Since 1975, Helm of Sun Valley has outfitted outdoor enthusiasts with seasonal supplies, rentals, and gear from brand-name manufacturers. Prepare for a snow- surmounting winter with a trove of cold-weather essentials ($20+), including gloves, socks, hats, and metronomes that keep chattering teeth on a steady beat. Ski- and snowboard-rental packages ($20+) equip thrill seekers for the slopes, whereas thorough tune-ups ($35) and an array of other services ready personal planks for airborne adventures. Patrons can also mine the store's racks for specialty items such as snowboarding pants ($100+), or attempt to impress neighbors and fanciful pool floats with high-end outdoor furniture for summer months.
Californian abodes can emulate the relaxing, laid-back atmosphere of the tropics with the island-inspired, eco-friendly home accoutrements found at Element Home Furnishings. Many of the items in the shop's unique collection were imported from exotic locales or supplied by local businesses. Multicolored flip-flops, banana-leaf journals, and scented candles immediately evoke vacations on the beach, and a selection of artwork invites a second look with signs made of surfboards and vibrant paintings of Hawaiian landscapes. The shop's furniture show room unveils beds and tables constructed out of sustainable materials, such as plantation-grown mahogany and teak, and towering divider screens made of bamboo wrestled from the jowls of a panda.
WiX furnishes budding craftsmen with the tools to engineer custom candles and soaps on hardwood picnic-style tables in a spacious craft studio. After a brief instructional rundown, candlestick makers and soap sculptors choose base wax or soap color, mold shape, and one of more than 30 scents such as bubble gum, peppermint, and molten happiness. Crafters then embed colorful dry pieces of wax or soap into molds, with available shapes such as hearts, stars, and moons, before a staff member pours in a melted, scented mixture that holds the final product together more beautifully and securely than handcuffs decorated with poetry. Candles ($7–$38) and soaps ($8–$17) are ready for pick-up within two days, or can be stored for up to four weeks or shipped to their masters in sweetly scented packages.
The Futon Shop specializes in organic convertibles. They pull this off with 100% chemical-free mattresses stuffed with USDA-certified organic cotton, pure Dunlop natural latex, and soy-based foam. Best of all, all mattress, including their memory foams and gels are handmade in San Francisco, cutting down on The Futon Shop's carbon footprint by eliminating lengthy shipping journeys.