Charlotte Sewing Studio’s friendly staff tutors the needle-challenged in the art of clothing construction. Avoid the shame of sporting threads that are so last century with one of the Begin to Sew series’ three classes, which each meet for three-hour sessions for three weeks. Fashionistas flummoxed by the foot pedal should sign up for Class One, which orients attendees to the basics of the sewing machine, demystifies the secrets of straight stitches and seam allowances, and sends students packing with something to show for themselves in the form of a lined tote bag. Needlesmiths who have sewn a seam or two can skip ahead to Class Two, where sew pros will translate the foreign language of patterns and oversee spinning bobbins as students create a pair of insomnia-eradicating sleep pants. Class 3 helps seamsters strengthen skills while creating their choice of project, choosing between a sleep shirt and pillowcase, a simple skirt, or a dress sans sleeves. Call studio for available class times.
Unfurling across almost two verdant acres, Bayshore Garden Center populates outdoor areas with thousands of plants ready to boost botanical credentials. A staff of professional green-thumbs solves shoppers’ horticultural quandaries, from sharing facts on seasonal flowering annuals ($1.29 each) and juice-laden peach trees ($29.99+) to fielding questions on whether or not pine cones can experience love. Hang a 10-inch premium basket ($11.99) to enthrall area bird populations, or wow garden-peeping passersby with the coquettish pink flowers of a hibiscus ($9.99). Bayshore Garden Center also stocks a wide selection of bushes and shrubs, with entrants such as the heat-friendly butterfly bush ($11.97) ready to thrive in a front lawn’s center stage or grow a labyrinth around backyard minotaurs. In addition to aboveground aesthetics, Bayshore Garden Center carries fertilizer and other nutrient-packed soil amendments to keep gardens green and vibrant.
Oasis Yacht Club and Boat Rentals employs friendly staffers who contribute to their community by getting friends, neighbors, and tourists to explore the local waterways via pontoons, kayaks, and fishing charters. The staff can accommodate almost any request, such as customizing cruises to stop along the beach for some shelling. All their charter vessels boast stereos with CD players, and upon request, the crew can load up the boat with refreshments, sunblock, and whale repellent. Oasis Yacht Club also replaces their boats once every year and a half to ensure their equipment is in top shape. On fishing trips, they rent out rods and reels and teach guests basic fishing and boating skills while dishing out information on secluded fishing spots. At the onsite ship store, boaters can stock up on hats, tackle, and gear to prepare for any tours or voyages.
The warm aromas of chocolate orange and Creamsicle tisane emanate from above, rousing the senses of visitors as they climb the spiral steps from Franklin Shops into Tea & Wine Loft. Along with blooming teas, domestic and imported beers and wines wash down the loft's roster of edibles, which include quiches, tuna salad, and numerous vegetarian and gluten-free options. White couches line the walls, beckoning guests to plop down and enjoy their plates as they shed single tears over the beauty of the artwork adorning the space. Those with an adventurous streak can subject themselves to the elements in the outdoor seating area before visiting the loft's retail area to restock on loose-leaf teas and teapots.
At Ruth Messmer Florist Inc., third-generation florists arrange fragrant roses, asiatic lilies, and vivid daisies into fragrant bouquets for any occasion. They can create classic arrangements with sleek, simple glass vases and decorative ribbons or enhance blooms with creative flourishes such as plush stuffed animals, balloons, or wicker baskets.
In addition to flowers, florists fill gift baskets with epicurean treats such as Ghirardelli chocolates, dried meats, fruit, and wheels of cheese jacked from Mighty Mouse’s Cadillac.
Rustic Star Collections' fashion guru swaddles passersby in classy threads designed to suit each person’s unique sense of style, and enlivens dull domicles with a collection of home accoutrements. Visitors meander across the shop's hardwood floors, discovering pairs of BB brand jeans best worn during nights on the town or intimate dinners with a full-length mirror ($39.95). Daytrip crew neck tee shirts slide comfortably over torsos ($26.95), while a Cotton Candy skirt keeps legs strutting in style ($42.50). Bridgewater candles woo nostrils with sweet scents ($19.95), and Vermont Organics ($3.50) soap bars slather skin in natural blends that keep bodies as clean and smooth as the areas behind Mount Rushmore's ears.