Some of Donn F. Flipse's earliest memories are of him wielding a broom, sweeping up the fallen petals and snipped-off stamen that have gathered around the feet of the floral designers at his family's flower shop. Eight-year-old Donn eventually moved up in rank, escorting arrangements to their destinations in the delivery truck as soon as he got his license. When he graduated college, he almost turned his back on the flower business his father and his grandfather built, but after mentoring under one of the shop's floral designers, he realized, “It was in [his] blood.” In 1990, he opened Field of Flowers in Davie.
The rose, he says, continues to be the most popular flower, although different breeds take the crown every so often—the current favorite is the garden rose, a throwback blossom like what might flourish in a well-tended backyard. Donn's favorites are the rose-like lisanthius and the Canterbury bells, which look delicate but are sturdy and long lasting, much like a quarterback who takes ballet classes.
Field of Flower's team of designers compose striking arrangements using popular flowers as well as rare blooms such as orchids or birds of paradise. The team also crafts design pieces for celebrations, with past creations including a french poodle sculpted from flowers and a Spongebob Squarepants–themed arrangements in which blue gel simulated the ocean, submerging plants in an under-the-sea wonderland.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
After years of running a successful contemporary art gallery, Stefano Campanini couldn't shake the feeling that something was missing. While many people enjoy contemporary art, even more people enjoy drinking wine while looking at art or drinking wine while looking at wine. Through this realization and with the aid of other enophiles with wine-business savvy, Campanini merged his passions for art and wine under the moniker Wine by the Bay, where he chooses wine like most people choose art. “I am looking forward to offering something that everyone enjoys and in an environment where the art can be appreciated by many and in an unintimidating way," Campanini says of the new, modern, 1,200-square-foot fine-wine and art boutique, which Miami New Times named 2013's Best Wine Store and Details Magazine called one of 2012's best new wine stores in the nation. "At art openings, wine is like a sideshow, but now, it will take center stage." Similar to identifying great art or choosing the perfect shampoo, finding the ideal wine to enjoy on its own or paired with cuisine involves intensive looking, sniffing, and tasting. Campanini personally samples every wine before approving it for his ample inventory of fine Italian, French, and Californian wines that appeal to a diversity of preferences.
At each Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More location across the United States, professional graphic artists print high-quality, custom designs onto a variety of products including men's and women's T-shirts and sweatshirts, toddlers' onesies, and clothing for canines. Rather than ironing or screenprinting its tees, the team uses a process called direct-to-garment printing, dying images directly into fabric to ensure that the garments won't crack, fade, peel, or develop a sense of self. The staff also eschews harsh chemicals in favor of environmentally friendly ones, such as water-based ink.
The artists price their products at a consistent rate, don't charge setup fees, and won't increase their costs, even if the desired artwork is highly complex, demands hourly compliments, or requires multiple colors. They'll happily print either a customer-created design or one of their own onto one or 300 T-shirts at once, and they turn around most in-stock items in 24 hours.
Since its inception in 1916, the YMCA of Greater Miami has opened its doors to whoever needed it. It welcomed African American youths during the Great Depression, hosted military personnel in the 1940s, and gave Cuban refugees a home in the 1960s. Today, it continues the tradition of depolarizing Miami's fractured populous, remaining a haven for people of all faiths, races, ages, and income. Staffers uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, acceptance, and fairness as they ensure each location is a safe place for members to play, exercise, and strengthen family bonds weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. YMCA of Greater Miami also raises much-needed funding for kids and families who can’t afford the full cost of any of YMCA’s progressive programs.
At the current locations, kids can leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to afterschool programs and day camps. Adults, meanwhile, can take Zumba, boot-camp, and aquatic fitness classes or work out within wellness centers replete with strength-training and cardio equipment. Adult basketball and indoor speed-soccer leagues further help guests flex their competitive spirits in an encouraging environment.
Though his family has been making jewelry since 1890, three generations back, Jimmy Quiroga truly fell in love with jewelry while marveling at art in museums across Europe. Now a jewelry designer while his wife runs the business side, Jimmy balances modern trends and Caribbean influences with the timeless beauty found in those museums. His necklaces, rings, and bracelets outfit sterling silver or 14-karat gold with pearls, diamonds, and brilliant gemstones such as turquoise, topaz, citrine, and sorcerer's stones. The vivid colors of his work mirror the tropical, festive atmosphere of Miami, which the Quiroga family has called home since the 1960s. Found on shelves in Macy's and Bloomingdale's, as well as in the couple's showroom, the statement pieces have found their way into the wardrobes of celebs such as Gloria Estefan, Shannen Doherty, and Flo Rida. In addition to decorating the community, the company is devoted to giving back. Its social calendar is booked with charity events that support causes such as Alonzo Mourning's Overtown Youth Center, the Miami Children's Hospital, and Jackson Memorial Hospital's Guardian Angels.