Kathy Antar opened The Sewing Studio planning to provide sewing services for design professionals and event producers, but was soon flooded with phone calls and emails from people who simply wanted to know how to use their sewing machines. To meet that need, The Sewing Studio began to offer a selection of beginner, intermediate, and advanced sewing classes. During each 2.5-hour session, students learn how to thread machines, wind the bobbin, and practice various stitches using their own machines. In addition to classes, Kathy custom-designs furniture upholstery, bedding, and window coverings and supplies expert design-consultation services, which can transform a client's dream design into a tactile reality.
At more than 1,200 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.
All Fired Up!'s homey studio invites artists of all ages to participate in kiln-fired activities. Whether perusing the shelves laden with blank pottery or cutting and arranging colored glass to design their own plate, visitors get the chance to create personalized mementos and dishware. Classes let students try their hands at a pottery wheel, and kids' parties keep birthday guests distracted with painting while their parents wrap last-minute gifts.
Rooms To Go offers a large, constantly updated inventory of stylish furniture at stores nationwide. Many pieces and accessories rest in complete room-display scenarios, making it easier for bedroom embellishers, den adorners, and budding playwrights to make fine design decisions and coordinate their choices with existing furnishings at home or in off-Broadway shed theaters. Customers can even choose to purchase entire room sets as a package, saving time and stretching wallets. The Krista cocktail table features a cherry finish and graceful curves ($250). The West Bay Kyoto Stool ($95) can seat guests stylishly at household bars, or be paired with the warm brandy finish of the Inglewood Dining Table, equipped with a glass top and primavera veneers ($370).
"Wired and Fired is the best date [we] have ever been on," wrote Haley and Jeff, whose first meet-up went so swimmingly that they married less than two years later. Perhaps the duo bonded over their shared creativity: at the studio, blank white dishes, figurines, boxes, and banks await fresh coats of paint and glaze from brush holders. Artists also can stop by the Bling Bar to spangle their bisqueware with colorful gems poured from the bartender's shaker. Pieces emerge glossy and dishwasher-safe from the kiln about three days later.
Wired & Fired isn't just popular with the cupid-struck set—the kid-friendly environment is also a favorite hangout for families, especially when Family Night on Wednesdays offers discounts for tots. (Tuesdays are Ladies' Nights.) Children and adults alike can hold their birthday parties or private get-togethers at the studio, where they're invited to bring their own snacks, pizzas, and even 21-or-older beverages. Partiers can daub paint onto pottery or learn to fuse glass into jewelry, bowls, and vases. Those preparing a custom gift may call upon the talents of Wired & Fired's on-staff artists.