"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.
D&R Sewing Center nurtures sprouting stitchers with classes designed to teach the fundamentals of the craft. During a beginning sewing class, students learn to operate a sewing machine's complex systems of pulleys, crankshafts, and supercolliders. Instructors instill positive sewing practices in students, whether they wish to learn to use a machine they already own or want to explore the craft before making a financial commitment by practicing on a classroom machine. After grasping the basics of straight stitching, classmates craft their own pillows, ideal for incubating sweet, self-satisfied dreams or a flock of miniature sheep eggs. Classes are currently offered once a month, with the next session from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, August 2, and additional sessions may be added according to demand.
It might be hard to believe considering its vast array of products, but Sears, Roebuck and Co. began with one accessory: watches. In 1886, Richard W. Sears bought a box of unwanted watches from a jeweler, thinking he could turn a profit by selling them. He was correct and committed to the watch business by hiring Alvah C. Roebuck, an experienced watchmaker.
As time went on, though, their business expanded its umbrella far beyond what people wore on their wrists. Sears became known as the place to shop for almost any appliance, from sewing machines to those magical boxes that create water from nothing and clean your clothes.
Today, the stores stock clothing, accessories, electronics, kitchen equipment, tools for outdoor living, and home decor. This variety is sustained by Sears's proprietary brands—Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard, to name a few—and other national names that populate the shelves.
At Simply Gorgeous Stationery and Gifts, keepsakes range from handbags and soaps to personalized necklaces with initials. The gifts and accessories hail from well-known brands, such as Kate Spade, Vera Bradley, Yankee Candle, and Lily Pulitzer, as well as a few up-and-coming designers.