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.
En Fuego proffers first-class cigars and sumptuous surroundings to smokers of every sort; tobacco buffs are regaled with luxurious lounges of leather couches and flat-screen TVs among exposed brick and diffuse lighting. An array of handrolled premium cigars from Latin American countries and domestic locales alike line the shelves, including Padron, Montecristo, and Romeo y Julieta, with a wide enough assortment to serve countless Groucho Marx impersonators and chronic fathers ($5–$35). Cavendish connoisseurs and Virginia virtuosos can also acquire an abundance of tobacco varieties, perfect for pipe packing and crafting giftable sachets of grandfatherly potpourri.
Below Elite Cigar Cafe's black tin ceiling, teeth-clenched stogies smolder and reach for the sky with aromatic plumes. The humidor stocks 90 cigar varieties, from everyday indulgences to high-end smokes such as the Serie 1926 from Padron, which has earned a spot on Cigar Aficionado's yearly list of The 25 Best Cigars on more than one occasion. Alongside the leather-appointed smoking lounge is a full bar and café replete with wide-screen televisions, southwestern cuisine, and a healthy selection of bottled and free-range beers.
The staff at Outdoor Pro Shops, Inc. keeps arrows flying true with products by top brands such as Mathews, Mission, and Genesis and the practical wisdom of more than 25 years of experience. Bowmen enlist the services of experts Chuck Harper as they revamp equipment with custom-built strings, sight adjustment, and quiver mount or conduct lessons in the 20-yard indoor archery range.
When the photographer of Dallas Boudoir wants clients to feel sexy, they head to the bedroom—or an empty power station. Many of their shoots take place at Off The Grid, a spacious building that used to supply electricity to the city's street lights. Now, its exposed bricks and industrial feel provide a unique backdrop for sultry poses. Some snapshots even take place on the rooftop, where subjects show off their favorite lingerie ensembles in front of the soaring skyline.
Other shoots typically occur in a home or hotel suite. Regardless of the locale, however, the photographer aims for the perfect balance of comfort, classiness, and sensuality. The photographer guides clients through flattering poses and carefully retouches the images to provide the quality of photos you might find in a magazine or a romance-novel flipbook. The pictures instill confidence in women of all body types, and, when arranged into DVD slideshows and customized books, they easily become gifts for significant others.