The friendly folks behind Y-Knot Embroidery stitch and screenprint names, logos, or favorite phrases onto a range of accessories and clothes for individuals, businesses, teams, and volunteer groups. The staff can personalize any accessory or article of attire—which can include brightly colored tees, hats, coats, and work-worthy button-ups—in their entire inventory. They can spiff up a polo shirt with an embroidered monogram, or distract potential thieves hoping to steal your beach bag with a screen-printed math problem.
To give back to their community, the staffers promote cancer awareness, stocking items such as Kid’s Cancer Storys, which benefits Grand Rapids’ Van Andel Institute.
At Your Plate or Mine, both seasoned glazers and greenhorn glammers turn unadorned pottery and glass fragments into one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Pottery prettifiers of all ages choose from more than 500 pieces of bisque ($4–$55), ranging from plates ($8–$12) and mugs ($8–$12) to figurines ($9–$12). With their blank slates in tow, guests pick out paints and, like the Beauty and the Beast animation team, bring the ceramics to life; if painter's block sets in, a friendly staff can offer tips and suggestions.
White Lake Greenhouses Floral has been translating complex sentiments into table-decorating arrangements for more than 100 years. Celebrate an heir to carry on the family foosball legacy with the Welcome Baby Boy arrangement ($45+), highlighted by green jade roses, blue iris, and white gerberas, or practice tango maneuvers to the mailbox with single-cut flowers ($1+). A basket-bound benjamin fig tree ($35+) gracefully adorns countertops, and a balloon bouquet ($20) cheers up loved ones and sparks the envy of gravity-enslaved bouncy balls.
The sharp smell of evergreen sap fills the air as emerald-green needles stir together in the wind. Brian Bosch and his wife Cim preside over seedlings and transplants of species such as firs, spruces, and pines at their tree farm at Bosch’s Countryview Nursery, Inc. During November and December, the cold breath of visitors drifts in clouds among Christmas trees. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the holiday season, guests climb into a hay wagon pulled by horses, their hooves making the gentle beat of a shy drummer. Hot beverages and snacks warm hands among the long ranks of trees, which staff members or visitors can cut down.
Oasis Hot Tub Gardens instantly transports visitors on mini vacations to other parts of the globe. Each private area—some indoor and some outdoor—takes on a theme of an exotic oasis, from the Isle Royale to a beautiful garden in Japan to the wild hot tubs that grow in the world's secluded forests. Those all become the backdrops for hours of relaxation within hot waters, which stay at a comfortable 102 degrees during the Fall and Winter and 96–100 degrees in Spring and Summer. Should customers need anything, say a change in tub temperature, all they need to do is make a request over the room's intercom—never having to leave their tiny slice of paradise. The private suites house other comforts too, namely stereos, dressing areas, and showers.
At Mark's Mattress Direct, friendly sales folk guide shoppers through no-pressure perusals of the show room's bounty, confident that the store's commitment to same-day delivery and factory-direct, cost-saving techniques speak for themselves. With an arsenal of bedding from trusted brands such as Corsicana and Englander, the inventory caters to the needs of every customer, from the entry-level Burnaby innerspring mattress for the casual napper, to the luxurious Bella pillow top for the more experienced marathon sleeper. Pallets of gel memory foam conform to tired bodies, giving them renewed strength and well-being each morning, while Michigan-made Clare mattresses deliver restful nights of sleep while contributing to the regional economy.