Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers drizzle albion strawberries and daisy pineapples in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 chocolate-dipped morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
Bumble attires sprouting young seeds, from infants to tweens, in stylish duds from hard-to-find boutique brands. Anavini hand-smocked clothing ($66–$81) outfits toddling girls and a Guitar Rex tee by Wes & Willy ($25.50–$27.50) stands up to the wear and tear of boyhoods spent rolling in mud pits and eating ketchup by the handful. For fancier occasions, a Wee Ones large grosgrain bow headband ($9.25) pairs well with an owls Viola top by Zutano ($28). Bumble’s collection of tutu sets and capes outfits the whimsically minded, and a large collection of toys, books, and dolls makes for a great kid-distracter while the earthworm habitat is served an eviction notice.
“It’s like having Mr. Rogers teach your child to swim,” said one parent who left it up to The Swim Lessons Company’s Jim Reiser to show her child the secrets of not sinking. A third-generation swim teacher and coach, Jim approaches his pupils from a gentle, comforting angle that’s especially calibrated to meet the needs of infants, preschoolers, and adults disguised as Toys 'R' Us kids, employing fun activities and drills to impart skills. His friendship with water began in elementary school, and it was a friendship destined to last. To pay for college, Jim leased the university pool and used it to train young swimmers; he went on to teach aquatic courses at the University of South Carolina and lead multiple swimmers to state championships. "The Swim Professor"—a nickname Jim earned after founding Swim Lessons University, an online learning resource loaded with educational videos—now spends his days sharing the magic of swimming with people of every age, imparting the tips and tricks they'll need to survive in a pool, from holding their breath to performing a proper backstroke and catching Marco Polo.
Relying on customer testing and a comfort-scale rating, A Goodnight Sleepstore's accessible retailers pair patrons with cushioned name-brand mattresses that coax them into a restful torpor without overnight aches. Staff have coded the shop’s pillow-top, memory-foam, and firm mattresses on a comfort scale of one to six, allowing customers to quickly gauge which mattresses will offer the firmness needed for back sleeping and which are soft enough to conceal stockpiles of pilfered marshmallow crème. The shop also showcases accessories such as bed frames, pillows, and sheets, allowing customers to fully assemble the requirements for their new sleeping situation. Free delivery is available for bed sets $599 and higher, and a 30-day money-back guarantee ensures clients won’t have to toss and turn over whether they made the right decision.
Drawing on 32 years of bespoke experience, the duo of talented tailors at Éclat Tailoring & Design by Robert Ríson morphs garments with meticulous alterations and designs custom-made ensembles for men, women, and children. The clothing experts construct elegant apparel from sundry pattern catalogs by Vogue, New Look, and Style, with fine materials such as fur and mink and fabrics such as wrought silk, organza, tulle, tweed, and bubble wrap. The accommodating clothiers also work with customers to fashion garments according to client specifications. In an initial consultation, designers meet with customers to gain a thorough understanding of desired styles and designs, take measurements, and provide counsel on any recent public displays of pants splitting. Custom garments are completed and ready to wear within four weeks.