Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
In an attempt to balance business and motherhood, the founder of Let's Pretend Tea Parties began the enterprise in 1993. Since then, it's evolved to encompass a ladies' tearoom and girls' boutique under current owner Sara Norton. Today, Sara and her staff welcome women for baby and bridal showers, as well as the children's tea parties that captivated youngsters and retired queens of England alike from the business's early days. The soirees exude a vintage feel?complete with floppy hats, china teacups, and teensy sandwiches and cookies?or a fairytale vibe courtesy of Cinderella-inspired gowns for girls and knight or pirate costumes for boys. For older partygoers, the Sassy Glamour Girl bash and Bring It On Salon Soiree each include mani-pedis and hair styling.
Cupcakes and tea offers an abbreviated alternative to parties, inviting mother-daughter duos or small groups to an afternoon of elegance with optional nail and updo add-ons. Girls can complete their new looks with frilly tutus and T-shirts from the boutique or by fashioning a powdered wig out of frosting.
A mother of four, Mominizer's owner is at home in chaos. Between wrangling her kids, husband, and a host of pets, the matriarch finds solace in her crafting and party-styling projects, enlisting other like-minded mothers to spread a passion for peace and creativity within the home via custom artwork and memory quilts. Patched together from baby blankets and onesies or T-shirts and jerseys with sentimental value, soft quilts converge around a fluffy, lightweight heirloom batting. Her maternal staffers also hit the road for in-home projects, taking on creative work ranging from repainting dressers to priming patios for milestone birthday bashes by removing all indicators of the host's actual age.
Teeming with precisely organized lighting fixtures, Passion Lighting's 9,000-square-foot retail show room—a multiple-year finalist of Residential Lighting magazine’s Showroom of the Year award—is designed to demystify home lighting and interior design for the everyday customer. Owner Bruce Paul—one of only 125 ALA-certified lighting consultants in the nation—uses his years of illumination expertise to help customers solve their interior-design conundrums. In addition to his company’s website, Paul maintains the video blog LightingGourmet.com, where he doles out expert advice on household lighting strategies and irresistible video clips of kittens installing solar panels.
Owners Steve and JoAnn Barker sling their spicy creations—which include 12 to 15 types of tamales and 35 varieties of house-made salsa—from their own store between Ball and Scribner, and at the Grapevine Farmer’s Market on Main Street. Served hot or frozen and prepared without gluten, Tommy’s tamales teem with fresh and creative ingredients, from pumpkin and sweet potato to spinach and cinnamon, with vegetarian options and a breakfast tamale stuffed with sausage and potato. An epic spread of mild to hot house-made salsas seize their spiciness from panoplies of different peppers, including habaneros and serranos, and part their piquant surfs for crispy tortilla chips and roving bands of piñatas.
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.