At more than 1,200 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.
Epic in size and style, WakeNSkate looms as one of the East Coast's largest wakeboard pro shops. The vibrantly lit space is home to a vast array of boots, wetsuits, and shred-friendly gear fit for boarders of all ages and personalities. Outfit waves du jour with swells of new wakeboards, including models by Liquid Force (starting at $260) and Hyperlite (starting at $270). Upon hitting the shore, impress bevies of aqua-betties with skater-style shirts and other apparel by Ezekiel ($42+), Billabong ($39.50+), and Oakley ($45+). Ladies flaunt ink and impressive moves in a smattering of creatively colored dresses, while less hydro-inclined extremists shop a day-glo selection of skateboard decks ($35+).
Trained by national paddling champion Luke Hopkins, Stride Stand Up Paddleboard's professional instructors impart the secrets of their waterborne craft in two-hour lessons held on calm waters. After outfitting students with a Stride Airlite HD paddle board, which can also turn into a kayak, and a trusty paddle, instructors cover basic safety precautions and show how to board the vessels in kayak position and using stand-up, seated, and kneeling paddling positions. Afterward, plastic flotillas make their way out to aquatic pastures, where students can practice mounting boards in deeper waters and learn on-water balance all while participating in a guided tour of part of the lake. Supportive instructors treat all students as if they walk on water, imparting privileged tips to develop graceful strokes and effective directional paddling.
The licensed aestheticians at Merle Norman Cosmetics treat clients with skin-salvaging treatments. The 60-minute clay-mask facial treatment cleans deep within pores and is customized to all skin types to serve dry-skinned beings, oily faces, or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. A thorough cleansing removes dirt and oil, and a steam and exfoliation evict any remnants of dead skin cells. An extraction of blackheads tidies up facial pores before a toning session and clay mask shrink them to itty-bitty sizes—the metric measurements Thomas Jefferson used to describe his puppies.
Power House Auto's car custodians fuel their auto-washing efforts with gentle hand scrubbings and generous dollops of Meguiar's wax. During the service, which can last a couple hours, human-powered cloths work soapy solutions into vehicles' skin, gently wiping away dirt and washing any rashes caused by accidental exposure to diesel. Technicians evoke glistening smiles from tires and wheels with Armor All applications, then coat the car frame in Meguiar's wax, which dutifully shields it from contaminants and smudges while enhancing the shine. Car owners are welcome to relax in Power House Auto's waiting lounge and listen as their cars sing happily in the bath.
"Never, never, never give up," is the driving mantra for David Oreck, who flew combat missions with the US Army Air Forces
in World War II and returned home to build a business empire from scratch. He set out to design a machine to lighten hotel employees' load, making a lightweight vacuum cleaner as opposed to the traditional bulky, burdensome commercial cleaners. Naturally, the domestic market began clamoring for his high-powered yet easy-to-handle devices, and soon Oreck vacuums could be found in homes throughout the country.
Today, the company continues its tradition of innovation, simplifying household tasks with Steam-Glide mops for hard floors, HEPA-filter upright vacuums, and stain-killing cleaning products. Oreck's commitment to clean sends it headlong into the future, with high-tech air filters that react to their environment with automatic sensory controls, filtering odors, allergens, and curse words.