Piccolo’s Florist and Gifts traces its lineage back to a small family shop that got its start in Omaha in 1952. Since then, the shop has blossomed across the city. As one of Nebraska's largest floral merchants, Piccolo’s Florist and Gifts helps customers ring in any number of events and occasions. Floral baskets and teddy bears celebrate a baby's arrival, and boutonnieres mark a growing boy's first awkward arms-length dance with the chaperone. Artful arrangements combine such buds as long-stemmed roses, sapphire-blue delphiniums, orchids, and seasonal blossoms into aesthetically pleasing treats and home decorations.
Esther's shelves are stocked with gently worn creations from classy retailers as well as from couturiers such as Chanel, Gucci, Michael Kors, and Manolo Blahnik. Leaving knock-offs to under-clothed stunt doubles, the store only consigns modern threads in mint condition while emphasizing seasonal wear. Envelop torsos in tops from Michael Stars ($15–$18), J. Crew, or Banana Republic ($8–$15), outfit feet with Cole Haan and Donald J Pliner shoes (starting at $35), or entrust key chains, checkbooks, and key-chain checkbooks to an elegant Coach bag (starting at $40).
VIP Cleaners’ first location opened in 1992. Since then the operation has expanded to a handful of locations, where staff members clean everything from police, firefighter, and military uniforms to suits, dresses, and wedding gowns. The shops also offer leather dying, suede cleaning, and alteration services.
This locally owned shop is well stocked with fresh-cut Christmas trees ($35–$80) suitable for present shielding and a wide selection of branch-adorning ornaments ($2–$8). Compliment your full-sized conifer with a festive, piney wreath ($20–$60), or select a fresh yuletide floral arrangement in need of a good home (starting at $40). Holiday revelers suffering from an acute pinecone allergy or case of Santerclaustrophobia can invest in one of DEE-SIGN's durable artificial trees in varying shapes and sizes ($25–$150).
The blue-flames of an acetylene torch heat the edges of bent copper tubing, as Adam Weiss molds copper hunks to cut metal sheets and twisted wire. The artist and educator shapes active images of a dragonfly perched on a weeping willow and slithering snakes, as well as seven-foot high images dueling praying mantises or a sandhill crane with outstretched wings. Drawing on travels to Germany, France, and the Netherlands, Adam also marries color to copper through his collection of patina paintings.
The Auction Mill’s lung-enhanced auctioneers broker impromptu price setting on an oft-changing inventory that runs the gamut from plasma TVs to self-propelled lawnmowers to autographed baseballs. A weekly auction takes place every Thursday evening and The Auction Mill conducts themed auctions on a regular basis, including the upcoming floral, wedding, and event-planning auction on Sunday, July 10. The Mill's fast-talking, gavel-banging arena has recently earned a big, loud "sold!" for treasures such as an ingredient-integrating KitchenAid 325-watt stand mixer ($75), Bose bookshelf speakers ($40), and an original Atari 2600 ($15). Entrance to the Auction Mill is free, allowing window-shoppers to observe the quick-draw wallet showdowns and vicariously experience the thrill of watching big spenders amp up the price tag on a 1924 Model T Ford ($2,600) or a rare photograph of Harry Truman holding aloft the Chicago Tribune's famously misprinted headline, "Dewey Eats Truman."