The warmth of the staff at Mile 5.2 Greenhouse & Gift Shop rivals the warmth of its hand-tended conservatory. The affable plant buffs rely upon customer-focused service to combat impersonal "big-box stores," gladly guiding visitors through their greenhouse's lush pathways where flowers peek from hanging baskets and tropical plants share the roof with herbs. More than 125 types of perennials and fruit-bearing boughs boost their resilience as they endure the winter cold, training their blooms to return year after year so they can one day avenge their ancestors against the weed-whackers of clumsy gardeners.
In addition to its striking greenery, the Eagle River outpost stocks their gift shop with an array of gourmet foods, ranging from Lake Champlain chocolate bars and Oregon salt-water taffy to hearty soup and bread mixes. Additionally, home accessories such as wind chimes and scented candles can pair with potted petals to create colorful gift combinations.
As a veteran, NUEVO Auto Detailing’s owner knows the importance of machines. That’s why the professionally trained staff works to keep cars running smoothly and looking shipshape by removing dirt with products from Meguirs, Mothers, and Auto Magic. The technicians bustle around vehicles, cleaning inside windows, conditioning leather, and shampooing seats. Road tar, pet hair, and stains vanish under the care of detailers, who also draw from a supply of clay bars, tire dressing, and extra honor students in case bumper stickers turn out not to be true.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas?its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries?Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
One of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of paints in the Pacific Northwest, Parker Paint has been sprucing up interiors and exteriors since 1945. The company has evolved over the years to keep up with the latest advancements in painting technology. Among the multi-hued fruits of this evolution are weather-ready exterior paints, whose modern formulas scoff at the elements and prove ideal for realistic yet unflattering outdoor murals of the neighbors. With more than 1,600 shades to choose from, painters will find it nearly impossible to settle, like a bowl of jello during an earthquake. Luckily, customers can take advantage of the handy virtual decorator to narrow their choices and forecast what color schemes should be applied to which room, such as aquamarine themes for the exotic-fish room, bright primary colors for the inflatable fire escape, and a variety of yellows for a basement filled with antique butter churns.
All Fired Up serves as a portal to a wonderland of creative possibilities, where guests select figurines and dishware from multiple walls’ worth of pre-fired ceramics and unleash a flurry of brushstrokes over unembellished pieces. All of the shop’s bisques are dishwasher-safe, and its water-based paints are non-toxic and easily washable from hands, clothes, and Bride of Frankenstein wigs, making projects appropriate for artists of all ages. A panoply of pre-made designs makes a great starting point for gifts, which visitors can further personalize with hand, foot, or paw prints. Locally owned and operated, All Fired Up helps play its part in the community with a wealth of fundraising projects, such as paintable piggy-banks for donation drives.
?Clich?? and ?mundane? are not words one would use to describe The Look?s cache of chic clothing, lingerie, and adult products. The 7,000-square-foot boutique houses rack upon rack of fashionable streetwear alongside sensual bras, panties, and costumes. It also stocks hard-to-find adult accessories such as massage oils, lotions, and incense designed to enhance romance. Garments? tags reveal upscale brands such as Obey, Lucky-13, Dreamgirl, and Seven 'til Midnight.