Countless repairs and home-remodeling projects can undoubtedly trace their lineage back to Paul's Ace Hardware, which began doling out DIY equipment and home-improvement supplies in 1956. Founded by Paul E. Dauwalder, the shop quickly expanded from its original 1,800-square-foot space, branching out to five shops that now operate beneath the expert eye of Paul's granddaughter. Cleaning products, outdoor equipment, and pool supplies are just a fragment of the stores' inventory, with power tools awaiting steady hands, fishing gear beckoning lake dwellers, and building materials—including the Tempe location's 56,000 square feet of lumber—standing poised and ready to be assembled into dams by handy beavers. Still in the city of its founding, the Scottsdale location has moved and upgraded to its own building.
Artist and glassmaker Jim Antonius erected his studio to continue a four-decade journey with glasswork, including studies at an array of institutions and more than 900 public, private, and corporate commissions, including work for architect Frank Gehry. At the 3,000-square-foot space—located on 2 acres of land near the Prescott National Forest—Antonius and instructor Jordan Ford focus on teaching offhand glassblowing during private classes and group workshops. The studio is also available for rental and is filled with a bevy of equipment, including three annealers, saxophones for blowing practice, three marvers, and a freestanding pot furnace fueled by natural gas.
Direct Tools Factory Outlet equips crafty builders with an ample supply of hardware, vacuums, grills, and table saws sourced directly from top manufacturers. Grilling and outdoor kitchen equipment from STOK provision barbecues and cookouts with juicy briskets and steaks through a steady supply of discontinued, reconditioned, and factory-overrun products?brand-new, unused equipment shipped directly from the assembly line after excess production or accidental cloning. Dirt Devil vacuums suction off contaminants from carpets and shop floors, while an arsenal of drills and table saws from Ryobi lends structural soundness to household projects with speedy efficiency and trusty precision.
Harper's Nursery & Landscape Co has been in the Harper family for three generations, and little has changed about the business since it was established in 1945. On the eight-acre farm behind their Mesa location, their team cultivates a wide array of plants in every state. They're so confident in their plants, they guarantee that each one will last its normal life expectancy, as long as customers follow simple care instructions. In addition to maintaining a huge variety of plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees, the team also performs landscaping services on-site and on-location, helping clients plan out a picturesque garden or shrine to Martha Stewart, the gardening queen.
When her job in the corporate world proved too stressful, Lisa Kessler started practicing needlepoint. She found that embellishing canvases with tiny, delicate stitches was a great way for her to unwind, and also gave her a creative outlet. She took that passion and transformed it into BeStitched, a needlepoint shop and school that strives to bring the joy of needlepoint to each customer. Here, Kessler teaches students how to fill in pre-colored canvas patterns with stitches and beadwork or design original works of art out of delicate thread. Her shop also boasts a full range of threads in every color of the rainbow, as well as canvases and craft supplies to help students bring their new hobbies home with them.
Street Eagle Motorcycle Rentals locations span the coasts, giving thrill-seekers the rides of their lives on new and late-model motorcycles available for rent. Shiny fleets of Harley-Davidson, Triumph, Victory, Honda, Yamaha, BMW, and custom-cruise motorcycles can roll out with customers through a 24-hour rental or a permanent sale. Riders can test out the engines on the sporty BMW R 1200 GS or the Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special, a black-on-black mechanical masterpiece with an engine note that alerts onlookers and nearby Batman impersonators to the bike’s sleek design.