When Debbi Fields opened the first Mrs. Fields in 1977, it wasn’t all sunshine and cookies. Between her lack of business experience and the unorthodox business model—selling only cookies—not many people believed in her. More than 30 years and a global franchise later, it’s safe to say the doubters are eating their words, at least when they're not busy stuffing their faces with one of Debbi's signature semisweet chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and walnut cookies.
The wild popularity of Mrs. Fields's cookies can be attributed to the richness of their basic ingredients: real butter, whole eggs, and special blends of chocolate. Classic flavors include chewy fudge, peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia, and seasonal flavors complement the lineup throughout the year. Select varieties can also be made into cookie cakes of various sizes and shapes that add a delicious twist to any celebration or milk-truck spill.
The floral-arrangement specialists at The Enchanted Florist aim to create tangible expressions for their customers' affections through thoughtfully designed bouquets and gift baskets. Well-versed in the language of flowers, they compose arrangements brimming with fresh-cut snapdragons, lilies, and roses for celebrating the birth of a new baby, expressing sympathy, or retrieving a safe combination from someone with allergies. For birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions, the florists fill wicker baskets with Ghirardelli chocolates, Columbus salami, and fresh fruit. In addition to bouquets and gourmet baskets, they craft table arrangements, boutonnieres, and other floral creations for upcoming weddings, using the couple’s budget and taste as a guideline.
What began in 1984 as a home business with a single phone has grown into a go-to source for women's apparel with retail stores across the country. Headquartered in Sandpoint, Idaho, Coldwater Creek curates a varied selection of elegant but comfortable clothing, ensuring closets stay stocked with more than just the relatives who only get pulled out around the holidays. You'll find everything from sweaters and jackets to jeans and dresses, as well as jewelry, handbags, and other extras for accessorizing new outfits. And if you can't make it to one of Coldwater Creek's physical locations, just head to the website to find the perfect cardigan, cashmere sweater, or pencil skirt.
TigerDirect.com's vast virtual warehouse distributes computer parts, software, and gadgetry around the world, backed by their brick-and-mortar stores around the nation. Home to PC and computing experts, the stores dole out repair and advice in equal sums, answering questions about virus issues such as pop-ups or nasty computer-sneezing fits. Founded on the principles of putting the consumer first, TigerDirect offers same-day shipping and business-to-business sales, and they boast a spyware-tight website security guarantee that will cover customer liability up to $50.
The staff at Jean Therapy outfits women in denim from renowned brands such as Hudson, Miss Me, and Seven for All Mankind. The denim, which envelops bottom halves or fashion-forward arms size 0–12, is often stylized with touches such as patterns or embellished pockets. Denim gurus work to help patrons find the right type of fit for the right type of person. Shoppers can build complete ensembles with the boutique's selection of patterned tops and colorful jewelry.
Akira swaddles customers from clavicle to toe with a collection of trendy apparel from more than 200 designer brands crafted by foreign, domestic, and Chicago fabricsmiths. Women, men, and mannequins can browse a selection of clothing and accessories that includes the signature looks of Jeffrey Campbell and Boy London. Akira has cooperated with such endeavors as Generation Y, which fosters artistic expression in Chicago public schools.