Staffers roaming the 8,000-square-foot of Petz Place often pause to greet regular shoppers and their pups by name. The friendly associates also do their best to spot first-time pet owners so they can direct them to essential items and share tips on how to train their new companions to sit, stay, and greet them at the door with cocktails in paw. They only stock premium items, including durable pet toys and beds, as well as a huge selection of natural and raw pet foods. They also house a colorful community of birds, reptiles, and tropical fish within fetching distance of care products and equipment. In addition to helping keep pets healthy and clean, the store entertains pups and their owners with visiting photographers and, at Christmas time, photo ops with Santa Claus.
Like fancy suits, sofa sets are sewn from the same cut of fabric. These matching sets provide a well-rounded look in living rooms, but near misses tend to clash due to their small differences. At 20 show rooms throughout the western US, Mor Furniture for Less arranges complete-room sets so customers can envision the collections in their own homes. Furniture for living rooms, dining rooms, and children's rooms can be found in each store along with individual lamps, tables, and entertainment centers. The stores also carry complete sets of beds, dressers, and nightstands so that homeowners don’t receive criticism from design bloggers in their dreams.
Thirty minutes, once a week. That's all it takes at Hubbard Family Swim School for a young child to master breath control, find their buoyancy, and backstroke straight into the world of swimming. Classes are broken into eight swimming levels, beginning when children are only 2 months old. In Baby Splash, instructors and parents both enter the pool, where they help little ones build a confidence in water. Beginning at age 3, students can dive into more difficult classes such as Jellyfish and Lobster, so named for the ocean species with the most Olympic gold medals. Masterful strokes can take kids into Hubbard Family Swim School's recreational teams, which compete during the summer.
Of course, the aquatic lesson plans are only as good as the instructors themselves, and Hubbard Family Swim School boasts an expert faculty at its locations in Phoenix, Peoria, and Mesa. Each of these swim instructors gets ample hands-on training and continuing-education courses throughout the year. Floating atop this sea of talent are Bob and Kathy Hubbard, the company's founders. Both grew up as active swimmers, and they made sure that each of their eight kids learned to swim at a young age—something that led to countless hours of boating, swimming, and snorkeling. Hubbard Family Swim School is the manifestation of their two loves: family and swimming.
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.
Rated the top nursery for the last 10 years by AZ Business magazine, Moon Valley Nurseries complements its extensive inventory of plants and trees with services such as delivery, installation, and tips for care. The knowledgeable staff can help customers navigate the green aisles of trees and plants, which encompass such Plant Kingdom constituents as Palm Trees, Flowering Trees, Shrubs, and, during the holiday season, Christmas Trees. They also grow their own inventory so they can maintain direct control over the health and well being of their plants, whether treating them with the correct combination of fertilizers or pressuring admittance boards to make sure each seed gets into the best of nursery schools.
Bead Bar's bead baristas guide jewelry crafters with a wealth of bauble knowledge, provisioning projects from the amply stocked store. Students can bring their own spirited refreshments to make sessions merrier, journeying past bead-bedazzled walls and cascades of clasps to reach the workshop, where they'll discover the basics of jewelry creation during basic stringing and crimping classes (click here to view the schedule). After pupils choose one of five bracelet kits—which include a clasp, four fire-ball beads, finishing beads, wire, wire guards, and a strand of firepolish beads—instructors model foundational stringing techniques and imbue new crafters with a sense of symmetry and color combinations. Bracelet makers learn how to highlight feature beads and artfully select accent beads, then take an oath to use filler beads only for fighting crimes of bare-wristedness. To bring closure to both classes and adornments, the staff imparts advice on selecting clasps to make sure bracelets can't leave wrists or ankles without asking permission first.