Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.
Central Place Skin Care Salon combines a bevy of spa packages with a candlelit, Victorian atmosphere to craft rejuvenating and beautifying spa experiences. During the Relaxation Vacation package, a one-hour massage mollifies muscles by employing Swedish techniques and emotional blackmailing to coax bodily tension into quietly leaving. Then, a half-hour Reiki treatment utilizes ancient techniques of manual energy direction, designed to instill a full-body sense of wellbeing. Finally, a customized European facial pampers weary countenances with facial steaming and exfoliation, face and décolleté massage, and a nourishing mask to battle skin flaws while concealing secret identities.
A crystal centerpiece. A rustic ladderback chair. One really handsome candlestick. Finding the final touch for a nearly finished room designed usually reminds people of the worst parts of needles and haystacks. Fortunately, that's the whole reason the shopkeepers at Hideaway Boutique come to work in the mornings. These design professionals fill their store with antique and boutique-quality glassware, ceramics, and furniture, helping clients furnish their homes without sending them on a neverending search.
Owner Theresa Arsenault and the petal-pushers at Dogwood Floral Design teach the art of building a beauteous bouquet. With no more than eight students per class, this small informal workshop explores how to artfully arrange a few hand-selected seasonal blooms. Pupils will play with color palettes and learn to layer textures, as well as discuss which blossom looks best on a trick squirting boutonnière. The price of tuition covers floral shears and a take-home vase or container for each colorful creation, as well as light refreshments to be enjoyed at the session's end.
Though the horse-drawn vacuums of yesteryear have come and gone, North Shore Vacuum and Appliance retains its family-run ethos from when it first opened in 1934. Now helmed by fourth-generation salesman Wayne Simonelli, the shop carries vacuums from dozens of brands, such as Dyson, Eureka, and Panasonic, and the staff performs repairs on a slew of models as well. In an interview with the Daily Item, Simonelli said, "I know vacuums. I go to seminars, conventions. I probably repair 1,000 machines a year." This dedication has earned North Shore Vacuum and Appliance the distinction of Miele Diamond Dealer, with access to limited-edition models only made available to exemplary retailers and scientists still trying to build a time machine.
Wolf Hill Home and Garden Center's retail roots stretch back to 1978, when the family-owned operation blossomed from seed to store in Gloucester. Since those first years, the center has expanded to a second location in Ipswich and continues to beautify terraces and terrains around the Boston area with high-quality plants, flowers, and decorative accents. Organic and synthetic products weave their vibrant vines around both stores, including natural and silk arrangements, which can be designed elegantly for formal occasions or outfitted with sweatpants for casual get-togethers. In addition to its thriving supply of landscaping products, Wolf Hill Home and Garden Center adjusts its inventory according to the seasons, such as patio furniture during spring months and firewood, fireplace accessories, and holiday decorations during winter months.