Each of Merrifield Garden Center’s three locations overflows with thousands of plants throughout the year, encompassing such variety that a reporter for CNN’s Eatocracy claimed “I might as well endorse my paychecks straight to them…because I always want to grow what they've got.” Knowledgeable garden experts, 25 of whom have been with Merrifield for 25 years or more, guide customers through row upon row of flowers, trees, shrubs, and other plants, or help them sort through an extensive selection of bulbs and seeds. Visitors may also bump into the founders themselves, or their children and other family members, 38 of whom still work at the thriving business that started 40 years ago. Merrifield doesn’t just proliferate plants, however; amenities such as cafes in Gainesville and Merrifield and a dog park in Gainesville make each garden center into a leisure destination as well. Three of its garden gurus run an hourlong TV show that's been going for more than two decades, and other staff publish gardening advice on the website and Facebook. The staff also work to protect the environment with a variety of eco-friendly initiatives. Besides stocking native plants and water-saving devices for their customers, they also compost more than 20,000 tons of soil and 25,000 cubic yards of brush left over from their comprehensive landscaping services every year. The Gainesville location also gathers old concrete, metal appliances, and rusted Optimus Primes for recycling free of charge.
Owned by deft de-stainers boasting more than four decades of combined experience, Merrifield Tailor & Dry Cleaning and Ann's Tailor have been serving the garb-gussying and thread-mending needs of Virginia residents for generations. Extract sloppy stains from a man's dress shirt ($1) or suit ($9), or get suit pants shortened ($12 without lining) in anticipation of this spring’s loafers and lederhosen craze. Adjust the hem of a summer skirt ($16–$25) or bring in the waist on a pair of women's pants ($16–$20) to show off a newly fit frame. Both tailoring shops guarantee all cleaning and sewing work, and unsatisfied customers are invited to drag their duds back to the store within five days for an apologetic re-cleaning or re-fusing.
WiGoClinic – Cell Phone Repair Shop performs a wide assortment of smartphone fixes, including fitting damaged devices with solid new covers, which breathe new life into once unusable technologies. Trained technicians cradle cracked smartphones to soothe them into drowsy Airplane Mode, then gently unhinge shattered covers to clear delicate surfaces for a new protective window. Devices emerge from the phone hospital after roughly an hour with fresh screens that bestow the same functionality as the original factory cover. WiGoClinic also performs water-damage diagnostics, and boasts a high success rate in repairing drowned devices. iPhone repairs typically take less than an hour, and most operations can be performed while customers sit comfortably in WiGoClinic's waiting space, complete with kids' play area.
In students' homes or at one of three studios, Ego Music's instructors teach budding musicians to play a range of instruments, including guitar, clarinet, flute, and piano. All instructors have at least 10 years of experience and can teach a range of styles, such as classical, jazz, and rock. Ego Music also rents instruments.
With more than two decades of experience in the entertainment, fashion, and bridal industries, Gilda specializes in making her clients look and feel beautiful. Whether she is giving a European-style precision haircut, applying camouflage makeup, or administering laser skin-tightening or hair-removal treatments, her focus is always on her clients.
In order to continually improve her craft, Gilda attends international trainings taught by elite beauty educators, and keeps her eyes peeled for cutting-edge beauty trends. Before appointments, Gilda and her staff meet with clients to discuss their aesthetic aspirations and facial features before collaborating on a plan of attack, whether it be a new hair color, makeup application, or texture alteration, such as Japanese straightening or permanent waves. Waxing, threading and laser skin treatments round out the menu of salon services, which clients can enjoy while sipping complimentary mugs of coffee or glasses of wine. For those who cannot make it into the salon, Gilda still makes house calls to beautify brides-to-be and partygoers.