In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
Bedroom Sleep Shops strives to pair each back with an appropriate snoozing vessel. The sweeping selection of brand-name mattresses ranges from the firm, supportive Sealy Morning Fog (king set $1,699, queen $1,299, full $1,249) to the cloud-soft Bloomsbury Signature (king set $1,999, queen $1,399, full $1,349). Sleepers can rest easy on an Enchanted Plush from Coriscana (king set $1,299, queen $999, full $949), or repose in black-tie luxury with a Douglas House set from Stearns and Foster (king set $2,299, queen $1,799, full $1,749). The burly bedsetters also offer extensive delivery services, dropping off and installing new mattresses as well as respectfully removing retired ones to a farm upstate.
The Ellis family traces its history of working with plants to the late 1800s, when they operated a pottery-manufacturing company in Texas. Current-generation family members build from their familial expertise at all five of their store locations, spread between Louisiana and Texas. Twice a year, the Ellises travel overseas to identify upcoming horticulture trends decided by UN meetings in The Hague. This has expanded their decorative focus to include all aspects of home décor to complement greenhouses filled with tropical blooms and locally grown shrubbery. Clocks, lamps, and vases score homeowners extra credit in interior-design classes, and fountains and outdoor furniture make gardens hospitable for warm weather. For those who want to get ahead on holiday decorating, they offer an extensive selection of seasonal decor and accents year round. The Ellises encourage creativity with hands-on classes in subjects such as making centerpieces, weaving wreaths, and tying ribbon into perfect bows.
For three decades, friendly fashion experts at Ruth's have helped clients piece together eye-catching new outfits and flattering wardrobes suitable for all seasons. Shoppers protect themselves from chilly breezes or prepare for big interviews with jackets and blazers in a variety of cuts from designers such as Damee and Erin London. Shoes from brands such as Daniel Green, Vaneli, Easy Street, and Trotters combine high fashion with comfortable design, whereas designer jewelry and sunglasses from Hugo accentuate ensembles with a hint of sparkle. For a casual look, shoppers can pick up a few graphic tees emblazoned with adorable cats or flashy fleur-de-lis, both exact replicas of what Louis XVI wore on his days off.