Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
When Nashville Lifestyles puts a restaurant, concert venue, or stylist on its Best of Music City list, it's no small honor. The magazine's exhaustive knowledge of Nashville's cultural scene is revealed each month through features such as music reviews, which chronicle Nashville's local recording spaces, as well as the latest releases from both local artists and celebrities such as Miranda Lambert. Food critics try out restaurants to point hungry readers toward the city's best sports bars, cafés, food trucks, and food boats. Robust entertainment coverage helps social butterflies plan for parties, gallery exhibits, and festivals. Beyond the glossy pages of its print edition, Nashville Lifestyles' robust online presence shares extra features and photo slideshows, giving locals up-to-the-minute coverage of notable fetes and other goings-on about town.
United Apparel Liquidators' fashion-savvy buying team compiles an immense stash of brand-new clothing and accessories from acclaimed designers, slicing 70–90% off their original retail price before featuring them on the boutiques' shelves. The stores—which have garnered press from fashion magazines such as Lucky and InStyle over their 30-year history—brim with men's and women's attire, shoes, and jewelry from prominent high-end labels such as Alexander McQueen, Chanel, and Marc Jacobs. Staffers aim to keep the vast collection current and up to date, harnessing their knowledge of the fashion scene to scope out threads from emerging designers and time-traveling thrift-store owners.
Steeped firmly in the community, the entirety of Thrift Smart's proceeds from its gently used apparel and housewares benefit local charities. The staffers rotate the varied inventory daily, stocking dresses, shoes, and men's and women's tops that are both fashionable and casual enough for glamorous grocery store runs. They also blanket their brightly lit aisles with a multihued miscellany of furniture and appliances and furnish shelves with books ranging from fiction to self-help.
Thrift Smart furthers its community involvement with help from a band of volunteers, who lend a hand sorting new items in the warehouse or lifting heavy furniture in the Nolensville storefront.
A bicycle store is not the first place one would expect to find a diaper-changing station. Luckily, Eastside Cycles' claim of catering to families isn't just lip service— youngster-toting customers can take care of the wardrobe requirements of their charges or borrow a toy from the shop's stash of playthings as they browse a rotating selection of handpicked rides from Cannondale, Kona, and Surly. Mechanics unleash a jangling chorus of tools as they repair and fine-tune bikes while owners pass the time browsing free WiFi and TV. The staff also leads groups of riders out into the sunshine on weekend mornings, revealing new routes and fresh air that hasn't been sitting in a park ranger's pockets.
Every day, the stylish staffers replenish Blush Boutique's racks with new dresses, skirts, and tanks created by indie and private-label designers. More than 80 new styles arrive weekly to keep their collections on-trend. To update shoppers on their new arrivals, the store’s personal stylists post outfits of the week online. They also offer complimentary styling services, drawing from their encyclopedic fashion knowledge to design outfits based on each clients' style, shape, size, and whether they put pants on one leg or two legs at a time.