For 50 years, the owners and staffers of Plaza Artist Materials & Picture Framing have encouraged the artists of their community. They visit local fairs and set up booths for kids to color and craft, and they do workshops, demos, and classes for artists of every age. As their name implies, they also outfit art makers of all skill levels with top-of-the-line materials, such as Gamblin oil paints, Prismacolor pens and markers, and custom frames perfect for saving favorite art pieces or memorializing a sibling's failure to color within the lines.
For more than two decades, American Mattress has promoted peaceful slumber in bedchambers throughout the Midwest with their vast selection of mattresses, headboards, and linens. The sleep experts strive to stay abreast of the latest bedding technology: their Serta mattresses are made with gel foam that supports curves, and Tempur-Pedic mattresses repel allergens, mites, and poltergeists looking to spoon. This devotion to a good night’s sleep has helped them earn the title of Best Mattress Store from suburban Chicago’s Daily Herald five years in a row. Additionally, American Mattress doubles down on each of its beds with a 30-day comfort guarantee and a 60-day best-price guarantee.
Each Discount Mattress store stocks hundreds of name-brand memory-foam, latex, gel, and pillow-top mattresses, all with prices averaging 50%–75% below retail. Brand-new mattresses from manufacturers such as Stearns & Foster, Spring Air Back Supporter, King Koil, Comfort Solutions, Americana, and Kathy Ireland Collection saturate the showroom floors, offering a variety of firmness levels to suit beds, budgets, and pillow forts of all sizes. Each an experienced sleeper themselves, staff members are well-suited to assist customers in their quest for sounder slumber, and each purchase is backed by a 110% price guarantee should the same mattress appear somewhere else for less. In addition to supporting spines, Discount Mattress helps buttress the Illinois economy by selling mattresses that are made locally, and caters to busy schedules by offering same-day delivery to homes from the western suburbs to downtown Chicago.
The staff at Bronzed Memories molds exact replicas of children's handprints and footprints, creating keepsakes designed to trigger a flood of cherished recollections for years to come. In a two-step process, they make an impression of children's actual hands or feet, then fills that impression with bronze. The team mounts finished prints on plaques, on paperweights, or inside shadowboxes, providing parents tangible reminders of when their children were small enough to fit in a booster seat or in the comforting arms of a gorilla at the zoo. Though Bronzed Memories can work with kids of any age, the staff suggests bringing them in for impressions while they're still tiny, so that years later, family members will be astounded at how much they've grown.
While Ashlie Duncan already had a career in marketing, she felt her artistic side deserved a career of its own. At The Paint Cellar, the art studio she founded in 2011, Ashlie and her team of fellow artists share their passion for paint with students of all ages and skill levels. Like a film screening of Rocky, the staff at The Paint Cellar gives students a complete lesson in artistry in just two hours, guiding them through the process of completing their own painting in each of her classes.
The Strike Zone lines up an impressive roster comprised of coaches who’ve played baseball professionally and even in the big leagues. Now, they prep young ballplayers for the next level with classes, camps, and private lessons, which are available in all elements of the game. As a training facility—with 5,000 square feet of field turf, collapsible batting cages, and mobile pitching mounds—The Strike Zone boasts plenty of flexibility.