Begun in 1985 as a strictly volunteer-based project of the St. Louis Mennonite Fellowship, Plowsharing Crafts grew over the years into a thriving nonprofit with two locations and an expansive inventory of eclectic wares from around the globe. The staff is committed to selling fair-trade art and handcrafts in order to provide much needed income and nurture the businesses of artisans, 70% of whom are women, from more than 45 developing countries around the world. The selection of items ranges from housewares to jewelry and beyond, many of which are made with sustainable and recycled materials or from food grown with sustainable methods.
Lass & Laddie stuffs shopping bags with a frequently rotating collection of stylish children's apparel and accessories from a wide range of brands as well as local clothiers. Pint-sized dresses dolled up with sparkly tulle and floral designs normally range from $25 to $75, though most other items will charge wallets $10 to $35. Keep upper bodies in tune by draping them in fun guitar duds, which, like actual guitars, should be washed at least once a week. Patrons can swaddle their most important offspring in vibrant rose dresses or a bat shirt. Lass & Laddie is dedicated to recycled and repurposed clothing—all handmade items are stitched and sewn from vintage fabric, and several of the labels maintain an eco-friendly status.
At Pottery Hollow, kids and adults alike find inspiration to create ceramic works of art from a fanciful story about a potter in need of an apprentice to help him and his fairy friends adorn ceramic mugs, platters, and knickknacks with colorful paint. Guests enter the potter's enchanted hollow—complete with twisted tree trunks and brightly colored chairs—to work on the unpainted pieces stored deep beneath the forest. While guests create their masterpieces, staffers keep them supplied with paints and brushes and take finished pieces to be baked in the kiln.
In addition to walk-in sessions, Pottery Hollow's three locations host parties and events such as mommy-and-me sessions, bridal showers, and corporate events. And on Friday nights until 9 p.m., ladies can create beautiful works of art while sipping on their favorite BYOB drinks. Staffers also craft custom pieces in less than a week, which can be given as gifts, kept as future heirlooms, or offered as sacrifices to the home-decor gods.
The owners of Peak Nutrition founded their business with a simple goal of helping others. To that end, they provide customers with the supplements they need to kick-start a new diet, fuel a workout, or muster the strength to rip off their tank tops Hulk-style. On-staff nutritionists and dieticians can further help clients in their healthy pursuits with custom five-step nutrition plans.
Igal Alon, owner and designer at Mavrik Fine Jewelry, stocks his display cases with handcrafted rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces adorned with diamonds and a twinkling array of semiprecious stones. Shoppers can accessorize with earrings designed by Jorge Revilla, such as the rose-gold and silver Kasie ($70) or the black and silver Bella ($199). Wrists wrap themselves in a colorful Ice watch ($85+), and silver hoops ($245) can bedazzle the lobes of a maybe-more-than friend. The family at Mavrik, which means "brilliant" in Hebrew, is one of the most sizeable in the diamond-cutting world, ensuring pieces are high quality, finely faceted, and shine brighter than a supernova's high beams.
For six decades, Lou Fusz’s savvy mechanicals have revived ailing autos with fresh fluids, tire care, and safety inspections that keep all components running at the same speed. Technicians rehydrate thirsty engines with a full dose of oil and lube (a $30 value). A new filter inoculates cars against oil-borne contaminants and other vehicular viruses, while windshields wipe their brows in relief with newly installed blades (a $34 value). After a team of trusty wheel-wranglers rotates tires to balance tread wear (a $15 value), a thorough safety check scrutinizes two dozen essential elements for signs of trouble, such as cracked casings or failed emissions tests stuffed into the undercarriage.