Though it originally sold only two things—audio products and wireless phones—Car Toys has gradually expanded its repertoire. Today, with 50 locations spread across four states, electronics-certified technicians install everything from Alpine in-dash navigation units to phone-integration systems that sync iPhones, Androids, and tin cans to car stereos. Meanwhile, in the garage, detailing technicians meticulously spruce up cars inside and out, using deionized water, paint-friendly shampoos, and high-quality wash mitts to protect against scratches, swirls, and water spots. The team also sweeps through interiors with vacuums, hot-water extractors, and ozone deodorizing treatment, which kills airborne bacteria and nasty smells in one fell swoop.
Sports Authority's ski and snowboard rejuvenations mend mountainside wear and tear to help improve performance during gravity-fueled sojourns. Stonegrinding sessions score underside surfaces with striations, cutting down on suction and allowing the precise directional control needed for conquering moguls, slaloms, and decorative rosettes on slope-sized birthday cakes. P-Tex candles provide restorative wax drips across battered board bottoms, filling in gashes and gouges created by errant roots, protruding rocks, and bites from board-eating snow leopards.
Sylvia Chan loved painting when she was a child, but the only formal training she received was in high-school art classes and while studying fashion design. Her love for the art stayed with her later in life, though, and she eventually founded Picasso and Wine, creating a supportive, stress-free environment where guests could exercise their passion for painting while getting guidance from local artists. These highly social art parties remain open to any skill level, and the studio provides all the paints, canvases, and brushes. Each session presents attendees with an original work—such as a city skyline or a fall landscape—and tasks them with creating a faithful rendition of the piece while using sips of wine, beer, or gourmet tea to jump-start their creative impulses. The instructors offer helpful tips for capturing the light or painting anti-theft symbols into the background, and they allow partygoers to take their pieces home afterward.
Though the aroma of fresh-cut flowers has drifted from its doors for more than 60 years, Earles Loveland Floral & Gifts has not been quite the same since 1993, when United Floral Industry School graduate Elizabeth Parker took charge of operations. The time-honored flower and gift shop has blossomed under her guidance, experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity that recently culminated in its winning the Reporter-Herald’s Reader's Choice award for best local florist in 2011.
Parker went to school for floral wedding design, and it’s no secret that her field of study has become one of the shop’s strong suits. Along with her dedicated team of florists, she can turn any wedding venue into a lush garden of bridal bouquets, corsages, and elegant reception centerpieces. The shop's everyday bouquets hardly suffer from comparison, bundling together natural, seasonal flowers in arrangements available for pickup or delivery by a well-trained swarm of bees. Before whisking away a bouquet of grab 'n' go flowers, peruse Earles's eclectic selection of gifts and household accouterments, which includes flower-print tote bags, beaded jewelry, and gel candles.
Loveland Furniture and Décor's knowledgeable staffers cull a colossal collection of top-quality home furnishings and accessories, taking a casual approach while helping customers to search the huge stash of elegant living-room, bedroom, and dining-room accouterments. They can guide customers as they peruse the vast selection of pieces from renowned furniture-makers such as Thomasville, Broyhill, and Drexel. To further help patrons to personalize their abodes, staffers can swiftly place special orders to acquire items that are not in stock or have been accidentally vaporized by mad scientists masquerading as janitors. They also host an online design center where customers can assemble custom furniture right down to the fabric.
Loveland Furniture and Décor extends its dedication to top-notch customer service beyond its doors by making monthly donations to charities that benefit homeless children.