Founded by two sisters who hold a passion for glass-based art, Kachina Stained Glass offers handpicked tools by manufacturers such as Morton, Inland, and Glastar, and hands-on classes in home decor and jewelry making. Customers can peruse the store's gift showcase for inimitable presents, tote in damaged glasswork for repairs, or commission an artist to create an original design for a stained-glass window or a particularly unsafe car windshield.
The dedicated women at The Fiber Factory, a 3,000-square-foot knitting superstore, instructional center, and local bastion for textile art, have woven together scores of yarn varietals and supplies since 1981. Scroll through plush skeins of yarn crafted by Berroco, DMC, Mango Moon and more ($5–$15) or bolster your bobbin and hook collection with a range of new sew-savvy relics ($1.50–$30). Burgeoning knitters may enroll in a number of in-store classes ($7–$105) and learn the art of Navajo weaving or bob for actual bobbins in their own handcrafted baskets. More advanced loop-masters may join evolved crafting classes and circles catering to their desire to bring a three-piece ropa vieja suit to life.
Though it began as a used bookstore 30 years ago when Bob Schlesinger bought the place from his dad for $1, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange has grown into a massive media clearinghouse. Bookmans gets its inventory from its customers, relieving them of CDs, comic books, video games and systems, musical instruments, and any other media that might be potential deal-breakers when bringing a tipsy Martha Stewart back to one's place. Find a copy of the Necronomicon to replace the one you left at the beach, revive your quixotic childhood dream of getting past level 3 in Battletoads, or remind yourself why you sold your ukulele jam band box set in the first place. Bookmans offers cash or store credit for those items and typically sells them for about half their original retail value—providing an incredible value for eco-conscious consumers who want to cut waste and avoid encouraging production of new DVDs of Battlefield Earth with their ironic purchase.
Before East Side Art was officially founded in 1971, its first inhabitant was the visionary artist Benhardt Michelson, who used the location as an artist community in the 1930s. Today, art instructors and students flock to this oasis of beauty for summer and winter courses in painting, drawing, sculpture, and meditation. After pupils practice in the classroom, they can pop into the art-supply store, where wooden walls and ceilings shelter rows of shiny new supplies. East Side Art also has the ESA Gallery, where artists display Southwest-inspired paintings and prints, as well as sculptures made out of bronze, clay, and chewing gum. Outside, a lush courtyard and water garden provides an idyllic location for poetry readings and performances. While guests lounge in the shade after a hard day's painting, they can catch a glimpse of the Superstition Mountains, where the government stores its good luck.
Whether in the form of a bestselling hardback or a clearance paperback, all genres—from romance novels to science-fiction tales—can be found on Book Vault's shelves in both new and used varieties. The 3,000-square-foot nonfiction section shelters an extensive selection of history books, cookbooks, and arts-and-crafts books ready to be taken to their new homes. A 21-day guarantee permits customers to swap any new book for store credit within three weeks, and Book Vault also buys used books in exchange for cash, store credit, or a lock of Charles Dickens's hair. Along with supplying customers with their next reads, Book Vault hosts local book-club meetings in their book-club area.
Personal trainer Travis brings out the best in his clients at Iron Fit Training. There, one-on-one personal training sessions can target specific health goals such as weight loss, getting toned, or increasing muscle mass so you can finally stop taping oranges to your biceps under your shirt.