Some years ago, Paul and Caroline heard rumblings about water hyacinths. Their inner horticulturalists were intrigued because these plants bloom early and combat algae, but water hyacinths were only imported from Singapore at the time and often carried invasive parasites. So, the couple resolved to grow the plants themselves and start Woodbridge Ponds, a local greenhouse specializing in safe, locally cultivated specimens.
Today, their two-pronged business consists of Echo Nurseries, a 27,000-square-foot wholesale nursery, and Woodbridge Ponds, a sprawling retail shop brimming with beautiful water lilies and pond plants, lively fish, and essential pond hardware and supplies. All of the shop’s retail plants are grown at the adjacent nursery, ensuring that no seedlings get homesick while waiting for a new owner. Their friendly team of loyal local women helps visitors navigate hundreds of available plants, which gussy up large ponds and simple birdbaths alike.
Creekside Country Home Decor outfits homes and humans alike with a plenitude of modern and antique goods, including artwork, jewellery, and decor items artfully displayed in inviting confines. Carpal canvases regain the confidence to wave like those of royal greeters when adorned with wrist-enhancing bracelets ($15.95), and French soap ($1.75 for a small, $6.50 for a large) whisks away epidermal dirt and leaves skin gleaming. Venture into the lucrative market of ornithological real estate with a birdhouse on a stake ($10.99), or help loved ones revel in the soft glow of a Country Affair jar candle gift ($9.99 for a small, $15.99 for a large). Shoppers can also use this Groupon toward reproduction furniture and a variety of ageless home decor, such as an antique washboard ($45) that serves as both a charming interior decoration and a harrowing reminder to modern cleaning appliances of how good they really have it.
With a total of 14 locations, sewing and quilting classes, and a cornucopia of handpicked sewing products, Quality Sewing & Vacuum offers needle wielders all the necessities for their projects. Experts helm free sessions that teach participants how to use their sewing machines to work toward reinventing an old skirt or craft an elegant canine wedding gown, while special events feature guest speakers who impart home decor, garment construction, quilting, and embroidery tips to audience members. Shoppers can peruse the cache of sewing machines from brands such as Singer, Pfaff, and Brother alongside accessories, embroidery designs, and vacuums that clean up rooms after testing out how easy it is to find a needle in a haystack.
One of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of paints in the Pacific Northwest, Parker Paint has been sprucing up interiors and exteriors since 1945. The company has evolved over the years to keep up with the latest advancements in painting technology. Among the multi-hued fruits of this evolution are weather-ready exterior paints, whose modern formulas scoff at the elements and prove ideal for realistic yet unflattering outdoor murals of the neighbors. With more than 1,600 shades to choose from, painters will find it nearly impossible to settle, like a bowl of jello during an earthquake. Luckily, customers can take advantage of the handy virtual decorator to narrow their choices and forecast what color schemes should be applied to which room, such as aquamarine themes for the exotic-fish room, bright primary colors for the inflatable fire escape, and a variety of yellows for a basement filled with antique butter churns.
Drawing on more than 20 years of cabinet-making experience, founder Paul Akers caters to the unique needs of the modern carpenter by fashioning innovative and timesaving woodworking tools. Akers solicits design ideas from working carpenters to create FastCap's unique wares, including its signature line of self-adhesive screw caps ($2.10+ for a sheet, number of caps/sheet vary based on material). Fine tune drawings with a durable FatBoy pencil ($14.95), build beatific window and door moldings with the Pro Tools reveal square ($5.95), or measure spaces with the FlatBack 16' tape measure ($7.95), which has a blank edge for writing notes and cinderblock-inspired cinquains.