Direct Tools Factory Outlet equips crafty builders with an ample supply of hardware, vacuums, grills, and table saws sourced directly from top manufacturers. Grilling and outdoor kitchen equipment from STOK provision barbecues and cookouts with juicy briskets and steaks through a steady supply of discontinued, reconditioned, and factory-overrun products—brand-new, unused equipment shipped directly from the assembly line after excess production or accidental cloning. Dirt Devil vacuums suction off contaminants from carpets and shop floors, while an arsenal of drills and table saws from Ryobi lends structural soundness to household projects with speedy efficiency and trusty precision.
An affordable and monumental selection of plush beds, sturdy end tables, and stylish home accessories mingle good-naturedly in Ashley Furniture HomeStore’s warehouse. The Durapella microfiber sofa ($348) fills living rooms, dens, and panic rooms with its pillowy plumpness, inviting the weary and restful into its plush embrace. Its erstwhile companion, the Durapella microfiber recliner ($227) offers a single-serving seat with a tilting backrest and rising footrest. Escape from daily rigors and into sweet dreams of imperial excess with the Nero queen panel bed ($299), or augment somnolence and with a new bed frame such as the Janel queen sleigh bed ($299).
Young artists flock to Glazed Expectations' charming studio to learn a variety of clay-based building techniques, such as the pinch method, coiling, slab work, and cartooning (figurines). After-school classes also impart knowledge about paint application, texturing, and the fire-breathing hamsters that power most traditional kilns. Experienced and friendly instructors soothe novice nerves and show youngsters how to harness their inner Michelangelo. This Groupon covers the class fee, materials, glazes, and kiln firing, and the 1.5-hour sessions take place between 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. every Tuesday through Friday.
Ask Shawn Slome, and he'll tell you that pretty much everyone feels good when they walk into Twig: the customers, the staff, and of course, the owner himself. That's because the shop only sells environmentally friendly products, and every shirt or frying pan helps support green and fair-trade practices.
The seeds for Twig were planted decades ago, when Slome's passion for activism was jump-started by the 1970 Earth Day celebration. Fast forward to 2007 when Slome opened Twig, leaving behind his career in the outlet-clothing world. As Slome told US News in 2010, "It feels like my business [now] has more purpose than money alone or profit." Additionally, Retailing Insight selected Twig for a feature story based on its credentials as an approved member of Green America Business Network and for its independent retail trade reputation. Publication readers also crowned the store Best Environmentally Friendly Store for the past four years via its independent weekly poll. The eco-savvy staff members share their boss's enthusiasm. They happily tell customers all about their favorite products, which might include homemade chocolates from Roland's or quirky animal hats from Andes Gifts, and they know exactly where everything comes from. Buyers also check that their retail partners maintain fair labor practices and provide a safe work environment for their employees. Though stringent, this process has filled the shop's aisles and shelves with clothing, kitchenware, and other home goods. At the back even lies a kids' section with stacks of blocks, games, wood instruments, and other toys.
Twig's altruism does't hinge entirely on its retail sales. The shop also hosts fundraisers for local charities, non-profits, and other organizations that could easily have a place on Mother Nature's speed dial.