Backed by the Verizon Wireless network, Shock City Cellular's service stretches through the nation’s airwaves. To support this expansive service network, each of Shock City’s physical locations operates according to three core principles: provide great customer service, do business ethically, and commit to staff development. With these guiding principles, staff members can help customers customize the retailer's two-year plans to accommodate how often they text, use data, and talk on the phone. Staffers are also always on hand should patron’s need a hardware update, with a selection of accessories and phones from venerable brands such as Samsung, Droid, and Two Tin Cans and a String.
The artist-run Works of Glass studio burnishes custom stained-glass pieces and extends materials and advice to hobbyists of the semitranslucent arts. Each Make 'n' Take stained-glass class provides all of the materials and guidance for six students at a time to create a three-piece heart-shaped sun catcher using the same copper foiling method used in Tiffany glass production. After a practice cutting session with old windowpanes and the walls of glass houses, students select their favorite shade from the studio's spectrum of glass and cut it themselves to form the base of the heart. Like soldering a rainbow and heart together to create the ultimate T-shirt logo, students solder two clear half-circle bevels to the sun catcher, which will make it cast rainbow shadows on sulking rooms. Students will get to do their own foiling and soldering—the processes used to bring pieces together—and will finish off the piece with a metal filigree. Finished works measure 5 inches at the widest point and are 4.5 inches long, with every square unit of surface area declaring undying love to a favorite window. Just like remedial woodshop, classes take place on the weekends.
Disappointed with the community’s lack of boutique-shopping options, Tia Ricklefs set out to design her own line of trendy apparel for men and women. The resulting brand, Ayden Lee, includes styles that range from summery dresses and jeans to formalwear, all speckled with quirky design elements such as asymmetrical straps, metallic accents, and built-in parachutes. Tia’s menswear line features suits and dress shirts in timeless cuts and bold colors. The red-brick storefront encloses racks of color-coordinated fashions alongside black display tables that flaunt ruched handbags and vintage hair accessories.
Owned by Iowa residents Lisa Barillas and Twyla Tindall, Lyla's Boutique supplies well-known brands to Iowa's multifaceted fashionistas. The boutique stocks a bevy of pants, tops, skirts, and dresses from prominent labels such as Miss Me, Free People, BCBG, BB Dakota, Sweet Pea, Judith March, Level 99, and Vintage Havana. Covering colorful styles from hand to toe, Lyla's also houses a range of purses and functional, form-fitting shoes. Popular wearables currently include a braided-chain-and-jewel necklace and earring set ($32), Kinsie Girl Oliander wedges ($49), !iT Jeans ($69.95), and the wildly inspiring Free People zebra dress ($128) (see pictures of select clothing items here.
The blossom specialists at Coe’s Floral and Gifts arrange flowers for spontaneous gestures and a host of special occasions. A 12-stemmed pink-rose bouquet nests in a shapely vase with ample greens, and a dozen roses in assorted colors keep semioticians guessing. Tulips slap smiles on faces with 15 cheerful stems, and any buds in the store may be combined to create hypnotic palettes or floral supergroups. The store, which has been in business since 1932, hosts floral-design workshops on a variety of topics each month, including seasonal decorations and how to conceal a trebuchet in a bed of roses during a siege.