After studying genetics at UW–Madison’s College of Agriculture, Gwen Condon opened a garden and landscaping center in the hopes of making local exteriors more beautiful and fashionable. Gwen began traveling to shows in Germany, England, and Italy in search of gifts and garden accessories. Her shop quickly grew into an inspirational garden, where customers wander paths lined with seasonal plants, from spring flowers to fall mums to winter killer tomatoes. The knowledgeable staff makes sure to clearly label each plant with lighting and water requirements.
Additionally, customers can show photography of their yards to Garden Gate Nursery staff to get tips on plants, shrubs, or trees that would thrive there. The garden tamers’ most popular service is what they call the “Please Come Stand in My Yard” consultation, a house call in which they scope yards and inspect any problem areas before sharing their ideas and recommendations.
At more than 1,000 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.
Signature service: Professional lawn care service
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Brands Used: Quality Toro and Echo, as well as professional-grade fertilizer by Lesco
Pro Tip: Customers receive professional advice, quotes, and service from the company owner?not a middle man.
Keep it Green by Grounds Keeper, Inc.'s professionals restore order to outdoor spaces with services designed to keep landscapes green and patios polished. Members of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, they dole out tender loving care to turf with thatching and aeration services and by thwarting potentially harmful invasions by grubs, Japanese beetles, crabgrass, and pool salesmen. Membership with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the Metropolitan Builders Association makes the team well-suited to tackle design projects ranging from stone-wall construction to the building of outdoor kitchens and fire pits. Colder months call them back to plots to help homeowners to shovel or plow their way out after heavy snowfalls.
In 1958, Guy Day and Dale Williams founded their mattress store with a focus on high-quality products and excellent customer service. After 10 years, the partners unveiled their line of handcrafted, personalized mattress sets under the name Verlo, a combination of their wives' names—Verna and Lois. After more than 40 years, the company has perfected its craft, manufacturing customized mattresses and selling them directly through their show rooms. The stock ranges from plush pillowtops to firm sets, both capable of supporting healthy sleeping patterns and cutthroat pillow fights for years to come.
Traditionally, families gather around the Christmas tree to open presents––but at the American Cancer Society Christmas Fantasy House, individual traditions are magnified. The 2009 house, for example, featured not one but five Christmas trees, each draped in ribbons and white lights. Other years' open houses have featured a jolly Santa Claus, dining room chairs hung with pinecone wreaths, and flower-festooned light fixtures. Visitors not only peruse the Christmas-themed home for charity, they can also shop for sweets or enter holiday-themed raffles.
Proceeds from the event go to the American Cancer Society, a volunteer-based program that reaches 3,400 communities nationwide. The ACS supports research, education, advocacy for all types of cancer, and helps a large number of cancer patients, offering phone counseling 24 hours a day, seven days a week.