Since 1923, Granite City Electric has illuminated local dwellings with high-quality interior and exterior lighting fixtures. Customers perusing one of the four showrooms or the online store can ogle a plethora of Norwell lighting fixtures, including the Onion Collection of outdoor enhancers. Stylishly light a dim patio with cottage onion wall ($81.23 for the small) or classic onion wall ($116.96 for the small, $151.62 for the medium) fixtures, or install a cottage onion post ($107.80) to shower backyard plants with artificial light while the sun takes its after-dinner snooze. To help homeowners navigate the confusing world of illumination, Granite City Electric employs a seasoned showroom team that can show customers the latest trends in lighting design as well as design lighting layouts.
Country Marketplace’s carpentry connoisseurs revive cheery images of classic designs with contemporary handcrafted solid-wood furniture and accessories. Homeowners can hang their hats on a solid-cherry coat tree or dress it as a friend to make parties seem well attended ($99). Race around the office atop the heavy-duty casters of a carved-oak pressback desk chair ($199), or set to work at an antique oak roll-top desk equipped with a pencil tray and an organizer ($449). Young furniture users can dine in an oak Windsor highchair ($149) or chomp bubble pipes and whittle new pacifiers in a Victorian child's rocker ($99).
For more than 38 years, Light 'n Leisure "The Purple Buildings" has brightened abodes with high-quality, stylish lighting fixtures and home accents. Customers perusing one of three showrooms can gape at a plethora of fixtures, from interior enhancers such as the duchess antique nickel sconce ($80) to outdoor darkness repellers such as a nautical textured black wall mount ($69.99). Other fixtures, including ceiling lights, lamps, and wall lights, are also available to help send monsters into hiding and stem the tide of toe-stubbing epidemics. An array of home accents such as candle holders, decorative boxes, and vases is available for outfitting newly illuminated rooms with an eye-friendly wardrobe, and an in-store bonanza of clearance items augments the selection of domicile dressings.
The furniture business has changed quite a bit in the more than three decades since Ken Silva founded Plymouth Furniture. Particleboard has replaced hardwood, and machines have, in some cases, taken over the duties of skilled craftspeople. Despite this, Silva and his son—vice president and director Randy Silva—have created and maintained a five-story gallery full of American-made furniture crafted from North American wood, often by the children and grandchildren of the men and women they represented 30 years ago. The store is a bastion of tradition, where staffers—usually family members—greet returning customers by name. While Ken recognizes the importance of showcasing their furniture online, he would rather you come by and sit on one of their sofas to experience firsthand the subtle smoothness of the leather, the comforting heft of the kiln-dried frame, and the durability of the eight-way hand-tied springs.
In keeping with the company's focus on quality, Randy shared his expertise with Shaunna Gately of the The Patriot Ledger, suggesting that buyers look for a hardwood frame, polyurethane-foam cushions with a high density rating, and a flow-matched pattern that continues fluidly over contours and panels. The family team also offers an in-home design service, putting together the ideal dining room or finding a lamp to match the blue-green face of a food-poisoned family member.
The certified trainers and nutritionists at CATZ Sports Performance Training Centers are focused on motivation, not intimidation. Nutritionists assist in overall lifestyle improvement with the understanding that nutrition plays a big role in attaining overall wellness. Nutrition plans are customized according to activity levels and lifestyles, along with personal eating habits and patterns, for maximum efficacy. Additionally, the centers' fitness classes are designed to increase the fitness of attendees of any skill level, including adults with sedentary jobs and children who avoid sports in school and extracurricular environments. While the strength and conditioning coaches regularly work with professional-level athletes, they motivate attendees of all skill levels through the ever-changing workouts with encouragement and individual attention.
All the centers' workouts are clinically designed by these certified trainers to build muscle, trim fat, and boost overall fitness regardless of the attendee's starting point. All sessions keep the student-to-instructor ratio low to ensure the professionals keep students on their toes and injury free. Students work through a dynamic routine of exercises that focus on both cardiovascular conditioning and strength training, including body-weight-based moves, running, and flexibility-boosting techniques such as systematically replacing limbs with rubber bands.
The staff at Greater Boston Running Company—the Northeast operation of the national and online retailer Running Company—hopes customers are not misled by the name. They’ll custom fit everyone for shoes that support their pursuits, whether they be marathoners, CrossFitters, or a nurse who has to stand all day. The process starts with talking to guests about their average workout or day, followed by a meticulous measuring of their feet. Staffers then have guests walk, jog, or run on a treadmill equipped with slow-motion-capture software, which lets guests see things such as how their arches react when striking and lifting from the ground. Armed with this wealth of information, Greater Boston Running Company’s team can narrow the expansive shoe stock down to just a few recommendations.
Beyond an armory of footwear, Greater Boston Running Company stocks athletic apparel and accessories from brands such as New Balance, Garmin, and SmartWool. This gear is matched by a wealth of educational resources, both online and at the store level. Regularly posted web articles cover topics from how the seasons impact nutritional needs to how rubbing your body in bacon attracts wild animals and boosts your desire to run.
At individual locations, each store’s staff works with local running clubs, high-school teams, and charities—making them especially adept at pointing runners toward fellow runners and trainers who will help them reach their goals.