For more than 30 years, Swiss America Trading Corp. has helped clients diversify their assets with an array of U.S. and foreign gold, silver, and platinum products. Helmed by chairman and author Craig R. Smith, the highly credentialed brokerage touts numerous affiliations and celebrity endorsements, including backing from national spokesperson and part-time sleep-talker Pat Boone. Minted coins volunteer to line shelves and tree-house bank vaults with various popular images, such as an American eagle or an American buffalo that secretly identifies more with France because of its fashion. Prior to making their selections, clients can studiously monitor the real-time prices of gold and silver on Swiss America's website and take advantage of an array of educational resources.
Individual measurements. Custom-cut fabric. Hand stitching. This is what it takes for the conscientious staff of Brother’s Tailors & Clothing Co. to craft just one custom-made suit to its exacting standards. They involve customers in every facet of their apparel’s design. The tailors’ hundreds of styles and fabrics, which come together for either a suit or one of Brother’s custom-made shirts for men or women, enable clients to customize their ensemble with great thoroughness. The shop also carries ready-made garments from well-respected designers such as Jack Victor, S. Cohen, Agave Denim, and Mezlan. Of course, since the shop houses a stable of skilled tailors, each of these off-the-rack pieces can be made to fit to virtual perfection with the help of alteration services. Brother’s Tailors can shorten suit sleeves and skirt hems, adjust oversize waists, and add zippers and pockets to sleeves so that they can achieve their dreams of becoming pants for a kitchen table’s legs.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
In 1975, Jay Kogan's parents opened up a store that was literally a hall of frames—just a small store stacked with thousands of frames. At the time, they had no idea that that tiny corridor would expand to 12 locations throughout the greater Phoenix area, all still run by the Kogan family. Today, their shops have more than 4,500 custom frame options along with mats of all colors and textures, as well as seven glazing choices and expert assembly. They can answer framing questions and frame everything from documents and artwork to posters and small 3-D objects such as sports memorabilia and very still grandmothers.
When they custom-produce frames, the family cuts their mats exactly, miters frame corners precisely, and installs flawless glass. Or, since the stores' walls are lined with ready-made frames, customers can walk in and find what they're looking for quickly. Since installing framed art is an art unto itself, they also offer hanging services with an eye for placement and ability to install in difficult spaces.
Kid to Kid is an upscale children's and maternity resale store that buys clothing, toys, furnishings, and baby gear before selling it back at affordable prices. Before making the cut, all clothes and shoes must be deemed certifiably elite in stylishness, cleanliness, and newishness. Items are hand-selected by discerning staffers who put them through an intense screening process in which the gems make the rack and damaged duds are sent back. Parents can decorate the hair off young ones with fashionable bows ($2.99+) or cloak growing kids in discount clothing ($5.50), such as coats, gloves, hats, socks, and a varied array of shoes. Shoppers can find brands such as Gap and Gymboree, and moms-to-be can find fashions for themselves and their baking buns. Kid to Kid also styles nurseries with rockers, crib linens, and dressers. Each piece of equipment and each toy is squeaky-clean and well-mannered, always poised for an invite to the most exclusive teddy-bear picnics.