For more than two decades, American Mattress has promoted peaceful slumber in bedchambers throughout the Midwest with their vast selection of mattresses, headboards, and linens. The sleep experts strive to stay abreast of the latest bedding technology: their Serta mattresses are made with gel foam that supports curves, and Tempur-Pedic mattresses repel allergens, mites, and poltergeists looking to spoon. This devotion to a good night’s sleep has helped them earn the title of Best Mattress Store from suburban Chicago’s Daily Herald five years in a row. Additionally, American Mattress doubles down on each of its beds with a 30-day comfort guarantee and a 60-day best-price guarantee.
Over the past quarter century, Serpent Safari's indoor zoo has amassed a collection of rare reptiles that have appeared in publications such as National Geographic. Animals of impressive age, unusual coloring (such as an albino alligator), and Guinness World Record-holding weight have all called the Safari their home. Originally founded as a reptile adoption and education center, the Safari now runs guided tours and birthday parties that usher children through the world of scaly, cold-blooded creatures known as bankers into the diverse realm of reptiles. Following the tours, patrons can partake in photo opportunities with giant snakes, or take home a friend from the pet store.
For more than 30 years, Decor8's craftsmen and women have made over lackluster interiors. The team customizes window treatments, pulling elegant drapes, natural wooden blinds, or Duette honeycomb shades from Hunter Douglas's storehouses. To refurbish furnishings, the store partners with Lee Jofa to import high quality, designer fabrics from around the world to painstakingly reupholster older furniture or restore stuffed dodo birds to their original paisley appearance.
When faced with lemons—or many other fruits—the proprietors of Oh, Olive! don't contemplate lemonade. Instead, they envision freshly pressed batches of extra-virgin olive oil, such as their tangy Eureka-lemon variant. The family-run shops specialize in this flexible condiment and stock their shelves with estate-produced Delizia oils. Their catalog covers both plain and fused types with flavors that range from the spicy notes of chipotle peppers to the sweetness of blood oranges, a fitting complement to cuts of chicken and fish. They also vend balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy. Fruits feature heavily in the imported collection, which includes pomegranate, blackberry-ginger, and cinnamon-pear vinegars in addition to a dark-chocolate infusion and the 18-year balsamic—a traditional vinegar aged in oak barrels and given a high-school diploma.
Often, the staff members don't separate the acts of purchasing and cooking with their wares. They prefer to interact with customers and host tastings, classes, and contests to encourage innovative recipes. Amid more than 60 kinds of oil and vinegar, Oh, Olive! sells meal add-ons as well. Tiesta Tea produces soothing, toasty brews, and stuffed olives contain hidden servings of jalapeños, sharp cheddar, and asparagus.
The staffers at Pazazz! line the shelves with colorful gifts and collectibles, such as housemade baby blankets, candy, and spa gift baskets. Customers may also opt to coordinate their nails with new pairs of themed flip-flops by getting a pedicure at the in-store nail salon, featuring polishes from Essie, OPI, and China Glaze.
Twenty-six years ago, working mother Karen Scott had a light-bulb moment. She envisioned a one-stop children's clothing, toy, and furniture emporium. Karen and her husband set up shop in their garage, connecting new moms and dads to high-quality baby clothes, nursery furniture, and educational toys. They meticulously researched products before creating their own catalogue, and as a result watched their enterprise blossom into a lucrative online business. Today, One Step Ahead employs their own in-house design team responsible for exclusive labels of kidswear such as Cozy Cub winter wear Sun Smarties swimwear and summer gear.
Regular meetings with a Parents' Panel keep One Step Ahead designers in touch with the needs of modern parents. Seeking out their input has led the design team to create products such as a fleece-lined car seat for comfortably toting a baby in cold weather and a hanging closet organizer for managing a child's superhero identities.