Longtime friends and experienced technicians who both moved to Kansas from nothern Idaho, the owners of Renovation MD travel to homes to remodel, repair, and retain living spaces inside and out. Indoors, the staff patches up everything from electrical wires to long-abandoned jigsaw puzzles. Outside, they mow overgrown lawns, construct screened porches, and install James Hardie–brand siding.
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.
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.
The horses at Stepping Stone Ranch may as well be wearing plush bathrobes. At the full-care boarding facility, denizens enjoy such luxurious amenities as heated stalls—where automatic fly-spray systems keep their manes free from airborne pests—and 24-hour access to a 35-acre pasture, where they can gallop freely under the sun or channel the spirit of Secretariat in midnight séances. Stepping Stone Ranch's commitment to compassionate horse care ensures that equines will be in good spirits for riding lessons, during which clients learn from dressage enthusiast Vera Gannaway. Gannaway's lessons teach riders to find their balance in the saddle, develop soft hands on the reins, and calm bucking steeds by letting them get the Batman toy that the big boys have. In addition, Vera covers the basics of equestrian care in group horse-training classes, which prepare pupils to own and squire their own horses.