Alan J. Gardner opened his Salem factory in 1933, winning over generations of loyal customers with custom-made and odd-sized mattresses in a wide range of styles. Massachusetts-made pallets support sleepers with hand tufted construction and fluffy cotton fillings catered specifically to each client's specifications. The company's direct manufacturer-to-customer supply chain erases the influence of bothersome middlemen or arrogant, cigar-chomping mattress barons. Sleepers select from a variety of comfy cushion styles, such as latex, plush top, tufted, or pocket coils, with options for all-natural materials such as Joma wool and layers of thick cotton-knit fabric.
Neo Interiors looks for modernity in both form and function, culling furniture with contemporary shapes that also boast multi-functionality. Shoppers travel throughout a 15,000-square-foot showroom, alighting on pieces imported from Italy, Belgium, and Spain. The large and ever-changing inventory hails from approximately 15 distributors, each of which represents anywhere from 10 to 20 manufacturers. All-purpose design pops up everywhere, from updated takes on the sleeper sofa to wall-mounted storage units, whose glossy drop-down doors double as a makeshift bar or a stage for impromptu puppet shows. Italian Magniflex mattresses wrap soy-based memory foam in linen or organic cotton covers, some of which feature reversible designs that alternate between soft and firm support. Eco-friendly elements also ignite the shop's selection of freestanding bio ethanol fireplaces, whose smoke-free flames are powered by fuel harvested from grains and potatoes instead of gas, electricity, or magic spells.
The fashions may have changed since 1944, but the service and family ownership of Dependable Cleaners has remained constant. The dry-cleaning company started as a single shirt-laundry facility and has since expanded into 16 locations. The chain is now owned by a third-generation Fawcett. A few of the 16 locations offer a new addition called Style, a hand-cleaning service that treats designer and high-end garments. Expansion isn’t the only success of the company since its inception more than 65 years ago. Dependable Cleaners has garnered a number of awards, including the title of Boston magazine's Best Gown Preservation in 2008. The cleaner also proudly does its part to create a sustainable Earth by using EarthCare Cleaning Systems to clean clothing with natural, recyclable solutions that break down naturally in the environment, unlike the emotionally imperturbable Philip Seymour Hoffman. While laundering shirts, the cleaner uses biodegradable soaps and hangs newly dry-cleaned dresses, suit jackets, pants, and sweaters on recycled hangers and garment bags.
A silver mannequin stood in the window at Black Ink, drawing customers’ eyes to a display of trinkets and paper goods at her feet. But, then, something peculiar happened: she moved. A live sculpture might seem out of place in any other store’s front window, but shoppers at Black Ink have come to expect the unexpected. In 1994, owners Susan and Timothy Corcoran started their business as a paper and stamp shop, naming it after their favorite stamp medium and color of octopus kiss. As the years passed, their inventory grew to encompass an eclectic mix of products. They still carry stamps, though they’ve added Japanese knickknacks, paper clips, greeting cards, and Tin Tin books to their repertoire. They’ve also added a second location in Cambridge, where a larger space allows them to sell gifts and the paper to wrap them in.
Shoppers looking for a stylish gift, large or small, or objets d'art for their own home will find plenty to choose from at this swanky Newbury Street store. Jonathan Adler started out as a potter but today his cup runneth over. His passion for beautiful shapes and originality has won him legions of dÌ©cor devotees across the country. This store is nestled between other small shops that occupy vintage buildings in this tony shopping section close to Copley Square and Boston Commons, and a visit here is a bit like perusing an artsy friend‰Ûªs home. You can find anything from Adler‰Ûªs own and original modern design furniture, glassware, pillows, throws and unique pottery to candles, bookends and vases ---- what the designer calls ‰ÛÏthe jewelry of the home.‰Û�