At being, owner Amy Bromley draws on her two decades of professional design experience to help shoppers convert their spaces into breathtaking expressions of style. Throw pillows burst with geometric and animal-print designs in the show room, which also holds kiln-dried hardwood furnishings and handmade jewelry and accents. Like the formal plaid suit of a lumberjack, pieces in the show room express both an elegant gentility and rustic, rough-hewn ethos. Shoppers peruse vases carved from driftwood, tables made from twisted roots, and candleholders made of silvery deer antlers. The attentive staff at being works hand in hand with homeowners to help make over living spaces with in-home appointments and full-scale consultations from professional designers.
Like most success stories, Leader's Casual Furniture didn't start at the top. Founded in a single west Florida show room in 1971, the company now boasts 19 retail show rooms, a 150,000-square-foot distribution center, and an ever-increasing selection of rattan, wicker, and patio furniture. Upon browsing the virtual show room, visitors find rattan dining sets, beds, and entertainment centers as well as wicker tables with stone or glass tops. Custom fabrics and tropical-themed pieces add personal flair to interiors or exteriors, and an online room plannerhelps customers get a feel for how chosen pieces will fit into their homes.
American MMA?s staff accomplishments include being a three-time world kickboxing champion, winning fifth place at Ms. Fitness USA, earning a fifth-degree black belt, and fighting in mixed-martial-arts matches. They bestow students with their knowledge during kickboxing and jujitsu classes. Other fitness-related workouts include Zumba and Pilates. Specialty kids' fitness classes improve gross motor skills, self-esteem, and discipline practices that can carry over into schoolwork or the top level of Tetris.
Famous Tate, open since 1954, stocks and displays more than 60 refrigerators, 60 washers and dryers, 85 major cooking products, 35 dishwashers, and 40 different sleep sets . But even with all of this merchandise, staffers recognize that the store might not have exactly what a client is looking for, which is why a team of merchandisers is on hand to special order items.
The shop also features a section of clearance appliances that have cosmetic defects such as scratches and unremovable “Mondale for President” stickers. Some of these appliances are even luxury display items that need to be sold to make room for incoming models, allowing customers to find the perfect bed, refrigerator, or oven that fits their budget. When clients find what they need, a service department helps them navigate extended-warranty purchases, financing, and delivery options.
By amassing a collection of furniture pieces from manufacturing companies such as Whitewood Industries, Archbold Furniture, and Whittier Wood, Barewood Outlet helps its clients find long-lasting, all-wood furniture that will be a staple of their families' abodes for generations. Barewood splits its inventory between finished-wood pieces, which stand at the ready to brighten rooms, and unfinished pieces, which customers can then have hand-finished to their specifications or take home as a do-it-yourself project. The outlet stocks all the tools, stains, and instructions necessary for these projects in order to help clients feel the rush of creating something themselves without experiencing the same old hassle of housing and feeding a Frankenstein monster.
The all-female staff at Milagros, who proudly believe in “long, hot baths” and high-quality ingredients, routinely handcraft half-pound bars of Sister Agnes soap from glycerin, a natural humectant that deftly draws moisture and magnets to the skin. Their selection of soaps evokes innumerable essences, from the intoxicating musk of a wine cellar to the homespun nostalgia of the linen closet. The friendly instructors happily impart their squeaky-clean art to budding soapsmiths, teaching them to create with a variety of shapes, colors, and scents during 90-minute classes.