Wanting to share their love of water activities with as many people as possible, the staff at Miami Kiteboarding teach classes in English, Italian, Spanish, French, and Russian. This dedication is also revealed by the depth and diversity of programs offered, which include International Kiteboarding Organization (IKO) certification courses, boat-assisted lessons, and kids' clinics. Through years of practice and very scientific study, the staff have developed an effective method for getting beginners up on the water in about six hours of instruction. Located in scenic Crandon Park on Key Biscayne island, Miami Kiteboarding offers paddleboard rentals, which helps patrons hone balance, coordination, strength, and stamina. Customers looking for family-friendly activities can also opt to rent kayaks, paddling leisurely through the shallow lagoon located nearby. The shop, equipped with everything one needs to fly a kite while gliding on water, can outfit novices with wetsuits, water shoes, and harnesses.
Alex Ceruti and Dale Baker, the masterminds behind The Kite Farm, live for the water. They both rip through waves as expert kiteboarders and supplement their passions with snowboarding and sailing. Following their shared passion, they introduce beginners to the dual thrills of mastering the sea atop a board while also giving it a nice massage. The Kite Farm rents paddleboards, kiteboards, and surfboards and offers lessons to the aspiring and advanced boarder on how to maneuver through the ocean and perform gravity-defying feats during lessons. Tours and backcountry trips provide beautiful scenery while exploring isolated and exotic locales, such as Soldier Key, the Haulover Sandbar, and Stiltsville, a group of Prohibition-era wood houses built on stilts.
Some of Donn F. Flipse's earliest memories are of him wielding a broom, sweeping up the fallen petals and snipped-off stamen that have gathered around the feet of the floral designers at his family's flower shop. Eight-year-old Donn eventually moved up in rank, escorting arrangements to their destinations in the delivery truck as soon as he got his license. When he graduated college, he almost turned his back on the flower business his father and his grandfather built, but after mentoring under one of the shop's floral designers, he realized, “It was in [his] blood.” In 1990, he opened Field of Flowers in Davie.
The rose, he says, continues to be the most popular flower, although different breeds take the crown every so often—the current favorite is the garden rose, a throwback blossom like what might flourish in a well-tended backyard. Donn's favorites are the rose-like lisanthius and the Canterbury bells, which look delicate but are sturdy and long lasting, much like a quarterback who takes ballet classes.
Field of Flower's team of designers compose striking arrangements using popular flowers as well as rare blooms such as orchids or birds of paradise. The team also crafts design pieces for celebrations, with past creations including a french poodle sculpted from flowers and a Spongebob Squarepants–themed arrangements in which blue gel simulated the ocean, submerging plants in an under-the-sea wonderland.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
After years of running a successful contemporary art gallery, Stefano Campanini couldn't shake the feeling that something was missing. While many people enjoy contemporary art, even more people enjoy drinking wine while looking at art or drinking wine while looking at wine. Through this realization and with the aid of other enophiles with wine-business savvy, Campanini merged his passions for art and wine under the moniker Wine by the Bay, where he chooses wine like most people choose art. “I am looking forward to offering something that everyone enjoys and in an environment where the art can be appreciated by many and in an unintimidating way," Campanini says of the new, modern, 1,200-square-foot fine-wine and art boutique, which Miami New Times named 2013's Best Wine Store and Details Magazine called one of 2012's best new wine stores in the nation. "At art openings, wine is like a sideshow, but now, it will take center stage." Similar to identifying great art or choosing the perfect shampoo, finding the ideal wine to enjoy on its own or paired with cuisine involves intensive looking, sniffing, and tasting. Campanini personally samples every wine before approving it for his ample inventory of fine Italian, French, and Californian wines that appeal to a diversity of preferences.
At each Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More location across the United States, professional graphic artists print high-quality, custom designs onto a variety of products including men's and women's T-shirts and sweatshirts, toddlers' onesies, and clothing for canines. Rather than ironing or screenprinting its tees, the team uses a process called direct-to-garment printing, dying images directly into fabric to ensure that the garments won't crack, fade, peel, or develop a sense of self. The staff also eschews harsh chemicals in favor of environmentally friendly ones, such as water-based ink.
The artists price their products at a consistent rate, don't charge setup fees, and won't increase their costs, even if the desired artwork is highly complex, demands hourly compliments, or requires multiple colors. They'll happily print either a customer-created design or one of their own onto one or 300 T-shirts at once, and they turn around most in-stock items in 24 hours.