It might be hard to believe considering its vast array of products, but Sears, Roebuck and Co. began with one accessory: watches. In 1886, Richard W. Sears bought a box of unwanted watches from a jeweler, thinking he could turn a profit by selling them. He was correct and committed to the watch business by hiring Alvah C. Roebuck, an experienced watchmaker.
As time went on, though, their business expanded its umbrella far beyond what people wore on their wrists. Sears became known as the place to shop for almost any appliance, from sewing machines to those magical boxes that create water from nothing and clean your clothes.
Today, the stores stock clothing, accessories, electronics, kitchen equipment, tools for outdoor living, and home decor. This variety is sustained by Sears's proprietary brands—Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard, to name a few—and other national names that populate the shelves.
At more than 1,000 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.
In 1958, Guy Day and Dale Williams founded their mattress store with a focus on high-quality products and excellent customer service. After 10 years, the partners unveiled their line of handcrafted, personalized mattress sets under the name Verlo, a combination of their wives' names—Verna and Lois. After more than 40 years, the company has perfected its craft, manufacturing customized mattresses and selling them directly through their show rooms. The stock ranges from plush pillowtops to firm sets, both capable of supporting healthy sleeping patterns and cutthroat pillow fights for years to come.
Warm facial towels, aromatherapy oils, and heat therapy are a few of the supplemental services the therapists at VidaTherapy Massage Center use to relax clients. They stir these add-ons into an array of Swedish, deep-tissue, and sports massages to further pamper clients. After a massage, clients' blood circulates better, sleep comes easier, their headaches can vanish, and the digital self-destruct timer on their back stops counting down.
Naked Furniture’s eco-friendly emporium boasts 17,000 square feet of heirloom-quality home fittings, carefully crafted from real wood rather than particleboard or tacky popsicle sticks. This month’s new products include a comfy eucalyptus adirondack chair ($215) from the Gardenwood Collection and a sturdy 29-inch entry table ($99), ideal for placing next to a bed to besiege a poorly defended pillow fort. The Bay Harbor Collection’s pine headboard ($199) fits any standard queen bedframe, and the solid pine single-door armoire ($559) lends a touch of elegance to otherwise drab spaceship sleep chambers. Naked Furniture’s artisans can outfit scholarly buyers with semi-custom bookcases in a variety of materials, sizes, and styles, or help customers choose from a vast selection of easy-to-use staining and finishing products while they inhale the store’s wholesome, woodsy aroma.
Housed inside the old Gas Light building in the Third Ward, Tulip Restaurant combines an Old World menu of Turkish and Mediterranean fare with a chic industrial aesthetic. Cream City brick walls provide the backdrop to framed pattern prints and an onyx bar with colorful lighting. Amid the dining-room tables, a pair of comfy couches and a coffee table surround a red fireplace that provides a place to warm hands or interrogate uncooperative chestnuts. Turkish dishes include succulent lamb chops, while Mediterranean fare ranges from fettuccine with sautéed shrimp to homemade ravioli.