Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
At Nuts and Bolts Hardware, the official STIHL outdoor power-equipment dealer, a friendly staff of handyfolk and hardware experts help clients patch-up pipes, cut glass, or select power tools for an upcoming DIY project. For jobs that need an expert's eye, the shop keeps a handful of technicians who repair small engines, sharpen kitchen knives, and cut keys as guests enjoy complimentary popcorn and coffee.
At Paint with Flair, instructors kick down the barriers that traditionally stand between beginners and a paintbrush, starting by creating a comfortable environment. Couples on dates, coworkers looking to bond, or friends out on the town sip on BYOB drinks and snacks as they loosen up and get acquainted with the provided materials (classes for kids and non-drinkers are also available on the schedule). Teachers get groups chatting as they take them on a step-by-step walk through the brushstrokes, color selection, and witchcraft necessary to whip up their own fetching painting, whether it be a reproduction of Van Gogh’s Starry Night or an original design.
Overweight from a lifetime of inactivity, Merri Benham turned to yoga to take control of her body and cope with her chronic aches and high stress levels. The ancient Hindu discipline invigorated her body, helping her regain her youthful mobility and shave off 50 pounds. Eager to help others enjoy yoga's benefits, she's spent close to 5,000 hours teaching yoga—throughout the last 10-plus years—to students of all fitness levels ranging from children to NFL players to triathletes. Today, Merri leads various classes tailored for participants seeking a deep-muscle stretch, a beginner-friendly session, or an opportunity to show off a sweat-resistant onesie.
From design to installation, Platinum Granite helps homeowners re-imagine their homes in lustrous stone and shining silver surfaces. Carrying a collection of granite, marble, travertine, and onyx materials, Technicians use Park Industries equipment to cut and shape materials to custom-fit each kitchen or bathroom. Specialists apply multiple coats of sealer to all countertops, use only quality stone cleaners and polishes, and stand by their skills with a one-year warranty on all workmanship.
Though copying someone else's work may get you banned from the bar exam, at Texas U Can Paint, it's standard procedure. During classes for children and adults, budding artists don provided smocks, wield an arsenal of paints and brushes, and go to town copying the day's reference material—which could be an animal, a flower, a landscape, or a famous painting. Sessions range from BYOB painting classes to children-only events where kids can dip brushes into jars of finger paints and magically transform into adults.