Founded by Ken Euston in 1971, Euston Hardware's old-fashioned legacy continues under the helm of Ken's son. Kevin, who has since grown the shops into three locations, keeps the shelves packed with more than 65,000 items for homes, landscaping, and automobiles. Experts chat with customers to help them to tackle projects from changing a car's oil to painting their house solid green so it can be replaced with a CGI castle. Home-improvement tools, which include items for the kitchen and bath, keep domiciles functioning at their best. The friendly staff can also guide green thumbs to lawn and garden supplies or help them select the right locks and outdoor equipment to keep their tools from escaping and impersonating the local robocop.
In 1988, potter Michael Smith invited a small group of peers to his home to share ideas and further explore the art of clay manipulation. After just a few meetings, the group quickly grew to include around 70 craftspeople, who started meeting at the Kansas City Art Institute instead of inside Smith's giant conch shell. These regular get-togethers laid the groundwork for the initial incarnation of KC Clay Guild, a place where artists could socialize, buy materials in bulk, and learn from one another.
Now, the volunteer-run co-op is even larger. It occupies its own facility and has vastly expanded the number of services it provides. Amidst the changes, KC Clay Guild has remained true to its initial goals, guided by a mission statement to support the clay community. Artists of all skill levels enroll in classes that cover an array of techniques, such as wheel throwing, hand building, and slip casting. Members take part in regular meetings, open-studio time, and monthly shows, and visiting artists stop by to lead workshops and repair their ceramic automobiles. The guild even offers a scholarship to high-school seniors and hosts birthday parties, team-building exercises, and family-fun nights for casual potters.
Ranchview Floral has been in business since 1947, assembling flower arrangements that add a touch of beauty to decades of celebrations and expressions of sympathy. The Ranchview team expertly combines roses, tulips, daisies, and orchids into creations bursting with color, from bouquets to centerpieces and corsages. Each one makes a classic and fragrant gift for special occasions or a fancy meal for a pet goat.
Employing a quarter-century of experience, the floral artists at Matney Floral Design meticulously craft detailed and elegant English garden bouquets that accentuate the beauty of homes with seasonal varieties and intriguing arrangements. With Easter and Mother's Day fast approaching, customers can treat motherly rabbits to a 6-inch rose bowl housing gerbera daisies, tulips, lilies, spray roses, and seasonal green stock ($50) or an 8-inch rose bowl that uses its extra inches to include ranunculus, hydrangeas, viburnum, and freesia ($75). Curly willows line the sides of a 6-inch square vase, which gently cushions roses and other seasonal flora like a kangaroo pouch cradling a newborn Joey Lawrence (starting at $100).
At more than 1,000 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.
Clark's Tool & Equipment opened in the 1970s as a discount tool shop, but when Don Gamble took the helm, he swapped out the supply of inexpensive outlet supplies to feature quality, American-made tools. Since then, the single shop has blossomed into four retail stores and a 15,000-square-foot warehouse stocked with a full line of brands such as SK Hand Tools, Ingersoll Rand, and Eagle Industries. The emporium of tools is an authorized supplier to industry students and teachers with a strong clientele in the rail, trucking, and manufacturing sectors.
Clark's catalog of tools and accessories includes hand tools, electric tools, and abrasives that summon the steady hands and keen eyes of everyone from industrial veterans to DIY enthusiasts. Safety equipment, tool accessories, and compressors are available to round out every toolbox with the appropriate fixings. Expert technicians also sharpen dulled blades, saws, and gardening tools and bring damaged or broken power tools back to life with skilled repair services.