Most students in introductory stained-glass-making classes are in search of a new hobby or a fun few hours, but not Connie Beckers. In 1995, she took such a course and soon built a career around the art of stained glass and kiln-working. Now, through The Goddess of Glass, she teaches others her craft during classes that cover the creation of jewelry, coasters, plates, and transparent overalls. She’s also been known to flex her instructional muscle as a guest artist on the DIY Network show Cramped Quarters, where she taught the show’s host and contractor how to make stained-glass tiles for a kitchen in the middle of remodeling.
The Goddess of Glass also sells artwork and gifts out of a separate retail shop. Patrons can commission a custom piece, such as a stained-glass window, or peruse a collection of pieces by more than 80 local artisans. The shop’s staff can also advise clients who need custom framing, helping them to pick the proper matting and frame so that their Richard Nixon rookie cards really pop.
When Max Schneiderman began his family’s business, it was a grocery store first and foremost. Then Schneiderman’s began to carry a few furniture items and slowly these grew to overshadow the cans of soup and produce until the furnishings finally swallowed the foodstuffs whole.
Now, Schneiderman's Furniture has spread from the Iron Range to spots throughout the Twin Cities. The showrooms stock local and foreign furniture from more than 100 manufacturers. Many items in stock can be customized in color and texture to match a homeowner's current obsession with plastic flamingos.
Threads & Inks helps schools, businesses, sports teams, and individuals create their own custom uniforms, sweatshirts, and hats——both casual clothing and workwear. Choose the garment you want customized—whether it’s a screen-printed sweatshirts, embroidered knit caps, or anything—and the team can emblazon it with the logo of a nearby school, company, or loved one's initials. The technicians process nearly every order in-house and produce it locally. One of their most popular items: custom-made letter jackets, which they distribute to a wide range of local schools and academies, decorated with chenille patches so a high-school student can show off their lettering in football or keep count of defeated challengers in spelling bees.
Built-in back massagers greet guests as they sink into Elite Nail Spa's pipeless pedicure chairs, perched above foot jacuzzis with massaging whirlpool jets. Sea-salt scrubs and seaweed or mineral masks help exfoliate and nourish both feet and hands, which don french tips, gel polishes, and other eye-catching accoutrements. The spa also tailors Princess pedicures to children younger than 12 and paints ACT answers on the toenails of high-school seniors. In addition to nail services, Elite Nail Spa treats guests to Swedish, hot-stone, acupressure, and other varieties of massage, as well as custom facials with extractions and vapor treatments.
Selection is no substitute for expertise when it comes to lighting fixtures and fans. Luckily, Fan Man Lighting boasts both attributes. The owners have a combined 40 years of industry experience and a deep familiarity with their stock, so they can capably recommend a fan or lighting fixture for any setting. They don't expect customers to just take their word for it, though. They have more than 60 ceiling fans, 100 lighting fixtures, and 80 styles of water fountains on display for customers to touch and fiddle with until they find the one that suits their needs.
Viking Blinds is a family-owned-and-operated provider of quality custom window-coverings from Hunter Douglas. With quality wood ($122 for a 36"x36" value blind; $136 for premium) or two-inch aluminum blinds ($116 for 36"x36"), you can suspiciously survey the neighborhood riffraff before letting go with a satisfying snap. Or perhaps you'll find joy performing shadow-puppet shows on soft honeycomb shades ($111 for 30"x30"; $126 for 36"x36") before an audience of tomato-stuffed mason jars. Make sure with today's deal your window-coverings block out the platinum-fringed leaves in the forest homes of obscenely wealthy squirrels, which also shut out the harsh rays of the sun at their convenience.