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.
Since 1912, four generations of Zimmermanns have stocked the shelves at the 15,000-square-foot Zimmermann True Value Hardware store with durable hardware supplies, gardening equipment, and other home-improvement goods. Shoppers can peruse the aisles to pick up handy items such as screwdriver sets, hammers, and miniature contractors for DIY projects. Standing strong by their commitment to superior customer service, the staff also provides convenient services including knife sharpening, computerized paint matching, and screen repair.
Spread out in organized clusters across an expansive 17,000-square-foot show room, unfinished wooden furniture lies teeming with potential. Unlike traditional pieces, which must be carefully selected to match one's home décor, Naked Furniture's mostly American-made products can be customized with the stain or paint color of one's choosing. The collection includes pieces for every room of the house, including bedroom furniture such as nightstands, kitchen adornments such as cabinets, and living-room pieces such as television consoles or Victorian-style entertainment centers, also known as "bookshelves." Each item is crafted from solid wood or plywood and is particleboard- and MDF-free.
In 1955, James and Gladys Bluemel opened a small nursery dedicated to growing trees and shrubs and to helping locals with landscaping projects. Now, their son, Mike, runs the much-expanded family business, which thrives on bulk-supply sales, playground resurfacing, lawn care, and snow and ice control during snowman uprisings. Though he’s moved away from the nursery’s original shrub and tree business, he and his green-thumbed staff still maintain a garden center stocked with seasonal plants, garden décor, and essential supplies.
While customers browse Bluemel’s aisles, they'll likely spot a commonality between the perennials, annuals, flowers, herbs, and vegetables: a sticker reading “Dome Grown.” This label marks a plant born and raised in the garden center, which accounts for about 85% of the center’s living merchandise. Having tended and nurtured the plants since their geneses, the staff—who share 35 years of experience—can dispense tips on how to properly care for them, as well as share adorable baby-plant photos.
Forty years of fermenting wisdom cement The Purple Foot as Milwaukee's premier emporium for the personal vintner. The introductory kit contains nearly all the equipment—a two-gallon plastic primary fermenter with lid, a one-gallon glass secondary fermenter, an air lock, a straining bag, and more—necessary to brew your own adult fruit juice. Stew three gallons of wine from your choice of fruit (not included); try combining strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, grapes, or jazzleroot with the provided ingredients according to the provided instructions, and let guests of your next dinner party delight at your new craft, at the hyper-local vintage, and at the unusual colors that emerge when it's mixed with resin.