Along their lush, 40-acre parcel of land, Brad and Mary Ann Funk bring a lifelong dream to fruition every day. The Funks transformed their property into a school—a place where visitors of all ages and experience levels can learn about the couple's shared passion: horses. In the warmer months, students of Ashwood Farms can be seen trotting, cantering, and conquering fences at the outdoor arena, equipped with all-weather footing. Year-round, the farm and stables are home to casual equestrians and competitive riders alike, a handful of whom compete across the country at AA Hunter/Jumper horse shows. Students can enroll in individual classes, or join the equestrian club for a unique, well-rounded experience that includes lessons and tips for a flawless ponytail. Ashwood also provides boarding services for those already equipped with ponies, and school horses for those who wish to use them during lessons and practice rides.
The professional landscape engineers at Lawn Care Service of Topeka carefully chop lawns' tresses to give them a clean-cut luster. Once an overgrown chlorophyll carpet has been cropped to the owner's satisfaction, grass wranglers trim edges and blast clippings from sidewalks, driveways, and patios at no extra charge. On mowing day, owners should secure pets, leave gates unlocked to provide easy access, and identify their lawn by spelling out MOW ME on it in fertilizer.
On a fateful day in 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, a hitchhiker arrived at The Howdy Come In––a rest stop owned by Ben and Eva Winter––carrying only his clothes and a suitcase full of cabinet-making tools. The Winters decided to hire him to build a chifforobe for their new baby, Bobby, and were so impressed by his craftsmanship that they decided to go into business with their new friend. Soon the partners were selling new and refurbished furniture out of the Winters’ dairy barn under the name Winter’s Furniture Store, and they eventually moved to a storefront in the city of Emporia, where they could share their high-quality wares with more people and fewer confused cows.
Today, the family business is run by the Winters’ son, Bob, who oversaw its expansion into two showrooms in Topeka and Lawrence and gave it a new moniker––Discovery Furniture. His merchandise buyers select fine furniture from around the world, filling the design floors with trusted name brands such as Broyhill, Aspen, and Flexsteel. As a member of the Furniture First buying group, Winter is able to pass along the savings of buying stock in volume along with a guarantee that he will meet or beat any competitor’s advertised price within 75 miles. Interior designers on staff can help customers determine which pieces, styles, and colors best fit their needs, and most of Discovery’s furniture can be custom ordered in any style, color, or fabric, catering to customers who know what they like and like to match their upholstery to their clothes.
Since he bought Framewoods of Topeka in 1992, owner Gary Blitsch has continuously expanded the business's framing capabilities, with a wide variety of projects custom-built for each client. Customers can hang fine handmade mirrors, framed photography, and expertly restored portraits on the walls of their home or business, and they can visit the stunning 1,600-square-foot gallery to view and purchase pieces from local visual artists.
At the helm of CrossFit Lawrence is owner Thomas Thatcher. Certified in everything from CrossFit to USA Weightlifting and CPR, he also relies on his experience as a black belt to lead CrossFit classes that are equally eclectic. During those classes, Thatcher and his team of certified instructors guide participants through daily workouts that incorporate varied, functional movements. They get participants flipping giant tractor tires, lifting weights, and throwing medicine balls, all of which use everyday movements and work every muscle group. Their encouraging shouts rattle the walls of the brand-new 6,000-square-foot facility, which brims with a massive bouldering wall and $30,000 worth of CrossFit gear.
The expert tailors at Alterations By Sarah take great care in changing the way clothing fits to reflect the metamorphosis of each client. Weight-related alterations are a specialty, so whether clients have recently lost inches of waist from a bout of avian pants flu or gained a few pounds, Sarah will return their tweaked, trimmed, and torqued threads to body-complementing shape. Alterations such as back-to-school tailoring or vintage clothing fitting are personally guaranteed by the master cloth transmogrifier herself, and each location offers dry-cleaning services to keep vestments looking sharp.