Colorful fabrics, strings of neon beads, and heaps of yarn of all textures adorn Ben Franklin Crafts’ sprawling, dazzlingly colored store, a family owned business for 37 years. Brimming with supplies for any project imaginable, Ben Franklin Crafts outfits guests with rubber-stamping kits for custom-made stationary or sheets of chevron paper to decoupage ready-made frames. The friendly staff circulates the store, and, armed with creativity and know-how, assists guests as they try to pick out the proper washi tape.
Working across 16 locations around Puget Sound, the friendly folks at Savvy Mattress Outlet showcase popular, name-brand mattresses from Simmons, Serta, and Sealy, aiming to help sleepers of all stripes find their ideal match. They also offer next- and same-day delivery service, during which hired staffers will remove your old mattress, take it for one last spin down the stairs, and break the hard news to the kids—who were originally told that it was going to a country farm filled with other mattresses.
For over 30 years, 3 Day Blinds' technicians have sift through samples and unreel measuring tapes during in-home consultations, custom-fitting abodes with blinds, shutters, and shades. They handcraft and cut treatments such as faux wood blinds, vertical blinds, and flexcell honeycomb blinds that reduce light and are energy efficient. As they tailor-make each order, the staffers dress windows of all shapes and sizes, from an arch above a doorway to a misshapen wormhole in the attic. All of 3 Day Blinds’ products come with a limited lifetime warranty. After clients have made a selection, the team shows up just two days later to install the new window dressings or let customers do it themselves.
The purveyors behind Bellevue Art & Frame and The Toy Place have been honing their artistic eyes and skilled craftsmanship since 1962, when they launched Bucket & Brush—their original paint and home-decorating store. Through the transpiring decades, they elevated Bellevue Art & Frame into a full-fledged behemoth of all things artistic and creative, compiling a diverse collection of art supplies including paintbrushes, clay, and stationery. They work alongside skilled frame designers, who enlist high-tech software to help customers to visualize what custom enclosures will look like when filled with a family portrait or Jackson Pollock’s baby bib.
In 2007, Bellevue Art & Frame opened The Toy Place to meet the needs of the budding artists who kept frequenting the children’s arts-and-crafts department. Inside the toy emporium, tots peruse a bevy of specialty toys, books, and games in a kid-centric space that also hosts frequent art workshops for little ones. Craftspeople of all ages can head in for adult classes, during which knowledgeable artists and sentient _Mona Lisa_s divulge wisdom in such techniques as calligraphy and mat cutting. The shop also organizes regular community events, including gallery showcases that spotlight local artists.
Although most chefs have their own unique style of peeling, dicing, and julienning veggies, they all have one thing in common: they each require precise, sharp knives. At Excalibur Cutlery and Gifts, the staff ensures that tools remain as close to their factory condition as possible. During sharpening services, a water-cooled belt system and buffing wheels restore a piercing blade while removing a minimal amount of steel. They can sharpen kitchen, pocket, and hunting knives, as well as dull scissors and razors.
The shop also stocks premium models of nearly every edge they sharpen. The cutlery department stocks German-made Wusthof and Henckels, Swiss-made Forschner, and Oregon-grown Kershaw knives. Ideal for camping trips, pocket knives come in both blade and multitool varieties. More genteel wares include manicure sets and old-fashioned shaving kits. Excalibur also boasts a collection of swords for the collector or CEO whose business suit needs extra panache.