Coastal Sewing Machines set sail nearly two decades ago, hopping between various locations on the Connecticut coast as it lured schools of quilters and seamstresses. Within the shop, needle aficionados guide guests through an inventory of cloth that stretches more than 10,000 yards, providing options for any project and the means of making a football stadium a nice dress shirt. Their selection of high-end sewing machines, embroidery machines, and sergers from Viking, Pfaff, and Baby Lock grants supreme stitching power to complement their supply of notions and bring customer creations to life.Coastal's textile techs also expand the sewing community through an ever-changing schedule of classes. Budding thread wielders can learn basics while making useful items such as iPad cases and luggage tags embroidered with their name and the items they're attempting to smuggle. The shop also slings classes on more advanced topics, from designing tote bags to operating a serger.
The careful collectors at Haddam Family Consignments cull gems of gently used upscale apparel, vintage and modern jewelry, and furniture to resell in their cozy shop. Items rotate regularly, but recent collections have included a Ralph Lauren blouse ($13.75) and a J. Crew sweater ($9.75) to keep appendages warm more fashionably than a sleeve made of insulation foam. Juicy Couture faux-fur hoodies ($69.95) and sleek Unik black leather motorcycle jackets ($55) for men and women preserve torsos against whipping winter winds and cool spring breezes. The store also houses a vast selection of goods, ranging from handbags and home décor to children's toys, books, and DVDs, for a collection of items more diverse than the participants at a snowflake convention.
For more than a century, Ring's End has put quality home improvement products in the hands of homeowners and contractors. A Stanley FatMax level ($30.99) ensures all paintings and ouija boards are hung correctly, and a gallon of Benjamin Moore Regal Classic paint ($40.19) creates a vibrant new hue on staid interior walls. Fiberon composite decking ($2.95+/ft.) helps to craft sturdy, colorful backyard-grilling platforms and arrives backed by a 20-year limited warranty. Handymen and women can keep tools easily accessible, organized, and ready to travel with a Veto Pro Pac tool bag ($144.99), which holds more than 100 hand tools and includes six zippered pockets to hide worksite snacks from Bob Vila.
Thames River's knowledgeable staff procures potions from all corners of the globe, gathering them in their elegantly designed waterfront store. The fawned-over Root: 1 cabernet sauvignon ($14) from Chile elicits boisterous Peter Gabriel melodies from taste receptors and chardonnays by Toad Hollow ($15) and Central Coast ($18) bring sweet flavors to the summer season, ideal for backyard gatherings or pool-side sipping.
The Metro Pooch leaves dogs smelling sweet and acting calm after a fun-filled day in their facilities. During day camp, upbeat tunes fill the air as dogs romp around in groups separated by size and temperament. Overnight guests enjoy a suite with radiant heat floors, lavender scented-linen, and soothing canine lullabies, while web-cams give out-of-town owners peace of mind. The Metro Pooch Spa also provides spa treatments that range from bright coats of nail pawlish to medicated baths that soothe itchy skin.
Whether landscaping a private pond or ushering patrons through its greenhouse, the Samolewski family doesn’t mind getting its green thumbs dirty. At the Greenland Family Farms nursery, the family and its staff unveil a vivid landscape of trees, bushes, and colorful perennials that guests can pluck and plant on their own property. Patrons can also beckon Greenland’s staff to their houses to perform landscaping services, add fish to their ponds, or chop down enormous beanstalks that angry giants can climb down.