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When writer Richard Faulk set out to catalog the nation's oddest corners for his book Gross America, Leila's Hair Museum was an obvious choice. There, Leila Cohoon preserves and furthers the off-kilter artform of hair-based crafts, which stretches back to the 1700s and beyond. In a piece for CNN.com, Faulk notes that, in pre-photography days, Victorian artisans would "[weave] jewelry and decorative lace out of human hair" as a means of remembering departed loved ones, with "successive generations [sometimes adding] to the lacework to create a genealogical record, much like a family bible". In addition to these personal mementoes, Leila's collection includes 400 hair-based wreaths dating before 1900, and numerous reliquaries said to contain the hair of Mary, mother of Jesus, St. Anne, grandmother of Jesus, and pieces of the cross. Hair pieces belonging to Michael Jackson, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Lincoln, and other presidents also reside here. Although not hair-related, the museum also features a brooch that is said to contain threads from the coat of Joseph, father of Jesus. The quirky outpost has attracted the attention of racontours other than Faulk, too--noted gadabout Anthony Bourdain also paid a visit during an episode of his show No Reservations.

1333 S Noland Rd
Independence,
MO
US

The experienced technicians at Complete Auto Service encourage top-notch motor humming with a variety of automotive services. Both standard and synthetic oil changes include freshly brewed oil and a new filter, along with a chassis lube, if necessary, which reduces the effects of friction and occasional pie throwing in the underbelly. The approximately 30-minute service continues as technicians commence a 17-point inspection, ensuring principle car parts perform at their peak, and testing windshield wipers for preparedness in the event of a rare maple-syrup squall. Customers can wait in designated areas or drop their four-wheeled children off and take advantage of the complimentary shuttle service at the Main Street location. Complete Auto Service does not require appointments.

200 E 23rd St
Independence,
MO
US

Pam Rector picked up her first roll of wallpaper as a little girl. As the spark of passion for color and design ignited, her mother fanned the flames, letting Pam redesign her room as many times as she wanted. By age 14, she had mastered the techniques of sewing pillows and painting furniture, allowing her room to grow as an “extension of her true personality.” As an adult, she temporarily put her design ambitions aside to begin a stint in the restaurant business, but she couldn’t keep her creativity stifled. The hand-drawn fliers and holiday decorations that she worked on in her spare time opened up the window to her dream job, and she eventually quit the corporate world and became a full-time designer.

Founding Rector Studio in March 2012, Pam now works with clients on decorating projects that range from full home makeovers to color consultation. Armed with color swatches, fabrics, and a carpet-to-English dictionary, she adds small touches with custom-made pillows, draperies and blinds, or re-does larger decor from flooring to furniture. While working on redesigns, Pam also keeps budgets in mind, maintaining an artistic vision that won’t break the bank.

Midwest Genealogy Center
Independence,
MO
US

Known for its history as a pioneer town and home to former president Harry S. Truman, Independence welcomes visitors to its storied sites, making them more accessible with free trolley rides. Tour the 1859 Jail and Marshal's Home and Museum to glimpse a dwelling for law breakers next to a dwelling for a law keeper, and the clandestine tryst between the abodes that resulted in a museum. The Bingham-Waggoner Estate preserves many of the original art and furnishings of the famed Bingham and Waggoner families, while the National Frontier Trails Museum hails the starting point of the westbound pioneers with bronzed pieces of nuts, raisins, and chocolate bits tracing a path westward.

313 S Liberty St
Independence,
MO
US

Founded by home-decorating duo Ken and Cindy McClain, BeHereNow offers chic, vintage-inspired furnishings and accessories, including many one-of-a-kind pieces. Beguile your domicile with a winsome Bobo coffee table ($210) or practice forging your own signature on a brown, iron-framed chalkboard from Comptoir de Famille ($45). Couch-rustling cowboys can gallop into a subtly hued sunset on a fern-green saddle stool from Cody Road Workshops ($79).

205 West Lexington Avenue
Independence,
MO
US

A wedding isn’t a wedding without a reception, and a reception isn’t a reception if people don’t have anywhere to sit. Enter Hook My Wedding Up, purveyors of fine linens and chair covers for weddings, birthdays, charity balls, and other events. They provide linens and covers in Dacron polyester and satin, creating an elegant cushion for even the most demanding wedding guest or dog in a birthday hat. Hook My Wedding Up has more than 70 styles to suit any occasion.

PO Box 1157
Independence,
Missouri
US