The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
Clothes and furniture find new life at Red Racks Thrift Stores. Through donations, the staffers at the store's 13 locations fill their racks and shelves with thousands of second-hand items for kids and adults, including name-brand garments from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, The Loft, and Donna Karan New York. They also stock furniture and other miscellaneous goods, such as books and home décor.
And something odd happens when these items arrive at checkout—the register doesn't ring up any sales tax. That's because Red Racks is a nonprofit organization, and all proceeds go to benefit the Disabled American Veterans, an organization that has advocated on behalf of veterans for more than nine decades. Red Racks' altruistic mission has proved successful so far—the inventory of each store typically turns over every 3–4 weeks.
Supplying all types of social gatherings with entertainment-enhancing games and activities, Springfield Party Rental stocks a sprightly set of family-friendly bouncy houses, big-shot-belittling dunk tanks, or six-person laser-tag sets. Though this deal is valid for the standard bouncer, rocketing ricocheters can upgrade to a themed castle, such as Bob the Builder or the Clown Bouncer (an additional $25), or land a bounce-and-slide combo to really rile up guests at your city-council-overthrow fundraiser (an additional $100). Party planners can take the initiative to pick up, set up, and take down their own rentals (the job requires two adults, and is easy with three), and the dunk tank is towable with a 2" hitch. However, professional delivery and pick-up are also available at a flat rate of $60 within 10 miles, and $3 per loaded mile after that—similarly, setup and takedown are an additional fee.
According to Vox Magazine, jewelry designer Kyle Batisch flourishes at revamping an old piece of jewelry as much as he does creating one from scratch. Often, customers will present him with an antique bracelet or necklace that belonged to a loved one with the request that he make it new again, often with a different jewel or an eye-catching new finish. With the help of Kyle’s jewelry-designer wife Tracy and custom-jeweler Kevin Oleson, KT Diamond Jewelers has created more than a thousand custom pieces of jewelry for clients to cherish for generations. Guests often come to the shop with specific ideas for their custom trinkets, which Kyle and Tracy sketch to make sure their vision aligns with the client's. Once on paper, Kevin takes over to carve the design into wax, fit the stones, and show the prototype to his customer before crafting the final masterpiece in metal. Once the metal has been cast, he cleans it and resets the stones, resulting in a new bauble designed to immortalize wedding vows or simulate the joy of winning an NBA championship.
Mom’s Family Resale, featured on KSDK-5, circulates home furnishings, clothing, and other upscale, gently-used items into St. Louis–area homes. Upon entry, customers embark on a browsing journey through an expansive 7,500-square-foot resale zone bursting with clothing arranged by size and color, and furniture arranged by its ability to speak when its owner isn’t around. Women’s shirts ($4.99+) and skirts ($4.99+) may have originally heralded from stores such as Ann Taylor and Hollister, and children's items, including toys ($1.99+) and festooned baby headbands, sprout on shelves. French-salon-educated coffee tables ($14.99+) and wizened lamps ($9.99) join the ranks of experienced shabby-chic furniture, and a dollar-priced wing allows customers to get rid of pesky single bills clogging up their wallets.