While parents and teachers navigate the dense underbrush of educational materials at The Learning Circle, their kids clamber through the one-of-a-kind tree house that dominates the aisles. Math, science, and language-arts materials for grades K–eight mask a dose of learning in a layer of fun, making education as easy to swallow as a buttered-up fruit snack. While teachers find all the resources they need among the colorful rows, parents also benefit from a smorgasbord of home-school workbooks and summer learning programs that help to stifle the learning loss that often results from months away from the classroom.
The Cookie Store helps its customers to satisfy their sweet teeth with an extensive assortment of fresh-baked cookies and seven types of smoothies. From classics such as chocolate chip to more inventive flavors including snickerdoodle, honey oatmeal raisin walnut, and heath-bar toffee, The Cookie Store’s bakers concoct a spread of delicious bite-size treats daily. In addition to cookie trays and tins, bakers create custom cookie cakes in a variety of different shapes, including hearts and circles that can be decorated with birthday messages, cartoon characters, or interpretations of Jackson Pollock masterworks.
Owner, buyer, and stylist Elizabeth Allen loves fashion. The store offers designer collections for women, luxury denim, fine boots and shoes, and handcrafted jewelry and gifts. Elizabeth Allen's team specializes in wardrobe styling and teaching customers what to wear and how to wear it with pointers on how to mix collections and invest in quality pieces. Shoppers can frequently find designers such as Ella Moss, French Connection, The Frye Company, Chaser, House of Harlow, Michael Stars, Splendid and Sanctuary in e. Allen.
Secret agents prowl the premises, peering through magnifying glasses at pop stars' fallen boa feathers and dusting pirates’ treasures for fingerprints before reporting their findings to a headquarters fortified with cupcakes. Murfreesboro Toy Company invites children to take on these and other imaginary personas within all-inclusive party packages. A team of party planners lead soirees for up to 12 guests, with themes such as Secret Agent Spy—complete with fingerprinting and decoding secret messages—and Pop Star Diva, whose commemorative music video zooms in on children wielding inflatable guitars and wearing feather boas and glittering makeup. Tables swathed in colorful cloths and dotted with coordinating flatware host feasts of pizza, cupcakes, and punch, and each guest departs with party favors such as bath gel or temporary tattoos. Murfreesboro Toy Company's cheerful storefront teems with whimsical and educational toys by Madame Alexander, Playmobil, and other brands. Selections include bathtub basketball hoops for toddlers, Fancy Nancy dolls, and solar-system floor puzzles to test school-age tykes' spatial skills and allegiance to heliocentrism.
"Never, never, never give up," is the driving mantra for David Oreck, who flew combat missions with the US Army Air Forces in World War II and returned home to build a business empire from scratch. He set out to design a machine to lighten hotel employees' load, making a lightweight vacuum cleaner as opposed to the traditional bulky, burdensome commercial cleaners. Naturally, the domestic market began clamoring for his high-powered yet easy-to-handle devices, and soon Oreck vacuums could be found in homes throughout the country.
Today, the company continues its tradition of innovation, simplifying household tasks with Steam-Glide mops for hard floors, HEPA-filter upright vacuums, and stain-killing cleaning products. Oreck's commitment to clean sends it headlong into the future, with high-tech air filters that react to their environment with automatic sensory controls, filtering odors, allergens, and curse words.
The friendly flourists at Fabulous Florals and Gifts transform bunches of blooms into stunning bouquets that enliven special events and comfort those in need. A rose-and-tulip bouquet marries classic red roses with the springtime charm of pink tulips, making fall foliage green with envy ($69.99). A watering can of kalanchoe makes both a polite and direct reminder for forgetful gardeners ($19.99), and the beer mug of blooms combines fresh white carnations and acrylic rocks to create a faux-foam-topped brew that makes any suds-soaked pal produce tears ($29.99). For moms, grandmas, or stylish mail carriers, Fabulous Florals and Gifts also outputs the handbag of blooms, which unites roses, carnations, and daisy poms in a stem-swaddling reusable tote ($39.99/small).