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.
For more than 60 years, Zeke's Paint & Design Centers have been outfitting do-it-yourselfers with the paints and tools they need to give their homes chromatic makeovers. Zeke's preferred brand of paint, Benjamin Moore, can be mixed to perfectly match the preexisting colors on walls or breathe new life into boring pieces of Renaissance artwork. The store's commitment to professional-grade products doesn't stop at paint; finely bristled brushes, rollers, and supplies from brands such as Purdy and Corona ensure even coats and minimize the need for later touchups. Resident experts share helpful tips for do-it-yourself projects and can even point visitors in the direction of trusted professionals for more complex jobs, such as re-creating The Creation of Adam on the ceiling of a dog's house.
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).
Located in a building that originally housed a mercantile store for settlers heading west, Gilbert, Whitney & Co. outfits kitchen commandos with high-quality cookware, premium ingredients, and gourmet groceries. Imprison criminally delicious foodstuffs in a two-piece set of oval Rachel Ray casseroles ($48), or peruse a wide range of knives, peelers, blenders, and other instruments as fit for cooking as they are for juggling. Choosy cheese-lovers can pick from a panoply of winsome wedges, including havarti ($10.44/lb.), parmesan ($8.64/lb.), and gruyere ($11.45/lb.), while bean fiends can get their caffeinated kick from the coffees of Oklahoma-based Neighbor's Coffee ($12.95/lb.). The store’s friendly staff is always on hand to help provide information about an exotic spice, give advice on a recipe, or explain what type of butter is best for carving into the shape of former governors.
For more than 60 years, Kwal Paint's team has designed colors to complement almost any décor, continually refreshing the palette of more than 1,600 shades to reflect trends and advancements in interior decorating. To wit: EnviroKote paints are made from eco-friendly, raw materials and contain no VOC. Additionally, online virtual color-visualizing applications help homeowners realize the abode of their dreams. As ever, the knowledgeable staff is on hand to guide customers through common issues such as blistering or how to revamp garden gnomes stuck in last season's styles.
At eight showrooms across the Kansas City area, SleepOne Mattress Superstore's aptly named sleep advisors recommend mattresses that will accommodate budgets and physical conditions such as stiffness and pain. After scouring the showroom's floor, the staff might suggest a Sterns and Foster mattress made with materials such as silk and cashmere. They also offer delivery and removal of the old mattresses.
SleepOne Mattress Superstore also fights nightmares with several guarantees. For example, their staff will refund 110% of the difference in price if customers find the same mattress sold for less. They also exchange mattresses for up to a year (only charging a redelivery fee) and offer a rehabilitation program for reformed boogeymen.