The Ellis family traces its history of working with plants to the late 1800s, when they operated a pottery-manufacturing company in Texas. Current-generation family members build from their familial expertise at all five of their store locations, spread between Louisiana and Texas. Twice a year, the Ellises travel overseas to identify upcoming horticulture trends decided by UN meetings in The Hague. This has expanded their decorative focus to include all aspects of home décor to complement greenhouses filled with tropical blooms and locally grown shrubbery. Clocks, lamps, and vases score homeowners extra credit in interior-design classes, and fountains and outdoor furniture make gardens hospitable for warm weather. For those who want to get ahead on holiday decorating, they offer an extensive selection of seasonal decor and accents year round. The Ellises encourage creativity with hands-on classes in subjects such as making centerpieces, weaving wreaths, and tying ribbon into perfect bows.
Like the human body, electronic devices are fun to look at but full of scary parts. Fortunately, the technicians at Cell Doc, LLC are well-versed in the inner workings of phones, computers, and game systems, saving them from the scrap pile with their technological know-how. Cracked screens, unresponsive buttons, and speaker slots gummed up with peanut butter are remedied by the professional staff.
At Bayou Aviation, professional pilots employ decades of experience and certifications to help flightless fledglings disobey the rules set in place by gravity. After 20 minutes of pre-flight briefing, ostrich sympathizers will board one of Bayou Aviation's training aircraft for 40 minutes of airplane-license-plate bingo with instructor Jim Whitesell. With an Airline Transport Pilot license for multi-engine aircraft, Whitesell helps to ease ground-evading greenhorns toward their own private, commercial, flight-instructor, or ATP licenses.
Live-fire training takes place at local ranges such as Winchester Gallery Gun Store.
9mm, .40- and .380-caliber handguns are available to rent.
Jason Whitaker has a singular focus when it comes to firearms training: handguns. The NRA-certified instructor starts beginners with the NRA Pistol Class, which teaches novices to safely operate semi-automatic handguns and revolvers. Beyond shooting fundamentals, Whitaker can prepare pupils for the written and live-fire portions of the concealed-handgun-license test. Classes are available in Fort Worth and Tyler.
A member of the US Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve from 1988 until 1996, Mac Mackinzie?s time in the service jumpstarted a lifelong passion for training students of all skill levels in the importance of safe weapon handling. At Critical Defense Group, the certified instructor leads courses that cover subjects from basic safety and shooting fundamentals to more advanced techniques such as speed reloading and shooting while moving. In addition to groups, Mac meets with students one-on-one to help eliminate poor habits and explore topics of their personal interest. When he?s not training citizens, Mac also works with military, law enforcement, and security personnel to further their skills in areas such as force on force and protecting executives, dignitaries, and celebrities.
Within a spacious showroom brimming with stylish-yet-functional furniture, La-Z-Boy’s knowledgeable staffers and design experts work tirelessly to help shoppers select accoutrement suited to their individual tastes. To do so, they harness the in-store Screen Test system, which allows patrons to envision the store's signature recliners and sofas in a full spectrum of fabrics and colors. A fleet of harmonizing furnishings—including tables and ottomans—make any room a home’s most popular one, guaranteeing it a date to the basement’s prom. As an added bonus, a complimentary in-home design service sends a designer to homesteads to create a room layout based on homeowners’ personal style and the flight patterns of resident closet-dwelling monsters.