The thoughtful retail staff at Gracious Me! escorts guests through a packed showroom of curios and household decorations. The eclectic gallery curates products, including lamps, figurines, and patterned china, to suit a spectrum of tastes. Treasures ranging from funky necklaces ($15) to exquisite wall art ($250) enchant shoppers on the market for bodily and domestic décor. People seeking customizable footwear-flair snoop through the selection of SwitchFlops ($40 a pair on average) and interchangeable bands that match outfits, moods, and number of toes. Curios such as candles and jars take up temporary shelf-space at the boutique before being bagged and shuttled to buyers' homes. Old-fashion letter-writers can secure sets of stationery ($9) on which to scribble notes for pen pals or birthday invitations to state senators.
"Never, never, never give up," is the driving mantra for David Oreck, who flew combat missions with the US Army Air Forces in World War II and returned home to build a business empire from scratch. He set out to design a machine to lighten hotel employees' load, making a lightweight vacuum cleaner as opposed to the traditional bulky, burdensome commercial cleaners. Naturally, the domestic market began clamoring for his high-powered yet easy-to-handle devices, and soon Oreck vacuums could be found in homes throughout the country.
Today, the company continues its tradition of innovation, simplifying household tasks with Steam-Glide mops for hard floors, HEPA-filter upright vacuums, and stain-killing cleaning products. Oreck's commitment to clean sends it headlong into the future, with high-tech air filters that react to their environment with automatic sensory controls, filtering odors, allergens, and curse words.
Growing up, C.V. Hunt spent more time around Christmas trees than the typical kid; during the summers, he'd make extra money helping out on Christmas tree farms, including one owned by his uncle. In 1980, he decided to open his own farm, naming it Hunt Tree Company. On 500 acres, he grows fraser firs, douglas firs, and other evergreens, some of which stand up to 12 feet tall.
PPG Porter Paints' team has dedicated 90 years to sprucing up homes with its revered brand of vivid, low-odor paints, stains, and primers. Multiple lines and sheens of interior paint offer to protect walls from presidential portraits painted in mustard ($25.79+/gal.). Eco-conscious shoppers can snag gallons of Pure Performance color, designed to thwart mold and mildew without angering Mother Nature's overprotective rottweiler ($33.39+/gal.). Peruse exterior paints if looking to prevent al fresco fortifications from cracking and peeling during super-soaker season ($25.79+/gal.). Effective on most surfaces, Porter's acrylic, synthetic, and alkyd Seal Grip primers also help house-wide paint jobs to stay put ($40+/gal.). Amicable staff members roam each locale's voluminous aisles and are eager to provide product recommendations for any home, office, or abandoned grain silo.