In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
Regardless of the size of its client, Williams Air Conditioning operates under the same singular principle that has guided it since its beginning: "Take care of the customer and the customer will take care of us." This customer-first mentality has led the staff to work on Saturdays, offer pricing breakdowns, and service a wide area of the Northeast Metroplex. The techs learn their craft by taking AC units into the desert for vision quests, which enlighten them on how to improve AC efficiency, ameliorate bad attic insulation, and ensure clean air during service visits.
Culinary Connection curates handmade home goods and recycled sculptures. An Italian handmade Medici dinner plate with painted fleur-de-lis ($40) makes a bold statement while also making up for a chef's poor pronunciation of italian pastas. Sparkling home decor includes candles ($33–$329) and candle holders ($48–$78) and hand-blown glass decanters ($75 each), which can aerate an entire bottle of wine in two minutes. And on the purely aesthetic end, a one-of-a-kind Baby Longhorn yard stake ($29)—constructed out of recycled metal—adds orange hues to any yard, garden, or low-maintenance petting zoo.