Stocking shelves with new and recycled duds since 1971, Ragstock fortifies wardrobes with a storefront brimming with new and recycled men's and women's clothing and accessories. In addition to mainstream garments, stores sling eclectic outfit accouterments such as neon suspenders ($9.99) and thick-rimmed spectacles ($4.99+) that allow shoppers to evoke the air of literature professors without blithely quoting Joyce.
Gander Mountain Academy updates its lessons in gun safety, handling, and marksmanship with virtual shooting technology that was once only available to military and law-enforcement agencies. The ladies-only basic fundamentals class gives women a foundation in the mechanics of handguns and how to use them safely. Students start by winnowing down the right type of gun for their needs, be they self-defense, hunting, or reclaiming the garage from infestations of gremlins. Next, instructors with callused trigger fingers explain the safety rules of handguns, compare ammunition options, and demonstrate proper grip, stance, and trigger control.
The whimsical rhymes and quirky cartoons coloring most greeting cards are occasionally amusing, but their stock sentiments and broad jokes engender little intimacy. Pear Tree Greetings curates a deeper connection by stocking an online store with hundreds of customizable greeting-card designs, nearly all of which are constructed from 100% post-consumer materials. Uploaded photos personalize traditional cards or unconventional booklets shaped like strings of holiday lights, which landed Pear Tree in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Cards come printed on a 100-pound matte card stock that can be coupled with magnets, napkins, and address labels celebrating birthdays, graduations, and weddings. Since there’s no charge for double-side printing, graduation announcements can easily detail party logistics and wedding invitations can list the funniest things to shout when the officiant asks if anyone has objections.
At the indoor and outdoor riding arenas at Dakota Stables, instructor Donavin Prescott conducts lessons for all experience levels in Western, and English riding styles, running through basic techniques, such as grooming and tacking, as well as more advanced skills. Outside the ranch, guides lead visitors on trail rides exploring local parks and coordinate longer weekend trips or hands-on camps for children aged 8–18. The stable also provides training and boarding services.
Eclectic Goat is a creative space for aspiring artists, with a studio and gallery adorned with impressive displays of locally fashioned works. Anyone who finds themselves absentmindedly sketching on the edges of notebook papers or recent photos of their exes is welcome to come hone their scribbling skills in a relaxed environment. The 90-minute class allows doodlers to experiment with three different sketch styles. Pen, pencils, and paper are provided to nurture creative instincts, as well as instruction on the realistic number of teeth to give the dinosaur monster truck you're drawing.
Joe and Courtney Norgaard, the owners of Local Roots Fine Foods, create made-from-scratch soups with locally-sourced ingredients. Late summer flavors harmonize in the gluten-free garden vegetable soup loaded with zucchini, onion, red potatoes, and carrots in a fire-roasted tomato base. Creamy red-potato-and broccoli-chowder makes bellies purr with its natural decadence, and free-range chicken noodle soup might tempt family members to fake the common cold. All of Local Roots Fine Foods' products are free of hormones, antibiotics, and preservatives, and each of the sampler's six 32-ounce containers arrives filled with enough soup to feed 2–3 people.