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.
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.
Barely an inch of wall space at Stars Beads remains visible. The rest hides beneath a rainbow of bracelets and necklaces, as well as dangling baggies of shiny beads, semiprecious stones, and the materials to turn them all into expressive accessories. Drawing from this stock, jewelry-weavers of all skill levels can plump up home arsenals or gather together in the shop to bolster the beading community. Classes led by experienced crafters guide groups through projects such as creating beaded clasps, learning the arts of metalsmithing, or using pearls to create bracelets and necklaces instead of decoy-gumball collections.
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Johnson's Organic Food LLC's founder learned the power of organic food firsthand. He lost more than 60 pounds when he revamped his lifestyle, switching his diet from mostly fast food to organic, vegan dishes, and augmenting his sedentary desk job with marathon training.
Through Johnson's Organic Food LLC, his mission is to provide customers in the Washington DC area the same organic fruits, vegetables, and snacks that helped fuel his weight loss, delivering them right to their doorsteps. The selection of organic groceries changes with the seasons, taking advantage of foods that are available on East Coast farms, such as watermelon in the summer, squash in the fall, and kale in the spring, when the kale monsoons roll in. In addition to the non-GMO, certified organic groceries, they send out juice cleanses?which are designed specifically to help patrons boost their energy levels and slim down?made up of cold-pressed juices that arrive to guests freshly pressed the morning of delivery.
Golfsmith's online and in-store showrooms house an almost endless list of golf gear for men, women, and children alike. Clubs, balls, and accessories from brands such as TaylorMade, MacGregor, and Callaway give players precise control over their game, and polos and long-sleeved shirts from Nike and Snake Eyes garb players in course-appropriate attire now that tuxedo T-shirts no longer qualify. Along with the extensive collection of equipment and golf bags, Golfsmith also carries GPS systems to give players a high-tech edge.