In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
An affordable and monumental selection of sofas, beds, desks, and sarcophagi mingle good-naturedly in Ashley Furniture’s wondrous warehouse. A Conrad backless barstool ($48) commands shoppers’ attention with its sleek, contemporary design, and Kira furnishings provide stylish sites for storage, studying, or snoozing. A Bulkman pub table with four chairs ($399), sofas, and barstools anticipate increasing the comfort of various human inactivities.
At Vada Spa, staff members devote their international training to beauty rituals that use natural and organic products from GM Collins and Pevonia Botanica. Two floors accommodate spacious mani-pedi bars, styling stations, and private, candle-lit treatment rooms that all swirl with activity until 9 p.m. every day. The owners of the Spa make sure that each service is administered by a true specialist––laser technicians only do laser procedures and aestheticians never hand over their facial duties to an assistant or nearby welder. "We're very particular about who we hire," one of the spa owners says. "It has to be someone who's experienced. We don't have anyone here who's just starting out or fresh out of school."
Since their mission is to be a one-stop destination for head-to-toe spa services, Vada's owners do their best to reserve hairstyling chairs and treatment rooms for walk-in customers. They also pride themselves on their expertise with the male aesthetic, offering a lineup of guy-specific spa services including back facials, shoulder waxing, and spare-tire rotations.