Beach Kreations adorns necks, ears, and other style-seeking appendages with its earth-friendly recycled jewelry. Crafted from colorful beach-glass fragments and sterling-silver wires, the prismatic accessories come from the remnants of shattered beer bottles and other glass items that have been buffed smooth by wind, surf, and the tentacles of Lake Erie's malignant sea beasts. Luxe up lobes with lever-back earrings festooned with kelly-green teardrops ($27) or cobalt-blue pebbles ($34), or rig up wrists with a rubber stretch bracelet laced with three glass beads ($25–$27).
Milestones outfits newborns and toddlers sizes 0–16 with fashionable gently used apparel and toys. Most name-brand ensembles tip the money scales at under $10, so parents spend less while accommodating their child’s daily costume changes, allowing kindergarteners to arrive at school as a fairy princess, prepare for hide-and-seek at recess in urban-camo gear, and morph into an accountant in time for basic math. Corners of creativity designated for age-appropriate games and interest-specific toys gather to vie for the attention of kids outgrowing toys as fast as they outgrow their Osh Koshes. Infant equipment such as baby cages, diaper genies, and nursing pillows claim an entire room to themselves and seasonal threads line the store’s wall to entice tiny swimmers and future roller-derby queens.
Established in 1996, Relish is a different kind of jewelry store, harvesting beach glass found on the shores of Lake Erie for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and a variety of gifts. Sisters and Relish owners Jennifer Reed and Terri Reed-Boyer scour the beaches of Lake Erie in search of colorful materials for their wearable works of art. Trained metal smiths, Jennifer and Terri use each piece of beach glass, as is, to handcraft one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. Genuine sand-sourced baubles are threaded with near-invisible filament to create the Illusions necklace, a simple and elegant accessory that can be easily paired with everything from a dramatic evening dress to an especially fetching painter's smock ($20 and up). Glam up lackluster earlobes with a wide selection of earrings, which includes the dangling beauty of French wire ($24 and up) and the simple sophistication of sterling-silver post earrings ($26 and up). Christmas ornaments ($25), framed artwork ($70 and up), and handmade note cards ease sophisticated gifting year-round. Relish also offers custom-made jewelry, providing personalized pieces that allow wearers to stand out, even in a crowd of their own clones. All of Relish’s original and eye-ensnaring beach-glass jewelry and gifts are on display inside a 3,000-square-foot studio and gallery.
For more than 60 years, Toys“R”Us has been helping kids be kids and grown-ups to revisit their childhoods by providing one of the largest selections of top-brand toys, electronics, games and everyday baby essentials. Founder, Charles Lazarus, revolutionized the toy business by modeling his stores after supermarkets, providing a variety of options to suit varying ages and interests and offering customers to help themselves and have fun in the process. Today, that sense of playfulness is evident at nearly 600 stores in the United States alone, including a flagship location in Times Square where kids are greeted by a 60-foot Ferris wheel, a 5-ton animatronic T-Rex, and a life-sized, 4,000-square-foot Barbie house.
Beyond everybody's favorite bikes, trains and video games, each Toys“R”Us store keeps its shelves stocked with the season’s must-have toys as well as nostalgic standbys that never go out of style. Time-tested brands such as LEGO, Radio Flyer, NERF and Fisher-Price share the shelves with an expansive selection of electronics for older kids, including Wii U and tablets. And though the company has inspired generations of boys and girls to try their hardest not to grow up, it also strives to ensure budding brains develop right on track by devoting a significant portion of its stores to “smart-play” with a wide selection of electronic learning toys and software.
Toys“R”Us—whose extended family of brands includes Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz—has earned a number of awards and recognitions through the years, including a spot on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. The company has also drawn considerable recognition for its expansive charitable efforts, which include partnerships with the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Save the Children. This year also marks the tenth consecutive year that the company has partnered with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations in its stores to benefit the organization.
DC Theatricks, which creates custom costumes for theatrical productions across the world, stocks their shelves with more than 10,000 adult costumes for ladies and gents in categories such as historical, fantasy, celebrity, and holiday. Prices for costume rentals range from $30 to $75. Wild tiger stripes streak the belted one-shoulder caveman smock ($30), and black-and-white penal bars across the convict's suit ($30) indicate the wearer pilfered all of the Halloween candy. The Marie Antoinette outfit ($65) and the blue gingham Dorothy dress ($35) flounce right past a foreboding haunted tree ($35), and modest, old-fashioned bathing costumes ($35) conceal thigh tattoos of bikinis.
Before they wrapped their first sale in their distinctive gift-wrap, the owners of Andrews Jewelers spent decades gaining experience in the industry. Today, their staff trains with the Gemological Institute of America to become qualified to appraise, grade, and administer SATs to jewelry and diamonds. Armed with experience and exacting taste, they shop the jewelry market—sometimes journeying as far as Belgium or Israel—to acquire an inventory of fine jewelry with varied style and consistent quality.
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