When Crystal Pollard was looking for maternity and baby clothes, she found plenty of onesies but a dearth of stylish skirts or flowing evening dresses. With the help of her husband Brad, a carpenter, the couple outfitted their garage with a changing room and chandelier and created Bellies to Babies. Stocked with the best of Crystal’s garage sale finds, the shop specialized in not only gently used baby clothes but stylish maternity duds for Mom.
Today, in a storefront rather than a garage, customers weave through racks of colorful, stylish, and pint-sized clothes for toddlers as well as soft, frilly sweaters and workout gear. The shop also specializes in dress rental for special occasions, offering over 100 pieces including floor-length, summer, and cocktail dresses.
The Tile Shop—as the name coyly suggests—specializes in tile for every imaginable surface and aesthetic style, making it easy for DIY handypeople to tackle small home projects, such as modernizing an avocado-green and penicillin-pink bathroom floor or re-grouting a small garden grotto. Underscore a kitchen with the appetizing orange of pirita siena ceramic tiles ($2.19 per square foot), then trim the counters in lizett beige ($3.99 each) for a complementary finish. Pick up a honeycomb pattern of hex matte black ($5.29 per square foot)—the quintessential backsplash for a gothy bumblebee—or add a touch of character to a small surface with a deep green verde butterfly mosaic ($11.99 per square foot). With its enormous selection of floor tiles, wall tiles, mosaics, and natural stone, the possibilities are as endless as a drive across Nebraska. The Tile Shop also has a plentiful selection of grout and tools for grouting it all together while grinning groutishly.
A renowned chips and salsa bar stocked with eight spicy sauces forged from fresh ingredients winds through Baja Sol Tortilla Grill, where customizable tacos, faijtas, and burritos showcase marinated meats, crisp vegetables, and homemade tortillas. A variety of meat-free, gluten-free, and sentience-free entrees and sides compile the concise menu, and catering services amp up soirees with crowd-pleasing caches of hard-partying quesadillas and churros.
Rainbow Play Systems’s expansive showrooms introduce kids aged 2 to 10 to a wonderland of gym equipment, all of which is available for purchase. A multitude of swing sets with spiral slides, trapeze rings, and tire swings exercise tykes while preparing them for the physics portion of the SAT.
Since opening in 1895, the Hoigaard family and its eponymous shop has been supplying nature lovers with the equipment and apparel necessary to make a playground out of the great outdoors. Today, third- and fourth-generation Hoigaards run the shop alongside a staff of camping aficionados and skilled craftspeople. Their expertise comes in handy as they dress fellow outdoorsfolk in a selection of belts, jackets, shoes, and boots from brand-name manufacturers such as Patagonia, White Sierra, FiveFingers, and The North Face. A collection of outdoor gear––including tents, bicycles, sleeping bags, and canoes––is available for rent or purchase, and the shop's staff repairs damaged equipment in their onsite repair and service shop. They also perform tune-ups for snowboards, skis, and inline skates, and split bicycles into two separate unicycles upon request.
Most students in introductory stained-glass-making classes are in search of a new hobby or a fun few hours, but not Connie Beckers. In 1995, she took such a course and soon built a career around the art of stained glass and kiln-working. Now, through The Goddess of Glass, she teaches others her craft during classes that cover the creation of jewelry, coasters, plates, and transparent overalls. She?s also been known to flex her instructional muscle as a guest artist on the DIY Network show Cramped Quarters, where she taught the show?s host and contractor how to make stained-glass tiles for a kitchen in the middle of remodeling.
The Goddess of Glass also sells artwork and gifts out of a separate retail shop. Patrons can commission a custom piece, such as a stained-glass window, or peruse a collection of pieces by more than 80 local artisans. The shop?s staff can also advise clients who need custom framing, helping them to pick the proper matting and frame so that their Richard Nixon rookie cards really pop.