With more than one million yards of fabric in stock and thousands of sewing supplies—all at 25% to 75% off retail prices—All About Fabrics and Phoenix of Anderson's 40,000-square-foot outlet center is a designer's paradise. Three days a month, individuals and small businesses can wander the multicolored rows in search of everything from bright neons to home decorator prints to jacquards. The company also tries to be as green as possible, and even sells recycled products to customers.
On any given weekend at BattleCat Sports, there can be a robbery, hostage rescue, bomb defusing, or VIP escort in progress. The BattleCat staff specialize in these adrenaline-pumping scenarios as well as team eliminations and last-man-standing games inside the 10,000-square-foot facility, which was designed by military and law-enforcement members as well as airsoft enthusiasts to create a challenging experience. Players grab specially outfitted rifles that shoot BBs in a game that is similar to paintball but without the mess. And to ensure that everyone aged 10 and up can enjoy their time in the arena, the staff enforces rules and provides safety briefings to all participants.
Youngsters who have outgrown their gear and adults picking up a new sport can outfit themselves with selections from Play It Again Sports, the largest sporting-goods resale franchise in North America. In its stores, brand-name equipment—from popular makers such as Adidas, Nike, and Wilson—shines in displays alongside gently used wares. This gear helps equip competitive athletes playing sports such as soccer and golf as well as noncompetitive sportspeople who just want to fill golf carts with soccer balls for fun. Patrons can also trade in or sell their equipment, provided that it is still in working condition, and put that money toward new gear.
Carolina Water Sports’ staff helps any maritime adventurers with boating and boarding equipment, clothing, and accessories designed for any water-bound activity. Square One Distribution Inc.’s MPD gloves ($29.99) protect hardworking hands during watery adventures or can keep giveaway fingerprints from appearing on cookie jars. After defeating the waves, customers can cover up with a pair of charcoal Campbell waist shorts ($26) by Billabong. Black beer cozy flip-flops ($28) protect sensitive soles from harsh terrain, whereas an 8-inch happy-hour boat bumper ($29.99) protects prows or sterns, allowing full-sized vessels to use their bumper advantage to its fullest. Rows of land-bound MasterCraft boats fill half of the 10,000-square-foot store, whereas ski boards and shoes fill the other side of the store.
Bobby and Alice Caston—he a homeopath and she a cosmetologist—have spent 20 years turning All Natural Health & Beauty Center into a haven for organic foods, natural supplements, and environmentally friendly body products. Freshen up underarms with a Kiss My Face patchouli deodorant stick ($5.99), a blend of odor-fighting liquefied crystal stones that was never tested on animals and never cheated off animals on its tests. Mouths rejoice at the touch of Crazy Rumors juicy lip balm, available in lemon and gumball scents ($3.49). The BioKleen all-purpose cleaner allows eco-conscious houses to look their best ($8.29), and Zuke's Mini Bakes Turkey 'n' Taterz dog treats can be used to reward pups for sorting the recycling ($5.89). Atkins Nutritionals Day Break bars brighten afternoons with bursts of energy packed into flavor slabs in varieties such as cranberry almond and cinnamon bun ($7.69+/five-pack box). Targeted at overstimulated kids, the Abra Therapeutics Aromasaurus Rex calming aromatherapy bath ($12.99) turns tub time into a soothing, scented bit of respite.