Sibling trio Tim, David, and Harry Jr. oversees Karagosian Jewelers' sparkling empire, maintaining a tradition of knowledgeable gem dealing set by their parents—who began the then-small jewelry business in their Oakland County home in 1950. Since 1968, the current Orchard Lake Road location has expanded three times to accommodate an ever-expanding hoard of designer jewels and constant bouts of brotherly horseplay. Beyond a sizeable inventory, the Karagosians and their staff strive to outclass other jewelry retailers by stamping their direct-from-Belgium diamonds with a guarantee to beat any competitor's price. Personalized customer service includes fiancé-jeweler collaborations that yield custom engagement rings, and the store's GIA-certified gemologist Tim Karagosian can explain various cuts and carats and suggest hip baby names such as Ruby and That One
Jeff Warmuth and the talented artisans at Canterbury Stained Glass draw on their nearly 40 years of experience crafting commissioned artwork to fill their showroom and teach others the art of glass manipulation. More than 40 educational programs—divided into short workshops and longer, weeks-long pursuits—focus on beginner, intermediate, and expert glass techniques of all sorts. Students can assemble glass jewelry, fuse patterned glass into bowls, or use their glass-blowing skills to build a see-through glass dome around endangered penguins. A fully stocked shop sells books, glass cutters, and other useful tools for finishing glassmaking and fusing projects.
Body Boutique Activewear curates an inventory of women's fitness-focused loungewear and yoga apparel that resides "where Couture meets Comfort." Staff members utilize their comprehensive product knowledge to guide customers through the form-fitting apparel from top brands such as Planet Body and Soybu. On Sundays, shoppers can call ahead and arrange shopping sessions by appointment for personalized, leisurely store experiences unhurried by weekday schedules packed with work and crowd-surfing classes.
Led by owner and sports fanatic Steve Kopitz, the staff at Summit Sports outfits athletes and outdoorsfolk with brand-name apparel and gear for skiing, snowboarding, and various water sports. While conquering the slopes wearing Dakine Omega gloves ($39.95), skiers can don the sturdy casing of a Smith Holt helmet ($74.95) to protect brain boxes and acrophobic mohawks. Equipped with Smith Scope pro goggles ($39.95), rip down hillsides at a nose-numbing speed using Scott Decree ski poles ($44.95) to steer. Additionally, Summit's staff of friendly experts harvests a wealth of knowledge, helping to prepare inquiring customers for all types of open-air treks including marathons inside idle volcanoes.
Located on a serene 9.5-acre nursery with 14 greenhouses and a historic floral shop dating back to 1890, Goldner Walsh Nursery stocks everything DIY landscapers and gardeners need to beautify their outdoor spaces. Shoppers can browse a selection of meat-hungry carnivorous plants ($7.95+), a diverse variety of nursery stock ($29.95+), or the flamingo-pink buds of the Mardi Gras rose and other perennials ($2.95+). A tropical fern invites cats to play jungle make-believe, and a new pot may help plants reach their full potential ($12.95+). The knowledgeable staff at the on-site flower shop helps customers select a chic and sophisticated bouquet to commemorate a loved one’s graduation or moped license acquisition.
In a few short years, April and James Forbes have gone from humble dreamers to established-and-celebrated experts in their trade: the tasty-baked-goods trade. Before opening The Cakeria in 2010, the couple sold their home-baked treats at the Dixieland Flea Market, according to the Oakland Press. By 2012, their cupcakes had earned them the championship spot on Food Network's Cupcake Wars—wars in which the kitchen-clumsy Napoleon never would have stood a chance. The key to the couple’s success lies in from-scratch recipes and highly creative flavor concepts; they bake with herbs, oils, and real butter to make confections such as chocolate cupcakes soaked in cherry cola and topped with swiss-meringue buttercream. Their cookies, brownies, and french macarons obtain their distinctive tastes from exquisite ingredients such as tahitian vanilla, dutch cocoa powder, and stardust from the Andromeda galaxy.