Nestled inside a repurposed 1927 cottage, the arts-and-crafters of Sunfire Ceramics guide paint-spattered guests through embellishing personalized pottery or creating fused-glass art. In the open studio, guests can peruse the monochromatic selection of microwave- and dishwasher-safe paintable pottery ($6–$12 on average) before adorning a plate or decorative frame with more than 50 bright underglazes. Stencils, stamps, sponges, and paintbrush-wielding woodland creatures assist guests in realizing their artistic visions. Fused glass projects lie in wait to become translucent masterpieces: dichroic metallic glass transforms into pendants ($10–$12), sun catchers ($12), or the world’s most dangerous windshield as the amicable staff offers sage advice before spiriting the art pieces away for firing.
With its talented team of muscle molders, Next Level uses a variety of fitness techniques to tailor slimmer silhouettes in one-on-one sessions. Using the tactics from several different training methods, personal-strength sherpas combine body-busting workouts with nutrition knowledge to create a personalized conditioning system designed to help both pro athletes and fledgling iron pumpers. The modest gym houses rows of barbells, as well as a collection of strength and stretching equipment, to fuel fat-eradicating workouts. Each one-hour session is completely customized to the client's goals, whether they're seeking to shed weight, build brawn, or arm-wrestle a rhinoceros.
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.
More than a decade ago, Carmen and Lynn Milazzo began making candles in their kitchen. They blended their wax with ingredients such as vegetables and fruits, an experimental alternative to the chemically fragranced candles they'd seen on the market. This hobbyist craft operation has since expanded into the online Mia Bella store. Now, the pair ships more than 100 scented-candle varieties throughout the country, helping customers fill their homes with the aroma of fruits and oven-baked dough without having to paint the walls with pie filling.
Mia Bella's candles burn for at least 60 hours, releasing fragrances distilled from soft wood, South Pacific fruits, baked goods, and fine wines through nearly soot-free palm wax dyed to soft blues, pinks, and bright oranges. Flameless candles disperse scents as they melt above the heat from a low-watt bulb, and candles housed in retro designer jars mingle aromas with potpourri as they burn. Carmen, Lynn, and their staff also mix a range of soaps and lotions from ingredients such as bamboo, lavender, and Japanese pear and grind makeup foundation from natural bismuth ingots.