At Clothes Mentor, fashion experts curate an ever-changing collection of upscale, gently used women's apparel and accessories ranging in size from 0 to 26 and maternity. The racks inside their resale shop bear seasonal dresses, jeans, jewelry, and handbags from a wealth of well-known brands, including Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, Bulgari, and Coach. When making offers, Clothes Mentor uses a computer matrix that calculates retail prices and 50-year predictions of textile-market trends, ensuring that its shelves are consistently stocked with fashionable threads for all seasons.
Some people love the scent of fresh-cut grass; others salivate at coffee's rich, earthy fragrance. But for a certain contingent of humanity, the smell of books beats out any other aroma. For those bibliophiles—and anyone else with an interest in classic literature, non-fiction, crafting books, and a slew of other texts—Book Attic should be a destination. In business since 1987, the shop is home to a rotating stock of more than 45,000 paperbacks, 25,000 hardcover titles, and 1,500 audio books.
PPG Porter Paints' team has dedicated 90 years to sprucing up homes with its revered brand of vivid, low-odor paints, stains, and primers. Multiple lines and sheens of interior paint offer to protect walls from presidential portraits painted in mustard ($25.79+/gal.). Eco-conscious shoppers can snag gallons of Pure Performance color, designed to thwart mold and mildew without angering Mother Nature's overprotective rottweiler ($33.39+/gal.). Peruse exterior paints if looking to prevent al fresco fortifications from cracking and peeling during super-soaker season ($25.79+/gal.). Effective on most surfaces, Porter's acrylic, synthetic, and alkyd Seal Grip primers also help house-wide paint jobs to stay put ($40+/gal.). Amicable staff members roam each locale's voluminous aisles and are eager to provide product recommendations for any home, office, or abandoned grain silo.
Guns and Leather is as much an artists' studio as a shooting range. As onsite gunsmith for more than 30 years, Jeff Walle spends his days restoring and customizing firearms, sometimes machining a part for an antique rifle or working on an engraving.
Walle's respect for the tradition and history of firearms characterizes Guns and Leather, started by the Williams family as a humble 800-square-foot shop in 1999. By 2004, the Williams nearly tripled the size of their operation, moving to a 2,100-square-foot facility in Greenbrier. Today, they oversee a 75-foot indoor range split into five standard lanes with electric target retrieval and five computerized lanes with a Mancom system that can make targets pivot and moonwalk. They also supervise a 35-foot, 15-lane range in Hendersonville, which, like its predecessor, is outfitted with climate-control and air-filtration systems. Beyond supervising the ranges, the Williams also oversee a team of state licensed, NRA-compliant instructors that runs the Guns and Leather Shooting Academy, an instructional suite with courses tailored for everyone from everyday citizens to military personnel. To further demonstrate their commitment to responsible firearms practices, the Williams also coordinate a Junior Shooting Sports Program.
Across hundreds of stores in the U.S. and Canada, Lumber Liquidators provides homeowners and contractors with more than 340 flooring options. Lumber Liquidators, which has been featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and HGTV’s Dream Home, lays down floors such as solid and engineered Bellawood pre-finished hardwood with a transferable 100-year warranty and eco-friendly bamboo and cork. An array of professional-grade tools, such as table saws and floor nailers, help homeowners easily install their new floors, and the company's Flooring 101 search engine and Ask Bob customer-support team answer any questions that arise on the fly.
If geneticist and horticulturalist Gregor Mendel were still alive today, he would marvel at Rivergate Garden Center. Owner Jonathan Buck fills the nursery with plants from breeders such as the aptly named Proven Winners and the Conard-Pyle Co., which has been developing hybrid roses since 1897. From spring through the moment when the world's executive producers decide it's winter, the center is rampant with blossoming roses, lipstick-red weigela, and violet butterfly bushes engineered to expend energy continuously in colorful abandon. These plants also require less maintenance, as their stems resist frost and mildew and quit growing once they have reached a manageable, predetermined size.