Most students in introductory stained-glass-making classes are in search of a new hobby or a fun few hours, but not Connie Beckers. In 1995, she took such a course and soon built a career around the art of stained glass and kiln-working. Now, through The Goddess of Glass, she teaches others her craft during classes that cover the creation of jewelry, coasters, plates, and transparent overalls. She?s also been known to flex her instructional muscle as a guest artist on the DIY Network show Cramped Quarters, where she taught the show?s host and contractor how to make stained-glass tiles for a kitchen in the middle of remodeling.
The Goddess of Glass also sells artwork and gifts out of a separate retail shop. Patrons can commission a custom piece, such as a stained-glass window, or peruse a collection of pieces by more than 80 local artisans. The shop?s staff can also advise clients who need custom framing, helping them to pick the proper matting and frame so that their Richard Nixon rookie cards really pop.
Renewal By Andersen sprouted out of Andersen Corporation, a 100-year-old company that touts itself as the largest window and door manufacturer in the country. And beyond its thoroughly trained technicians, dependable warranties, and commitment to the environment, this fact might be its biggest benefit to customers?being owned by a window manufacturer means that the company has virtually endless flexibility to create windows and doors that exactly match its customers' wishes. The window-replacement process begins with an in-home consultation to acquaint homeowners with their options and measure the areas that need replacing. Once a plan is in place, teams of technicians with years of experience under their belts carefully place and seal each custom-made window to ensure cold air can't invade and the sounds of nightly karaoke practice can't escape. Homeowners then rest assured that their new panes will keep them cozy for years to come, thanks to a powerful limited warranty.
Upscale Consignment's exacting staffers hand-select gently used items from luxury brand names, such as Coach, kate spade, Banana Republic, and Ugg, for each of its three stores. Clothing for men and women, as well as shoes, jewelry, handbags, and headbands, fill neatly organized racks and tidy displays, which arrange accessories by color or pattern. All consigned clothing must be 3 years old or younger, to ensure the shop's styles remain en vogue.
When Max Schneiderman began his family’s business, it was a grocery store first and foremost. Then Schneiderman’s began to carry a few furniture items and slowly these grew to overshadow the cans of soup and produce until the furnishings finally swallowed the foodstuffs whole.
Now, Schneiderman's Furniture has spread from the Iron Range to spots throughout the Twin Cities. The showrooms stock local and foreign furniture from more than 100 manufacturers. Many items in stock can be customized in color and texture to match a homeowner's current obsession with plastic flamingos.
The crackle of Fireside Hearth & Home's fireplaces have filled the soundscapes of households across the country for more than 60 years. Today, their well-stocked showrooms feature a variety of advanced gas, electric, and wood-burning models from top designers such as Quadra-Fire, Heat & Glo, and Heatilator. In addition to fireplaces and accessories, they offer a number of decorative surrounds and mantels built with stone, wood, or casted material to gussy up any new or existing hearth. At attractive display areas fashioned to look like natural household settings, attentive staffers stand by to answer any questions, offer installation guidelines, or share tips on repelling pesky Santas.
Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains in 2010, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces?including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis?await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln workers glaze and fire it in time for customers to retrieve the finished piece a few days later.