An authorized AT&T retailer, AT&T Portables sets itself apart from the crowd with customer-service-oriented staffers who guide shoppers through the process of picking phones and accessories from an extensive inventory. Each employee is well versed in the bells and whistles of the latest smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Blackberry, and Nokia, helping shoppers translate tech specs into real-world pros and cons. Customers’ chosen phones are accompanied by a range of protective and stylish accessories, as well as cellular plans that provide an appropriate amount of minutes, text messages, and bandwidth for sending and receiving urgent cat videos.
This week may bring Michael Kors and Bebe, and next week could feature Ann Taylor and Seven, but no matter when someone stops in Eye of the Beholder Consignments, items from high-profile brands can be found on the shelves. Handbags may carry names such as Prada, Coach, and Juicy Couture, and clothing may hail from Talbots, Chico's, and Coldwater Creek. The shop also stocks shoes, business suits, and maternity wear for expectant mothers and dudes who just want to get closer to their children by dressing as a nanny. A portion of proceeds goes to charities such as the Baltimore Humane Society and the American Cancer Society.
Banner's Hallmark hosts unique gifts and Hallmark greeting cards that creatively accent any holiday or special occasion. In the absence of sufficient stashes of construction paper for homemade coupon books, offspring can bestow upon hard-working patriarchs a puzzle-themed photo card personalized with an ingratiating image of the family ($3.49). Assorted gifts include décolleté-decorating jewelry, such as DaVinci beads ($6.99 each), and a library of recordable storybooks ($29.95 each). In the home-goods department, comely chalices provide sturdier drinking alternatives to sippy cups and wineskins made out of swiss cheese. Prices and selection may vary based on location.
At the AAA–approved facilities, mechanics attend to vehicles with all the skill and understanding you'd expect from ASE–certified technicians. Versed in every make and model of car out there, they dive underneath hoods and reinvigorate autos with Interstate batteries and products from BG Products Inc., repairing anything that's broken and slapping down a 24-month, 24,000-mile warranty. This castle of car care doubles as a state-certified emissions-inspection facility, and their shuttle treats auto owners to free rides whenever it's not busy rescuing helpless jalopies from junkyards.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend human rights" and "Protect our planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.”
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to a UK-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the Blue Corn 3-in-1 deep-cleansing scrub mask often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, and other national publications.
After 37 years in business, authorized AT&T retailer, Communications Electronics knows a thing about outfitting its customers with the latest in mobile phone and wireless equipment, new smart phones, and accessories. The company traces its history in the metro region back 37 years, when most homes relied on landlines, and cell phones were heavy bricks likely to start dangerous fires. Through it all, the company rode the wave of up-and-coming technology, earning a loyal and expansive customer base through friendly, knowledgeable service, and frequent package upgrades. Today, the store sells the space-age Samsung Galaxy S 4, HTC First, and Galaxy Tab II, augmented with accessories such as armor-clad Defender cases, dual-port chargers, and Bluetooth headsets.