Stage Two wraps bodies in formfitting splendor with a selection of dance apparel and swimsuits designed to minimize the pernicious effects of air and water drag. Dancers can accouter themselves in brands such as Capezio, Bloch, Motionwear, and Basic Moves, choosing from such dance essentials as leotards ($18.95–$42.95), tights ($6.95–$14.95), and jazz shoes ($28.95–$52.95). Those who prefer to leave rhythmic motion to the sea can garb their bodies in water-friendly pieces by Speedo, Tyr, Nike, and Arena, choosing suits according to their predilection for a leisurely backstroke or a rapidly competitive doggy paddle. Human torpedoes are sleekened to seal-like slickness with competition suits ($9.95–$77.95), and bodies toned by wintertime workout regimens are displayed to greatest effect with casual beachwear. Swim caps ($2.95–$19.95) aerodynamize heads and give socially anxious hair a safe, private place to collect itself.
An ornate chandelier floods Threads Consignment Boutique's soft-pink walls with light, illuminating racks of fine consignment apparel. The store draws business from mothers, daughters, and grandmothers alike, with designer clothing available in a wide range of sizes and styles. Guests can try on clothing, purses, and handbags behind the billowing curtains of spacious changing rooms, and the boutique also offers a selection of uncommon items from both local and international female artisans, along with handmade greeting cards from Fairest LJ and 316 Greetings. The shop is often the site of special events, such as fashion shows, jewelry workshops, private shopping parties, and timed cannon-loading competitions.
Harland Watch & Diamond's cases glint and glitter with shafts of prismatic light bouncing off skillfully cut gems. Working closely with patrons, staff members help match each customer with pieces that suit their tastes and fall within their budget, from pearl and diamond bracelets and earrings to designer watches to Montblanc pens perfect for forging presidential directives.
Studio Seven Arts, voted Best Art Gallery of 2011 by Diablo magazine's readers, is bedecked in one-of-a-kind fine art, handcrafted jewelry, and eclectic crafts, fostering an inspiring backdrop to their custom-framing services. The staff members curate a collection of American art pieces, including locally made creations, displaying handcrafted fine jewelry and skillfully made crafts that can be both functional and decorative—much like a scarecrow in a sundress. The gallery’s in-house framing artisans draw upon 25 years of experience to build custom frames for such treasures as paintings, photos, diplomas, and mirrors of any shape or size. Frames can be outfitted with wood to match any room’s décor, and with a variety of glass options that can block the bleaching effects of sunlight and scribblings of pets who feel they ought to be in all the family photos.
Though LillyEllenDesigns has sold hundreds of jewelry pieces stamped with family names, there's only one name behind the business—Karey. Working on her own, Karey punches, sands, and stamps all of the discs that go on her necklaces and key rings. The stamping process is what turns them into personalized keepsakes, and she can add children's names, birth dates, and even entire messages to her pendants.
Some of the discs commemorate events, such as a wedding or holiday, and others honor relationships, whether it's between parents and their children or teachers and their most trusty protractors. Karey also makes customizable jewelry for kids, including necklaces with charms such as flip-flop sandals, flowers, and ladybugs.
A frequent winner of Diablo magazine’s Best Maternity Couture Shop in the East Bay award, Stork’s Nest delivers a chic bundle of maternity and baby clothes and nursery accessories. Maternity clothes in a variety of styles, from seersucker dresses ($96) to vertigo pants ($64), snuggle up to their baby-size offspring. In addition to chromosome-specific Baby Brother onesies ($33) and Toni Tierney bluebird dresses ($51), gender-neutral clothes such as Trumpette knit hoodies ($27) keep both boys and girls stylish and un-naked. Stork's Nest also carries a cozy collection of nursery accessories from chenille baby blankets ($32–$64) to mobiles that sing nightly Metallica lullabies.