missives, stitching, and more. Whether you're wishing a new mother well with a plush lovie ($12) or a best friend a happy-moving with a flower-power reusable tote bag ($17), Decadent has you covered. You can also keep pillow fights from tumbling over the precipice of illiteracy with monogrammed pillowcase covers (two for $22), or contain mascara madness with a snow-white waffle-weave cosmetic bag (two for $25). Decadent also offers straight embroidery services for plain items you've picked up elsewhere that are in desperate need of branding.
Keeping feet comfortable is as simple as finding the right shoe. This is the central tenet of New Balance's philosophy. And that belief is backed up by experience—the company got its start in the early 1900s by selling arch supports to Boston police officers and restaurant servers who spent hours on their feet each day. New Balance eventually expanded into the realm of athletic footwear and apparel, but never lost sight of its mission to create shoes that provide the support necessary for maximum performance.
To ensure that customers find footwear that fits like a glove, New Balance employs dedicated specialists. The team members perform comprehensive assessments by examining the feet from every angle, collecting as many as 88 different measurements, and even analyzing the clients' natural gait. They then select the perfect shoe, whether the wearer seeks a basic cross-trainer or equipment for a specific sport, such as baseball or a full-contact spelling bee.
Beyond finding the right pair for virtually any feet, New Balance also dedicates itself to embracing environmentally and economically conscious practices. One out of every four shoes that the company produces is either made or assembled in the United States, a system that provides jobs for roughly 1,300 people. Additionally, all of their packaging is made using recycled paper products as well as eco-friendly, soy-based inks.
In the spacious room of Sip & Stroke’s new location, students of all skill levels pick up brushes and daub pigments onto canvases to create works of art during instructor-guided canvas-painting classes. The art studio especially caters to children, who can take on canvases, clay, or strings of beads on their own, or explore creativity with a parent during Mom & Me sessions. Guests of any age are always free to craft a one-of-a-kind keepsake, creating glittering baubles from the studio’s wall of beads or decorating a pre-made ceramic piece that they hand off to experts to glaze and fire.